Weather in Sri Lanka in November

Planning your trip to Sri Lanka this November? Get ready for a mix of sunny days, occasional rain showers, and cultural festivities. From chilling on the sunny beaches down south to exploring misty mountains in the central highlands and catching waves on the east coast, November's got a little something for everyone. As you gear up for your adventure on this beautiful island, here’s our guide to the weather in Sri Lanka in November.

What is the weather like in Sri Lanka in November?

The weather in Sri Lanka in November tends to be made up of warm and sunny days for the most part. November marks the kickoff of the northeast monsoon season, especially hitting the eastern and northern parts of the island. Meanwhile, the western and southern coasts catch fewer raindrops, though you might still encounter some surprise showers, particularly in the afternoons or evenings.

Despite the rain, many enjoy traveling to Sri Lanka in November. You can still indulge in outdoor adventures like beach lounging, snorkeling, and surfing. Just be ready to duck for cover when the heavens open up. Keep in mind, transportation in more remote areas might take a hit from heavy downpours, leading to potential delays or road closures due to flooding.

November falls within the shoulder season for tourism in Sri Lanka.It's not as jam-packed as the high season, which runs from December to April, but you'll still find a fair share of fellow explorers enjoying the island's charms. Rainfall averages between 150mm to 300mm, depending on where you're at.

Overall, November can be a great time to visit Sri Lanka because despite the occasional rain showers, you can still enjoy warm temperatures and fewer crowds compared to peak tourist months. 

Rough Guides tip: crafting a Sri Lanka itinerary can be time-consuming. Entrust the planning and booking to our knowledgeable local experts.

Nilaveli beach in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka © Shutterstock

The weather in Sri Lanka in November is great for exploring Nilaveli Beach © Shutterstock

Temperatures in Sri Lanka in November

In November, Sri Lanka experiences warm temperatures across its regions, with variations in temperature and rainfall. While the north tends to be slightly warmer and drier, the southwest and southeast regions have slightly cooler temperatures with increased rainfall. Overall, November in Sri Lanka leans towards being warm, making it a pleasant time to visit the country.

North Sri Lanka

November in North Sri Lanka brings average high temperatures ranging from 30°C to 32°C (86°F to 90°F), while lows typically range between 25°C and 27°C (77°F to 81°F). Rainfall remains minimal during this month, with precipitation averaging around 100-150mm. Major cities in this region include Jaffna  and Mannar.

Southwest Sri Lanka

Southwest Sri Lanka (cities like Colombo and Galle) experiences slightly cooler temperatures in November compared to the north. Average highs range from 28°C to 30°C (82°F to 86°F), with lows averaging between 24°C and 26°C (75°F to 79°F). Rainfall increases in this region, with precipitation ranging from 200-300mm during the month. 

Southeast Sri Lanka

In the southeast, in cities like Batticaloa and Trincomalee,  temperatures are similar to those in the southwest. Average highs range from 28°C to 30°C (82°F to 86°F), while lows hover between 24°C and 26°C (75°F to 79°F) in November. Rainfall remains moderate, with an average of 150-250mm throughout the month.

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

Surf beach Hiriketiya, Dikwella, Sri Lanka © Shutterstock

Surf beach Hiriketiya, Dikwella, Sri Lanka © Shutterstock

Is November a good time to visit Sri Lanka?

November is a great time to visit for those seeking to visit Sri Lanka during its shoulder season. During this month, Sri Lanka experiences delightful weather conditions as it transitions from the inter-monsoon period to the northeast monsoon season. 

Temperatures range from a comfortable 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F), providing an ideal climate for exploration and outdoor activities.

The rainfall gradually diminishes, especially in the central and southwestern regions, allowing for extended periods of sunshine and clear skies. One of the highlights of visiting Sri Lanka in November is witnessing the lush greenery and rejuvenated landscapes following the monsoon rains. It's a photographer's dream and a nature lover's paradise.

Moreover, November is a great time for cultural experiences, with various festivals and events taking place across the country. 

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

What about crowds and costs?

When it comes to crowds and costs, November in Sri Lanka sits comfortably in the shoulder season. This transitional period marks the island's shift into higher tourist numbers as the weather improves and drier conditions prevail.

Throughout November, you'll notice a gradual increase in tourist crowds, especially towards the end of the month. It's when travelers start flocking to popular destinations and beaches to enjoy the emerging sunny days.

