Do you love wide open spaces and soft lawns?
Galle Face Green is a five-hectare stretch of lawn facing the Indian Ocean. The Dutch originally cleared the area in order to give their cannons in the fort a clear line of fire.
The Galle Face Green is today the largest open space in the city of Colombo and has become a popular public space. A light sea breeze wafts in from the ocean, and the green grass is soft and lush. On one end of the Green you find the Galle Face Hotel, one of Sri Lanka’s oldest and most popular hotels. Woodcarvings adorn the building, as well as high ceilings and balconies. At the other end of the green is the old Parliament building, now used as the Presidential Secretariat.
Food vendors fill the Galle Face every weekend. Keep an eye out for children flying kites, cricket and football games, and joggers using the open space as a natural gym.
Things to Do
1. Fly a Kite (For real!)
Kite flying is hugely popular among locals in Galle. The atmosphere at Galle Face Green in the evening is colorful, vibrant, and carnival-like. The innumerable food stalls offering mouth-watering local delicacies is an added bonus.
2. Walk Along the Sea
There’s no better place in Colombo for walking along the sea than Galle Face Green. Early morning and evening are the best times for a stroll. The setting sun is particularly spectacular. Swimming, however, is not recommended.
3. Enjoy the Sunset
Watching the red sun sink into the sea from the Galle Face Green is a sight you’ll never forget! Enjoy the local food, the locals, and all the beautiful kites in the sky.
4. Galle Face Nightlife
Galle Face has an exciting bar scene and is an ideal place for those who like to party! There are many quality bars in the region, all of them offering a full range of international cocktails. So grab a drink and get dancing!
5. Hawker Food
For street-food lovers, a visit to Galle Face is a must! In the evening, food stalls line up along the beach with hundreds of different offerings. Satisfy your taste buds while enjoying a leisurely stroll at Galle Face. What a perfect way to spend an evening in Colombo!
6. Visit the Galla Face Hotel
An iconic and colonial-style hotel, Galla Face hotel is one of the more famous hotels in Colombo. Rooms are equipped with modern amenities—including minibars—and offers views of the ocean or Colombo. Many famous people, including Richard Nixon, have stayed here.
7. Dutch Hospital Shopping and Dining Precinct
The Dutch Hospital Shopping and Dining Precinct is a nice place to relax, shop, take a stroll, or enjoy a few drinks. The building was originally a Dutch hospital. The food here is delicious, the ambience vibrant, and service top-tier. In the evenings, live music abounds.
9. Colombo City Tour
Colombo City Tour gives you a chance to visit the top attractions and get to know the city, its history, and its people better. An open deck city tour includes the Colombo Museum, the Petah Bazaar, the Galle Face, and the Jami Ul Alfar Jumma Mosque among others. The tour includes water and snacks and lasts four hours. A guide provides narration in English.
12. Old Parliament Building
Built in front of the Galle Face Green, this historical building built in the Neo-Baroque-style used to be the Legislative Council house during the British occupation. After independence, it was then used as the Parliament Building until the New Parliament Building in Sri Jayawardhanapura was built.
There are many ways to reach the Galle Face Green. You can find a bus or train from most of the places in Sri Lanka to reach Colombo. The Colombo Fort Railway Station is just 2.7 kilometers away from Galle Face Green. Hire a three-wheeler or a private taxi to reach the magnificent open lawn. Or enjoy the walk through the streets of Colombo!
When to Go
Generally any evening! But some months are rainy and there are heavy winds.
Best time: August to December. Multiple kite festivals illuminate the Galle Face in August.
Time to avoid: May to July due to monsoon season.
Where to Sleep
Some of the best hotels in Sri Lanka are found here in Colombo. Hotels to suit the budget and needs of every traveler abound.
This iconic property is definitely one of the best available options in Sri Lanka for the high budget travelers.
Galle Face Hotel
This newly refurbished colonial heritage property is a landmark in this region.
This simple hotel is one of the best places of stay. The apartments consist of three air-conditioned rooms with a balcony. Each apartment comprises two bathrooms, a kitchen with microwave, and a stove. Cars with drivers can also be arranged by hotel staff on request.
Where to Eat
The opportunities in Colombo for delicious food are endless! Some famous places to pamper your taste buds are:
Ministry of Crab
As the name suggests, this place serves some delicious seafood. Don’t forget to try the crab!
This restaurant is the best place to sample multiple Sri Lankan flavors. Latitude has been one of the most visited places in Colombo for years.
This place is known for scrumptious seafood and wonderful service.
The Bavarian German Restaurant and Pub
A perfect place to enjoy nightlife, good foods, and a different side to Colombo.
Galle Face is clearly a must stop in your Colombo (and Sri Lankan) adventure! Lay back on the lawn and take in the sights. Or find a kite and get flying! From food vendors to local people, there’s a little bit of everything at the Galle Face. When you’re tired of soaking up the sun or watching the sea, wander over to the National Museum for a glimpse at rare, national treasures.
You’ll love relaxing at Galle Face!