Things to do in
Galle Fort

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Our most recommended things to do in Galle Fort

Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

1. Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

After being picked up at your hotel, hop onboard your Madu Ganga Magrove boat safari and explore the Madu River. See the mangrove forests and marshlands that surround the river. Stop at a cinnamon garden, and try some of the area’s famous cinnamon. The Madu Ganga River region is home to some of the best quality cinnamon in the world as well as a flourishing cinnamon industry. Afterward, marvel at the fishermen who stoically sit atop large branches planted in the middle of the water waiting for their catch. Continue to a local Turtle Hatchery, where your guide will introduce you to the many local varieties of turtles. End your tour with a visit to the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fort illustrates the unique interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries. After discovering the fort, you will be returned to your hotel in Colombo.

2-Day Whale Watching & Southern Sri Lanka Tour

2. 2-Day Whale Watching & Southern Sri Lanka Tour

The sea off Mirissa between Galle and Matara is one of the best places in the world to see endangered blue whales. This two-day tour also gives you the opportunity to see some of the important places in the southern coastal belt such as Galle fort, Unawatuna beach, sea turtle hatchery and more. On day one, meet your tour representative and proceed to your hotel in Mirissa, En-route enjoy a Bentota and Galle sightseeing tour. Bentota beach is the most popular beach holiday destination in the island. Galle is one of the ancient sea ports of Sri Lanka and was an anchor point in the Silk Route. It was later discovered by the Portuguese where they built a fortress and the Dutch that succeeded them fortified it further. This fortress is today a World Heritage Site. During the Galle city tour, visit Galle Fort, Bentota Beach, Galle coastal area, Galle lighthouse, Kande Vihara, Cinnamon Island, a handicraft center and mask carving center. Visit a sea turtle hatchery project, spice garden at Matale where spices and herbs used for Sri Lankan cuisine and medication are grown. Then take a Madu Ganga boat ride to discover this Ramsar Wetland. Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary is the place where you can have a glimpse of the fascinating underwater world and see the creatures that inhabit the unfathomable depths of the sea. The famed coral gardens are located here. Just get hold of a glass bottomed boat or goggles and flippers and plunge into the ocean. Overnight stay in Mirissa  Day two is filled with whale-watching experiences. Miriissa off the southern Sri Lanka coast is one of the best-known places for the greatest wildlife spectacle on the planet – lunge-feeding humpback whales and blue whales. Groups of whales construct enormous circular fishing nets with bubbles to catch vast shoals of herring and then launch themselves high into the air with their mouths wide open. This activity is most prevalent from November to April, but can be observed throughout year. 

Colombo/Negombo: Galle, Bentota, and Hikkaduwa Day Trip

3. Colombo/Negombo: Galle, Bentota, and Hikkaduwa Day Trip

Your tour begins as you are picked up from your Colombo hotel to be transferred to Bentota. Once there you will enjoy some water sports, before taking a river safari down the beautiful Madu River. This river is a wetland estuary spreading over 900 hectares of which 770 hectares are covered with water and inhabited with 64 islands. This boat ride is a wonderful way to take a closer look at this complex wetland ecosystem, which is a UNESCO-listed site. The area is also protected by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as one of the last wetlands in Sri Lanka to contain a pristine mangrove forest. Once having explored the wetlands, you will transfer to Kosgoda to visit a turtle hatchery where you will see various breeds of sea turtles. Lunch at a recommended restaurant will follow before you transfer to Meetiyagoda, where you will visit the Moonstone Mine and workshop. Following the mine, you'll head to Hikkaduwa Beach to visit the Galle Dutch fort, which was first built in 1588 by the Portuguese. It was later extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century, and in the modern age has become UNESCO-listed. At the conclusion of your cultural experience, you will transfer back to Colombo.

Galle Fort and Fish Massage from Colombo

4. Galle Fort and Fish Massage from Colombo

Begin your day at 8:00 AM at Madu River in Balapitiya for a boat safari. For one-hour, journey through the primitive depths of the mangrove marshes. Traverse the dark and dangerous caverns, formed by the thick mangrove forests, interspersed with stretches of bright open water.  The next destination is an outdoor fish massage parlor. Dangle your feet into a fenced section of the river to get treated to a massage by the fish. After, visit Galle Fort in Sri Lanka, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Galle Fort, or Dutch Fort as it is also known, is a fortification built by the Portuguese on the Southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. The final destination is the Ahangama fishing village for a stilt fishing photo shoot. 

