15 Best March destinations in Europe in 2018

If you are coming to Europe in March you are obviously not looking for sunbathing destinations. Still, many of Europe's best and most popular cities have surprisingly decent weather in March, so it can be an excellent time for a city visit. More good news is that most of southern Europe is mostly dry in March, so a light jacket or sweater is probably all you'll need most of the time.

If you are looking for a warm-weather destination in March you should probably think about Asia or perhaps the Caribbean. As long as you don't need it to be actually hot, the Canary Islands are warm and pleasant enough that some people do sunbathe in March, so it's the first place on the list below.

Notable March 2018 holidays in Europe

  • March 17 – St. Patrick's Day (not a big event in Ireland)
  • March 25 – Palm Sunday (Notable in some southern countries)
  • March 25 – Semana Santa/Holy Week (The whole week is a celebration in Spain)
  • March 30 – Good Friday (Notable in some southern countries)
  • April 1 – Easter Sunday (A big deal in Italy and many others)

Europe's only March beach destination

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

  • March avg high: 71F/22C
  • March avg low: 60F/16C
  • March avg precip: 1.1″/2.8cm

The only destination that is techically in Europe that has warm enough weather for sunbathing in March are the Canary Islands, just off the southern coast of Morocco. Since they are officially part of Spain they count as being in Europe, and they are quite popular this time of year because of that fact and how easy they are to reach from Britain and Scandinavia in particular.

Tenerife is the largest of the islands and the one that is most oriented towards English speakers, so it's the first choice of many. You'll be surprised at how many people are sunbathing in Tenerife when it's just barely warm enough. Fortunately, the evenings don't get cold and there usually isn't much wind, so it feels quite nice. The best climate can be found in the southwest corner of the island near Los Cristianos.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €57 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €77 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €17 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Tenerife
>>>Tenerife prices and travel tips


The destinations below at least have decent March weather, and plenty to see this month

Rome, Italy

  • March avg high: 60F/16C
  • March avg low: 42F/6C
  • March avg precip: 2.6″/6.5cm

Since Rome's top attractions such as the Vatican Museum and Ancient Rome can be so insanely crowded during the warmer months, March is pretty much perfect for a visit for most people. The crowds are still far smaller than during summer and hotel prices are still way down as well. You can even wander a bit off the beaten track and feel like you are one of the only tourists in town.

Flights to Rome are also reasonably priced in March, so it's a good month to begin a trip beginning hear and heading up through Florence and Venice (mentioned below). By the time April comes around, and especially around Easter on April 16 in 2017, the city fills up.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €50 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €54 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €24 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Rome
>>>Rome prices and travel tips


Florence, Italy

  • March avg high: 59F/15C
  • March avg low: 41F/5C
  • March avg precip: 3.2″/8.0cm

If you are going to be visiting Rome (above) you should also include Florence on that trip. The cities are only about 90 minutes apart by high-speed train, so you could technically visit Florence as a day trip. But really you are better off staying at least a few nights because Florence is more peaceful than Rome, and has a lot to offer.

Florence itself is filled with top museums and other sights such as the famous cathedral, but it also makes for an ideal base for day trips. Pisa is only an hour away, and Siena is only a bit farther, while there are several hill towns that make for wonderful excursions as well. Florence is the capital of Tuscany so it's known as a food and wine center. Hotel prices are a bit lower than in Rome as well.

By the way, Venice is still a bit chilly in March, but it's still worth a visit if you have an extra day or two.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €50 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €67 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €22 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Florence
>>>Florence prices and travel tips


Split, Croatia

  • March avg high: 57F/14C
  • March avg low: 46F/8C
  • March avg precip: 2.5″/6.3cm

Most people are far more aware of Dubrovnik, which is a bit down the coast of Croatia from Split and just a bit warmer as well. But Dubrovnik's historic center is also much smaller and far more expensive than Split's, so many people prefer going here instead. The March weather is pleasant, even if you'll need to wear a jacket or sweater still.

Split is actually even a bit older than Dubrovnik and the white-on-white city center is very similar. Better still, Split is a real city where tourists eat among locals and there is always something going on. Dubrovnik's walled city is almost 100% tourists, so it feels more artificial even though it's quite impressive. You can visit both if you are in the area, and hotel rates this time of year are very reasonable. Local apartment rentals called “sobes” are abundant and usually cheaper than hotels.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €30 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €35 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €28 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Split
>>>Split prices and travel tips


Paris, France

  • March avg high: 55F/13C
  • March avg low: 43F/6C
  • March avg precip: 2.1″/5.3cm

If you read our remarks about Rome above, and about how March is the last month before summer to avoid massive crowds, they apply equally to Paris as well. As you can see, it's still a bit chilly in Paris in March, but that will also enable you to wear some of your more fashionable outfits that you could never wear on a summer visit.

