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By the way, we would recommend you to combine your visit to Galle with other popular and interesting places of Sri Lanka, for example: Weligama, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Galle, Negombo, Unawatuna, Hikkaduwa, Trincomalee, Jaffna, Mirissa, Bentota, Colombo, Tangalle, etc.
How to Book a Hotel in Galle
In order to book an accommodation in Galle enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Galle hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Galle map to estimate the distance from the main Galle attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Galle hotels and see their ratings.
When a hotel search in Galle is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Galle is waiting for you!
Hotels of Galle
A hotel in Galle is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Galle hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Galle are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Galle hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Galle hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Galle have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Galle
An upscale full service hotel facility in Galle that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Galle hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Galle
Full service Galle hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Galle
Boutique hotels of Galle are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Galle boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Galle may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Galle
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Galle travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Galle focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Galle
Small to medium-sized Galle hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Galle traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Galle hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Galle
A bed and breakfast in Galle is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Galle bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Galle B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Galle
Galle hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Galle hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Galle
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Galle hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Galle lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Galle
Galle timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Galle often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Galle on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Galle
A Galle motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Galle for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Galle motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Clockwise from top left: Galle Temple, Aerial view of Galle Fort, Interior of the Galle Fort, St. Aloysius College, Galle View of the Galle International Stadium from the Fort, Dutch Reformed Church of Galle, Galle Municipal Council
Galle (Sinhalese: ගාල්ල; Tamil: காலி) is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern tip, 119 km from Colombo. Galle is the administrative capital of Southern Province, Sri Lanka and is the district capital of Galle District.
Galle was known as Gimhathiththa(although Ibn Batuta in the 14th century refers to it as Qali) before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, when it was the main port on the island. Galle reached the height of its development in the 18th century, during the Dutch colonial period. Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between Portuguese architectural styles and native traditions. The city was extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and is the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European occupiers.
Other prominent landmarks in Galle include the city's natural harbor, the National Maritime Museum, St. Mary's Cathedral founded by Jesuit priests, one of the main Shiva temples on the island, and Amangalla, the historic luxury hotel. On 26 December 2004, the city was devastated by the massive tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, which occurred off the coast of Indonesia a thousand miles away. Thousands were killed in the city alone. Galle is home to the Galle International Stadium, which is considered to be one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world. The ground, which was severely damaged by the tsunami, was rebuilt and test matches resumed there on 18 December 2007.
Important natural geographical features in Galle include Rumassala in Unawatuna, a large mound-like hill that forms the eastern protective barrier to Galle Harbour. Local tradition associates this hill with some events of Ramayana, one of the great Hindu epics. The major river in the area is the Gin River (Gin Ganga), which begins from Gongala Kanda, passes villages such as Neluwa, Nagoda, Baddegama, Thelikada and Wakwella, and reaches the sea at Ginthota. The river is bridged at Wakwella by the Wakwella Bridge.
Galle was known as Gimhathitha in ancient times. The term is believed to be derived from the classical Sinhalese term meaning "port near the river Gin". It is believed that the town got its name as Gaalla in the native tongue as a result of the large number of bullock carts that took shelter in the area, following the long slow journeys from remote areas of the island. "Gaala" in Sinhala means the place where cattle are herded together; hence the Sinhalese name for Galle, ගාල්ල, is a development from 'Gaala'. Another theory is that the word Galle is derived from the Dutch word ‘Gallus’, which means rooster. The Dutch have used the rooster as a symbol of Galle.
The port of Galle in 1754
According to James Emerson Tennent, Galle was the ancient seaport of Tarshish, from which King Solomon drew ivory, peacocks and other valuables. Cinnamon was exported from Sri Lanka as early as 1400 BC, and as the root of the word itself is Hebrew, Galle may have been a main entrepot for the spice.
