A Tea Plucker, Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle & South Coast Beaches

Located in the southern region of the country, Galle is known for its stilt fishermen and the fortified old town, a Unesco World Heritage Site that is a delight to wander around.

Galle’s Dutch Fort has a 400-year-old history, with colonial buildings, ancient mosques and mansions. Nowadays, the beautiful old buildings are transformed into trendy shops, cafes and restaurants. An entire day can be spent exploring Galle Fort.

Galle Fort Lighthouse, Galle, Sri Lanka
Galle, Sri Lanka
Amanwella, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Buddhist Stupa, Galle Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka
Galle, Sri Lanka

More about Galle

The main focal point for travellers to Galle is the amazing architectural UNESCO Galle Fort. The fort was built in the 17th century and showcases the defensive and aesthetic architectural features of 17th-century Sri Lankan buildings.

The fort is still used today as part of a working community, populated with administrative offices and courts, along with bustling streets that stretch from Galle’s historic district.

Frangipani pool tree day
Sri Lanka
Frangipani hammock
Sri Lanka
Thalpe Beach, Sri Lanka
Thalpe, Sri Lanka
Apa villas sri lanka pool view
Sri Lanka
Beach, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Beaches close to Galle

Unawatuna, Wijaya and Talpe all lie to the east of Galle, within about 15 to 20 minutes’ drive. This stretch of coastline runs parallel to the main east-west highway allowing easy access however it does make it the busiest stretch of beach in Sri Lanka. Alternatively, you can stay inland or in Galle Fort itself and make a day trip to the beach. Some of the city hotels have access to dedicated beach clubs.

This part of the coast is lined with beautiful boutique beach hotels and private villas. Swimming is possible here in the sheltered lagoons of Unawatuna and Wijaya, so ideal for families. There are plenty of restaurants, bar and cafes to find delicious local and international cuisine.

Amangalla, Galle, Sri Lanka
Amangalla, Galle, Sri Lanka
Lobby, 25 Rampart Street, Galle, Sri Lanka
25 Rampart Street, Galle, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, Galle, Fort Bazaar Courtyard
Fort Bazaar, Galle, Sri Lanka

Accommodation in Galle

Accommodation in Galle ranges from the sympathetically restored hotel of Amangalla, with sublime services and attention to detail to 25 Rampart Street featuring an elegant combination of colonial charm and modern amenities. Many of the restored hotels are located in Galle Fort itself offering easy exploring on foot to the shops and restaurants of this UNESCO site.


It’s all here. Things to see and do, places to explore and moments to discover.

Shanjei Perumal, Walking Guide, Galle, Sri Lanka

Walking with Shanjei

For an entertaining and educational tour of Galle, join local guide, storyteller and TV star Shanjei to explore on foot. He will introduce you to everything from street food to architecture, unveiling the fascinating history of Galle, often accompanied by an amusing personal story.



Suggested Holiday Idea

Galle Fort Lighthouse, Galle, Sri Lanka

Ramparts Walk

Walk along the ramparts of Galle Fort to the majestic Galle Lighthouse. Locals come here to swim and cool, while visitors sit and admire the beautiful ocean views.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Galle Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle Walking Tour

Explore the UNESCO heritage site of Galle on foot, to visit its ancient mosques and churches, colonial mansions and old trading port.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Indian Souvenirs, Market, India

Shopping in Galle

Galle offers some of the best shopping experiences in Sri Lanka from quirky boutiques to world-class art galleries.

Konda Keum Sweet, Sri Lanka

Gastronomy in Galle

With plenty of amazing restaurants, Galle has become one of the most sought-after Sri Lankan destinations for foodies. Dine out in style.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

The Frangipani Tree £££££

  • Sri Lanka
  • Beach and Island Escapes

The Frangipani Tree is an intimate, elegant beach hotel with ten exquisitely furnished suites in four villas. It is located on the west end of Thalpe Bay, a short drive from Galle, on a long stretch of secluded and picturesque beach.

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KK Beach £££££

  • Sri Lanka
  • Beach and Island Escapes

KK Beach is a stylishly contemporary boutique hotel and beach club near Habaraduwa. Owned by the internationally renowned interior designer, George Cooper, one of Sri Lanka’s original hoteliers and tastemakers.

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Cape Weligama £££££

  • Sri Lanka

Cape Weligama inhabits 12 acres atop an outcrop rising 36 metres above the Indian Ocean, situated 30 minutes East of Galle. An array of international restaurants capture the sunsets, as does the 60-metre crescent-shaped infinity pool, which boasts 270-degree ocean views.

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Fort Bazaar £££££

  • Sri Lanka
  • Boutique

The Fort Bazaar is a stunning boutique spa hotel in the heart of colonial Galle, offering peace and quiet, high-end service and gourmet modern dining. There is an atmospheric central thoroughfare and entrance which leads through to a handsome merchant’s home-turned-boutique hotel. With 18 stylish guestrooms and fresh, contemporary interiors, Fort Bazaar’s location is perfect for exploring Galle Fort.

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Taru Villas Rampart Street £££££

  • Sri Lanka
  • Boutique

Taru Villas Rampart Street is a beautiful four-bedroom boutique hotel within the storied ramparts of Galle Fort. The villa has been restored into an intimate and luxurious place to stay providing an elegant combination of antique charm and modern amenities. Taru Villas Rampart Street is also one of the few properties within the entirety of the Galle Fort that provides the luxury of a private swimming pool.

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Amangalla £££££

  • Sri Lanka

Amangalla, a favourite with Steppes Travel, is the perfect home from which to explore the fort and town of Galle. It is within the walls of the fort and some of the buildings have an interesting history. Having once been used as headquarters for the Dutch commander and his officers and later as a billet for British soldiers, some date back 400 years.

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A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Kate Hitchen

My travels were first inspired by my love of the UK, which I take as much pleasure in exploring as countries far and wide. For me, travel is all about the adventure, the people I meet and the food I sample along the way.

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