Backpacking in Sri Lanka: 23 Cool Things I Noticed When Touring Galle Fort

galle sri lanka backpacker

Backpacking in Galle, Sri Lanka.

I take notions and it’s been a while since I wrote anything about backpacking in Sri Lanka, so here goes! Galle Fort sits old, worn, pretty and significant on the south west coast of Sri Lanka. In the city of Galle which houses around 90,000 people. It’s a really cool place to stop off at while your’e backpacking in Sri Lanka and we headed there to see what all the fuss was about. We were pleasantly surprised – we liked Galle and Galle Fort. My Mum and Dad joined my girlfriend and I on this bit of travelling as well which made it extra special.

Backpacking in Sri Lanka with Mum and Dad - Galle Fort

Backpacking in Sri Lanka with Mum and Dad – Galle Fort

There is no doubt that the beauty of Galle for me is just staring all around you and taking it all in – it’s a very picturesque town and a photo friendly one, hence why I’ve encapsulated it into a 23 cool things I noticed when touring it.

1. Galle Library
A very old school, tiny library worth a quick peek.

backpacking sri lanka galle library

Backpacking in Galle – Galle Library

2. Maritime Archaeology Museum
As Galle is a coastal town with a harbour, this Maritime Museum gives a decent overview of the naval history of Galle and from an unusual archaeological perspective.

backpacking sri lanka galle

Backpacking in Galle – Maritime Archaeology Museum.

3. Galle Magistrates Court
Every old town and fortress has its crime and a magistrates court is within the compounds.

Backpacking in Galle - Galle Magistrates Court

Backpacking in Galle – Galle Magistrates Court

4. Old Dutch Hospital Building
The Dutch were here as well as the British and lots of their architecture and buildings remain including this old hospital building.

galle backpacking sri lanka

Backpacking in Galle – Old Dutch Hospital Building.

5. British Red Post Box
Evidence unchanged from the British rule in Sri Lanka comes in many forms, one of which are surviving red post boxes, of the same style used in England.

galle backpacking post box

Backpacking in Galle – My Dad and I by an old red British Post Box.

6. Police Barracks
A police barracks headquarters can be seen inside the walls of Galle Fort.

galle backpacking

Backpacking in Galle – Police Barracks.

7. Beaches
There are a few beaches too on the edge of the fort, though these are not really frequented by swimmers.

Backpacking in Galle - yes there are also some beaches on the outer parts of the fort.

Backpacking in Galle – yes there are also some beaches on the outer parts of the fort.

8. Market Stalls
Anything from hats to Sri Lankan souvenirs to fruit to drinks are sold in the many market stall around the Fort.

Backpacking in Galle - Hats for sale.

Backpacking in Galle – Hats for sale.

9. Galle Lighthouse
Again evidence of Galle’s use as a defining port of entry is clear from the existence of the Lighthouse.

galle sri lanka lighthouse

Backpacking in Galle – the Lighthouse

10. Mosque
Different religions exist all over Sri Lanka and a massive white Mosque dominates the skyline near the Lighthouse.

galle mosque

A Mosque in Galle

11. Islamic Cultural Association
Next to the Mosque is an Islamic Cultural Association building.

galle backpacking

Backpacking in Galle – a centre of Islamic Culture.

12. Fake Pizza Huts
Yes I thought this was a cool idea – steal from the best – a rip off of Pizza Hut! Similar to the Stars and Bucks I saw in Palestine.

galle pizza hut fake

Backpacking in Galle – A Fake Pizza Hut

13. Sri Lankan Flags
A proud nation and Galle Fort flies some Sri Lankan flags on the streets and out towards the sea.

Backpacking in Galle - Sri Lankan Flags

Backpacking in Galle – Sri Lankan Flags

On one of the streets, I also flew my Northern Ireland flag vertical and next to a Sri Lanka one.

northern irish flag sri lanka

Backpacking in Galle – Northern Ireland flag next to a Sri Lanka one.

14. Blackbirds on a Wire
I’m not an ornithologist but the sights of a load of blackbirds on a wire was worth capturing so I did. As I said, just walking around Galle Fort at leisure brings these excellent moments. They’re probably not actual blackbirds, though they are birds and they are black.

Backpacking in Galle - Blackbirds on a Wire

Backpacking in Galle – Blackbirds on a Wire

15. Gems, Jewellery and Antiques
Shopping is never far away in Sri Lanka and Galle gets in on the act too.

Gems and Antiques for sale in Galle

Gems and Antiques for sale in Galle

16. Side Streets
A dander down the wee poky side streets will be full of more surprises – tea shops, more souvenirs, people’s homes.

Backpacking in Galle, Sri Lanka - exploring the side streets.

Backpacking in Galle, Sri Lanka – exploring the side streets.

17. Cricket Posters
Cricket is an obsession in Sri Lanka, just as it is in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. You can get some old school cricket posters from when the country was ruled by the British and called Ceylon.

