Sri Lanka Guide
Compare Cheap Flights to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a small island nation located off the southeast coast of India. While Sri Lanka and India share many common traits—friendly locals, buzzing cities, and beautiful nature—Sri Lanka is becoming more and more popular among travellers. While India took the spotlight in the past, Sri Lanka is emerging as one of the hottest travel destinations in Asia. Being an island, Sri Lanka has so many incredible beaches to visit. Head inland, and you’ll be treated to a completely different experience with mountains, highlands, and jungles. Sri Lanka has a rich and interesting culture, and everywhere you look in Sri Lanka, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view. Book airfares to Sri Lanka for your next holiday, and see for yourself what makes this country so exciting.
Travelling from Australia, there are lots of cheap flights to Sri Lanka available from each of the major cities. While Sri Lanka has two major airports, all flights to Sri Lanka from Australia land in Colombo, which is the country’s capital and largest city. Many airlines offer cheap airfares to Sri Lanka, including Qantas, Virgin Australia, SriLankan Airlines, Malindo Air, Jet Airways, AirAsia, Singapore Airlines, and Emirates. If you book cheap flights to Sri Lanka from Melbourne, you can take a direct flight that will get you there in 10 hours 40 minutes. Travelling from another Australian airport, you will have at least one stopover, but many stopovers are quick. You can arrive in about 13 hours from Sydney and Brisbane, 11 hours from Perth, and 14 hours from Adelaide. Each day, there are about 60-70 flights to Sri Lanka from Melbourne, 60 flights to Sri Lanka from Sydney, 45-55 from Brisbane, and 45 from both Perth and Adelaide.
It’s time to tick Sri Lanka off your travel bucket list! Make it happen by booking cheap airfares to Sri Lanka with Webjet. Webjet compares cheap flights to Sri Lanka from Australia to help you find the best bargains. Use Webjet to book flights to Sri Lanka for your next holiday, and use our Sri Lanka guide to start planning your adventure.
When should you book cheap airfares to Sri Lanka?
While most countries in South Asia and the tropics have a wet season and dry season, Sri Lanka is unique in that it actually has two monsoon seasons. But don’t worry! The monsoon seasons hit different parts of the country during different times, so there is always nice weather somewhere in Sri Lanka.
The southwest of Sri Lanka experiences its monsoon season from April to September, with April, May, and June being the wettest months. This wet season affects the Sri Lankan capital Colombo as well as the Galle and Mirissa areas. This region includes many of the country’s top tourist spots, so it would be best to book cheap flights to Sri Lanka during the other wet season.
Between November and March, the northeast of the country experiences a wet season. November and December experience the most rain. While this monsoon season experiences a fair bit of rain, it is much less severe than the monsoon season in the country’s southwest, making this the better season to book cheap flights to Sri Lanka.
Temperatures remain fairly stable all year round. Most parts of the country experience hot temperatures and high humidity. However, the areas with high altitude are a comfortable temperature during the day and can get chilly at night.
Festivals in Sri Lanka
One of the best ways to learn about another country’s culture is to visit during a holiday or festival. Sri Lanka has lots of exciting holidays that are different to holidays you’ll experience in Australia.
Vesak Poya is a Buddhist festival held during a full moon in March. This holiday celebrates three of the major events in Buddha’s life—his birth, when he found enlightenment, and his death. White paper lanterns are hung in towns and cities all across Sri Lanka. Bauddhaloka Mawatha and Beira Lake have large Buddhist communities and are especially exciting places to experience Vesak Poya.
Diwali is one of the most famous holidays in the Hindu religion. It celebrates the Hindu god Lord Rama defeating Ravana, which symbolises light overcoming darkness. The date of this holiday changes each year, but it always takes place in October or November. During Diwali, buildings and streets all over the country are decorated with lights. The festival lasts for five days, and the last day is always the largest and most exciting.
The Sinhala and Tamil New Year is held in April and celebrates the start of a new lunar year. All Sri Lankans celebrate this holiday, regardless of their religion. During the festival, the country is decked out in colourful decorations, and Sri Lankan people wear bright and fun clothing. Lots of friendly competitions and games are held for people of all ages.
