Weather in Sri Lanka in October

Sri Lanka in October is great with its stunning beaches, ancient sites, and lush greenery. This month is the start of the inter-monsoon season, so you'll get a mix of tropical warmth, occasional showers, and fun festivities. But before you jet off, here’s our guide to the weather in Sri Lanka in October.

What is the weather like in Sri Lanka in October?

As October rolls around, Sri Lanka starts to transition into the northeast monsoon season. This means you can kiss goodbye to those heavy downpours and hello to drier days, especially in the central and northern regions. The temperatures also tend to cool down a bit, which is for most a welcome relief.

While October sees a decrease in rainfall and an increase in sunshine, you might still encounter the occasional shower, especially if you're visiting the eastern or southern coastlines.

In terms of tourism, October falls into the shoulder season in Sri Lanka. It's not as busy as the peak months of December to February, but you'll notice a gradual uptick in tourist arrivals compared to the previous months. Expect moderate crowds and reasonable prices for accommodations and activities.

On average, Sri Lanka receives around 150-200mm of rainfall in October, with the southern and eastern regions experiencing the highest amounts. However, these showers are usually sporadic and lighter compared to the monsoon season, giving you plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors.

Overall, October can be a great time to visit Sri Lanka because of the improving weather conditions and the beginning of the shoulder season. With the weather getting better you'll have the chance to soak up the country's rich culture, chill out on pristine beaches, and trek through lush landscapes without having to elbow your way through crowds.

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

Lord Ganesh Temple at Sella kataragama Sri Lanka © Lihil Sankalpa/Shutterstock

Lord Ganesh Temple at Sella kataragama Sri Lanka © Lihil Sankalpa/Shutterstock

Temperatures in Sri Lanka in October

Overall, October in Sri Lanka means warm temperatures across the country, with some variation in rainfall levels across regions. The north and southeast encounter moderate rainfall, while the southwest receives notably higher precipitation, leading to slightly cooler temperatures in that area. Nevertheless, you can expect a climate that is hot and humid throughout the country.

North Sri Lanka

In the northern part, which includes cities like  Jaffna and Mannar, the average high temperatures range between 29-31°C (84-88°F), while lows typically fall between 23-25°C (73-77°F). This region sees relatively moderate rainfall during October, with precipitation levels averaging around 150-200mm.

Southwest Sri Lanka

Moving to southwest Sri Lanka, encompassing cities  like Colombo and Galle, temperatures remain warm but slightly lower compared to the north. Here, the average high temperatures range from 27-29°C (81-84°F), with lows ranging between 22-24°C (72-75°F). October brings significant rainfall to this region, with precipitation levels averaging around 300-400mm for the month.

Southeast Sri Lanka

In the southeast region, covering areas like Batticaloa and Trincomalee, temperatures are similar to those in the north and southwest. Highs typically reach 29-31°C (84-88°F), with lows around 23-25°C (73-77°F). Rainfall in this area remains moderate during October, with an average of 200-300mm for the month.

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

Nilaveli beach in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka © Shutterstock

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

Is October a good time to visit Sri Lanka?

Yes, October is a good time to visit. First off, October is when Sri Lanka starts to shake off the rainy season and transition into a more dry spell. This means you can expect some pretty nice weather for your adventures.

For the most part, the weather in dry during this month. There might still be a few scattered showers, especially in places like the central and southwestern regions, but nothing that'll ruin your day. Plus, they're usually pretty short-lived, so you'll be back to exploring in no time.

Temperatures in October hover around a comfortable 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F).  Perfect for checking out all the amazing landscapes, cultural sites, and beaches Sri Lanka has to offer.

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

What about crowds and costs?

As October rolls around, Sri Lanka typically transitions from its low tourist season to the beginning of the high season. Tourist numbers begin to creep up as the weather gets nicer. While it's not quite peak season yet – that's December to March – you'll definitely notice more fellow travelers, especially towards the end of the month.