As for your budget, keep in mind that accommodation and activity prices may begin to rise as demand picks up with the influx of tourists. However, compared to the peak season months of December to March, November still offers relatively more wallet-friendly options.

If you're looking to avoid the crowds and score some deals, the shoulder months of September and October could be considered. But if you prefer a balance between fewer tourists and fantastic weather, November is your best bet.

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


The weather in Sri Lanka in November is great for exploring towns like Ella  © Shutterstock

Festivals and events in Sri Lanka in November

If you're gearing up for your Sri Lanka trip, make sure to see if any of the country's amazing festivals and events are happening during your visit. Secure your accommodation early for the best choices. Need more inspiration for your Sri Lankan adventure? Explore our top picks for the best things to do in the country. 


Deepavali, also known as Diwali, is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated with great fervor across Sri Lanka. Travelers can immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere by witnessing the illumination of homes and temples, partaking in traditional rituals, and enjoying colorful fireworks displays. The festival also offers opportunities to savor delicious sweets and snacks unique to Deepavali.

Sri Lanka International Film Festival 

This prestigious film festival showcases a diverse selection of local and international cinema, providing a platform for filmmakers to present their works to audiences in Sri Lanka. Travelers can attend screenings of feature films, documentaries, and short films, as well as participate in discussions and workshops with industry professionals. 

The festival offers a unique opportunity to engage with the cinematic arts and gain insights into global cultural perspectives. 

World Spice Festival

Held in Colombo, the World Spice Festival celebrates the rich culinary heritage of Sri Lanka and the diversity of spices found on the island. Travelers can explore spice markets, attend cooking demonstrations and workshops, and sample a wide array of flavorful dishes prepared by local chefs. The festival also features cultural performances, spice-themed competitions, and opportunities to learn about the medicinal properties of various spices. 

View on Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque or Red Masjid Mosque is a historic mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka © streetflash/Shutterstock

Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka © streetflash/Shutterstock

Ready for your dream trip to Sri Lanka in November?

Eager to explore Sri Lanka? Let our tailor-made trip service spare you the hours of research needed for your dream vacation. Rely on us for planning and booking. Our journeys, carefully crafted by local travel experts, can be fully tailored to suit your preferences.

  • Sri Lanka flora and fauna (13 days): For those fascinated by Sri Lanka's biodiversity and World Heritage sites, this 12-day round trip offers an immersive journey through lush jungles, ancient cities, waterfalls, and beaches.
  • Sri Lanka deluxe (12 days):  Experience the Central Province's tea plantations and waterfalls, then unwind on the golden beaches of Sri Lanka's south coast. 
  • Sri Lanka wildlife discovery (10 days):  Experience Sri Lanka's untamed beauty: observe elephants at Yala and Udawalawe National Parks, enjoy a sunrise hot air balloon ride, and admire stunning cave drawings at Dambulla Cave Temple.

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: Experience mild temperatures and manageable crowds, creating the perfect conditions for discovering Sri Lanka's beaches and cultural sites.
  • February:  Sun-filled days attract an increasing number of tourists seeking outdoor adventures and favorable weather.
  • March: Enjoy dry weather and rising temperatures amidst moderate crowds, providing ample opportunities to explore Sri Lanka's diverse attractions.
  • April: Embrace the hot and humid climate alongside bustling crowds drawn by Easter and New Year celebrations.
  • May: Encounter sporadic rainfall and fewer tourists, offering a peaceful ambiance for uncovering Sri Lanka's hidden treasures.
  • June:  Monsoon rains commence, resulting in reduced crowds and a serene environment conducive to cultural immersion.
  • July: Heavy rainfall persists, leading to diminished crowds and opportunities for indoor cultural experiences.
  • August: Monsoon rains gradually subside, attracting moderate crowds eager to enjoy improved weather and outdoor activities.
  • September:  With less rainfall and fewer tourists, it's an ideal time for budget-friendly exploration of Sri Lanka's wonders.
  • October:  Post-monsoon clear skies beckon moderate crowds, providing optimal conditions for outdoor adventures and cultural exploration.
  • December: Peak tourist season brings warm temperatures and bustling crowds, creating a vibrant atmosphere for festive beach holidays and cultural expeditions.
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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