Travelling Solo in Galle

Galle is a great city to visit if you are travelling solo, as you are bound to meet some interesting fellow travellers in the popular tourist destination. Here’s a list of things to do when you visit the city.

Sun, Sand & Sea

Located about 6km away from the Galle town, the Unawatuna beach is one of the most famous and crowded in the country. The ocean is protected by a reef, so it is safe for swimming. The beach has many bars, restaurants and guesthouses, making it one of the most active beaches on the southern coast. If you are a female travelling alone, be mindful of the local youth who are eager to interact with tourists.

If you want to spend time at a less crowded beach, head over to Dalawella located in the Unawatuna area. The lovely stretch of beach situated in front of the Wijeya Beach Restaurant is safe for swimming, but can get a bit busy because of the popular restaurant. The Dalawella beach is also popular for its insta-famous palm tree top rope swing.

Snorkelling and Diving

The Unawatuna beach is famous for snorkelling and diving. A 30-minute boat ride will take you to a couple of wrecks, one a British steamer that sank over a 100 years ago. There are many diving schools in Unawatuna that will assist, equip and guide you as you engage in diving activities.

History & Heritage in the Galle Fort

Constructed by Portuguese colonizers in the 16th century, greatly expanded and reinforced by the Dutch in the 17th century, and further fortified by the British in the 19th century, the Galle Fort is a historical, heritage and architectural monument. Resembling an old European city with its cobblestone streets, the Galle Fort has many historic buildings, interesting architecture and
museums. This is in addition to being home to many wonderful boutique hotels and villas, interesting little shops selling antiques, jewellery and trinkets, and of course the old Dutch Hospital shopping and dining precinct. The fort ramparts offer stunning views of the setting sun and make for some beautiful pictures. You can easily spend an entire day here, and possibly meet some fellow travellers at the courtyard of the old Dutch Hospital.

Experience Nature

If you enjoy hiking, the Rumassala Hill is definitely a place to visit. Steeped in legend and myth, the hill is home to unique plant and animal life, and also offers beautiful views of the Indian Ocean. A path from the hill leads to a wonderful stretch of beach referred to as Jungle Beach. The Kanneliya rainforest is another great place to visit if you are enthusiastic about nature. The lush forest is home to many endemic species of lowland Sri Lanka. However, it is best to avoid the rainforest if you are a sole female traveller as it is pretty isolated.

Culinary Indulgence

The Galle Fort is home to a number of cafes and restaurants that serve some great food, ranging from Japanese to Italian to Indian to Sri Lankan. If you feel like a fancy dinner, head over to one of the boutique villas such as Amangalla or Fort Bazaar. If you want to enjoy more regular café fare such as burgers, sandwiches and pies, head over to the Pedlars Inn Café or to one of the cafés within the old Dutch Hospital precinct. You can also sample some delicious homemade ice creams and gelatos as you wander the streets within the fort.

If you prefer dining on the beach, the Unawatuna beach comes alive every evening with many bars and seafood restaurants that cater to both locals and tourists. There are also a few small cafés in the area which serve some delicious cakes and desserts, along with a good cup of tea or coffee.

Party it Up!

The famous Unawatuna beach parties are a great opportunity to meet fellow travellers and have some fun! Toddy by Hoppa and Kingfisher have some of the most popular parties on Saturday nights. As these are generally ticketed events, it’s best to call ahead and make a reservation.

Spa Mode On

Jetwing Lighthouse Hotel has a great Ayurveda Spa that offers a number of traditional treatments that are bound to revive and rejuvenate you. Pamper yourself with a massage or two, or even with a multi-day spa package offered by the hotel.