Your full Wanderlust guide to

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

From verdant forests teeming with wildlife, including elephants and leopards, and ancient stone temples, to gold-sand beaches fringing unspoiled bays – Sri Lanka awes in every way.

Whether you choose to spend your days learning to surf the rips on the island’s east coast, hiking a section of the 300km Pekoe Trail which winds through farming villages and tea plantations, or devouring mouthwatering seafood platters and delicious homemade vegetable curries, there is something for every traveller on this unique Indian Ocean island.

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It’s not all national parks and wildlife wonders. The capital city of Sri Lanka has much to offer travellers, too. Author and Sri Lankan native Ruby Lovell deep dives into Colombo’s best bits…
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Latest Sri Lanka articles

Capital
Colombo (economic, judicial and executive capital) and Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (legislative capital)
Languages
Sinhala, Tamil
Population
22.04 million
Int. dial code
+94
Visa
UK travellers can enter Sri Lanka for up to 30 days on an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) E-Visa. E-visas applications can be made online in advance of travelling.
Time zone
GMT+5:30
Voltage
230V 50Hz
Currency
Sri Lankan Rupee LKR

When to go

Sri Lanka is a great place to visit at any time of the year. However, it is worth planning which side of the island you wish to see in advance.

January to March is considered the drier season in the popular southwest and hill country, while the summer months are ideal for visiting the lesser-known north and east coasts.

The island is affected by two separate monsoon seasons, the southwest monsoon and northeast monsoon. The southwest monsoon tends to reach the south, west and central hills in April and lasts until September, with the worst of the rainfall between April to June. The northeast monsoon occurs on the north and east coasts between November to March, with November and December being the wettest months.

For hiking and inland adventures, it is best to avoid the spring months of April to June, when rainfall is heavier.

Marine wildlife, such as the blue whale, can be sighted year-round off the south coast – although the region can get especially busy during January and February.