Weather in Sri Lanka in March

March in Sri Lanka offers a bit of everything – from sunny days perfect for beach lounging to occasional showers that keep the island's lush greenery alive. Plus, with fewer tourists around, it's the ideal time to explore hidden gems without the crowds. Ready to start planning your trip? Here’s our guide to the weather in Sri Lanka in March. 

What is the weather like in Sri Lanka in March?

March marks a transition period as Sri Lanka shifts gears from the northeast monsoon to the inter-monsoon phase. The weather in Sri Lanka in March is marked by warm and muggy conditions with sporadic rainfall, especially in the central and eastern parts. While coastal areas might still catch some rays, you can expect the occasional shower and ramped-up humidity.

March falls into the shoulder season for tourism in Sri Lanka. The country is not as bustling as the December to February high season, but still a popular pick thanks to the favorable weather. The crowds are moderate, and it’s still possible to snag deals on accommodations and activities compared to the peak season.

On average, Sri Lanka receives around 100-150mm of rainfall in March. It's scattered and short-lived, but it could throw a curveball into your outdoor plans, especially if you're aiming for beach hangs or hikes in the central highlands where the weather can be a bit unpredictable.

Overall, March can still be a great time to visit Sri Lanka. Despite the occasional rain, the weather is generally warm and pleasant. With fewer crowds and potential savings on your travel expenses, you can have a truly fantastic trip. Just keep in mind that if you're dead set on dry weather, you might want to consider visiting during the peak season months instead.

Rough Guides tip: planning a trip to Sri Lanka may be time-consuming. Allow our local experts to handle the planning and booking for a stress-free experience


Galle Fort, Sri Lanka © Shutterstock

Temperatures in Sri Lanka in March

March typically brings warm to hot temperatures across the country, signaling the start of warmer days ahead. However, there are some differences depending on the region. In the northern parts, you can expect slightly warmer weather with minimal rainfall, while in the southwest and southeast regions, temperatures are similar but with more frequent rain showers.

North Sri Lanka

In March, the average high temperature in North Sri Lanka typically ranges from 31°C to 34°C (88°F to 93°F), with lows averaging between 24°C to 26°C (75°F to 79°F). This region experiences minimal rainfall during this time, with only occasional brief showers. Major cities in this area include Jaffna and Kilinochchi.

Southwest Sri Lanka

In March, the southwest region of Sri Lanka sees average highs of 30°C to 33°C (86°F to 91°F) and lows of 23°C to 25°C (73°F to 77°F). Rainfall is more frequent here compared to the north, with occasional heavy showers contributing to the lush greenery. Major cities in this area include Colombo and Galle

Southeast Sri Lanka

March temperatures in the southeast region of Sri Lanka range from 29°C to 32°C (84°F to 90°F) for highs and 24°C to 26°C (75°F to 79°F) for lows. Rainfall is relatively low, with sporadic showers. Major cities in this area include Batticaloa and Trincomalee

Learn more and compare the weather in different months with our guide to the weather in Sri Lanka.


The weather in Sri Lanka in March is great for seeing green landscapes © Shutterstock

Is March a good time to visit Sri Lanka?

March is an excellent time to visit Sri Lanka. As the country transitions from its dry season to the inter-monsoon period, it brings with it comfortable weather and a landscape that's bursting with life. Temperatures remain warm, and though there might be a sprinkle here and there as the country shifts gears, these showers are usually short-lived. 

With milder days and longer daylight hours, March is prime time for exploration and outdoor adventures. Whether you're soaking in the ancient cultural sites, going on wildlife safaris, or simply lounging on the stunning beaches, the weather in Sri Lanka in March makes for a great trip. Plus, you'll get to witness the landscape come alive with lush greenery after the dry spell, making for picturesque scenery.

Ready to take your trip without the hassle of planning and booking? See our tailor-made trip service.

What about crowds and costs?

In Sri Lanka, March is the sweet spot between the high season hustle of January and February and the quieter months ahead. While you'll still see some tourists milling around popular spots and beaches, the crowds tend to thin out as the month goes on. As a bonus, accommodation and activity prices start to ease off from their peak levels earlier in the year.

So, if you're looking to dodge the peak season buzz but still enjoy great weather during the shoulder season, March might just be your month. And if you're considering extending your stay, April offers similar conditions with even fewer tourists, promising a quieter experience with potentially even lower prices.

Still planning your trip? Browse our Sri Lanka itineraries for inspiration. 


Sri Lanka Donkey © Shutterstock

Festivals and events in Sri Lanka in March

When mapping out your Sri Lankan getaway, be sure to see if your dates coincide with any of the country's vibrant festivals or events. Remember, securing your accommodation early is key to avoiding any last-minute hassles. And if you're seeking more ideas for your Sri Lanka adventure, take a peek at our selection of the top things to do in this beautiful country.

