Galle Fort
About
Galle is located in the south of Sri Lanka. A journey to the past sees 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. On hearing a cock crowing (cock means ”Galo” in Portuguese), it is said that 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.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Top ways to experience Galle Fort
The area
Address
See what travellers are saying
  • James c
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma381 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Historical and stunning trek
    This whole town is a must see in sri lanka. The trek goes around the outer walls on the top of the fort built by the Portuguese. The views of the ocean are stunning to look down upon with the rocks below. You should start at the clock tower, you will run across cannons, sentry tower lookouts(like in San juan puerto rico), you can see views of churches. Buddhist temples, a mosque, a light house,a large cricket stadium and views of the town with small lanes. I only spent the afternoon here but I recommend to stay a night here,so you can get a feel of the nightly atmosphere. There are also many jewelry shops here and pretty good quality ones.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 16 July 2023
  • Abhay
    Bengaluru, India177 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful
    The fort is beautiful and worth the visit. You can easily spend 3+ hours there with so many places to cover and take loads of amazing pics. There is even a small beach and even streets are worth exploring
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 20 August 2023
  • Bea
    Sydney, Australia2,430 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful views and a trip through history
    The fort is quite big so you can walk or our driver drove to drop us at different areas. A history lesson in colonisation from the Portuguese and the Dutch in Galle. Canons and lighthouses show the past with the ocean as a back drop. Gets quite hot so wear sun protection
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 24 August 2023
  • sjminns
    8 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great place to visit in Galle
    We enjoyed walking round the fort and taking in the sea views. Lots of historical sites and plenty of information. There's restaurants and shops in the fort grounds too. Nice atmosphere, watching people fly kites and play cricket. I only gave 4 stars as there was lots of rubbish around which is a shame for a historical place.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 August 2023
  • Adler Tours
    Rajkot, India668 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ancient Gale Fort and Beach, Srilanka
    On Sunday, 9th July, 2023, we undertook a day excursion to Galle Fort from Colombo and it takes about 02 hrs (130kms aprox), one way. There is an Indian Restaurant with sea view across the road along the Beach side. We visited the Gale beach side and also Gale fort.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 September 2023
  • Peter M
    Melbourne, Australia1,293 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Galle Forte
    This Fort was first built in 1588 by the Portuguese and extensively fortified by the Dutch from 1649 onwards. It is like a walled city as have Gates to get in and out. It has many old buildings, including churches, hotel, museums, mosques, light house and clock tower. It is a UNESCO site and is a historical, and archaeological
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 8 September 2023
  • Explore Sri Lanka
    Galle, Sri Lanka103 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mind Relaxing Place
    Best location for relaxation and sunset viewing. There are a number of star rated hotels, villas, eateries, pubs and retail establishments there, particularly jewelry and gem stores. Parking slots and areas available during the day and at night.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 8 October 2023
  • HR
    New Delhi, India391 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Majestic seabound Fort
    A visit to the Galle fort is an absolute must do. The Dutch construction, the fort walls facing the waves is a sight that shouldn't be missed. The fort is sea bound on one side, making it a spectacular view, especially during sunset. Also, it is a unique fort where the part of the town (civilianw) lives within the fort. This makes it a home to numerous cafes and shops.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 31 October 2023
  • evdey0kum
    Samsun, Türkiye70 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    unforgettable city
    This walled city hosts magnificent views. There are cafes, restaurants and hotels inside. There are scenic spots where the sunset looks incredible and will be engraved in memories. Inside you will find churches, mosques and temples that you can visit. There are also souvenir shops and art exhibitions, a city to fall in love with
    Written 19 November 2023
  • Handysmith
    Ryde, Australia306 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Fantastic Day of Self Guiding around the Fort
    This was a fantastic long half day. This was our program: We started at the front gate and did the ‘Fort Walk’ which is about 2kms roughly around the perimeter. We started late so was a bit hot and probably best done early morning or late afternoon, when temperatures are more manageable. 1. Enter Main Gate 2. Historic Clock Tower - head south into the interior of the Fort 3. Museum - small fee to enter, interesting, only small. 4. Dutch Reform Church – can enter, FREE 5. We skipped the Maritime Museum 6. Old Main Gate, 7. Restored Dutch Hospital (up market shops, cafes and restaurants). Then continue south. 8. Famous Galle Lighthouse (not open to the public) Corner of Hospital and Rampart St, overlooking The Beach, then follow the walls to 9. Meeran Mosque (open to go inside, remove shoes) 10. Flag Rock. There was a friendly chap willing to dive off the cliff for a fee. I am sure he has the experience and knows what he is doing but it looked quite unsafe. Nobody took him up whilst we were there. 11. Triton Bastion. Along the way there are ammunition bunkers if your interested. 12. Shopping in Pedlar Street – narrow cobblestone laneways. At this point we ambled around the streets looking at various shops, had some lunch, tried a couple of different bars and generally relaxed. 13. The walk finishes at Star Bastion, overlooking the northern coast towards Hikkaduwa. 14. We then hired a tuk tuk to take us around the Fort and gave us a running commentary then returned us to our Hotel Grand Galle which is just outside the Fort.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 November 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles3 539 reviews
Excellent
1 867
Very good
1 321
Average
303
Poor
39
Terrible
9

