Galle Face is one of the most popular beachside retreats in all of Colombo. Stretching for up to 500 metres and nestled at the very heart of the metropolis, their plenty of fun and excitement to be had at this iconic beach.
Today’s Galle Face is quite the large beach park, but it was actually even larger once. According to all records, the beachfront once stretched between the edges of the Colombo Fort and the Beira Lake – more than twice the length of what it is today. In fact, Galle Face was once used by the Dutch as a front for a barrage of war cannons to deter the Portuguese from launching attacks on the island. It is believed that the name “Galle Face” originates from the original Dutch name for these fortifications – “the Gal Gate”. Once the British took over control from the Dutch, they had a mile-long promenade constructed along the coastline – it was to be an opportunity for local citizens to get some fresh air and enjoy the scenery.
There’s plenty of entertainment to be had at Galle Face. In the olden days, the site was used for competitive horse races. The city’s noble elite would gather to place bets on their favourite steeds and would watch them dash along the coastal strip. Likewise, back in the day, the site was used for a variety of sports such as cricket and rugby – it was even used as a gold course for a while!
Nowadays, Galle Face Green acts as a sort of open area for families to hang out and relax in. If you’re looking for the perfect day-trip, look no further than the Gall Face. Here you can have a fun picnic or excursion under the hot tropical sun and in view of the magnificent Indian Ocean.