As you'd expect, hotel rates in March are quite reasonable in Paris, and airfares are modest as well. This city just doesn't get much rain at any time during the year, and March is yet another fairly dry month, so you can probably leave the umbrella at home. The most popular attractions such as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower are less crowded as well. Consider a Paris Pass if you intend on hitting many of the top attractions in only a few days.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €82 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €95 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €33 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Paris
>>>Paris prices and travel tips


Nice, France

  • March avg high: 59F/15C
  • March avg low: 46F/8C
  • March avg precip: 2.4″/6.0cm

Nice is mostly known as a summer retreat for French and English people with means, but it's also a lovely city on the Mediterranean and an ideal second city to visit in France after Paris. The March climate is warm enough to spend a fair amount of time out of doors, which is not something you can say about many other European cities.

In addition to a pleasant historic town center, Nice is an ideal base for exploring the French Riviera. Cannes and Antibes are very short train rides away to the west, and Monaco is about 20 minutes by train to the east. If you want to do those day trips then getting a more affordable hotel in the area of the train station is wise.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €45 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €68 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €15 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Nice
>>>Nice prices and travel tips


London, England

  • March avg high: 51F/11C
  • March avg low: 39F/4C
  • March avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

Since London never really has reliabably good weather, it can be worthwhile to visit in March when you know it's going to be chilly but probably won't rain much. At least the hotel rates are way down and the crowds are far smaller than during summer.

Being a city where most of the famous attractions are indoors and it has an excellent public transport system, visiting in March won't feel much different from visiting in July, except you won't have a zillion other tourists to compete with at every turn.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €67 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €129 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €25 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for London
>>>London prices and travel tips


Barcelona, Spain

  • March avg high: 61F/16C
  • March avg low: 44F/7C
  • March avg precip: 1.7″/4.3cm

It's obviously still a bit cool in Barcelona in March, but it's warm enough to stroll around and enjoy the fascinating architecture with very little chance of rain. Really the main feature of a March visit will be to be clear of the monstrous crowds that now take Barcelona over from May through September.

This is a city that can be too hot for many in July and August, so these shoulder-season visits will be more comfortable for anyone who doesn't love sweating. Of course the hotel rates are still way down as well, just as you'd expect this time of year. You'll definitely want to also visit Madrid, mentioned below, which is only 3 hours away on a high-speed train.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €54 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €73 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €26 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Barcelona
>>>Barcelona prices and travel tips


Madrid, Spain

  • March avg high: 60F/16C
  • March avg low: 42F/6C
  • March avg precip: 1.0″/2.5cm

You can see that Madrid has a similar climate to Barcelona in March, but it typically gets even less rainfall. It's best to visit both cities on the same trip because they are both huge, filled with interesting sights, and surprisingly different from one another.

Madrid is where you'll find the Royal Palace and the Prado Museum, and the city center is also more dense and more city-like than Barcelona. The famous nightlife goes pretty much all year round in both cities, so you can dress up a bit in the cooler weather but still leave your umbrella at home.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €44 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €70 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €17 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Madrid
>>>Madrid prices and travel tips


Malaga, Spain

  • March avg high: 64F/18C
  • March avg low: 46F/8C
  • March avg precip: 2.1″/5.3cm

The best March climate in Spain can be found in the historic city of Malaga along the Mediterranean coast. This is the gateway to the Costa del Sol resort towns, but those tend to be very quiet this time of year so staying in Malaga itself is probably a better idea.

It's not quite warm enough for sunbathing in Malaga in March, though it can be close late in the month. Even so, this city has a proper downtown with shopping, restaurants, bars, and other attractions. Flights into Malaga are fairly cheap this time of year, and if you are coming from Madrid they can be even cheaper than the train, depending on when you buy.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €54 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €84 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €15 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Malaga
>>>Malaga prices and travel tips


Lisbon, Portugal

  • March avg high: 66F/19C
  • March avg low: 48F/9C
  • March avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

While Spain has the reputation for the sunniest and warmest part of Europe during winter, it's really Portugal that deserves the crown more. Lisbon is a wonderful and historic city with a surprisingly good climate all year round. This city is also unusually cheap for Europe, especially for how posh the historic center feels. Hotel rates in March are even more reasonable, of course.

