15 Best March destinations in Europe in 2023

March can be an excellent time to visit Europe as long as you aren’t coming for sunbathing. It’s true that the March weather in the northern areas is still going to be quite chilly, so we don’t recommend many of those places on the list below. But the March weather along the Mediterranean is generally mild. Best of all, the prices are low, crowds are small, and you’ll be able to see everything you want without waiting in long queues.

If for some reason you are actually looking for a warm place to visit in March you should instead check out our list of cheap destinations with great weather in March. Or if you mainly want to sit on a beach you’ll want to see our list of the cheapest Caribbean islands to choose the best one for you.

Notable March 2023 holidays in Europe

  • March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day (Mostly USA and Ireland)
  • March 19 – St. Joseph’s Day (public holiday in Switzerland, parts of Spain, and a few other places)

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 technically in Europe that has warm enough weather for sunbathing in March is 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.

It’s worth noting that Tenerife is only one of the Canary Islands and there are beach resorts on many others including Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and La Palma. Depending on the travel agency you are checking, the hotels might be separated by island rather than all just for the “Canary Islands” so it’s worth checking more than one.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €59 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €83 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €18 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 here and heading up through Florence and Venice (mentioned below). Easter is April 9 in 2023 so March will be quieter than usual since Easter is a big deal in Rome, regardless of which month it occurs in.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €54 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €68 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €22 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. The Carnival celebrations are huge here and they run from February 11 to February 21 in 2023, so you’d have to come earlier to get involved.

  • 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 €21 per person

>>Check hotel deals for Florence
>>>Florence 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 €94 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €28 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. Believe it or not, Nice was originally popular as a winter resort because it had mild weather while places to the north were sometimes freezing. In other words, it’s a year-round destination these days. 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. There’s an outdoor market running through the middle of the town and it’s a great place to pick up snacks and even meals at a very good price.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €53 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €72 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €18 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 reliably 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. London feels really overloaded from June through September so an off-season visit can be more enjoyable by comparison.

Being a city where most of the famous attractions are indoors and 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. As 2023 approaches, the British Pound is at its weakest point in about 40 years so things here are really cheap as long as that lasts.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from £61 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from £98 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from £18 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 €57 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €83 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. If you’ve got an extra day or two you might also visit the fascinating city of Toledo, which is only an hour away by train. You can do it as a day trip, or stay a night or two in a hotel, which will probably be even a bit cheaper than Madrid itself.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €47 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €72 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €19 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. Picasso was actually born here and they have a really good Picasso Museum in Malaga. It’s different from the other famous (and worthwhile one) in Barcelona.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €52 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €84 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €18 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. Lisbon is actually known for excellent hostels, so even if you aren’t a backpacker you might consider a private room in a hostel because they also include something of a social life built in.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €42 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €62 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €17 per person

>>Check hotel deals for Lisbon
>>>Lisbon 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 marble 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 €34 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €39 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €22 per person

>>Check hotel deals for Split
>>>Split 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 SantoriniMykonos, or Rhodes. Those are the largest and most popular islands for tourists, and they have town centers that are going all year round. On the other hand, the first two of those islands are now so overcrowded in summer that it’s best to avoid them at least in July and August.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €44 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €58 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €13 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. Sliema is also where most of the shopping, restaurants, and nightlife can be found, so you’ll probably only want to visit Valetta once to see the historic center and famous cathedral. 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 €59 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €64 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.

One down side to visiting Iceland in March is that the weather really isn’t pleasant enough to want to explore much more of the island than the south coast, which is where most of the famous attractions can be found. And Iceland has been going up in price in recent years as well, so nothing about it will be cheap. In fact, most hotels have shared bathrooms in the hallways, partly because they don’t have enough people to clean them all. Still, it’s absolutely worth visiting Iceland whenever you can make it.

  • Good 3-star hotels in March from €126 for two people
  • Good 4-star hotels in March from €159 for two people
  • Hostel dorm beds in March from €41 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.

If you are coming to Switzerland for more than two days it’s definitely worth looking into a Swiss Travel Pass, which provides unlimited free transportation on most trains, boats, and cable cars. These things are very expensive without the pass, but if you don’t want to splurge on that you should at least get a Half Fare Card, which will pay for itself in a couple days as well.

