Top Picks for Sri Lanka


The capital of Southern Sri Lanka. It’s a port town that has the crown jewel of an ancient Dutch Fort. Situated 117 km from Colombo, this UNESCO World Heritage site boasts among others luscious beaches, Insta worthy sunsets, friendly towns folk, a rich fusion cuisine and an authentic colonial vibe.
Galle port has served as the main hub of international trade for ancient Sri Lanka for thousands of years. The first reference to Galle in international literature is in AD 545 by Cosmas Indicopleustes, a Greek merchant. Since then, Masudi from Arab in 1000 AD, Ibn Batuta from Morocco in 1344, and Cheng Ho from China in 1409 are only some who mentions their memoirs of Galle in their renowned recordings.
Galle also provides a cross section view of the colonial influences in the Sri Lankan cultural and social tapestry. The Portuguese general Lourenço de Almeida landed in 1505 with his men and built the first colonial fort in Galle- St. Cruz. In 1640, the Dutch captured Galle, drawing it’s first map and built the Galle ramparts visible today in 1663. The Dutch entrance to the fort with their signature VOC and the year 1669 engraved in to the inner archway is still used today. The British capture Galle in 1796 and built its monumental Lighthouse and laid the Galle-Colombo railway track. The Oriental Hotel, built in 1868, is the last and only one of the Victorian hotels to survive today as well as the first hotel to be registered in Sri Lanka and it still functions tall and proud in Galle.
From stone paved lanes to gothic facades of antique churches and the historic cannons still mounted on to the ramparts, the Old Fort is the highlight of Galle city. This ancient monument is fortified with civilian life interwoven in to its grandeur. From its very own Police station, Post office and Hospital, Galle Fort and its’ inhabitants still maintain the lifestyles that was passed down from generations. Galle is well known for its’ cottage-crafts, lace making, tortoise shell work, gem polishing, ivory carving, jewellery and ornamental ebony elephants. Some other places to visit in the vicinity are the National Maritime Archeology Museum, the Dutch reformed church, the lighthouse, Jungle beach, Unawatuna beach and the Rumassala (aka Buona Vista) rainforest sanctuary.
A good quality gem at an affordable price to remember your visit to this beautiful portal to history, an elegant spread of delicious platters defining European food with Sri Lankan tones, a walk down the ancient coble-stone lanes with the breeze from the Indian ocean softly touching your face are only some of the experiences that will colour your visit to Galle and it is an experience that you must have at least once in your lifetime.