Best Time To Visit Sri Lanka

The best time to visit Sri Lanka is from January to October when the weather in the Cultural Triangle and the tea country is pleasantly warm for sightseeing in the religious sites and vast national parks. The best of Sri Lanka is in the central hills region, where the weather is pleasant and mild throughout January to October, with occasional monsoon rains keeping the countryside blooming. 

January to March and August are the driest times in Sri Lanka, offering the best weather for cultural activities and observing the wildlife. Since rainfall occurs occasionally, you may experience wet days anytime, but the clear skies are dominant throughout the season. 

From June to August, the towns and cities of the central hills host various cultural and religious festivals. The countryside is blessed with dry weather and sunshine in August before the monsoon rains begin in September.

Monthly Travel Guide For Sri Lanka

Travelling in Sri Lanka in January and February

In January and February, much of the island is under the influence of the monsoon season. However, the central hills and southwest regions are least affected by the rainfall.

Dry days and calm weather in central Sri Lanka create the ideal conditions for visiting the iconic landmarks. It is one of the best times for Sri Lanka tours, with the average temperature inland being around 27°C.

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Gangaramaya Temple

Travelling in Sri Lanka in March and April

March to April is the best time to visit the attractions located in the central hills, such as Dambulla, Kandy, and Nuwara Eliya. The southwest region starts experiencing the monsoon rains, but the inland remains dry and pleasant. Temperatures vary between 20-30°C in the popular destinations of the Cultural Triangle. 

The Tea Country is also perfect for visiting in the mild weather, although you should prepare for brief rain showers. April is a festive time in Sri Lanka, as locals celebrate the end of the harvest season.

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Vatadage

Travelling in Sri Lanka in May

In May, the wet months of Sri Lanka begin, yet the weather is less humid and colder than the coastal regions in the central hills, making travel easier and more comfortable. Rains last for short periods, and most of the days are sunny throughout the inland. The metropolitan capital Colombo hosts some heavy rainfall at this time of year, but clear skies can be found most days.

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Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Travelling in Sri Lanka in June and July

The weather is much like in May, but the landmarks and national parks are at their busiest. If you are traveling in the central hills in these months, you may experience hot winds. The temperature may rise above 30°C in the region. 

As you travel south to the Tea Country, you will encounter cooler weather which is perfect for taking a walk among the tea plantations and learning about the story of the famous Ceylon tea. It is also the peak season for religious and local festivals that you can witness while you travel in the Cultural Triangle. 

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Minneriya

Travelling in Sri Lanka in August and September

August and September host the best weather for trips to Sri Lanka. The rainfall ends for a short period, giving way to blue skies and spectacular views. Low humidity means comfortable hours of sightseeing among the ruins and temples of the central hills. It is also the perfect time for observing the wildlife in the national parks and safari trips in the grasslands of Sri Lanka. 

Ethereal festivals take place across the region in August, offering an insight into the unique Sri Lankan traditions. Towards the end of September, rainfall increases in the central hills but doesn’t reach uncomfortable levels until October. It may be the best time to visit Sri Lanka before the rain begins.

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Sigiriya

Travelling in Sri Lanka in October and November

October and November are not the ideal months for Sri Lanka tours, as the most popular destinations in the central hills are under the influence of unpredictable weather. Although temperatures are moderate in popular destinations, the monsoon season may bring heavy rain showers and thunderstorms. It is not the best time to visit Sri Lanka for the central hills region.

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Polonnaruwa

Travelling in Sri Lanka in December

The weather starts to improve in the central hills region, although rain showers may still occur. Christmas brings festive cheer to the streets and markets of the Sri Lankan towns once again. It is also a popular time for Colombo, as the west coast clears after the monsoon rains and sunny days return.

