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Sri Lanka

Galle Holidays

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Get going in Galle

You needn’t pick between culture and the beach – a holiday to Galle has the best of both worlds. With over four centuries’ worth of history, this old colonial city in Sri Lanka’s southwest is not to be missed.

There’s a beautiful blend of Asian and European architecture and traditions here, thanks to Galle’s rich past. First built in the 16th century by the Portuguese, the city saw most development during the 18th century under the control of the Dutch, and prior to British rule in Sri Lanka. You’ll be amazed by the colonial architecture and impressive landmarks, as well as the vibrant culture and gorgeous scenery. Both the Galle Fort old quarters and the New Town are filled with treasures. Within the Fort walls, you’ll find cobbled streets bursting with boutique shops and cafes. But step through one of the gates, and you’ll discover a hive of activity and the bustling city life beyond.

To get your bearings, it’s a good idea to spend some time exploring on foot. As you get nicely lost in the streets of Galle, you’ll stumble across its charms and hidden gems. Visit cafes in garden oases, browse bright boutiques with beautiful textiles, pop in to gem shops, marvel at ancient churches, and sip cold drinks in swanky hotel bars.

There are fantastic beach options on your holiday to Galle, too. Koggala and Unawatuna – to name just two – are a short tuk-tuk ride from the city centre, and often feature on lists of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. The drive alone, as you weave towards the famous golden stretches of sand, offers a small taste of the island’s endless magical views.

Best time to go

Things to do

Food

Day trips

Best time to visit Galle

For ideal weather on your Galle trip, visit between the dry season from January to April. As a tropical island, Sri Lanka enjoys year-round warm weather with average daily temperatures sitting around 30oC. If you’re worried about humidity, it’s best to visit in March. When you do need some cooler temperatures, venture inland to Sri Lanka’s hill country and tea plantations, where temperatures tend to hover around 20oC.

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Several areas of Sri Lanka experience monsoon season. In Galle, this is May to September, but most days will just experience short, heavy bursts, rather than all-day rain. You should also keep an eye out for public and religious holidays, as these can bring life to a halt. They’re fun to be a part of, but bear in mind that you might have trouble going to the shops or having a quiet drink in a bar.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do in Galle

Wander along the Galle Fort ramparts and follow the two-kilometre Fort Walk route – it starts at the clock tower, moves along past the Dutch Reformed Church, then on to the Dutch Hospital, the lighthouse, Flag Rock and the Star Bastion. You can finish up by enjoying the stellar views up the coast north towards Hikkaduwa.

Show More
Show Less

As well as clocking these impressive sights, you’ll also get a great insight into everyday Sri Lankan life if you pop into the bars or go along to a cricket game. If you’re a big fan of the sport, catch a 20/20 in what has to be the world’s best looking international cricket ground. In a picturesque ocean setting, you can watch the nation’s favourite sport with a cold beer under the sun.

Galle is perhaps the best place for shopping in Sri Lanka. The inner rambling streets of the Fort are dotted with boutiques selling handmade crafts, colourful art, furniture and beautiful fabrics. Step out into New Town and gape at the jewellry shops and haggle for your and gems. Once you’re done, head in from the hot and heady lanes into a cool hotel bar for some well-earned refreshment.

Show More
Show Less

Food

A satisfying way to experience of any Galle holiday is to eat your way around the array of food and drink spots. The city’s restaurant options are endless – whether you’re craving a turmeric smoothie, a traditional curry or a chilli-fruit bowl, you’ll find it here. The local fruit, spice and flower markets are well worth a visit, just beyond the Galle Fort walls. Try all the incredible types of tropical fruit before you buy, chat to the local sellers and learn how to use the spices, as well as a little more about life in Galle. 

Show More
Show Less

Seafood is the speciality almost everywhere here. Crab curry is a national dish, and squid and tuna feature heavily. The classic Sri Lankan curry selection is often the cheapest thing on any menu and something to be enjoyed every day of your trip. Try Church Street Social at the Fort Bazaar Hotel for a beautiful lunch in a modernised and trendy colonial-style building. Poonie’s Kitchen, at the back of a trendy boutique, also serves delicious salads, vegan plates, iced coffee and smoothies from its idyllic garden.

