When is The Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka? Weather & Seasons

Located in South Asia between the Bay of Bengal and the Laccadive Sea, Sri Lanka is a tropical island country. Sri Lanka is very rich in culture and history. What is the best time to visit Sri Lanka? This is the question when someone is starting to plan a visit to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is generally an all-year-round holiday destination. However, Sri Lanka has two essential moon soon seasons, which is why there are two best times of the year to visit Sri Lanka. For the south coast and hillside of Sri Lanka, December to March is the best time to visit Sri Lanka. For the east coast, the best time to visit is April to September.

elephants in sri lanka

Table of Page Contents

South Coast of Sri Lanka

Places to visit on Sri Lanka’s south coast include Galle, which is a city located on the south coast with beautiful beaches and tropical weather. The quiet streets of Galle will remind you of the colonial history of this city.

Yala National Park

One of Sri Lanka’s 22 national parks, Yala national park is located on the south coast. December to March is the best time to visit Yala National Park in Sri Lanka.

Other places located on the south coast include Mulgirigala, Kataragama, and mirisa. If you are into a beach lifestyle then the south coast of Sri Lanka is the best place to go from December to March.

galle beach sri lanka

Hillside of Sri Lanka

The hillside of Sri Lanka offers a lot to tourists. Geographically, this is in central Sri Lanka. If you are into hiking, trekking, and camping lifestyle, then these are the places in Sri Lanka for a lifetime adventure. The best time to visit the Hillside of Sri Lanka in December to March the same as the south coast of Sri Lanka.

Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is the favorite hill station for most travelers to Sri Lanka. Located in the central region of Sri Lanka, Nuwara Eliya is sometimes called “Little England” due to its beautiful peaks and mountains. Tea farms, botanical gardens, shelters monkeys, and colorful Hindu shrines are some of the highlights of Nuwara Eliya.

Tea Country

As the name suggests, one of the best tea is produced in this area of Sri Lanka. If you are going to hilly Sri Lanka, then a visit to tea country is a must. Tea country is like a green carpet with surrounded, lush green mountains—the best place for nature lovers and hikers. Local culture can be seen through naked eyes every day.

tea plantation in sri lanka

Adam’s Peak

Adam’s peak is probably the highest peak in Sri Lanka. Extreme hiking is possible when going to Adam’s peak in Sri Lanka. Unlike other places, it will take time and proper planning to visit Adam’s peak. Again, it’s located in central Sri Lanka, which is also called “Hillside of Sri Lanka” for which the best time is December to March. Adam’s Peak is not only a natural place but also a sacred place for different religions.


Colombo to Kandy train journey is one of the most popular and scenic journies in the world. Surrounded by mountains, Kandy is the center of tea plantations in Sri Lanka. The city’s heart is scenic Kandy Lake (Bogambara Lake), which is popular for strolling. Kanday is not only a natural place but also very popular for cultural and religious tourism.

The above-mentioned places are all located on the south coast and central Sri Lanka for which the best time to visit is from December to March and now I will take you to the southern coastline and west coast of Sri Lanka which can be visited from October to March during the year.

train journey kandy to colombo

West coast and southern coast

The southern coast of Sri Lanka experiences the Yala moon soon, which runs from April till September, and these are the wettest months in this region. Although temperatures are constant throughout the year (27-29), the rainy season will not allow you to explore as per planning.

Places of Interest in west coast & southern coast

Colombo is the capital of Sri Lanka and is located southwest of Sri Lanka. Colombo is a beach holiday destination with many sea-facing hotels and villas.

Galle is located on the south coast but still possible to visit from April to September because it has the same Colombo like weather all year round. Galle is also a beach holiday destination with lots of luxury hotels.

Chillaw is a city located on the west coast of Sri Lanka and possibly in the range of April to September. Just 80 KM from capital Colombo, Chillaw welcomes you with many cultural and historical places.

Negombo is another town on the west coast of Sri Lanka. It offers beach holidays and historical places like the Dutch fort from the 17th century and the Dutch-era Hamilton canal. It’s a small city very accessible from Colombo. Bandaranaike international airport is also located in Negombo, which serves Colombo.

Sri lanka beaches

Popular Festivals in Sri Lanka

Get to Sri Lanka in April to experience the traditional “New Year” for Sinhalese and Tamil in April. The event will last for a week or so, and there are many local events around this time of the year. It is formally the end of harvesting season for Sinhalese people, and so they start the year with a lot of parties.

You will see local dresses and traditional dances during this festival. It’s a nationwide festival that is celebrated by most people in Sri Lanka, and travelers love to join them. Remember the month of April.

Vesak Religous Festival

Vesak is a religious and cultural festival for Buddhists. Buddhists celebrate it on the full moon day of the lunar month of Vesak, which is usually the month of May. It’s celebrated for a week, and people decorate shops, houses with colorful lanterns. Big cities like Colombo, Galle, and Kandy are the right places to witness this festival.

Poson Festival

This is another important Buddhist festival which is also called “Poson Poya Day”. It happens in the month of June every year and people decorate homes, streets, shops with a similar passion as the Vesak festival. Although the Poson festival is nationwide, Anuradhapura is a city in Sri Lanka’s central region which is the place to witness this festival in full swing.

Buddha in sri lanka

So what’s the best month to visit in Sri Lanka?

As I explained, Sri Lanka has two different moons soon. Therefore, there are two best times of the year for two different regions. However, if you are just interested in going to Sri Lanka and exploring most places in your available time, then January to April are the best months to visit Sri Lanka because that’s the time when the weather is just excellent. You can plan to go anywhere in the country.

During this time of the year, you will be able to avoid most of the rainy season but since Sri Lanka is a tropical country, you should still expect some rain. Although Sri Lanka is not an expensive destination at all, 3/4 star hotels in Colombo are costly as per Southeast Asia standards. But you will find a lot of hostels in Sri Lanka which can make it a budget destination for you. Sri Lankan Airlines has direct flights to many countries in the world.

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