Actually, 2.5 days to be exact. Plenty of time to soak in the old world charm of this seaside town. We stayed within the walled fort which is the old town section of Galle. It is filled with sea merchant homes from the British Colonial era many of which have been restored into boutique hotels, stylish shops, restaurants, and homes. We stayed at Fort Bazaar, a small chic hotel with a Moroccan-influenced interior. We all highly enjoyed our relaxed time here but word to the wise… skip the whale tour! Trust me…
ACCOMMODATION: Fort Bazaar
I love modern and I love historic. When the two are married successfully it is even twice as nice! And that is Fort Bazaar Hotel to a tee, located smack dab in the center of old town Galle. A former merchant’s house, this boutique hotel has been updated with stylish interiors yet retains it’s historic past with airy interiors, arched doorways, and a gorgeous photographic courtyard which I think would be the most PERFECT spot for an intimate wedding reception.
We stayed in the 2 room family suite. One of the rooms had an adorable balcony — no view to speak of — but a lovely bistro table and chairs surrounded by a veil of exotic hanging vines where we enjoyed some wonderful conversation with some ice-cold Lion beer.
- SUNSET ON THE WALL — Locals and tourists alike gather on top of the walls to enjoy the sunset. It is a happy, festive diversion which makes you feel like the world is not such a big scary place — lots of smiles on adults and children alike. We also had a dog adopt us for about 30 minutes.
- SPICE MARKET — There is a local spice market in Galle outside of the fort. I’m not exactly sure where it is located as a local walked us there on his way home for lunch.
- BEACH — Several beaches to visit in the area. We were happy to stay put but it would have helped with the heat here.
- SHOPPING — Lots of great shopping for gifts, etc. to be done inside the Fort. Better selection than the usual souvenir shops elsewhere. Also some beautiful antique and jewelry shops to browse.
- WHALE WATCHING TOUR — Just don’t… 6 hours of the uncomfortable choppy waves with a glimpse of one whale off in the distance towards the end. We knew we were in trouble when they handed out Dramamine as we set sail and instructed everyone to just close their eyes for the first 30 minutes. Still there were moments of beauty here and there to be admired.
- TUNA & THE CRAB — We went once for Japanese lunch and the 2nd time for spicy crab dinner. Both times absolutely delicious. Same owner as the famous Ministry of Crab in Colombo. Located inside the Old Dutch Hospital building on the 1st floor.
- A MINUTE BY TUK TUK — Good lunch spot. Decent enough food with nice view over water. Located on the 2nd floor of the old Dutch Hospital building.
- CHURCH STREET SOCIAL — Pretty restaurant located in Fort Bazaar Hotel. Food was excellent.
- SUGAR BISTRO & WINE BAR — Super yummy food, good wines, and stylish setting on the 1st floor of the Old Dutch Hospital building.
- GALLE FORT HOTEL BAR — Our go-to spot for sundowners on the front porch of this old British Colonial hotel. Next door to Fort Bazaar.