It was the Portuguese who introduced Christmas in Sri Lanka. After the Portuguese rule, the Dutch and British rule also brought in great influence of Christmas celebration in the country, which has continued till today. Although a very minor percentage of Sri Lankan population is Christians, Christmas holidays in Sri Lanka are celebrated by everyone.  On the dawn of the 1st of December, fire crackers are lit to announce the beginning of Christmas celebrations.  The best part of being in Sri Lanka during Christmas is that whether you are Christian or not, you are most welcome to be a part of the Sri Lanka Christmas holidays in December.

Why spend Christmas in Sri Lanka

  • Streets and shopping centers all over the country are decorated with Christmas Trees and more


  • Christmas parties and dinner dances are held at popular hotels


  • Midnight Mass services are available at Churches all over the country


Where to Spend Christmas in Sri Lanka

Colombo, the busiest city in Sri Lanka, is extremely happening during the Christmas and New Year season. From trade fairs to exhibitions to casual and formal parties to Christmas dinners to shopping, Colombo has it all. Acting Santa Claus is available at several restaurants and hotels along with exclusive themed Christmas decorations to bring you in the spirit of Christmas. Shopping centers are also well decorated and constantly have Christmas carols being played in the background. Unbelievable offers are provided by retailers in all industries, making Christmas the best season for shopping.

Apart from Colombo, popular cities such as Kandy and Nuwara Eliya are also excited about the Christmas season. Shopping centers, restaurants and busy hotels in these locations also arrange decorations, carols, parties and dinners, all in the name of Christmas.

It is up to every individual’s choice as to where to spend Christmas in Sri Lanka. It could be at a quiet and cozy hotel in the hills of Nuwara Eliya or Ella, on the exotic beaches of Passikuda or Kalpitiya, exploring the wildlife in Yala, at one of the many Churches located in the country, or amidst all the hustle and bustle in the city of Colombo.

Best Hotels for Christmas in Sri Lanka

Several large and popular hotels in Colombo and other towns across the island go out of their way with themed decorations for the season and preparing gala Christmas dinners on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Visitors are offered international buffets with traditional Christmas goodies, Turkey, and much more. Christmas parties are also hosted by these hotels to encourage tourists to spend Christmas in Sri Lanka. Some of these hotels include:

  • Cinnamon Group: Cinnamon Grand, Cinnamon Lakeside, Bentota Beach


  • Jetwing Group: St. Andrews, Lighthouse, Sunrise, Sea, Lagoon


  • Heritance Hotels: Kandalama, Ahungalla, Negombo


  • Shangri La – Hambantota


  • Eden – Bentota


  • Amaya Group: Amaya Beach, Langdale, Amaya Hills


  • Uga Escapes


Spending a few days at one of the many best hotels for Christmas in Sri Lanka gives you an ideal setting of the beauty of nature, relaxing accommodation, access to drinks and great food, and an opportunity to dance the night away. What better way to spend your Christmas holidays in Sri Lanka!

Places to visit in Sri Lanka in December

December is an ideal month to explore the southern and western coastlines of Sri Lanka, as well as the beautiful hill country. During this month, the south western monsoon has faded away and ideal beach temperatures are seen in the coastal areas. Here are a few of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka in December:

  • Whale Watching – Mirissa : This awe inspiring experience will take your breath away. From November to April, you are assured that whales will be seen from the coast of Mirissa. Boat trips are arranged by tour operators and these usually set out to sea at an early hour of the morning. In addition to a variety of whales, you will also see a common collection of dolphins, turtles and sharks (if you are lucky) during your boat ride.


  • Explore wild animals at National Parks : Minneriya and Yala National Parks are two popular ones to visit when you are spending your Christmas holidays in Sri Lanka. Opt for a jeep safari during which you will come across wild elephants just meters away from you, along with other wild animals such as leopards, sloth bears, deer, sambar, and more. If you are spending Christmas in Sri Lanka with your family, this is a fantastic excursion for your children.


  • Tea Factory visit : Tea is big in Sri Lanka and a tea plantation plus factory stopover is a must do activity on your list of places to visit in Sri Lanka in December. This is another endeavor that kids will love as they get to dress up in traditional attire with a tea collection bag over their shoulders and venture out into one of several tea plantations in the island.


  • Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo : While Christmas festivities are full on in the happening city of Colombo, tourists can take some time to learn about Sri Lanka’s main religion: Buddhism. Located in the heart of Colombo, this complex includes a library, museum and a temple by the lake.


  • Water sports : Throughout the south western coastline of Sri Lanka, water sports are a popular activity. Particularly in Bentota and Galle, there are several places where you can try jet skiing, banana boat rides, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, wind surfing and much more. Along the west coast, Kalpitiya is a town where kite surfing is a popular activity. Learning schools are also available for those who are new at the sport and want to master the activity.


Find out more about Best Places to Visit in Sri Lanka.

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Let us help make your Christmas holiday in Sri Lanka a better one

Whether you want to go religious, adventurous, or relaxed this Christmas, simply let us know and we will prepare a customized itinerary for you to spend Christmas in Sri Lanka. We have tourists coming in from UK, Canada, Europe, USA, India, Thailand, Singapore, Africa and many more places who are all keen on spending a unique holiday in Sri Lanka, and that’s exactly what we offer them.

Find out more about Sri Lanka Holidays in December.