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Jetavanaramaya

Sri Lanka Climate & Weather Guide

RegionJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Colombo 30°C 30°C 31°C 31°C 30°C 30°C 29°C 29°C 29°C 29°C 29°C 30°C
Anuradhapura 29°C 31°C 33°C 34°C 33°C 34°C 33°C 33°C 33°C 32°C 30°C 29°C
Sigiriya 29°C 31°C 34°C 35°C 34°C 34°C 34°C 34°C 34°C 33°C 31°C 29°C
Kandy 28°C 30°C 31°C 31°C 30°C 29°C 29°C 29°C 30°C 30°C 28°C 28°C
Nuwara Eliya 25°C 26°C 28°C 28°C 27°C 27°C 27°C 27°C 27°C 26°C 25°C 25°C
Polonnaruwa 29°C 31°C 34°C 35°C 34°C 34°C 34°C 34°C 34°C 33°C 31°C 29°C
Dambulla 29°C 31°C 34°C 35°C 34°C 34°C 34°C 34°C 34°C 33°C 31°C 29°C
RegionJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Colombo 86°F 87°F 88°F 88°F 87°F 86°F 85°F 85°F 85°F 85°F 85°F 86°F
Anuradhapura 85°F 89°F 93°F 94°F 91°F 90°F 91°F 92°F 92°F 90°F 86°F 84°F
Sigiriya 85°F 89°F 94°F 95°F 94°F 94°F 94°F 94°F 94°F 93°F 88°F 85°F
Kandy 73°F 75°F 77°F 78°F 77°F 75°F 75°F 75°F 75°F 75°F 75°F 73°F
Nuwara Eliya 77°F 78°F 82°F 82°F 81°F 81°F 81°F 81°F 81°F 78°F 77°F 77°F
Polonnaruwa 85°F 89°F 94°F 95°F 94°F 94°F 94°F 94°F 94°F 91°F 91°F 85°F
Dambulla 85°F 89°F 94°F 95°F 94°F 94°F 94°F 94°F 94°F 91°F 91°F 85°F
RegionJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Colombo 38 mm 47 mm 64 mm 102 mm 246 mm 260 mm 209 mm 208 mm 158 mm 202 mm 175 mm 104 mm
Anuradhapura 30 mm 37 mm 44 mm 98 mm 60 mm 13 mm 13 mm 27 mm 51 mm 177 mm 150 mm 90 mm
Sigiriya 39 mm 46 mm 40 mm 88 mm 62 mm 11 mm 16 mm 28mm 45 mm 192 mm 153 mm 99 mm
Kandy 39 mm 60 mm 73 mm 151 mm 137 mm 54 mm 54 mm 71 mm 87 mm 251 mm 192 mm 102 mm
Nuwara Eliya 88 mm 166 mm 126 mm 226 mm 213 mm 94 mm 97 mm 123 mm 142 mm 628 mm 406 mm 221 mm
Polonnaruwa 39 mm 46 mm 40 mm 88 mm 62 mm 11 mm 16 mm 28 mm 45 mm 192 mm 153 mm 99 mm
Dambulla 39 mm 46 mm 40 mm 93 mm 62 mm 11 mm 16 mm 28 mm 45 mm 192 mm 153 mm 99 mm
RegionJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Colombo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Anuradhapura 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sigiriya 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kandy 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nuwara Eliya 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Polonnaruwa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Dambulla 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
RegionJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Colombo 9 km/h 8 km/h 7 km/h 7 km/h 10 km/h 12 km/h 11 km/h 11 km/h 10 km/h 8 km/h 7 km/h 8 km/h
Anuradhapura 13 km/h 11 km/h 9 km/h 8 km/h 13 km/h 17 km/h 15 km/h 14 km/h 13 km/h 10 km/h 10 km/h 13 km/h
Sigiriya 13 km/h 11 km/h 9 km/h 8 km/h 13 km/h 17 km/h 15 km/h 15 km/h 14 km/h 10 km/h 10 km/h 13 km/h
Kandy 12 km/h 10 km/h 9 km/h 8 km/h 12 km/h 16 km/h 14 km/h 14 km/h 13 km/h 10km/h 9 km/h 11 km/h
Nuwara Eliya 10 km/h 9 km/h 9 km/h 7 km/h 10 km/h 15 km/h 14 km/h 14 km/h 12 km/h 9 km/h 8 km/h 10 km/h
Polonnaruwa 14 km/h 12 km/h 9 km/h 8 km/h 13 km/h 17 km/h 16 km/h 16 km/h 14 km/h 10 km/h 10 km/h 13 km/h
Dambulla 13 km/h 10 km/h 9 km/h 8 km/h 12 km/h 16 km/h 15km/h 15 km/h 13 km/h 10 km/h 9 km/h 12km/h

When to visit Sri Lanka

Visit the Central Hills of Sri Lanka from January to October

January to October is the best time to visit Sri Lanka for the ultimate cultural experience in the country’s central hills. The weather is pleasantly warm in the region, and there is plenty of sunshine in between occasional rains. The central hills host some of the most famous Buddhist and Hindu temples and ancient monasteries located in the mountains. The ideal weather conditions make it possible to enjoy these spiritual landmarks to the fullest. 

The clear skies and weather offer the opportunity to trek to these spiritual landmarks and take your time breathing in the fresh air surrounded by the lush green forests. The markets and bazaars of Sri Lankan towns are also must-see places around this time, where you will get to experience the local culture. Our Splendours of Ceylon trip takes you to the cultural heartland of Sri Lanka and offers quality time exploring the spectacular Hill Country from January to October.


 


Trips to Sri Lanka June to August


The best of Sri Lanka’s wildlife can be experienced in these months, as the changing water levels in the grassland habitats result in an increased animal activity. Safari trips in national parks such as Wilpattu and Minneriya are a highlight activity at this time of year. The dry season also hosts one of the most awe-inspiring natural spectacles in the world. From June to September, the largest gathering of Asian elephants takes place in the wildlife reservoir of Minneriya. The gathering of elephants is a must-see occasion for any Sri Lanka trip.

The festive cheer of Sri Lanka manifests itself from June to August as the country hosts travelers from around the world. Traditional and religious events such as the Esala festivals are held in cultural centers like Kandy, offering a chance to witness the Buddhist and Hindu practices. You can enjoy dance and acrobatic shows while tasting the local dishes. It is the best time to visit Sri Lanka for capturing the cities at their most vibrant in these months.





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