  • 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

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All Comments

  1. Christelle says:

    I’m looking into sun destination for late February 2020-early March. Is Sharm el Sheik warmer than Tenerife around that time?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      Yes, Sharm el-Sheikh is typically warmer most of the year than Tenerife, including late February or early March. In fact, it’s usually a bit chilly on the beaches in the Canary Islands that time of year, while it should be quite nice in Egypt. Have a great trip. -Roger

  2. Courtney Garneri says:

    Hi Roger,
    My husband and I are flying into London March 8 and have until the 11th until we have accommodations. We are trying to figure out somewhere to go by train for those few days. What are your recommendations?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      This is an interesting conundrum. The most popular (and worthwhile) destinations in England aside from London are Bath and York, and I’m a big fan of both. However, I don’t think I’d want to spend three nights in either of them in a situation like this. Both are small and extremely charming, and really best suited to adding one or two days to the end of a London trip.

      My top recommendation would be to bomb it up to Edinburgh for those three days. The train ride (on the express trains) takes about 4.5 hours from (Kings Cross Station in) London, but it’s very much worth it because Edinburgh is definitely the number two highlight in all of the UK and with three days to spend it will be worth the time.

      If you are landing in London in the morning (which is pretty much guaranteed if you are coming from North America) then the trip from Heathrow to Kings Cross to Edinburgh is a long way to go without much sleep. But there aren’t any great alternatives that can be reached quicker. Even Bath and York take about the same amount of time. You could go to Brighton (a beach south of London), but in March it’ll be pretty dead. Wherever you decide to go, buy your train ticket as soon as possible for the best fare. I’m happy to answer any other question if you have it. -Roger

  3. Maria says:

    Hello from Ireland !
    I wonder why I could not see Madeira Island included in your list. The weather is pretty decent there, prices not higher than in Rome, temps not any worse than in Italy in March, besides there would be great hiking opportunities…Highly recommended destination for landscapes and active holiday lovers 😉

    1. Roger Wade says:


      That is an interesting suggestion. I’ve yet to make it to Madeira, but I’ve heard good things and you are right about it having a pretty good climate, at least compared to continental Europe. I’ll look into including it on a future update. I appreciate the suggestion. -Roger

  4. Yuan says:


    Thank you for your answer. As you’ve suggested, I’ll skip Spain this time.
    I am thinking about this route:
    But my friend is concern about Paris. With demonstrations that happened recently, do you think it’s safe to go there? If we skip Paris, do you have other alternatif, or i should go directly from amsterdam to lucerne?

    Is it possible to include prague? If not, do you have other alternatif route which have prague?

    Thank you very much for your help, i am also grateful for other articles you had in this site. Those are really helpful.

    1. Roger Wade says:


      Those demonstrations do look scary, but I still wouldn’t skip Paris. Those kinds of protests are always announced well in advance and there is usually a ring of police around them. I see that they’ve protested at the Arc de Triumph a few times and if they were there the weekend you were there you’d skip going up the stairs in the Arc. It’s not the best view up there anyway. The key thing is to ask your hotel if/when protests are planned (they seem to only be on weekends) and don’t go anywhere near them.

      Prague is a long way from your other stops so you’d have to fly in and then fly out. I’d save it for a future trip that also includes Berlin and Budapest. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  5. Cyndy says:

    Hi Roger,

    Just like Yuan’s email to you, my husband and I wants to see Europe (France, Italy, Spain and Portugal) in March. It’s our first trip and we are both excited but can’t make up our mind where and what to in each country mentioned above. We are what you would call ‘seniors’ and joining a tour group might be too much for us, e.g. fast pace itinerary – waking up so early, too much waking, etc. So, we want to go on a trip on our own time. Any suggestions?

    Thank you… cyndy

    P.S. Do you think we can squeeze Switzerland in our schedule if we are going away for 15-18 days?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      If you’ve got 15 to 18 days I’d recommend choosing 5 to 6 cities (rather than countries) to visit, and hopefully ones that are close enough to each other to go by train. I strongly feel that 3 nights in almost any city you visit is the ideal length for those who want to move quickly. This article on first-time Europe itinerary suggestions might also help.

