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Tourist Places To Visit In Galle
With an epic past, fascinating township and tropical locales, Galle is one of the best tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. From its early forlorn vibes to an energetic and exciting pace now, Galle is as modern as it is ancient. Established in the 16th century by the Portuguese, Galle evolved speedily by the 18th century and is best known for its reinforced sites that originated all thanks to the amalgamation of European & South Asian designs and customs respectively.
No less a paradise with pleasant weather mostly, Galle is a major crowd puller, given its natural beauty, palm fringed shores, tea trails and mesmerizing mountains. Post the contemporary makeover that’s spread to most of Sri Lanka’s west coast, the city of Galle is the gateway to witnessing Sri Lanka’s striking history. Local Cuisine including fresh seafood, Sri Lankan curries, and desserts are treats to look out for when in Galle, with restaurants and street food swarming the city. So be sure to gorge on the tempting snacks when exploring the best tourist places in Galle City.
Nominated a World Heritage Site, the Old Town of Galle is a fortified city, the governing capital and Sri Lanka’s 4th largest city, enriched with seaside pathways, temples, churches, antique shops, cafes, bookshops, the clock tower, lifestyle stores, warehouses & the lighthouse. Having survived some major calamities like the Tsunami in 2004, the royal architectural structure of Galle Fort stands tall with its historic legacy and colonial styling. A day is barely enough to explore the Galle Fort, but you can cover a lot by cycling
Situated within the Galle Fort is the Clock Tower, a popular attraction that oversees the Central Moon Bastion, which was built in 1883 atop the former Guard Room. It is also one of the best places to enjoy the setting sun. The tower is almost 4 floors high and built inside the fort parapet.
National Maritime Museum
Situated close to the Old Gate of the Galle Fort is the National Maritime Museum with its mysterious aquatic surprises. With an interesting and haunting display of shipwrecks and other underwater riches, the museum is exclusively stocked with several other treasures like puffy aquatic birds, turtle carcasses, boat models and various exhibits of fishing methods. The museum is open for entry from 9am-5pm every day and the entry fee is LKR 300.
Ariapala Mask Museum
Displaying Sri Lanka’s heritage with its collection of traditional masks & artefacts, the Ariapala Masks Museum unearths the enigma behind the mask culture, along with a frequent cultural performance to lure interested travelers to engage in the culture and history of Sri Lanka. From witnessing the different ways of designing and crafting the masks to shopping for them, the museum is an appealing tourist spot not to be missed.
Hadunugoda Tea Estate
Located at Sri Lanka’s coastal belt, the Hadunugoda Tea Estate specializes in the expert cultivation of ‘virgin white tea’ that is abundant with natural antioxidants. You can look forward to a guided tour through the tea plantation and learn about the process of harvesting and reaping the crop without disturbing the stalks at the Tea Plantation between the hours of 8am-4.30pm.
Sea Turtle Farm
Located at Habaraduwa, Galle in close proximity to the Golden sand beach is the Sea Turtle Hatchery, which was established in 1986. It was set up with the intention of saving sea turtles from extinction and up till now they have been able to release more than 1000,000 sea turtles into the ocean. You can look forward to some rare and beautiful species of sea turtles here.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Spanning over 189 sq. km is the core of Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve/National Forest, which houses all of Sri Lanka’s local animals, mammals, birds, and insects. In a breathtaking combination of abundant flora and fauna, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve deserves a compulsory visit by all nature lovers and wildlife fans. The forest has ample pathways for easy walking and exploration and one can also look forward to seeing some medicinal plants and capturing the scenic beauty of the reserve during their memorable visit. The best time to visit the Forest Reserve is in the morning, afternoon or evenings and a tour takes roughly 2 hours.
Dutch Reformed Church
Dated back to 1640, the Dutch Reformed Church is an example of Sri Lanka’s cultural and religious inheritance. Taken from the Old Dutch cemetery, the church’s walls are cemented with gravestones, thereby preserving remains in its walls and under the Church’s flooring. With its mysterious historic past and striking beauty, the Church also known as the Groote Kerk, houses an old-fashioned organ & an attractive wood pulpit made of Malaysian calamander. The church is open daily from 9am-5pm, with the exception of public holidays.
Japanese Peace Pagoda
One of the most serene and peaceful places in Galle is the Japanese Peace Pagoda, a distinctive Buddhist temple with a round deck for some breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and encircling landscapes. Aided by Buddhist monks, this beacon of peace on Rumasalla Hill is one of the 3 Buddhist monuments in Sri Lanka. Seekers and Visitors will be greeted by a towering white bell-like structure, surrounded with Gold colored statues.
One of the most alluring locations in the country, with its turquoise, shaded waters and white sand beds, the Unawatuna Beach is a sight to behold. Popularly claimed as the Best Tropical Beach in the World, the Unawatuna Beach has a lot to offer in the realm of water sports, leisurely strolls along the beach boulevards, different cuisines and the Calamander Beach resort, where there’s a wide selection of animal species in natural surroundings with beautiful coral reefs and aquatic animals.
Doing justice to the gorgeous tourist spots in Galle City is an extensive activity which requires good time on your hands! While you can visit the above-mentioned spots to enjoy the best of Galle, other sites are no less appealing and exotic in catching your interest. Galle also has other exclusive spots to explore like the Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex, a sports & cultural center, the Meera Mosque, and the Galle Fort Lighthouse, to name a few.