Walking Tour of Galle
A walk through Galle with a private guide will allow you to get your bearings so that you can continue exploring under your own steam. The Fort is a maze of small roads and alleyways, packed with old colonial British and Dutch architecture. Head to Church Street and pop into the Galle National Museum that was built to house Dutch officers. This will give you a great introduction to Galle and its history as you continue walking through the fort. At the bottom of Church Street, you’ll stop at Groote Kerk (Great Church), dating from 1755 and the oldest Protestant Church in Sri Lanka. It’s worth seeing the tombstones, telling a few stories of the lives of the people who lived here. Continue to All Saints Church before stopping for tea at the Galle Fort Hotel.
You’ll then walk into Queen’s Street, and it’s not worth visiting the Maritime Museum which is worth skipping, but the exterior is interesting being the former Great Warehouse. You’ll then see the old gate, showing the letters ‘VOC’ meaning ‘Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, or Dutch East India Company, and the letters ANNO MDCLXIX – so dating from 1669. Continue around Court Square and along Hospital Street where you see the Old Dutch Hospital. Just inland from there, on Leyn Baan Street, you find the interesting Historical Mansion Museum that is worth visiting, followed by another pitstop at Pedler’s Inn Cafe for tea. Walk along the grass embankment on the seafront ramparts, parallel to Rampart Street, great for views over the fort.