Sri Lanka in October: Weather, Tips & City Tours


Sri Lanka is home to a rich trove of cultural heritage, spectacular landscapes, and culinary delights. Even the low season of October offers plenty of sightseeing activities across some of the most breathtaking locations. There is just one caveat if you are visiting Sri Lanka in October. The Maha monsoon starts making its way into this island country towards the end of the month, so we advise that you carry an umbrella, particularly when exploring the inland cities.

Sri Lanka Weather in October

hills of Ella, Sri Lanka in October
Fog rises above the trees that cover the hills and the tea estates of Ella Sri Lanka.

October is an inter-monsoon period in Sri Lanka. There are chances of cyclones that bring heavy rain and high winds, causing the north to encounter an abrupt end to its dry season. Jaffna, the capital of the northern province, gets an average of 23 days of rain showers across the month. The central city of Kandy is even wetter, with around 27 rainy days. The temperatures in both cities average 30°C, but it is best to check the weather forecast before making any outdoor plans. Meanwhile, it gets cold in the hill region. In the town of Ella, for example, the mercury hovers at around 12°C during the daytime and plummets to freezing levels at night. The region gets an average of 17 days of rain in October.

For a seasonal overview, visit our guide on the best time to visit Sri Lanka.

Weather in Sri Lanka in October - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)313132323130303030303030
Avg Nightly (°C)222324252626252525242323
Avg Daily (°F)87.887.889.689.687.886868686868686
Avg Nightly (°F)71.673.475.27778.878.877777775.273.473.4
Avg Rainfall (mm)6269130253382186125114236369310168

Why Visit Sri Lanka in October

Scared Tooth Relic Sri Lanka
Sri Dalada Maligawa homes the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha.
Buddhist Dambulla Temple in Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Dambulla Temple, the largest cave temple in Sri Lanka, draws Buddhist pilgrims throughout the year. 

Despite being a low season, the country provides ample opportunities to enjoy the inland cities and explore the lush hills. Here are some reasons why it is a good idea to visit Sri Lanka in October

  • Better rates: Prices for accommodations and tours see a considerable plunge during the low season of October, an ideal time to enjoy Sri Lanka without causing a dent in your pocket.
  • City tours: Head to Colombo or Kandy, where the conditions are drier than the rest of the country. These cities are best for sightseeing tours and enjoying some of Sri Lanka’s finest delicacies. On a rainy day in Kandy, grab an umbrella and head out to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic or Lankatilaka Vihara to witness the intricate architecture and religious relics.
  • Explore historical sights: Whether you want to see the stupas in Polonnaruwa, summit the unique rock formation at Sigiriya or explore the caves carved into the rock face at Dambulla, October is an ideal month to be there.
  • Festival season: Sri Lanka lights up in ecstasy to mark the festive season of Diwali. Also known as the festival of lights, the festival symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Be a part of the firework displays and parades, and wander around the local stalls to sample the traditional snacks.

Where to go and what to do

Elephant encounter on road in front of safari vehicles in Sri Lanka
Jungle safaris are still possible in Sri Lanka in October. If luck is by your side, get a chance to witness the majestic Asian elephants of Yala National Park.

Considering the low foot traffic, the month offers an ideal time to explore the attractions of Sri Lanka. While the cosmopolitan capital of Colombo takes you back to the colonial era, Kandy Lake is great for pilgrimage tours to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.

Likewise, the northern part of Sri Lanka is a major draw for cultural enthusiasts. The region has drier conditions during this time, making a trip around the Cultural Triangle more manageable. See the towering stupas and temples of Anuradhapura and taste the savory delicacies in Jaffna.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the fort city of Galle offers some solace. Wander around the city to see the colonial buildings, enjoy a relaxing sunset from the fort's rampart or pick up some souvenirs to take home. Towards the southeast, you can dive deep into the wilderness of the Yala National Park. This is the best time to visit the park, as the region gets 195 hours of sunshine in October. But remember to pack a waterproof rain jacket, as the weather can be unpredictable during this time.

Sri Lanka’s weather can be tricky in October. Nonetheless, the low season provides a perfect opportunity to explore this melting pot of history and culture at your own pace. Additionally, you can benefit from discounts on tours and be a part of the local celebrations.

For the best experience, reach out to our local travel experts and devise a tailored itinerary for your trip to Sri Lanka. If you want more information, browse through our trips to Sri Lanka in October.

Note: Exercise caution during your travel to Sri Lanka, as the security situation might be a bit sensitive because of the country’s economic and political crisis.

Create your custom-made trip to Sri Lanka

Traveling to Sri Lanka? Chat with a local travel specialist in Sri Lanka who can help organize your trip.

  • Hazan Anver
    Hazan Anver
    Travel Expert in Sri Lanka
  • Evanjalin Fernando
    Evanjalin Fernando
    Travel Expert in Sri Lanka & Maldives
  • Rajika Dileeshi
    Rajika Dileeshi
    Travel Expert in Sri Lanka
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