With more people flocking in,  accommodation and activity prices may also begin to rise slightly as demand picks up. That said, compared to the high-season months, prices in October are generally more affordable, making it a good option for those who are budget-conscious.

If you want to visit during a time with similar weather conditions but with fewer crowds, you might want to consider the shoulder months of September and November. However, October really is a sweet spot for fewer tourists than the peak season but still plenty of sunshine to go around. 

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


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

Festivals and events in Sri Lanka in October

If you're thinking about heading to Sri Lanka, be sure to see if your trip lines up with any of their amazing festivals and events. And don't forget to book your place to stay early to snag the best spots. Need more ideas for your Sri Lankan journey? Explore our selection of the best things to do in the country. 


Also known as Diwali, Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated with great enthusiasm across Sri Lanka. Travelers can witness homes and temples adorned with colorful lights and decorations, and partake in traditional rituals such as lighting oil lamps and fireworks. 

The festival also offers opportunities to savor delicious sweets and snacks unique to Deepavali. Booking accommodations in areas with significant Tamil populations, such as Colombo or Jaffna.

Jazz Festival Colombo 

Held in the capital city of Colombo, the Jazz Festival showcases the talents of local and international jazz musicians. Here you can enjoy performances ranging from traditional jazz to contemporary fusion, set against the backdrop of iconic venues across the city. The festival also features workshops, masterclasses, and jam sessions, providing opportunities for interaction with artists and fellow jazz enthusiasts. 

Jaffna Food Festival

Located in the northern city of Jaffna, the Jaffna Food Festival celebrates the region's rich culinary heritage. Here you can indulge in a variety of traditional Tamil dishes, including seafood specialties, savory snacks, and aromatic curries. The festival offers opportunities to sample authentic Jaffna cuisine, learn about traditional cooking techniques, and interact with local chefs and food enthusiasts.

Looking for more options for an autumn holiday? Also check out our list of the best destinations for an unforgettable holiday in October.

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 October?

Excited to explore Sri Lanka? Let our tailor-made trip service simplify your travel experience by handling all the planning and booking for you. Our trips, designed by local travel experts, are fully customizable to ensure they align perfectly with your preferences and interests.

  • Luxury yoga (15 days): Indulge in a restorative holiday in Sri Lanka, with yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic treatments for a perfect digital detox and inner balance.
  • Sri Lanka cultural and natural beauty (10 days): Explore Central Province's temples and fortresses, then journey to Kandy, continuing through tea country to Bandarawela before concluding the tour in Galle and Balapitiya Beach.
  • 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.

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: Enjoy mild temperatures and manageable crowds, making it an ideal time for exploring Sri Lanka's beaches and cultural attractions.
  • February: Sunny skies attract a growing number of tourists seeking outdoor activities and pleasant weather conditions.
  • March: Experience dry weather and rising temperatures amidst moderate crowds, offering ample opportunities to discover Sri Lanka's diverse landmarks.
  • April: Embrace the hot and humid climate alongside bustling crowds drawn by Easter and New Year festivities.
  • May: Encounter occasional rainfall and fewer tourists, providing a tranquil setting for exploring Sri Lanka's hidden gems.
  • June: Monsoon rains begin, leading to diminished crowds and creating a quieter environment for cultural immersion.
  • July: Heavy rainfall continues, resulting in reduced crowds and presenting chances for indoor cultural experiences.
  • August: Monsoon rains gradually ease, attracting moderate crowds eager to enjoy improved weather and outdoor pursuits.
  • September:  With decreased rainfall and fewer tourists, it's an opportune time for budget-friendly exploration of Sri Lanka's attractions.
  • November:  Enjoy dry weather and moderate crowds, providing an excellent opportunity to delve into Sri Lanka's landscapes and heritage.
  • December: Peak tourist season brings warm temperatures and bustling crowds, offering an exciting atmosphere for festive beach holidays and cultural discoveries.
Dre Roelandt

written by
Dre Roelandt

updated 12.06.2024

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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