Galle, Sri Lanka: A Timeless Jewel

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Galle, Sri Lanka: A Timeless Jewel

Galle is the most beautiful and serene seaside city you will ever come across. The cool, crystal blue waters and clear coastline will give you an impression of purity and all that is good in this world.

Galle is not just a beautiful place to visit, but is also a city with a long history and a UNESCO world heritage site, the amazing Galle Fort. When I visited, I didn’t know about the rich history of the city, but I had always wanted to visit Sri Lanka – and luckily I selected the city by throwing a dart at the map! I am glad it landed on Galle, for I got to experience this amazingly beautiful place.

How to Reach Galle

I and a couple of friends took a train from Colombo, and it took us about two and a half hours to reach Galle. You can also take a rental car to reach the city. The journey was amazing and the scenery was fresh. The rest of the world should come here to learn how to protect our natural heritage!

Our First Reaction

I was the one who was responsible for planning the trip, and I was a bit anxious about whether my friends would like Galle. I didn’t want to hear them complain about my picking a poor place to vacation.

But the moment we reached Galle, they were speechless and I was awestruck. It was so beautiful and green. It appeared as if time had stopped, as if we were in some parallel romantic world where even time skips a beat.

The Weather

The weather is a typical tropical climate. Humidity, rain and heat are present all year round. The only dry weather will be in the months of January and February.

Galle - Seaside View

Galle – Seaside View

What Makes Galle Different

Galle is known for its long colonial history. It has Dutch, Portuguese and British influence written all over it. In its construction, you can literally see the effect of the different eras that the city has witnessed. But Galle is not just an old historic city, it is an equally modern and happening place.

There are pubs and clubs that you can enjoy with your friends and family. There are also many five-star hotels that come with spas and theatres, and all the luxury that you could want.

However, if you ask me, traveling means enjoying and experiencing the local life of a place. Take it from me, you will love the local character of Galle, with its small cafes, fresh food and boat rides. Not to mention the visits to the historical monuments.

You can hire a tour guide and visit all of the important sites in Galle, but I prefer discovering things on my own. I am more of street market person and wherever I go, I try to shop at street markets and eat from local cafes. So our group searched for different places to visit by roaming the streets. Trust me, this way was far more adventurous and fun.

Galle - Street Market

Galle – Street Market

Where to Stay

There are a lot of five-star hotels and resorts where you can stay. There are also villas and cottages to rent, which can be a very affordable option, especially if you are staying with family. Renting a number of rooms in a five-star hotel can be very expensive, but these villas provide a more private and affordable option.

We stayed in the Rose Villa, which turned out to be a very popular and well-sorted place to stay. Since we were a group of friends, we split the expense among ourselves and this made it even more affordable.

Where to Shop

There are a number of shopping malls where you can shop for artifacts, jewelry and souvenirs. But, like I mentioned before, I enjoy shopping at local street markets. There are wonderfully colorful street markets, called the Dutch Market and the Galle Fort, where you can find small vibrant shops with artifacts, handicrafts, jewels and other souvenirs.

The Food That I Enjoyed

I am a big foodie and enjoy all kinds of tasty cuisines while traveling. You can find a variety of different restaurants in Galle. I personally loved the Indian, Italian and Thai food, but the best food was the Sri Lankan food – especially the fish curries with rice. Also, Parippu and Polos are something that I still cherish.

Galle - Local Car

Galle – Local Car

The Places Everyone Must Visit

You should definitely not miss the Galle Fort, the historical and national museums, the Peace Pagoda Temple, the lighthouse and clock towers. Not to mention the amazing Jungle Beach, Koggala Beach and Unawatuna Beach.

The Maritime Archaeology Museum, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Rumassala Sanctuary, All Saint’s Church and old port streets should not be missed either.

If Sri Lanka is the crown of nature, than Galle is definitely its epitome. I will definitely cherish the memories of my visit and will always miss the boat rides I enjoyed, the food I ate and the people I met. If I ever get a chance, I would love to visit Galle again. But until then, I will look at the artifacts I brought back with me and remember the wonderful time I had.

Amna Omer

Amna Omer

Amna Khan is an I.T. Consultant who loves to read and write. She also enjoys sketching and painting to organize her thoughts. She is a huge fan of punjabi sufi poetry.