Galle had been a prominent seaport long before western rule in the country. Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Malays, Indians, and Chinese were doing business through Galle port. In 1411, the Galle Trilingual Inscription, a stone tablet inscription in three languages, Chinese, Tamil and Persian, was erected in Galle to commemorate the second visit to Sri Lanka by the Chinese admiral Zheng He.
The modern history of Galle starts in 1502, when a small fleet of Portuguese ships, under the command of Lourenço de Almeida, on their way to the Maldives, were blown off course by a storm. Realising that the king resided in Kotte close to Colombo, Lourenço proceeded there after a brief stop in Galle.
In 1640, the Portuguese were forced to surrender to the Dutch East India Company. The Dutch built the present fort in 1663. They built a fortified solid granite wall and three bastions, known as "Sun", "Moon" and "Star".
After the British took over the country from the Dutch in 1796, the British preserved the fort unchanged and used it as the administrative centre of the district.
Galle features a tropical rainforest climate. The city has no true dry season, though it is noticeably drier in the months of January and February. As is commonplace with many cities with this type of climate, temperatures show little variation throughout the course of the year, with average temperatures hovering at around 26 degrees Celsius throughout.
Climate data for Galle
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average rainfall mm (inches)
Average rainy days
Source #1: World Meteorological Organisation
Source #2: Department of Meteorology (records up to 2007)
Aerial view of Galle Fort and the wider city. The Fort one of the wards of Galle.
Galle has fifteen wards:
The Galle Municipal Council governs the City of Galle, established under the Municipalities Ordinance of 1865. It was at the time, only the third municipal council in the country. The first mayor of the city, Wijeyananda Dahanayake, was appointed in 1939; he later became the fifth Prime Minister of Ceylon.
The last appointed mayor was  Methsiri De Silva, who served from 2009 to 2016. The mayoral system has been dissolved the Galle administration, with the city presently administered by a commissioner. The main vision of the city is "Building of moderate city through the supply of relatively increased utility services to the citizens who pay taxes to the Galle Municipal Council ". The other vision is to brand Galle as "Green City-Green Galle" to create and promote Galle as one of Sri Lanka's cool and healthy coastal cities with a clean green canopy.
Galle is a sizeable city, by Sri Lankan standards, and has a population of 91 000, the majority of whom are of Sinhalese ethnicity. There is also a large Sri Lankan Moor minority, particularly in the fort area, who descend from Arab merchants that settled in the ancient port of Galle. Galle is also notable for its foreign population, both residents and owners of holiday homes.
Ethnicity in Galle (2001)
% Of Total
Sri Lankan Moors
Sri Lankan Tamils
Other (including Burgher, Malay)
Main article: List of schools in Sri Lanka
Galle is home to some of the oldest leading schools in Sri Lanka, with twenty-nine government schools and five international schools constituting the city's educational system. Some of the schools located in Galle city are listed below.
Date of Establishment
All Saints College
Anula Devi Balika Vidyalaya
British College Sri Lanka
Buona Vista College
Ceylinco Sussex College
Galle International College
Kingston International School
Leeds International School
Malharus Sulhiya National College
Muslim Ladies College
Olcott Maha Vidyalaya Galle
Rippon Girls' College
Sacred Heart Convent
St. Aloysius' College
Sanghamitta Girls College
Thomas Gall International School
Faculty of Engineering, Galle
Two main faculties of the University of Ruhuna are located in Galle. The Faculty of Engineering is located at Hapugala, about 6 km from the city center. The Faculty of Medicine is located at Karapitiya near the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. The Medical Faculty is also located at about 5 km from the city center. The Division of Allied Health Sciences of the University of Ruhuna is located in Mahamodara, in the city limits. A study centre of the Open University of Sri Lanka is also located in Galle, at Labuduwa junction.
