Step back in time with a morning walk around old Galle, the most perfectly preserved colonial town in Sri LankaEntrance to Galle Fort is through the Main Gate, overlooking the cricket stadium around 250m/yds from the railway and bus stations. The gate was created by the British in 1873 by tunnelling through the embankment that links the western Star Bastion with the eastern Sun Bastion, while in 1881 they added the clock tower that looms over the central Moon Bastion. The Dutch built the walls to withstand enemy cannonballs. More than 300 years later, the fort’s walls did a sterling job of keeping the 2004 tsunami at bay.Retrace your steps for a few yards then turn right down Queen’s Street where the Queen’s House opposite the Groote Kerk belfry boldly displays the date ANNO 1683. Diagonally opposite is the town’s modern Maritime Museum, housed in the sprawling Great Warehouse, one of Galle's biggest and most-eyeing catching colonial buildings. Built up against the end of the Great Warehouse is the fort’s Old Gate, which has the novelty of two competing crests: a VOC Dutch crest (dated ANNOMDCLXIX) above the gate on the inside of the fort, and a British coat of arms, added at a later date, on the gate’s exterior face.
Galle Fort is 116km (72 miles) from Colombo and easily reached by highway. There is no shade along the ramparts of Galle Fort, so wear a hat, or copy Sri Lankans and use an umbrella as a parasol.
The superb Galle Fort Hotel’s memorable courtyard provides a suitably stylish home for Sri Lanka’s best fusion cuisine, full of bright, strong flavours. There’s also a snack menu at lunchtime, homemade cakes in the afternoon and fine coffee.Small informal cafés with delicious snacks, juices, coffee and tea served on a verandah. Brilliant spot for a break while watching the life of Galle Fort pass by.