Some people start a Europe tour by flying into Lisbon and then taking the overnight train to Madrid, or flying to Madrid or somewhere else. If you are starting a Europe tour in March it can be good to start in a place like Lisbon with a nice climate, and then head north as temperatures climb a bit each week.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €37 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €57 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €19 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Lisbon
>>>Lisbon prices and travel tips


Athens, Greece

  • March avg high: 60F/16C
  • March avg low: 44F/7C
  • March avg precip: 1.6″/4.0cm

Many people visit Athens for a few days on their way to visit one of the islands, but the islands are virtually closed down until after Easter, so in March you'll want to just focus on the mainland. Athens is one of Europe's cheaper large cities, and it's obviously one of the most historic cities in the world. Hotel rates in March are very reasonable, and the attractions such as the Acropolis and Archeological Museum are far less crowded.

If you really want to also visit an island you might consider Santorini, Mykonos, or Rhodes. Those are the largest and most popular islands for tourists, and they have town centers that are going all year round.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €46 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €56 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €11 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Athens
>>>Athens prices and travel tips


Valletta, Malta

  • March avg high: 61F/16C
  • March avg low: 50F/10C
  • March avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

You'll be excused if you only know Malta from the Maltese Falcon because this small island just south of Sicily is really only popular with Brits and some Scandinavians. But you can see above that its southern location gives is a very pleasant climate this time of year, and it's a very friendly and easy to visit island as well. Since it was once run by Britain, English is one of the official languages and everyone in the tourism industry speaks it fluently.

It obviously won't be warm enough for sunbathing, but it'll be pleasant to spend a lot of time outdoors. The capital city of Valletta is quite small and compact, so most visitors will have a better time staying in Sliema, which is a short ferry ride across the bay from Valletta. There are many other villages along the waterfront, with plenty of good restaurants and nightlife never far away.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €60 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €69 for two people

>>>Check hotel deals for Valletta
>>>Valletta prices and travel tips


Reykjavik, Iceland

  • March avg high: 38F/3C
  • March avg low: 28F/-2C
  • March avg precip: 3.2″/8.0cm

We've listed this suggestion as Reykjavik, which is obviously the capital, but really you'll probably only be visiting the city on your way in or out of the country. March is the last full month of the best Northern Lights viewing, which is best done in smaller towns and rural areas far away from Reykjavik itself. Some people visit Iceland in December, January, or February for the Northern Lights, but you can't do much else in those months because the days are so short. In March the sun is out for around 12 hours each day, although it is low in the sky.

Another reason to visit Iceland in March is that it's before the busy summer season begins so you won't be competing with all of the other tourists. Hotel rates are more affordable, although prices have been going up so even the cheaper places may feel a bit expensive at this point. Still, this is an amazing island and it becomes the favorite destionation in the world for many who visit, including yours truly.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €98 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €126 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €33 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Reykjavik
>>>Reykjavik prices and travel tips


Interlaken, Switzerland

  • March avg high: 50F/10C
  • March avg low: 33F/1C
  • March avg precip: 3.2″/8.0cm

If you are touring around Europe and you want to catch the most amazing Alpine views possible, you'll want to head to the Interlaken area. There are observation decks such as Schilthorn and scenic railways such as Jungfraujoch with views that you will never forget if you catch them on a clear day.

The Interlaken area is also home to quite a few ski centers, and there should still be good snow in March. But it's also an adventure and trekking area so there is something interesting to do all year round. Hotel rates near ski lifts can be pricey, but hotels in towns without ski lifts can be good bargains this time of year.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €76 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €128 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €23 per person

>>>Check hotel deals for Interlaken
>>>Interlaken prices and travel tips




2 Responses to “15 Best March destinations in Europe in 2018”

serena hawley says:

looking for a good price on an all inclusive from march 11-15

 
    Roger Wade says:

    Serena,

    There are only a few all-inclusive resorts on Tenerife and the other Canary Islands, but you could try there. And the mid March weather is okay for sunbathing for part of the day, though still a bit chilly for most people.

    If you can put up with the flight time I’d recommend trying Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The all-inclusive resort deals there are outstanding, which would make up for a pricier flight. The March weather there is also warm and sunny every day.

    Your cheapest option close to Europe for all-inclusives with warm March weather would be Sharm el-Sheikh. The value is amazing, but that’s partly because some Europeans would prefer to avoid Egypt right now. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

     

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