Galle is a charming city with a World Heritage listed historic Dutch seaside fort, streets full of character, restored 18th century merchant houses and boutique shops.
Founded in the 16th century by the Portuguese, Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, before the arrival of the British. It is the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia, showing the interaction between European architectural styles and South Asian traditions.
The Dutch Fort juts out like a small peninsula into the Indian Ocean. Within its ramparts, it contains the old quarter, with many colonial structures now converted into smart boutiques, cafés and hotels. It rose in prominence as a port under the Portuguese and later, in the 18th century under the Dutch, with the addition of curtain walls, bastions, ramparts and a substantial pair of gateways. All of these can still be enjoyed today on a leisurely walk around the old town. Its streets are lined with colonial-era houses and mansions, many of which have been converted to accommodate trendy cafés, shops and boutique hotels.
Cricket lovers will love the prospect of watching some live cricket at the Galle Stadium from the Fort’s ramparts.