Show More
Show Less

Day trips

There’s a whole host of day trips and excursions possible on your Galle holiday. Using this place as your springboard into Sri Lanka, you can take a boat trip to watch for whales, and you’ll likely have a few dolphins and turtles thrown into the mix as well. Take a tour of a tea plantation inland from Galle, such as the family-owned Handunugoda Tea Estate. Spot wildlife in one of Sri Lanka’s national parks, such as Yala – known for its resident leopards – or see gentle elephants at Udawalawe.

Show More
Show Less

Or, to slow the pace right down, head for the secluded cove of Jungle Beach. Here, the waters are perfectly calm for swimming, or you could go for a walk along the jungle path where monkeys swing overhead.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit Galle

For ideal weather on your Galle trip, visit between the dry season from January to April. As a tropical island, Sri Lanka enjoys year-round warm weather with average daily temperatures sitting around 30oC. If you’re worried about humidity, it’s best to visit in March. When you do need some cooler temperatures, venture inland to Sri Lanka’s hill country and tea plantations, where temperatures tend to hover around 20oC.

Show More
Show Less

Several areas of Sri Lanka experience monsoon season. In Galle, this is May to September, but most days will just experience short, heavy bursts, rather than all-day rain. You should also keep an eye out for public and religious holidays, as these can bring life to a halt. They’re fun to be a part of, but bear in mind that you might have trouble going to the shops or having a quiet drink in a bar.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Galle

Wander along the Galle Fort ramparts and follow the two-kilometre Fort Walk route – it starts at the clock tower, moves along past the Dutch Reformed Church, then on to the Dutch Hospital, the lighthouse, Flag Rock and the Star Bastion. You can finish up by enjoying the stellar views up the coast north towards Hikkaduwa.

Show More
Show Less

As well as clocking these impressive sights, you’ll also get a great insight into everyday Sri Lankan life if you pop into the bars or go along to a cricket game. If you’re a big fan of the sport, catch a 20/20 in what has to be the world’s best looking international cricket ground. In a picturesque ocean setting, you can watch the nation’s favourite sport with a cold beer under the sun.

Galle is perhaps the best place for shopping in Sri Lanka. The inner rambling streets of the Fort are dotted with boutiques selling handmade crafts, colourful art, furniture and beautiful fabrics. Step out into New Town and gape at the jewellry shops and haggle for your and gems. Once you’re done, head in from the hot and heady lanes into a cool hotel bar for some well-earned refreshment.

Show More
Show Less

Food

Food

A satisfying way to experience of any Galle holiday is to eat your way around the array of food and drink spots. The city’s restaurant options are endless – whether you’re craving a turmeric smoothie, a traditional curry or a chilli-fruit bowl, you’ll find it here. The local fruit, spice and flower markets are well worth a visit, just beyond the Galle Fort walls. Try all the incredible types of tropical fruit before you buy, chat to the local sellers and learn how to use the spices, as well as a little more about life in Galle. 

Show More
Show Less

Seafood is the speciality almost everywhere here. Crab curry is a national dish, and squid and tuna feature heavily. The classic Sri Lankan curry selection is often the cheapest thing on any menu and something to be enjoyed every day of your trip. Try Church Street Social at the Fort Bazaar Hotel for a beautiful lunch in a modernised and trendy colonial-style building. Poonie’s Kitchen, at the back of a trendy boutique, also serves delicious salads, vegan plates, iced coffee and smoothies from its idyllic garden.

Show More
Show Less

Day trips

Day trips

There’s a whole host of day trips and excursions possible on your Galle holiday. Using this place as your springboard into Sri Lanka, you can take a boat trip to watch for whales, and you’ll likely have a few dolphins and turtles thrown into the mix as well. Take a tour of a tea plantation inland from Galle, such as the family-owned Handunugoda Tea Estate. Spot wildlife in one of Sri Lanka’s national parks, such as Yala – known for its resident leopards – or see gentle elephants at Udawalawe.

Show More
Show Less

Or, to slow the pace right down, head for the secluded cove of Jungle Beach. Here, the waters are perfectly calm for swimming, or you could go for a walk along the jungle path where monkeys swing overhead.

Show More
Show Less

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Between them, our travel advisors can boast almost 800 years of holiday expertise.

Ease

Our tailor made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

Value

Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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