Galle Facts: Things you need to know about Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle fort is compact and easy to travel around.

Galle Fort is a fortified city built by the Portuguese  and many of its buildings show the influence of Portuguese architectural style on Sri Lankan traditions.

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The Galle fort is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is one of the oldest remaining fortresses in Asia built by Europeans and features in many iconic photos of Sri Lanka.

Landmarks in Galle include:

  • the city’s natural port of Galle
  • the National Maritime Museum
  • St. Mary’s Cathedral founded by Jesuit priests
  • one of the main Shiva temples on the island and
  • Amangalla the historic luxury colonial hotel.

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Things to do throughout the year in Galle, Sri Lanka

Jan
New Year Celebration Thalpe Beach
Charity Events held at the Sun House on weekends
Monthly Galle Flea Market

Feb/Mar
Navam Per
Serendip Festival

Apr/May
Final Month for Whale Watching in Mirissa
Vesak Festival
Sloth Bear Season in Yala

June/July
Poson Festival
Turtle Nesting Season begins
Kataragama Temple Festival

Oct/Nov/Dec
Deepvali Festival
Galle Literary Festival
Galle Flea Market & Christmas Market

Climate Galle

Galle has a tropical climate where temperatures typically range between 27 (81 F) and 32C (90 F), with April being the hottest time to visit. The South-west monsoon brings rain to Galle in May/June and the inter-monsoon affects October/early November. Like most tropical climates, monsoon rains typically fall in heavy bursts late in the evening or at night and cool everything down. Humidity ranges between 70 -80 percent in Galle.

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Customs and Cultural Difference in Galle

Galle like the rest of Sri Lanka is predominately Buddhist. Never touch a Monk, unless they extend his hand to you. Do not sit or stand on any religious artefacts when posing for photos. It is recommended to always remove shoes and socks when entering temples. Patience, friendliness and courtesy are highly valued virtues that will win respect and confidence in any Sri Lankan community.

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Sinhala (spoken by more than 80 percent of the population) and Tamil are the national languages. English is widely spoken and understood in most areas.

Banking and Local Currency

The Local Currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). There are many banks operating in Galle. Local banks which have branches in Galle include Sampath Bank and the People’s Bank. Foreign currency can be exchanged at the Bandaranaike International Airport, commercial banks and hotels. Smaller stores and smaller restaurants in and around Galle prefer to be paid in Sri Lankan Rupees for any shopping and meals. International credit and debit cards are accepted at most hotels and shops.

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