Faculty of Engineering, University of Ruhuna
Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna
Division of Allied Health Sciences,University of Ruhuna
Study Centre, Open University of Sri Lanka
Advanced Technological Institute labuduwa
Galle: Higher Education Institutes
Advanced Technological Institute, Labuduwa
The Advanced Technological Institute in Labuduwa, Galle was started in 2000, and it planned to offer Higher National Diploma in Information Technology and Higher National Diploma in Agriculture Technology - HNDT (Agri). Since then, Labuduwa ATI has been a pioneer in technological education in Sri Lanka. The National Institute of Business Management in Galle was established in 2010 to provide higher education opportunities in the fields of information technology and business management. The Ruhunu National College of Education, operated under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, trains teachers training for government schools in Kurunduwatta,Galle. Additionally, the Amarasooriya Teachers Training College for government school teachers is in Unawatuna,Galle.
Advanced Technological Institute (ATI)
National Institute of Business Management (NIBM)
Ruhunu National College of Education
Amarasooriya Teachers Training College
Merchantile Seaman Training Institute(MSTI)
Galle Railway Station
Galle is served by Sri Lanka Railways' Coastal Line and is connected by rail to Colombo and Matara. Galle Railway Station is a major station on the line and serves as the meeting point of the west- and south-coast segments of the line. The A2 highway, which is commonly known as the Galle Road, runs through the city and connects Galle to Colombo by the west-coast portion, and to Hambanthota by the south-coast portion. The Southern Expressway, Sri Lanka's first E Class highway, links the Sri Lankan capital Colombo with Galle and currently reduces the time spent for travel to one hour from the three hours taken by the regular A2 highway.
Galle: Twin city
The City of Galle is twinned with:
State / Region
Main roundabout area
A street in Galle
Meera Mosque in Galle fort
Marine walk and Galle harbor across the bay
All Saints Church in Galle fort
Lighthouse in Galle fort
Galle fort and lighthouse
Grass-clad walls of Galle fort
Dutch Reformed Church (Groote Kerk) in Galle fort
National Museum in Galle fort
View near Point-De-Galle, Ceylon (1847)
Galle: See also
Galle International Stadium
Terraroli, Valerio (Ed) (2002). Archaeological Sites and Urban Centres: Treasury of world culture (Volume 1 of World Heritage Series) (1st ed.). Skira Editore/UNESCO. ISBN 978-88-8491-393-7.
"Medieval Traveller Ibn Battuta was a Guest of the Jaffna King in 1344". Ilankai Tamil Sangam. 2006.
"Pitching it Up: The Galle International Stadium". World Cricket Watch. 2011.
"VOC Galle Dutch Fort, South Coast, Sri Lanka (A World Heritage Site)". My Sri Lanka Holidays. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
Lanka Nest (9 March 2008). "Galle and Galle Fort.". Discover Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 3 October 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
District Disaster Management Coordinating Unit- Galle. "Psychosocial Forum District Data Mapping: Galle" (PDF). Psychosocial Forum District Data Mapping: Galle. Department of Social Services: Galle. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
"World Weather Information Service - Galle". World Meteorological Organisation. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
"Ever Recorded Daily Extreme Values" (PDF). Department of Meteorology. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 December 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
"Administrations". Galle Municipal Council. Archived from the original on 10 January 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
"Population by Ethnicity according to D.S. Division and Sector: Galle District (Provisional)". Census of Population Housing 2001. Department of Census and Statistics. 2001. Archived from the original on 2007-06-10. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
"Colombo - Galle - Matara by rail". Colombofort.com. 2011.
"View near Point-De-Galle, Ceylon". Wesleyan Juvenile Offering. IV: 84. August 1847. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
Galle: External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Galle.
Galle travel guide from Wikivoyage
Galle Municipal Council
Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications, UNESCO World Heritage
Official website of the Sri Lanka Tourism Board
Sri Lankan cities with a 50,000+ population
500,000 and more
Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
Metropolitan cities of Sri Lanka
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte(Administrative)
Note: also a Provincial capital, also a Municipal council
Provincial capitals of Sri Lanka
World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
Galleand its Fortifications
Golden Temple of Dambulla
Sinharaja Forest Reserve
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