Uncovering the Secrets of Galle Dutch Fort in Sri Lanka

 In Beach, Best Time to Visit, Destination, Holidays, How To Guide, Places To Visit, Sri Lanka, Things to do, Travel, Travel Tips

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with hidden treasures that enchant everyone. To learn more about the hidden gems of Sri Lanka check our Sri Lanka tours and package.

There are many Temples and Historical Places in Sri Lanka and one of the places is Galle Dutch Fort. Cuddled along the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka, Galle Dutch Fort is a captivating destination that exudes historical charm and timeless beauty.

This is the 8th UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka, a living testament to the island’s colonial past, blending elements of Portuguese, Dutch, and British influences. With its cobblestone streets, stunning architecture, and breathtaking ocean views.

Galle Dutch Fort offers an immersive experience that takes you back in time. In this blog post, we explore 10 reasons why Galle Dutch Fort should be on your Sri Lankan travel bucket list.

1. Rich Historical Heritage


Galle Dutch Fort’s history dates back to the 16th century when it was first established by the Portuguese. In the following centuries, the fort was expanded and fortified by the Dutch in the 18th century, leaving behind a legacy of impressive architecture and a unique blend of cultures.

As you wander through the fort, you’ll find remnants of its storied past in the form of bastions, ramparts, and old cannons, all of which offer a glimpse into the strategic significance of this coastal stronghold.

The old town of Galle and the Fort is so beautiful, and you will see the Portuguese, European, and South Asian cultures and touch around the town.

The people live inside the fort and there are many shops, beautiful Cafes, and homes inside the fort. What adds more beauty is that People playing cricket  alongside the sea shore, Vendors selling fresh fruits under the palm trees and the whitewashed buildings. You will find the same type of glimpse in Rajasthan Fort.

 2. Architectural Marvels

The fort is renowned for its stunning examples of Dutch colonial architecture, with beautifully preserved buildings that showcase the period’s distinct style. From charming houses and elegant churches to old warehouses, the fort is a treasure trove of architectural wonders.

There are a lot of things to do at Galle Dutch Fort .Take a stroll along the fort’s winding streets, and you’ll encounter an array of structures that blend Dutch, Portuguese, and British design elements, each telling a unique story of the past.

 3. Stunning Views


Perched on a peninsula( a piece of land that is entirely surrounded by water but is connected to the mainland on one side), Galle Fort offers breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and the surrounding cityscape.

 The fort’s strategic coastal location provides visitors with picturesque vistas that are the best place for photography in the world or simply taking in the beauty of the area. As you walk along the fort’s ramparts, you’ll be treated to stunning ocean panoramas and the soothing sound of waves crashing against the shore.

4. Charming Streets and Alleys

Galle Dutch Fort is known for its narrow, winding streets and quaint alleys and one can do a lot of things in the Fort. Each street is filled with boutiques, cafes, and galleries, creating a charming atmosphere that takes you back in time.

The colorful buildings and lush greenery add to the picturesque setting, making it a perfect place for a leisurely walk.

As you explore the fort’s streets, you’ll discover delightful surprises at every turn, such as artisanal shops and cozy cafes offering delectable treats.

5. Rich Cultural Experiences


The fort is a hub of cultural activities and events that showcase the rich traditions of Sri Lanka. From vibrant festivals in Sri Lanka to art exhibitions, there’s always something happening within the fort’s walls.

Local crafts and traditions are also on display in the shops and markets, offering visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the island’s heritage.

One of the famous festivals held in Galle Dutch Fort is “The Galle Literary Festival”, which is usually held from 25 – 28th January 2024. Besides this, there are so many other festivals Celebrated in the fort.

6. Lively Shopping and Dining Scene

Galle Dutch Fort boasts a thriving shopping and dining scene that caters to a wide range of tastes. Explore the fort’s shops and galleries to discover unique souvenirs, local handicrafts, and contemporary art. There are so many shopping places to do in Sri Lanka where you can chill and do lots of shopping.

When it comes to dining, you’ll find a variety of options, from quaint cafes serving traditional Sri Lankan cuisine to upscale restaurants offering international fare. The culinary experiences within the fort are as diverse as they are delightful.

