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Galle Full-Day Tour
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Private Guided Walking Tour of Galle Fort
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Galle Fort and City Cycling Tour
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Galle Fort: a journey to the past... See the remnants of a Dutch past at a World Heritage Site. Galle has been the emporium of foreign trade since the dawn of commerce. The Dutch Fort, which has been declared a World Heritage Site, surrounds the older part of the town and is situated on a headland of which three sides overlook the sea. The ramparts of the Fort are over 2.5 Km in circumference and provide a pleasant and interesting walk. The historian Sir Emerson Tennant claimed that Galle was the ancient biblical city of Tarshish. This city is said to have traded with King Solomon, the Persians and the Egyptians. In 1505 a Portuguese fleet led by Lorenzo de Almeida heading for the Maldives drifted accidentally into Galle. It is said that on hearing a cock crowing (cock means "Galo" in Portuguese) they gave the town its name. Another explanation for the name is from the Sinhala name for rock 'Gala', plenty of which are found in the harbour area. When the Portuguese arrived the town was already a thriving trader's port and an entrenched settlement in the lowland territory of the Kandyan Kings. It was however not until 1587 when the Portuguese were able to control Galle. The Dutch then arrived, overthrew the Portuguese and took control of Sri Lanka in 1640. It was the Dutch who had a major impact on Galle and the town still retains its characteristic Dutch architecture, the streets differing little from the times of Dutch occupation. There is Leyn Baan Street (Lijnbaan meaning rope walk in Dutch), Lighthouse Street previously known as Zeeburg Street) and Great and Small Streets Modderbaai meaning mud bay). The Galle Fort built by the Dutch in 1663 was handed over to the British in 1796 'in a state of complete repair' as certified by the officer taking charge. The British did not alter Galle as they concentrated their efforts on Colombo. Therefore the Fort remains a significant monument from the Dutch era.
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  • Average8%
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“indian ocean” (53 reviews)
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Galle 80000, Sri Lanka
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131 - 140 of 1,580 reviews

Reviewed February 18, 2017

Excellent place to relax. Can feel the sweet fragrance off the sea breeze. Safe place to have a sea bath.

Thank Janaka A
Reviewed February 17, 2017

This was built by Dutch when Sri Lanka was under the control of Dutch. Then ruled by British.This place has a big historical value.There is an ancient clock tower. The fortress is built from stone .

Thank Pasan M
Reviewed February 16, 2017

It is a good idea to visit the fort if you have some hours or a half day and would like to have a bite of the colonial history in Sri Lanka. The walk on the wall of the fort is great, but do not...More

Thank Balazs D
Reviewed February 14, 2017

Entered the fort near the magnificent clock tower where one can see the Cricket Ground and the area of the bus station beyond where the tsunami struck. Walked around the walls in what was a great strategic sight looking out to sea on three sides....More

Thank shark939
Reviewed February 13, 2017 via mobile

Fabulous place to visit, eat and drink. My advice would be to grab a tuk tuk, whizz round the whole area and get your bearings then explore on your own (probably early evening when it is cooler). Definitely the place to eat with lots of...More

Thank Julie F
Reviewed February 13, 2017

We came for a day trip to Galle and the surrounding areas and we were dropped off at the Fort with instructions to meet the driver again at the clock tower. Fortunately it was a sunny day for walking and initially we watched schoolchildren doing...More

Thank binonatrip
Reviewed February 13, 2017 via mobile

I loved my 3 days in Galle fort. Such interesting history, mixture of architecture and influences makes for a very different Sri Lanka experience. Its full of nice eating options and shopping. Accomodation ranging from cosy guesthouses to very elegant hotels. Its a peaceful and...More

Thank JacquieP
Reviewed February 12, 2017

I really liked the fort and its remains as you will find very old structures which are quite well maintained. Old churches, dutch architecture and shops, that's what you will find there. Lovely views of the ocean from the walls of the fort. We had...More

Thank Pratyush S
Reviewed February 12, 2017

i was walking galle fort nice old city but many shops around there as well renovating buildings can seat on dutch wall see the nice view of sundown..

Thank Rif A
Reviewed February 11, 2017 via mobile

The place doesn't seem to have much life on its own, but for the tourist places and the military base. It's a very westernized version of what Sri Lanka really is, so it's always a good start of the trip of the island.

Thank joost_v_bellen
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Questions & Answers
Dechamma M
December 21, 2016|
Answer Show all 2 answers
Response from Moksha P | Reviewed this property |
hi there so many. good restaurants on the peddlers street if you walk all of them are roadside restaurants which serves good food but if you want sea food peddlers in cafe is good