Top Cities to Visit in Sri Lanka
As the capital and largest city in Sri Lanka, Colombo is full of things to see and do. The city is located on a large harbour and has played an important role in trading throughout history. Colombo is full of temples, government buildings, parks, and lots of great ocean views. It’s a fast-paced and exciting city full of people, bright colours, and tuk tuks. Since the majority of flights to Sri Lanka arrive in Colombo, it’s the perfect place to start and end your holiday.
Located on a plateau in the highlands, Kandy offers a much different experience to Colombo. It’s quiet and peaceful and is a great place to learn about Sinhalese culture. The majority of people in Sri Lanka are of Sinhalese heritage. A major attraction in Kandy is the Temple of the Tooth, which contains a piece of one of Buddha’s teeth. Kandy is located on a lake and is surrounded by mountains, which make for some beautiful scenery. Walking around the lake, you may even feel like you’re in Switzerland!
For a beautiful coastal area, check out Galle in the south of the country. Galle is a colonial town where you can see lots of Dutch-style architecture, a sea fort, and a large harbour. One of the most famous spots in the town is Galle International Stadium, which is located on a peninsula and is widely considered to be the most beautiful cricket ground in the world.
This small town in the highlands is located more than 1000 metres above sea level. It’s surrounded by hills and has some incredible scenery. Many hills surrounding Ella have “cloud forests” with clouds covering the tops of the hills. Several tea plantations are also located around Ella.
This gorgeous coastal town is located in the south of Sri Lanka. It’s quiet and has a beautiful beach. There is a coral reef right off the beach in Mirissa, making it a great place to go snorkelling or diving.
This small town is located up in the hills in the central region of Sri Lanka. It has the coolest climate in the country and is extremely picturesque and serene. Tea is one of the top exports from Sri Lanka, and Nuwara Eliya is considered the most important place for tea production in the country.
Top Things to Do in Sri Lanka
Yala National Park
When you think of going on safari, you most likely picture Africa. But did you know you can go on some amazing safaris in Asia as well? Yala National Park covers a large area and allows you to see native Sri Lankan animals, including monkeys, elephants, and crocodiles. Yala National Park also has the highest concentration of leopards in the world.
If you’re a surfer, you can’t book airfares to Sri Lanka without visiting Arugam Bay. This area has some great beaches and surfing spots. For the absolute best surfing, head to Main Point near the Mambo’s hotel. As well as beaches, Arugam Bay also has some beautiful temples nearby that you can visit.
Also called Lion’s Rock, Sigiriya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the ruins of an ancient rock palace. The fortress is dominated by a rock column that shoots 200 metres into the air. Surrounding Sigiriya, there are some beautiful gardens and stunning views of the jungle and mountains.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was founded in 1975 and has become a favourite among visitors to Sri Lanka. The orphanage takes in baby elephants whose parents have been killed in the wild. The elephants are fed and taken care of, and a breeding programme is in place to get the elephant population back up in Sri Lanka. When you visit, you can feed and bathe the elephants and learn all about the elephants of Sri Lanka.
Go to the Beach
As an island nation, Sri Lanka is made up of hundreds of beautiful beaches. Dalawella is a clean and quiet beach where you can swing on a rope swing hanging from a palm tree. Arugam Bay is located on the southeast coast and attracts surfers from all over the world. It gets some high waves, so it is not the place to try surfing for the first time! Hikkaduwa is a great place to take part in lots of beach activities—lounging on the beach, surfing, and snorkelling. And located right in Colombo, Galle Face Green is a beach park located on the ocean. This beach has a lively atmosphere and is in close proximity to some of Colombo’s top hotels, restaurants, and nightlife.
Major Airports in Sri Lanka
Bandaranaike Airport (CMB) - Colombo
While Sri Lanka has two major airports, almost all international flights arrive into this one. Bandaranaike Airport is located 30 km north of Colombo and is the main airport for visitors to Sri Lanka. Bandaranaike currently has two terminals, but a third terminal is being built and is set to open in 2019. Terminal 1 is international and Terminal 3 is domestic. Once Terminal 2 is complete, it will receive more international flights to Sri Lanka. From Bandaranaike Airport, you can easily get into central Colombo by bus, train, taxi, or tuk tuk.
Mattala Rajapaksa Airport (HRI) - Mattala
This small airport is located 18 km from Hambantota near the country’s south coast. The airport has one terminal and only operates a few flights each day. Mattala Rajapaksa Airport handles domestic flights to and from Colombo.