7. Fascinating Museums and Historical Sites


For history enthusiasts, Galle Dutch Fort is home to several notable museums and historical sites. The National Maritime Museum provides insight into Sri Lanka’s maritime history, while the Historical Mansion Museum showcases a vast collection of artifacts from the island’s past.

 The Galle Dutch Fort’s charm lies in its iconic landmarks – the Galle Lighthouse and Clock Tower – which offer spectacular views. Don’t miss out on these two.

8. Peaceful and Relaxing Atmosphere

Despite its popularity as a tourist destination, Galle Dutch Fort retains a tranquil ambiance. The fort’s peaceful atmosphere provides an ideal setting for leisurely walks, reflection, and relaxation. Whether you’re sitting by the ocean, enjoying the gentle breeze, or strolling through the fort’s quiet streets, you’ll find a sense of calm that contrasts with the hustle and bustle of modern city life.

9. Unique Accommodations

Image Source : Tripadvisor

One can find good hotels to stay in Sri Lanka, from budget-friendly homestays to luxurious hotels and resorts.

 Galle Dutch Fort offers a range of accommodation options that allow visitors to stay within the historic confines of the fort.

 From charming boutique hotels housed in heritage buildings to quaint guesthouses, the accommodations within the fort provide a unique and memorable experience.

 Staying within the fort allows you to fully immerse yourself in its rich history and enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals.

A few stay options are :

  • The Bartizan Galle Fort

Check out their website for cost and other details https://www.thebartizan.com/

  • Galle Fort Hotel

Check out their website for cost and other details https://www.galleforthotel.com/

  • Old Dutch House

Check out their website for cost and other details http://www.newolddutchhouse.lk/


Check out their website for cost and other details https://lejardindufort.com/

  • Arches Fort Galle

Check out their website for cost and other details


10. Convenient Access to Surrounding Attractions


Galle Dutch Fort serves as a perfect base for exploring the surrounding area, which boasts a variety of attractions.

 Nearby beaches such as Unawatuna and Jungle Beach offer pristine sands and crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming, snorkelling, and sunbathing.

 For those seeking adventure, Koggala Lake and Hikkaduwa provide opportunities for water sports and wildlife encounters.

 The fort’s convenient location makes it easy to venture out and discover the natural beauty of Sri Lanka’s southwestern coast.

Suggested to read: best beaches in Sri Lanka

How to Reach Galle Fort Sri Lanka

Galle Dutch Fort is a popular destination with excellent transport links. You can take a train from Colombo to Galle Fort rail station and reach it in just 2 hours. There are several trains available. Book your tickets online through the Sri Lankan rail website and find the full timetable there.

 You can also reach Sri Lanka via road transport as the highways are in good condition. Colombo to Galle via bus will take 2.5hours and via taxi around 3 hours.

Best time to Visit


Sri Lanka experiences two monsoon seasons that happen at opposite times of the year.  Galle experiences the rainfalls in the month of May to September. Best time to visit Galle Dutch Fort Sri Lanka is Mostly in the month of December to April, due less rainfall these months are dry and can explore more.


Galle Dutch Fort is a captivating destination that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty. With its rich heritage, stunning architecture, and picturesque views, the fort offers an unforgettable experience for visitors.

 Whether you’re a history buff, a cultural enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Galle Fort has something for everyone. Plan your visit to Galle Dutch Fort and discover the timeless charms of this Sri Lankan gem.

How old is Galle Fort?

Galle Fort was initially built in 1588 by the Portuguese. It was extensively fortified by the Dutch in the 17th century. The fort is over 430 years old and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Who built Galle Fort?

Galle Fort was initially built in 1588 by the Portuguese. It was later   expanded and heavily fortified by the Dutch in the 17th century. Today, it stands as a testament to both colonial powers’ architectural prowess and influence.

What is the history behind the Galle Dutch Fort?

Galle Dutch Fort, built in the 17th century, served as a stronghold for the Dutch East India Company. Originally constructed by the Portuguese, it became a key trading hub and defense post in Sri Lanka’s colonial history.

What are the opening hours and entrance fees for the Galle Dutch Fort?

Galle Dutch Fort is an open public area and can be visited at any time, as there are no official opening or closing hours. Entrance to the fort itself is free, allowing visitors to explore its walls, streets, and landmarks at their leisure.

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