How To Get To Galle


Approximately one hundred kilometers south of Colombo lies the city of Galle which can be reached in anything between one hour and three hours from Colombo. This may seem strange as no one would wish to be on the road longer than required. However, in the case of visiting the historic city of Galle, the adventure, once in a lifetime experience and opportunity for discovery posed by the different modes of communication, make a person think twice.

The Shortest Time En Route

If you are in a hurry to reach your chosen accommodation in Galle, taking the Southern Expressway is a good idea. If you are in the heart of Colombo, you would first need to get to the city of Kottawa and enter the roadway where you would be required to pay a toll. If the weather is not so great, the authorities would issue a warning and there would be electronic sign boards that request drivers to reduce speed, but on sunny days, if all goes well, within an hour you should be exiting from Pinnaduwa to proceed to the city of Galle. The route is scenic as it traverses through estates and some interesting terrain of the country and there is one service point in Welipenna where you can get a bite to eat.

Rumble Along the Railway

The path of steel hugs the coastline almost throughout the journey making the experience an amazing one for those who love nature, the beach and the sunny side of life. There are quite a few trains including express trains which depart from the Fort Railway station in Colombo that either terminate in Galle or proceed beyond but do stop by. Since Sri Lanka is a tropical country most of the trains have open windows and the sea breeze gushes in from one side and willows out from the other while the train rumbles down south. The most interesting part of the journey starts when a few snack vendors, would be singers and random salespeople get in to your carriage. The snacks are generally full of flavour, at times spicy and definitely delicious. The would be singers have some amount of talent and are trying to find a legitimate way of earning some money for themselves with the limited resources they have and the random salespeople may try to persuade you to buy anything from books to light bulbs. The journey may take about two hours taking all the stops in to consideration and would give you a lifetime worth of scenic photograph capturing opportunities en route.

Ply Along the Galle Road

The road from Colombo to Galle is aptly named, Galle road and mainly runs parallel to the coastline though the sea disappears for many kilometers in certain stretches. Buses may not be the fastest but are available quite often from the Pettah Bus Depot in Colombo. The local bus drivers have a reputation for making unworldly swerves and taking off unexpectedly, therefore, it is best to be prepared for sudden jerks throughout the journey. If you get a window seat, this also means that you would be in for a windy treat. Random vendors and would be singers do pop in to buses as well making the long journey more animated and lively.

If you take the bus or the train you would most probably need to seek the support of either a tuktuk or a local cab as most of the most prominent hotels in Galle including the likes of Tamarind Hill by Asia Leisure are close to the beach, within the Galle Fort or slightly away from the city proper.

By Galle Road but By Cab

If you rent a vehicle or hail a cab, the ride down Galle Road would be even more interesting as it would allow you to stop at famous sights and locations on the way. For instance, you could briefly stop at the Kalutara Temple to offer tithe, at Monis Bakers to buy some delicious wine cookies, in Hikkaduwa for some cheese roti and maybe a quick ride in a glass bottomed boat. Galle is fabulous, making the ride to Galle equally thrilling lies in your hands; therefore, choose to make memories in your own little way.