The Galle Fort stands out as one of the most beautiful, albeit the best-preserved, colonial-era fort in Sri Lanka. It is also one of the few forts where life goes on and people reside in buildings and streets that haven’t changed much since the 1700s.
1. Visit the Famous Lighthouse
The first place you should be visiting within the Galle Fort is the famous Fort Lighthouse. It was constructed in 1848 though the present structure was reconstructed in 1939. It stands on the outer walls to the left of the fort ramparts and is still very much in use, guiding ships along the edge of the Sri Lankan southern coast.
2. Walk on the Outer Ramparts
The outer ramparts famously withstood the brunt of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which didn’t cause as much damage to the fort as it did to the rest of the city of Galle. The ramparts have survived for centuries and the fort walk which will take you on a complete circle around the fort. The walk is about 2km and is perfect especially early in the morning or just before sunset.
3. Wander Through the Streets
It’s much better to walk through the small cobbled streets of the fort so if you are travelling Sri Lanka, car rental options the likes of Malkey Rent a Car would be a great choice to get to the fort. You can ask the driver to park outside and explore on foot. There is excellent colonial-era architecture to look at like the Dutch Reform Church, Amangalla, All Saint Anglican Church and the Meeran Mosque constructed in 1904.
4. Watch the Sunset
Head off to the Triton Bastion in the evening as at about 5.30 pm most people gather to watch the spectacular sunset over the Indian Ocean. It is a very festive atmosphere, almost like an outdoor party. There will be schoolboys playing a game of cricket in the famous Test Cricket stadium adjacent to the fort and plenty of street food carts off which you can grab a bite to eat while you wait.