Galle, Sri Lanka, once a quiet town conquered by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, is now a thriving, historic city. You’ll find boutique restaurants, quirky cafes, and plenty of hotels in Galle, Sri Lanka to stay in. In Sri Lanka, travel guides would always suggest visiting the ancient ramparts of the Galle Fort, but here are some hidden gems inside the Galle Fort that you can’t miss.
Who doesn’t love the beach, AMIRITE? The waters around the southern coast of Galle are clear, clean and tropical – quite unlike the beach in Colombo. If you’re heading to Galle for the day or an overnight stay, there’s a serene beach right below the Lighthouse. It’s quiet and empty, except on weekends, where you’ll meet locals cooling off from the island heat. The transparent waters are shallow and with soft waves thanks to the reef that surrounds the fort, it’s safe for kids and non-swimmers too. The plus point of this beach is the stellar view of the lighthouse towering above the golden sands. Don’t forget your camera, the lights from the lighthouse switch on just after sunset and will take your breath away.
Burger lovers, we’ve found heaven! Picture: soft, toasted buns smothered in a layer of savory, juicy sauce and topped with fresh vegetables and a patty that’s the perfect size; both width and height. The Original Rocket Burger is a boutique restaurant serving nothing but burgers all day err’day. It’s located on Pedlar Street and hard to miss – especially with it’s black and yellow boards and a friendly staff member enticing you with a menu of the best burgers in town.
#YohoTip Dine in at the restaurant instead of opting for take-away. Always eat these burgers when they’re hot and fresh!
Pedlars Inn Café and Restaurant
Pedlars Inn might be no secret to some, but many tend to overlook the restaurant purely because of the hype around it. The hype for Pedlars Inn has been around for the last couple of years, and with good reason. Not only is their food scrumptious, but its fresh and no matter what you order, it’s always great! The fresh fruit juices (sadly, there’s no alcohol here) are a saving grace from the sun, especially if you’ve been wandering around the maze of Galle lost and looking for an oasis.
Menu: The café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and it’s halal.
Cool off: Pedlar’s Inn has opened up a Pedlar’s Inn Gelateria, i.e. it’s the perfect place for gelato while walking along the cobbled pathways.
Bibliophiles and architecture enthusiasts will find the old library inside the fort a hidden gem of historic beauty. The Galle Library was built during the Dutch era which lasted from 1638 until 1796. The collection of historical documents and other rare books, many of which date back to 1832, are some of the library’s most prized possessions. The Galle Library is the first in Sri Lanka and features more than 8,000 books in various languages including English and Sinhala. The Galle Library is located right next to the gleaming Groote Kerk, a.k.a. the Dutch Reformed Church.
Tip: The library is closed on Sundays.
Stay inside the Galle Fort – we highly recommend it. The experience and ambiance of the cobbled streets are a unique experience and unlike any other on the island. There are numerous places to stay in Galle, Sri Lanka but staying inside the fort is an absolute must. Hotels in Galle, Sri Lanka such as Galle Fort Hotel are on the higher end of the scale while those looking for a budget stay like Yoho Church Street is a great alternative.