Dutch Galle Fort
The Dutch Galle Fort is close to the southernmost point of Sri Lanka and 173 km from Colombo, which was about 2.5-hour drive. The Fort was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese settlers, then it was developed further by the Dutch in the 17th century after 1649. Thanks to the reconstruction work done by the Archaeological Department Of Sri Lanka, the whole area and architectures have retained the look after over 400 years. Even when we were there, we saw a few constructions for restoration. You can feel the love and care that the country shows towards Galle Fort. The Fort was recognized for its cultural heritage value by UNESCO and was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1988. You can read more about Dutch Galle Fort on gallefortguide.com and wikipedia.
Galle Fort to me was charming, interesting and beautiful. If you visit Sri Lanka, I hope you will make time to visit Galle along with other exciting things you’d get to see and do in the country. Galle Fort was about 30-minute tuktuk ride from our hotel Cantaloupe Aqua in Unawatuna, which was really easy and the ride was pretty. By the way, I recommend Unawatuna for a holiday destination with kids. We loved the time at beaches in Unawatuna and we could have been at our hotel beach or Wijaya Beach the whole time we were in Unawatuna, but I am so glad we were able to visit Galle albeit it was brief.
Here are the 10 things I loved about Galle. I am sure I missed some other important and beautiful sites in Galle Fort as I could not cover the whole area of Galle Fort due to our time restriction. Since one of our children was sick during our vacation, we only gave ourselves about 3 hours to walk around. I can tell you that it was not even close to enough. I hope this post will help you decide to go visit Galle Fort during your visit in Sri Lanka!!
1. Old Beautiful Churches
The churches were stunning and there were many interesting things that you can learn about from the resources there. You can spend as little or as much time as you want at the churches in Galle Fort. My husband would’ve stayed there to walk around, observe and learn about how the life was for the settlers back then.
2. Lovely Walk
There were not many cars or tuktuks that came by. It felt easy and relaxing to walk around with kids without worrying about them being hit or run over even though there was no sidewalks.
Since one of my kids was not feeling well, we could not cover much in the Galle Fort, but we were able to see at lease one side of Galle Fort that I thought was beautiful and charming! Honestly I wish I could spent more time there.
It was warm on the day we went in January, but with the nice sea breeze, it was manageable to walk in the heat. I recommend wearing a hat for the walk.
3. Ocean View
The historical architectures that were repainted and restored in Galle Fort made the fort area look very charming and pleasant. Their streets with cool and modern rustic design made the walk entertaining.
5. Dutch Hospital
The Dutch Hospital in Dutch Galle Fort was once a building used as a Dutch Hospital and in the recent years was renovated and converted into a unique shopping complex while preserving the colonial architecture. There were many lovely restaurants inside both on the lower level as well as the upper level. What a brilliant idea to use an old hospital building!! Sri Lanka constantly surprised me during our short stay.
6. Fun Finds
I saw a sign for Mango House when we were walking on Church Street. The sign looked stylish, so without knowing what it was, I dragged my family to check it out. What a pleasant surprise! It was a lovely boutique hotel. Without staying there I cannot tell you how the stay there is, but I found the design of the courtyard and front lobby very attractive!
7. The Three by TPV
This is one of the coolest shops I have visited in Sri Lanka. If you would like to see more photos of this store, please visit my post “The Three by TPV”.
8. Dutch Gallery
I unfortunately did not have a chance to go into a shop (my sick child was not doing so well at that point), but many people I know love their post cards and posters. If you pass by, you should stop by!
9. Other Shopping
10. A Nice Nap Afterwards
Who wouldn’t like a nap? It’s even better when your child who grew out of a nap falls asleep. He wasn’t the only boy in our room who took a nap. Wink wink. You can enjoy a quiet afternoon. What a treat during a vacation!