Sri Lanka: 7-day Island Highlights Tour

5. Sri Lanka: 7-day Island Highlights Tour

Day 1 Meet your driver and proceed to your hotel in Dambulla. See the Dambulla Golden Cave Temple along the way. Dinner and overnight stay in Dambulla. Day 2 After a leisurely breakfast, visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Polonnaruwa historical city. Dinner and overnight stay in Dambulla. Day 3 After a leisurely breakfast, leave for Kandy. Visit a spice garden along the way. After arrival in Kandy, enjoy a sightseeing tour and visit the Tooth Relic Temple and Royal Botanical Garden. Dinner and overnight stay in Kandy. Day 4 After an early morning breakfast, head to the Kandy Railway Station and board the train for Nuwara Eliya. Stop to visit a tea plantation along the way. Dinner and overnight stay in Nuwara Eliya. Day 5 After the breakfast, head for Yala. Visit a waterfall and the Sita Temple along the way. After arriving in Yala, enjoy an afternoon safari. Dinner and overnight stay in Yala. Day 6 After the breakfast, leave for Bentota. Visit Galle Fort, the Madu River estuary, and  the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre along the way. Dinner and overnight stay in Kalutara/Bentota. Day 7 After the breakfast leave for Colombo. Your driver will drop you off at your hotel or the airport after your Colombo sightseeing tour.

Galle Fort and Fish Massage from Negombo

6. Galle Fort and Fish Massage from Negombo

Begin your day at 8:00 AM at Madu River in Balapitiya for a boat safari. For one-hour, journey through the primitive depths of the mangrove marshes. Traverse the dark and dangerous caverns, formed by the thick mangrove forests, interspersed with stretches of bright open water.  The next destination is an outdoor fish massage parlor. Dangle your feet into a fenced section of the river to get treated to a massage by the fish. After, visit Galle Fort in Sri Lanka, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Galle Fort, or Dutch Fort as it is also known, is a fortification built by the Portuguese on the Southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. The final destination is the Ahangama fishing village for a stilt fishing photo shoot. 

Galle: Madu River and Galle Fort Guided Tour with Boat Trip

7. Galle: Madu River and Galle Fort Guided Tour with Boat Trip

Join this guided trip that combines a visit to Galle Fort, the UNESCO-listed ancient medieval capital of Southern Sri Lanka, with a riverboat trip on the Ramsar wetland of Madu, where you can immerse yourself in a mangrove forest, animals, and birds. After hotel pickup, your vehicle makes the journey southward along the spellbinding west coast beaches to Balapitiya and Galle. The old capital of southern Sri Lanka, built by the Portuguese in 1505, is the most popular tourist attraction in Southern Sri Lanka. Galle attracts thousands of travelers, food lovers, beach lovers, and shoppers every day. The Galle Fort is the best-preserved colonial fort in Asia. This ancient site is full of well-preserved houses, palaces, hotels, shops, restaurants, museums, and other constructions. On arrival, set out on foot with your guide who will lead you around the rampart and along the twisting narrow cobble streets laid out by ancient constructors. Marvel at an ancient church built more than 250 years ago. On the return journey, hop on a boat in the Mad River estuary, which is a Ramsar wetland comprised of 64 islands. The extent of the Madu River wetland is 915 hectares, and it harbors multi-varied bio-diverse eco-systems. 

From Colombo: 2-Day Private Trip & Sinharaja Forest Reserve

8. From Colombo: 2-Day Private Trip & Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Day 1: Meet and greet by our Chauffeur/guide at your hotel (06.00 AM) and leave for Sinharaja rainforest. The guided walking tour of Sinharaja rainforest lasts 3-4 hours and our nature guide explains you about many dozens of trees, plants, veins, insects, animals and birds. After the guided tour of rainforest drive to the hotel in Udawalawe. Check-in and leisure. Day 2: Early morning (05.30 AM) drive to Udawalawe national park on a 4-wheel drive jeep. The safari lasts 3-4 hours and you will be able to sport elephants, jackal, deer, crocodiles, buffaloes, monkeys, and many bird species, perhaps you will also be able to spot leopard and the bear. After the safari leave for pristine beaches of Mirissa, where you get 1 hours for leisurely stroll or you can plunge into the warm, torques water of Mirissa beach. Mirissa is one of the most popular places in Sri Lanka to visit for a beach getaway. Mirissa attracts thousands of travelers every year due to its unspoiled beaches and calm and clear water. Later visit Galle Fort for a guided walking tour. With a tumultuous history dating back to several centuries, the city’s strategic location made it a hub for trade by sea and subsequently a landing point for the island’s colonial rulers. A fort was built to ensure protection and preservation of the city of the Portuguese in the early 16th Century and then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century. Originally the fort was an earthen structure with palisades, a rampart, and three bastions, and a moat surrounding it. Under the control of the Dutch, they built impregnable fortifications with coral and granite stones and the Fort resembled a small laid out walled town with a rectangular grid pattern of streets full of low houses with gables and verandas. Turtle conservation center. The five species of marine turtles are nesting in Sri Lanka include the Green Turtle, the Leatherback, and the Hawksbill, the Loggerhead, and Olive Ridley. Established to protect turtles that nest in the Sri Lankan beaches from extinction, the marine turtle hatcheries are operated by the Wildlife Protection Society of Sri Lanka and rely on volunteers to help with their conservation project.

