How to Spend 48 Hours in Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle Beach © Patty Ho / Flickr
Galle Beach © Patty Ho / Flickr
Photo of Orana Velarde
Sri Lanka Hub Writer18 February 2018

The southern city of Galle is a hotspot for visitors to Sri Lanka. The general area of Galle is quite big, but the most memorable by far is the walled Galle Fort, a peninsula with ocean breezes and plenty to explore. Outside of the Galle fort there are numerous beaches to spend a day or afternoon at. The choices of hotel range from beachside resorts to boutique hotels. Keep reading for a quick 48 hour guide to the unmissable in Galle, Sri Lanka. This guide is based on the assumption that you’d be staying inside the Galle Fort.

Day 1


When in Sri Lanka it is always best to have your breakfast at your hotel, especially when they serve Sri Lankan classics like pol roti and dal curry.

After breakfast, go for a walk around the Galle Fort and the ramparts, either on your own or with an awesome tour guide like Shanjei from Galle Fort Walks. Make sure to visit the lighthouse, the old Dutch hospital and the Maritime Museum. After a culturally rich stroll, have some lunch at Fortaleza Restaurant or the Church Street Social for some international-style food, or head over to Hoppa for an authentic Sri Lanka lunch.

Before leaving the hotel in the morning you could also book a spa treatment at the Fort Bazaar or Amangalla for the evening.

Maritime Museum in the Galle Fort / Photo courtesy of Aman


After a little rest after lunch, go for some shopping at all the gorgeous boutique lining Pedlar Street and adjacent streets. From cotton clothing to handmade artisan products, there are even furniture stores for those who might want to stay longer in Sri Lanka (or who can afford to send a huge package back home!) Gem shopping is particularly popular at Galle Fort. The number of shops selling loose gems and jewellery is astounding, and there truly is something for everyone. Since Sri Lanka is famous for sapphires, citrine and a few other gems, the prices aren’t too steep.

Don’t miss the Stick no Bills shop for limited edition posters and postcards with vintage Sri Lankan designs and graphics. You can only get this style of poster in Sri Lanka, so don’t miss out.


The best way to end the day at the Galle Fort is with afternoon tea at the Amangalla. A delicious collection of cakes and finger sandwiches with Sri Lankan flair are the perfect accompaniment to a gorgeous pot of tea straight from Sri Lankan tea country.

Afterwards, if you booked a spa treatment in the morning, you will be glad you did!

Photo courtesy of Aman

Day 2


It’s time to venture out and spend the day at the beach. Pack a beach bag and leave your hotel after that scrumptious Sri Lankan breakfast. You can find a tuk tuk or hire a driver to take you to any of the local beaches. If you are into markets and local culture, on your way out of the fort stop at the seaside fish market to take some photographs.

After, keep going south to Unawatuna Beach or Talpe Beach a bit further south, and park out at one of the beachside cafes, like Bedspace. If you are the active type, talk to the surf schools to get a board for the day or hire some scuba equipment for later.


Have lunch at the place you settle in the morning, or wander down the beach to find a change of ambiance. Don’t forget to have some king coconut and fresh seafood, like crab or tiger prawns. If you booked a scuba outing, get ready for some great sights off shore. Take a walk along the beach, spark some conversation with the local surfers or just take in the sun. Beaches are for relaxing, after all.


Take a tuk tuk to the Owl and the Pussycat and have some sunset cocktails and a yummy dinner. When your two wonderful days in Galle are over, get ready for more amazing experiences in the teardrop island. Head inland to tea country, or further north to the cultural triangle. Sri Lanka is waiting for you.

Unawatuna Beach | © Indi Samarajiva / Flickr

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