Galle fort 48 hours in Galle

48 hours in Galle, Sri Lanka: What to do and where to stay

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Welcome to Galle, a coastal city on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka. With a rich history influenced by Dutch, Portuguese, and British colonial eras, it’s a unique place to visit on your Sri Lanka holiday.

In this guide, we’ll explore how to make the most of 48 hours in Galle, discovering its UNESCO-listed Galle Fort, historical landmarks, vibrant markets, and coastal charm.

From the iconic Galle Lighthouse to the intricate architecture lining the streets, join us for a quick adventure through the highlights this charming city has to offer.

Here’s our quick guide to how to spend 48 hours in Galle. 

Galle Fort Sri Lanka 48 hours in Galle

Explore behind the gates of Galle Fort

Welcome to Day one of your adventure in Galle! Our first stop is an absolute must-visit: The UNESCO World Heritage Site – Galle Fort.

Galle is without doubt one of our favourite cities in Sri Lanka. And, as you walk through the majestic gates of Galle Fort, you’ll get why. You’ll be transported to a world filled with colonial charm, architectural wonders, quaint coffee shops and tempting souvenier treasure troves. This 17th-century fort stands as a testament to the city’s vibrant past. Plus, it’s perched right on the edge of the Indian Ocean, so it’s beautiful too.

Head off on your own to explore, or why not take a ‘Magic and Mystery of the Galle Fort’ half-day walking tour? With your local guide, you’ll have a wealth of knowledge and first-hand tales at your fingertips.

Galle fort 48 hours in Galle

Take your time exploring the narrow streets lined with charming boutiques, art galleries, and cafes. Immerse yourself in the local culture as you interact with friendly locals who call this fort their home. We really recommend getting a bit lost here, the small backstreets are so charming, you wouldn’t want to miss them. Wander through narrow lanes, thick-walled ramparts, and meet original merchant families, soaking up authentic insights into colonial life.

Don’t forget to visit some of the iconic landmarks within Galle Fort, such as the Dutch Reformed Church and the National Maritime Museum. You’ll get a fascinating glimpse into Galle’s fascinating maritime heritage.

Walk the historic walls of Galle Fort and tap a snap of the iconic Galle Lighthouse

Galle Lighthouse, perched at the edge of the walls of Galle Fort, is a must-see during your 48 hours in Galle. Walking the walls will treat you to stunning coastal views and give you a real glimpse into maritime history. Stroll along the fortifications that have withstood centuries, and enjoy the cooling gusts of the ocean breeze. It’s almost whispers tales of Dutch, Portuguese, and British influences.

Galle lighthouse Galle Fort 48 hours in Galle

Head off on a rural cycling tour

We love packing your holidays with chances to get off the beaten track and encounter the real magic of the country you’re visiting. So, during your 48 hours in Galle, why not hop on our Rural Cycling Tour for an adventure through the countryside? Starting just south of Galle, it won’t be long before the city bustle shift to wide-open, rural scenes. You’ll pedal through paddy fields, coconut farms, and Sri Lankan villages, passing schools, canals, temples, and even a tea plantation.

Keep an eye out for local birdlife like kingfishers and black drongos, you might even spot a peacock. Halfway, it’s time to take a break – with a king coconut for refreshment of course – and learn all about local spices and how they’re used in Sri Lankan cooking. It’s an easy 1.5-hour bike ride, but we recommend aiming for the morning or the afternoon when it’s a little cooler. Got a knack for longer rides? Let us know, and we’ll find more of an adventure for you. All of our holidays are completely tailormade based on your loves, so just let us know!

Cycling tour Galle 48 hours in Galle

Where to stay in Galle

Right in the centre: The Fort Printers

Once an 18th-century mansion turned printing house, The Fort Printers is a boutique hotel in Galle Fort boasts 13 rooms that seamlessly blend boho chic with modern comforts. Packed full of silk cushions, Indian rugs, and designer furniture, the elegant space features high ceilings, a central lounge, and a shady courtyard oasis. The location is second-to-none, it’s your own oasis of luxury within the fort’s walls. What’s more, there’s a tempting pool to add a rare touch of luxury within the fort’s heart.

The Fort Printers Galle Sri Lanka 48 hours in Galle


A serene beach hotel, just out of town: KK Beach

Just a 20-minute tuk-tuk ride from the centre of Galle, you’ll find the serene and perfect KK Beach. Sat on the stunning Habaraduwa Beach, and with the most perfect pool and outside space to relax in, this is the perfect place to base yourself for a Galle adventure. Plus, the tuk-tuk rides to and from the town are all part of the fun! They’re so easy to sort too, just ask the friendly staff at reception and they’ll be whistling for one in no time. Plus, your driver will drive you in and wait for you (however long you want), before taking you home again. Easy peasy.

KK Beach Where to stay in Galle.


48 hours in Galle really is just the start. If you’re starting to dream about your perfect Sri Lanka adventure, you need to chat to our specialist, Rebecca. She’s got all of the first-hand knowledge needed to tailor your perfect getaway, unlocking the wonders of this incredible country. From historical marvels to coastal splendors, let us craft a personalized Sri Lanka holiday just for you. So, request a quick quote, or give us a call on 01242 253 073 today and let’s get started!


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