From Bentota: Southern Coast Highlights Private Day Tour

9. From Bentota: Southern Coast Highlights Private Day Tour

You will be picked up by your chauffeur from your hotel in Bentota at 8:00 AM. The first stop on your the itinerary is the Handunugoda Tea Factory, which you will reach at approximately 10:00 AM. Ceylon Tea has been highly sought after for centuries and you'll get to discover the mysteries of tea-manufacturing here. The Handunugoda Tea Factory has reawakened the ancient Chinese tradition of creating virgin white tea, which remains untouched by human hands during the manufacturing process. During the one-and-a-half-hour tour of the factory, you will get to see how this mysterious process takes place to create one of the most luxurious teas in the world. At approximately 11:30 AM, you'll travel to Ahangama for a meet up with stilt fishermen, who are some of the most iconic figures of Sri Lanka. You will be able to see them fishing and learn how they do it by speaking to with one of the fishermen. At 12:15 PM, you will have lunch at a place of your choice (at your own expense) and reach Galle by approximately around 1:45 PM. This coastal city has withstood three foreign invasions, during which time, it grew from a bustling port which was a main stop for ships travelling east, to a fortified and yet beautiful city with many monuments which have withstood the ravages of time. View the Galle Fort, which is a World Heritage-listed site, the Galle Lighthouse, the National Maritime Museum, the picturesque cobblestoned streets with their Dutch names, and many more colonial remnants. The city tour will finish at approximately 3:45 PM. Finally, you will go to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, arriving at 4:45 PM. Spend an enjoyable half-hour learning about the 5 types of sea turtles that visit Sri Lanka for nesting and how the nests are protected. You will be able to see and touch baby turtles and view some of the fully-grown turtles that are getting treated for injuries. You will return to the hotel after this, arriving at around 6:00 PM.

From Negombo: Southern Coast Highlights Private Day Tour

10. From Negombo: Southern Coast Highlights Private Day Tour

Start your day tour with pickup from your hotel in Negombo at 6:30 AM. The first stop on your tour itinerary will be the Handunugoda Tea Factory which you will reach at approximately 9:30 AM. The Handunugoda Tea Factory reawakened the ancient Chinese tradition of creating Virgin White Tea, which is untouched by human hands during the manufacturing process. During the one-and-a-half-hour tour of the factory, see how this mysterious process takes place to create one of the top luxury teas in the world. Travel next to Ahangama to meet the stilt fishermen, who are one of the most iconic figures of Sri Lanka. Learn how they practice this unique and intricate fishing technique from a local practitioner of this ancient tradition. At approximately 12:00 PM you will stop for a lunch at your own expense in a place of your choosing, before reaching Galle at 2:00 PM. This coastal city has withstood three foreign invasions; during which time, it grew from a bustling port which was the main stop for ships travelling east, to a fortified and yet beautiful city with many monuments which have withstood the ravages of time. See the Galle Fort which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Galle Lighthouse, the National Maritime Museum, the picturesque cobblestoned streets, and many more colonial remnants. Leave Galle at 3:30 PM to visit the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, a journey that takes approximately 1 hour. Learn about the 5 types of sea turtles that visit Sri Lanka for nesting, and how the nests are protected. You will be able to see and touch baby turtles and view some of the fully-grown turtles that are treated for injuries and ailments. Return to your hotel by 8:30 PM to complete the excursion.

Other Sightseeing Options in Galle Fort

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What people are saying about Galle Fort

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 25 reviews

I highly recommend using apple vacations agency when you visit Sri Lanka! They offer a wide range of tours and packages to fit a variety of budgets. Our guide Niraveen and driver were on time and accommodating. This full day tour was lovely and enjoyable! Loved visiting the turtle hatchery center, the boat ride through the mangrove, and the place they took us for lunch was superb! Really trustworthy company!

The guide showed up on time in the morning and he was very polite and informing. They took us to a very nice restaurant for lunch near the ocean and the food was delicious. Whole tour was satisfying with very nice views, herbal garden visit and boat tour on Madu River.

This was a day so well spent! With lots of places and experiences included along the way, our guide (Aron I believe was his name…hope I’m not mistaken) was so accommodating. Definitely recommend this one for a one day trip outside of Colombo!

Christopher was a great Tour Guide and froher. The whole dax was fantastic

Great praise, the driver was very nice and the tour was very interesting