Galle Face: Evening Stroll Down the Indian Ocean Coast of Colombo

By Mark Wiens 1 Comment
Galle Face Green
Galle Face, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Galle Face, Colombo’s public gathering area located on the shores of the Indian Ocean, is what leisurely strolling is ALL about!

Just don’t arrive too early…

…the Sri Lankan sunshine is ferocious, and there’s little shade until the sun begins to die down.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Playing Cricket at the Galle Face Green

Galle Face Green is where lots of youth play a few rounds of unorganized cricket, but the main attraction is kite flying.

Some people manage to fly their kites as far as their eyes can see, fueled by the continual breeze coming off the Indian Ocean.

Galle Face, Sri Lanka
Galle Face, Sri Lanka

If you don’t go to find snacks, snacks will come to you!

I wasn’t going to buy pineapple, until this this guy walked past with a smile on his face and I suddenly needed some pineapple.

Galle Face, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Galle Face, Colombo, Sri Lanka

The main attraction at Galle Face is the open space, the street food and the beautiful Indian Ocean scenery.

For being in the middle of downtown Colombo, it’s amazing how clean and pure the water remains. Many choose to take a swim or just play around in the waves.

Galle Face Green
Strolling Around Galle Face

When the sun begins to decline in Colombo, Galle Face comes alive!

People seem to come from nowhere, filling the walkway, and sprawling onto the beach.

Some choose to jog for exercise, others are there strictly for the food, some play sports, and others are really just chilling out and relaxing.

The soft orange sunlight and the reflection off the ocean really reminded me of the phenomenal evening market in Kota Kinabalu.

Sri Lankan Street Food
Galle Face Street Food

At about 5 pm, street food owners begin to wheel out their carts that are stuffed with delicious things to eat.

The selection ranges from grilled chicken, to greasy deep fried snacks, to pickled wood apple’s.

Nana Fast Food, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Nana Fast Food, Colombo, Sri Lanka

I went for the slow paced stroll, the salty mist off the Indian Ocean, and of course the lovely selection of Sri Lankan food available.

One of the more established restaurants that sets up on on the walkway at Galle Face is Nana Fast Food Toyna. There are two stalls with the same name, so nut sure which one is the original – but they both looked like they served similar food and both were equally busy with customers.

They have a good selection of Sri Lankan style street food dishes.

Meal at Nana Fast Food, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Meal at Nana Fast Food, Colombo, Sri Lanka

I ordered a glorious medley of Sri Lankan food which included a plate of kottu, Sri Lankan fried rice, fish curry, and a pile of wonderful paratha bread.

If you are interested, you can watch this meal in the Tour of Colombo Video!

Sunset in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Sunset in Colombo, Sri Lanka

As the sun’s light continued to diminish, more and more people arrived to the throbbing evening scene of Galle Face.

By this time, most people were just hanging out, chatting with their friends and dangling their feet off the edge of the wall facing the lapping waves.

The life, the food, and the Sri Lankan spirit, really made walking around Galle Face one of my favorite things to do in Colombo.

Store Vendor at Galle Face
Store Vendor at Galle Face

This man and his wife served me my first ever taste of wood apple – a wildly popular and tamarind like tasting fruit. It was pickled into some kind of chutney, and though it was a little on the salty side, it was pretty tasty!

Sri Lankan street food
Food Vendor at Galle Face

Unfortunately, after feasting at Nana Fast Food, I wasn’t at all hungry for anything else.

This man wasn’t really angry (as the photo suggests), but I just happen to catch him at an exact time when he was slightly frowning.

Sri Lankan Paratha
Sri Lankan Paratha

Could you resist a few roti paratha’s off a pile as beautiful as this?

Gall Face Information

When to go: Head over to the Gall Face Green in Colombo, Sri Lanka at about 5 pm and stay until around 8 pm.
What to do: stroll around, eat, fly a kite, drink milk tea
What to eat: Kottu (stir fried paratha), Isso Wade (shrimp fritters), mangoes, pickled woodapple