      I’d definitely start with 3 or 4 days in Paris. And I think Italy is the other perfect place to include on a Europe trip like this, so I suggest 3 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Florence, and 1 or 2 nights in Venice. If you covered all of those you’d have 3 or 4 days left, and actually Switzerland would be perfect because you can take the train from Paris to Lucerne and then a train to Interlaken and then through the Alps to Venice (and it’s a gorgeous ride).

      Obviously in France and Italy you’d be focused on cities so having the scenery and smaller towns in Switzerland would be a nice break in between. That way you could save Spain and Portugal for a future trip. If you tried to include Spain and Portugal in this trip you’d have to fly a few times and rush around so much that it would be more unpleasant than one of those tours you mentioned. As always, let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  6. Yuan says:

    Hi Roger,
    I and my friend are planning a trip to europe in the 1st-2nd week of March. This is our first trip to europe, and it’s hard to decide which cities we should visit first.
    These are cities that come to our mind :
    Spain : Seville, Granada, Madrid/Barcelona
    France: Paris
    Switzerland : Interlaken, lucerne
    Austria : Vienna
    Czech : Prague
    Italy : Venice
    Netherland : Amsterdam

    We only have 2 weeks but so many destinations in mind. Do you have any suggestion which cities are reasonable to visit within this short period, and how should we arrange these cities?
    Sincere thanks for your insights.

    1. Roger Wade says:


      If you’ll be staying for 14 days I would plan on choosing 5 total cities to visit. This topic comes up a lot so I wrote an article describing why 3 nights is the sweet spot for trips where you want to see as much as possible. It’s also best to choose cities that are close enough to each other to travel by train.

      I’d save Spain for a future trip, and Vienna as well. My recommendation would be to visit Paris for sure. The best scenery in Europe is in Switzerland and you can visit those two towns in 3 to 5 days, but it’s also very expensive there. Amsterdam and Prague are both really wonderful so those could be good picks, although they aren’t too close together. Amsterdam is a bit over 3 hours by train from Paris if you are going in that direction.

      Most people who visit Italy will visit the Big 3, which are Rome (3 nights), Florence (2 or 3 nights), and Venice (1 or 2 nights). They are a short train ride (about two hours) from each other so it’s very efficient to visit them all. You can also reach Venice on an amazing train ride through the Alps from Interlaken.

      So it’s all a matter of which places you are most interested in. I am happy to help you sort out your itinerary more once you’ve narrowed things down a bit. -Roger

  7. kshitij says:

    Hey Roger! such a helpful article. My family of 4 is planning to visit Switzerland and France for 10 days from march 25th. I have read in many articles that we won’t get to see the greenery in march end and we really want to take the train to enjoy the scenic views. what would you suggest? and what about the weather in France?
    we are looking for a mix of nature and city-life overall.
    thanking you in advance> 🙂

    1. Roger Wade says:


      The scenery in Switzerland is pretty much amazing all year round. If you don’t get to see some greenery in March it will be because there is still snow, which many people even prefer. But by late March the snow will likely only be high in the mountains and the grass in the valleys still looks nice even if it isn’t bright green. You can read more about my Switzerland recommendations for a short trip.

      The northern part of France including Paris will be fairly chilly in March, but it’s very unlikely that you’d get snow or temperatures near freezing. Again, the meadows won’t be bright green that time of year, but the rolling hills with chateaus on them still look really nice, and there will be far fewer other tourists. You’ll definitely want to spend 3 or 4 nights in Paris and at least 3 or 4 nights in Switzerland, probably in the Interlaken and Lucerne areas.

      Another stop in France in between would be nice and Reims and Dijon are both great options for that and they are also very close to your route. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  8. Jocelyn says:

    Hi Roger,

    Thanks for this post. A few friends and I are planning a trip the first week of March to Europe. We really want to do Iceland (we’ve know it will be really cold), but do you think we will not be able to get a tour to see the Northern Lights? Additionally, we’re debating on where else to go…we were thinking Reykjavik for 2-3 days, then either Brussels, Amsterdam, or Copenhagen for the next few days? Are those valid options or is there another place we should consider?

    Thanks for your help!


    1. Roger Wade says:


      I haven’t been to Iceland for the Northern Lights, but I’ve been keeping up with how popular it’s becoming and it appears that the season typically goes through March, so I am pretty sure you’d find a tour in the first week of March. Needless to say, you’d have to Google that specifically and I think you’ll find some good options.