Maha Shivarathri

If you find yourself in Sri Lanka in March, you're in for a treat, especially if you're around during Maha Shivarathri. This festival, cherished by the Hindu community, is all about honoring Lord Shiva with fasting, prayers, and night-long vigils. 

Expect colorful processions, special rituals at Hindu temples, and an overall vibrant atmosphere of devotion. To make the most of it, it's wise to lock in your accommodations ahead of time, especially in places like Trincomalee and Jaffna.

Art Experiential Festival

Sri Lanka's contemporary art scene takes center stage at the Art Experiential Festival in March. From exhibitions to workshops, performances, and interactive experiences, there's something for everyone. Engage with local artists and soak up this country's cultural richness.

SiHiTa Fest

SiHiTa Fest celebrates traditional Sri Lankan healing practices, promoting holistic wellness and sustainability. This celebration offers wellness workshops, yoga sessions, herbal medicine demos, and eco-friendly initiatives. It's a fantastic chance to recharge your batteries while diving into indigenous healing traditions. 

Jaffna Music Festival

Held in the northern city of Jaffna, this festival celebrates the rich musical heritage of Sri Lanka's Tamil community. Picture local musicians jamming, traditional dances, and cultural showcases galore. With the city buzzing, it's a good idea to sort out your accommodations early. Get ready to lose yourself in the rhythmic beats and soulful melodies of Jaffna's vibrant music scene.

If you're still looking for options for your spring trip, also explore our list of the best holiday destinations in March.

Sri Lankan style gotu kola salad © Shutterstock

Sri Lankan style gotu kola salad © Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to Sri Lanka in March?

Ready to see Sri Lanka? Our tailor-made trip service makes traveling easy by taking care of the planning and booking. Our trips are designed by local travel experts and are completely customizable. 

  • Luxury Sri Lanka and The Maldives (14 days): Combine the best of Sri Lanka's cultural wonders with the luxury of the Maldives' white-sand beaches on this twin-center trip of a lifetime.
  • The best of Sri Lanka (14 days):  Explore Sri Lanka's highlights in just two weeks: from Nuwara Eliya's tea plantations to Ella's scenic train ride, and witnessing stilt fishermen on the Southern coast.
  • Wild and wonderful Sri Lanka (13 days): Embark on a unique wildlife adventure in Sri Lanka: sleep under the stars, spot elephants and leopards in national parks, and go whale and dolphin-watching at Mirissa.

Want to learn even more useful information for your upcoming trip to Sri Lanka? Read our travel tips for travelling to Sri Lanka and how to get to Sri Lanka.

Visit Sri Lanka in other months

Planning your trip to Sri Lanka? See what the weather is like in Sri Lanka in other months: 

  • January:  Soak up the sun in Sri Lanka's warm weather while mingling with friendly crowds, making it an ideal time for beach days and exploring cultural sites.
  • February:  Enjoy the peak of sunny weather in Sri Lanka with lively crowds, perfect for experiencing the island's vibrant atmosphere and diverse attractions.
  • April: Embrace the occasional rain showers and fewer crowds during Sri Lanka's monsoon season, providing a quieter atmosphere for exploring the lush landscapes.
  • May: Experience the tranquility of Sri Lanka's off-peak season with heavy rainfall and minimal crowds, ideal for those seeking a peaceful getaway.
  • June:  Find serenity amidst the heavy rain and sparse crowds of Sri Lanka's monsoon, offering a unique opportunity for relaxation and exploration.
  • July: Discover the charm of Sri Lanka's intermittent rain and reduced crowds, allowing for budget-friendly travel and authentic cultural experiences.
  • August: Enjoy the easing of the monsoon rains and fewer tourists, making August an ideal time for budget-conscious travelers to explore the island's treasures.
  • September:  Take advantage of the clear skies and dwindling crowds in Sri Lanka, providing a perfect setting for nature lovers and budget travelers alike.
  • October:  Delight in the comfortable temperatures and moderate crowds of Sri Lanka's shoulder season, offering an ideal blend of outdoor adventures and cultural encounters.
  • November: Experience Sri Lanka's warm weather and moderate crowds, making it a great time to explore beaches, wildlife, and historical sites without the peak season hustle.
  • December: Join the festive buzz of Sri Lanka's holiday season amidst sunny weather and bustling crowds, creating a lively atmosphere for memorable celebrations.
Dre Roelandt

written by
Dre Roelandt

updated 06.06.2024

Dre Roelandt is originally from the United States but lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Dre is a freelance writer and artist with a passion for travelling. They are an in-house Content Editor at Rough Guides.

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