Backpacking in Galle, Sri Lanka - an old cricket poster of Ceylon v. England.

Backpacking in Galle, Sri Lanka – an old cricket poster of Ceylon v. England.

18. Galle Cricket Club
While you’re in Galle, you might as well check out the cricket stadium too, which is just on the edge of the Fort, in fact from the entrance to the fort you get a good view down in.

Backpacking in Galle, Sri Lanka - Cricket Stadium.

Backpacking in Galle, Sri Lanka – Cricket Stadium.

19. Bell Tower
There’s a massive bell tower within the walls of Galle. Worth stepping underneath and ringing the bell!

galle backpacker bell

Backpacking in Galle, Ringing the bell.

20. Dutch Reformed Church
This Dutch Church still has a service on every Sunday, the original building on this site dates back to 1640.

Backpacking in Galle - Dutch Reformed Church

Backpacking in Galle – Dutch Reformed Church

21. Galle Post Office
As ever, I used Galle Post Office to send some postcards to my kid brother.

Backpacking in Galle - posting postcards from the post office.

Backpacking in Galle – posting postcards from the post office.

22. The Main Gate
The Main Gate offers good views into the fort and back into the town. Climb up to the top.

View back into the town of Galle from the main gate

View back into the town of Galle from the main gate

Tower at the main gate at Galle Fort

Tower at the main gate at Galle Fort

23. Tea
Well yes – this is Sri Lanka so you can’ t (or you shouldn’t) go anywhere without sampling tea. You can buy tea in local shops and you can sit down and drink it.

Backpacking in Galle - Sri Lankan Tea.

Backpacking in Galle – Sri Lankan Tea.

SO that’s 23 cool things I personally noticed, photographed and enjoyed while touring Galle Fort in Sri Lanka. Galle Fort is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site and is totally worth a visit.

Relaxing in Galle by the water on the edge of the Fort.

Relaxing in Galle by the water on the edge of the Fort.

For me the charm of the whole place was summed up in this post – random unrelated interesting sights that catch your eye and leave you feeling inspired and content. While walking the walls and streets of Galle, my Dad and I also had a Lion Beer, yet another travel highlight from a special country.

Touring Galle Fort in Sri Lanka.

Touring Galle Fort in Sri Lanka.

In case you missed them, here are a few of my other posts on Sri Lanka:
Hiking Adam’s Peak
Climbing Sigiriya
Exploring Kurenegala
Exploring Dambulla
Visiting Dambatenne Tea Factory
Kandy such a joy to me
– Friday’s Featured Food – Devilled Beef
Thirsty Thursdays – Sunset Beers in Colombo
Thirsty Thursdays – Beers in an Elephant Shop in Pinnawala
Elephant Trekking in Pinnawala
Elephant Parade in Pinnawala
Whale Watching in Mirissa
How to get a Sri Lankan Visa

My videos from Galle:

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About Jonny Blair

I'm Jonny Blair, a travelling Northern Irishman. Since leaving my hometown a decade ago I have managed to visit over 100 countries and over 600 towns or cities across all 7 continents. Along the way I have worked in countless jobs! Join my journey on Don't Stop Living - a lifestyle of travel as I provide you with tips and inspiration to live your travel dreams! Safe travels! Follow me on Jonny Blair Google Plus
This entry was posted in Asia, Galle, Lists, My Top 5s, Sri Lanka, X tips. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Backpacking in Sri Lanka: 23 Cool Things I Noticed When Touring Galle Fort

  1. Frank Marsh says:

    I’ve never been to Sri Lanka, but those pictures look amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jonny Blair says:

    Thanks for the comment Frank – yes Sri Lanka is a great place and Galle is certainly a picturesque town. Safe travels. Jonny

  3. Nina Schneider says:

    We had been travelling around in Sri Lanka last year. It is an amazing country, really special and we felt in loved with this country immediately. We hope we can come back one day. We had seen a lot of places you wrote about and a lot of memorys came up when I saw your pictures. We loved the tea and took some tea with us home. But the best souvenir from Sri Lanka is our son and even this makes this country so specia for us.

  4. Jonny Blair says:

    Wow Nina – great to hear from you and had no idea you were also there last year and that you have a son, how amazing! Congratulations and hope to see you again someday. Stay happy. Jonny

  5. Reid says:

    We just returned from a two week trip to Sri Lanka–what an amazing country! I saw the exact same cricket poster and wanted to go back to buy it at the end of the day, but didn’t have time. Do you happen to know the name of the store you saw it at? Or where I could find it online? Thanks so much. Happy travels.

  6. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Reid – thanks for the comment. Yes Galle and Sri Lanka overall was a cool place! I have bo idea of the name of the shop! But it was in the side streets of the city – maybe ask around and you’ll find it, good luck! Jonny

  7. Pingback: How to Get An Indian Visa in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan - Don't Stop Living

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