      As for Reykjavik, there is certainly something exotic about it due to its isolation, but honestly I find it to be kind of a dud compared to every other northern European capital city. The main downtown area is pretty much 10 blocks by 3 blocks (with really one main street) and aside from the nearby church tower, there is really nothing distinctive about it. Also, it’s VERY expensive for drinks, food, and hotels. I think it might be worth one night if you are coming to Iceland, but I’d recommend renting a car and going along the southern coast to see some of the amazing sights that make Iceland so special.

      Those Iceland Air and Wow Air flights connecting the US and Europe can be quite cheap so I think it’s a great idea to go somewhere on the continent if you’ve got a few days. If you really want to live it up and get into party mode you won’t do any better than Amsterdam. It’s also the most beautiful of all of the cities in that region, and the easiest to get around in because most of it is walkable and the transport system is cheap and easy. Brussels has an interesting Old Town district, but otherwise it’s meant for bureaucrats and business people, with high prices to match.

      If you really want to make it a proper “winter trip” and enjoy northern Europe you best choices are Copenhagen and Stockholm. Both are really gorgeous (I slightly prefer Copenhagen), but alcohol and food are quite expensive in both. Either would be a really fun choice and very memorable. Something you don’t see in many guidebooks that is worth noting is that the locals in Copenhagen and Stockholm are, as a group, amazingly good looking. Pretty much everyone notices it on their first trip, and it’s kind of interesting to see in person. I’m a big fan of all of these places that we are discussing and I’m happy to help more if you have other questions. -Roger

  9. Diana says:

    Hi Roger, thank you for quick response!! I’ve been to Paris many years ago but not with family. I haven’t been to Spain… but I’m just worried about Zika virus mosquitoes. I plan to try to get pregnant with 3rd baby and don’t want to go to areas with Zika. I heard that Spain (and Barcelona) may have Zika. I was thinking of Paris as one place and I heard there is Disneyland there too. Do you know of other areas that doesn’t have Zika that’s we can go in addition to Paris?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I don’t really follow the Zika situation too closely these days, but I can see why you would. I’ve actually never heard of a Zika outbreak in Europe so this is news to me. My go-to resource for Zika information is the CDC (of the US) and its map. It’s updated all the time and it currently says “No Known Zika
      Spain has no known risk of Zika from mosquitos.” I know this is not something to take lightly, but it might be worth checking the source where you heard Spain had Zika. I just Googled it and it appears that all of the Zika cases diagnosed in Spain are of people who traveled abroad to a place where it’s a known problem. Sorry I can’t be of more help and I hope you figure something out. -Roger

  10. Diana says:

    Hi Roger, Great article! I needed your opinion on where to go if I will be going with 2 kids (2 1/2yrs & 9month old). We would be traveling between March 19 – April 6. I was looking into Athens and their islands or maybe go to Paris and another place. But We are open to go anywhere in Europe as long as its not extremely cold because of our small kiddos. And we are looking for somewhere to sight-see but also relax. Any places you recommend? I wanted to book something in Europe to go to at least several places… Thank you in advance!

    1. Roger Wade says:


      Thank you. It looks like you’ve got about 18 days or so, although I’m not sure if that’s your travel window or the length of the trip? My recommendation is to plan for 3 nights in each place you visit, or 4 nights if you aren’t in a hurry. So if you are there for 18 days you could visit 5 to 7 places. But of course, with small kids like that it’s probably better to stay in fewer places because it will be a big of a hassle to get around with small kids.

      Athens could be nice, but unfortunately the Greek Islands are very seasonal and nearly everything is closed until mid May or so because it’s too cold to sit on the beach before then. I’d recommend saving them for another trip. Paris is fantastic and I highly recommend it if you haven’t been. After that, and especially that time of year, I’d head to Spain. You can take a train from Paris to Barcelona in about 6 hours, which is about the same amount of total time it would take to fly including the airport transportation and so forth, and the train is much more comfortable and pleasant.

      Barcelona also has relatively mild weather so it’ll be more enjoyable that time of year than if you went north or east. I’d spend at least 3 or 4 nights in Barcelona and if you have more time you could also go to Madrid for 3 or 4 days, which will also have fairly nice weather. If you have more time you could go to Valencia or Granada or Seville or even Malaga. I’m happy to help with more information if you have questions. -Roger