HI Tours
India8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
Experiencing Galle Fort in Sri Lanka with friends was amazing! The stunning fusion of history and culture at this UNESCO World Heritage site is remarkable. We browsed around quaint shops and cafes for hours while strolling along the cobblestone walkways and taking in the beautifully maintained colonial buildings. Particularly at nightfall, the vistas from the ramparts were stunning. The colorful atmosphere of the fort, combined with the mix of visitors and locals, made for a fun and exciting experience. It's the ideal location for exploring, taking pictures, and learning about Sri Lanka's rich cultural heritage. Galle Fort is place that invite everyone, you can go with friends, family or business troop for an unforgettable day out. We have visited during October; you can plan your trip any time by considering pleasant atmosphere.
Written 13 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

levace
Sami, Greece107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
We have seen a few Forts on sri lanka, all very small, So Galle came as a very pleasant surprise. Its a very good walk and plenty to see. And thats just going around the outside, without the Town in the centre.
Mind the local touts, as they can be persistant, And to be honest, Totally pointless
Written 2 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ceylon Travel With Kingsley
Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Business
Travel with Ceylon Travel With Kingsley
is an exclusive ‘Transport’ operator since 2017 playing cabs, taxi and tours for hire the best choice; make your trip comfortable. Our branded cars and professional drivers available for hire in Sri Lanka .
Thank You .
Written 1 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SusieQ22Australia
Australia82 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
worth a visit to see this historic site, particularly at sunset. Some interesting shops and view over Cricket Ground. Quite touristy but not too bad.
Written 5 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Apple Green Tours Sri Lanka
Gampaha, Sri Lanka3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Business
Welcome To Apple Green Tours Sri Lanka
Enjoy Genuine Sri Lankan
Hospitality
Experience the genuine warmth and kindness of Sri Lankan hospitality, where
every guest is treated with love and care. you'll be showered with kindness and
generosity that will make your stay unforgettable
Written 22 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travel With Leo Sri Lanka Tours
Kalutara, Sri Lanka15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Business
That sounds fantastic! Sri Lanka is a beautiful destination with so much to offer. Having a well-experienced and licensed tour operator like yourself can make all the difference in ensuring travelers have an unforgettable experience while also feeling safe and secure. Offering competitive prices and a friendly atmosphere adds to the appeal. What sorts of experiences do you specialize in? Beach vacations, cultural tours, wildlife safaris, or perhaps a combination of everything Sri Lanka has to offer?
Written 19 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ginevra NSDS
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Fantastic from all the point of view. Ambiance, location, bedrooms, food…
The building is a colonial one, with traditional colonial furnitures, the decoration of the spaces is perfect, the swimming pool is a plus. The restaurant is a top level one! Beautiful place!
Written 15 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lewis12
United Kingdom70 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Brilliant views of Galle and so much to see and do within the grounds of the fort. You could easily spend a whole morning/afternoon roaming the walls, having a meal and grabbing a coffee & gelato from one of the many food quality shops here.
Written 12 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laura Lehtinen
Sheffield, UK21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
One of my favorite places to visit is Galle Fort. The ambience captivates me every time. The architecture and historical buildings, lovely restaurants and cafes,..
Written 11 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janet
Doha, Qatar211 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Something for everyone…the shopper, the historian, the foodie, the art lover, the jewellery lover the fashionista and more. Beyond the lighthouse, there are stunning ocean vistas, interesting history and artifacts such as cannons on the ramparts, gunpowder magazine storage, cafes, restaurants, handicrafts, art, jewellery studios, and gelaterias. Shop merchants are friendly and welcoming and not pushy. So many interesting and diverse offerings for sale.
Written 10 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 2,563
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

GALLE FORT: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

All Galle HotelsGalle Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Galle
All things to do in Galle
Day Trips in Galle
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday HomesTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire