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Address: Galle 80000, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
+94 77 369 0171
Website
Today
5:30 am - 10:00 pm
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 5:30 am - 10:00 pm
Description:

Galle Fort: a journey to the past...

See the remnants of a Dutch past at a...

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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Book In Advance
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Galle Full-Day Tour
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Private Day Tour: Coastal Ride to Galle from Colombo
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Private Day Trip to Welligama, Jungle Beach and Galle from Colombo

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Beautiful historic fort

Great city with 2 parts. We visited the fort only, a must see! Nice old ruins of the Dutch fort with british and Portuguese elements. Walk is approx 3 km long (takes about 1 - 1... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed October 4, 2016
Adrian1993
via mobile
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2,117 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,492: English reviews
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2016 via mobile

Great city with 2 parts. We visited the fort only, a must see! Nice old ruins of the Dutch fort with british and Portuguese elements. Walk is approx 3 km long (takes about 1 - 1 1/2 hours including picture taking), perfect to do in the afternoon to see the sunset. Great restaurants there, too. Very hot during the day... More 

Helpful?
Thank Adrian1993
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2016 via mobile

Visit the Fort. Many small restaurants and souvenir shops. Walking on the wall to the Fort allows you to make nice photos of the see, the sunset, the lighthouse and the city.

Helpful?
Thank abuiter
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2016

One of the most historical places in Sri Lanka. Gorgeous view all around. Very easy to visit by public or private transport. But this place is ruined by the visitors. Garbage in prisons of the Fort. Maintenance is also poor.

Helpful?
Thank Nirosha R
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
73 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2016

Really enjoyable walk around Galle fort with many places to rest. Sea spray may be refreshing, but it is also romantic. Great places for picnic along the way. There is a beach close to light house. Watch out for placid goannas, they are really big!

Helpful?
Thank neotulpa
Gampaha, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2016

Still remains Dutch building and some cultural remains. In fort you may experience another era of history. Love to watch sunset and very romantic place in Evening.

Helpful?
Thank Mytrips H
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2016

It is a interesting place to visit, it doesn't sound much but its good for a casual walk and getting some lovely pics with family, friends and the city. It has a lot of history to it as well. We had a good time.

Helpful?
Thank Joshua_2183
Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2016 via mobile

One of the most beautiful Portuguese forts ever! The sunset will blow your mind! The architecture from 15century is simples amazing! Galle is the fort! Just have a afternoon in here!

Helpful?
Thank JoaoLuisBrito
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2016 via mobile

It's a beautiful fort that still stands strong and teaches you about the history of Sri Lanka. I'd recommend coming in early morning or early evening because it's very hot and sunny with no shade.

Helpful?
Thank Monique M
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2016 via mobile

This part of galle is lovely. Cobbled streets and little shops and restaurant. You get a good view and nice breezy walk on the ramparts. Lovely buildings and will only get better as more old houses are renovated. Would be lovely to stay in one of the boutique hotels inside the walls.Was gutted to see lots of rubbish floating in... More 

Helpful?
Thank kalkp5
Napier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
63 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2016 via mobile

It was like you were in another Country to Sri Lanka. Beautiful just to wonder around the streets. Be sure to watch the sunset from the fortress walls.

Helpful?
Thank adventureguyNZ

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