Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
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Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
March in France
March is a good time to visit France. During this month, the weather starts to feel spring-like in Southern France, which makes it pleasant to stay outside again. In Northern France, temperatures are still chilly, but you can do millions of things even when it rains.
With fantastic museums and churches, unique gardens, iconic landmarks, and special seasonal events, March in France is an excellent month to experience the best of the country without the crowds.
In this post, I will show you the best places to visit in France in March and the weather you can expect during this month.
Weather in France in March
The weather in France in March can be unpredictable. You will have both sunny and rainy days, depending on the area you are visiting. Particularly in Northern France, temperatures are still quite chilly, with an average high temperature of 13°C (55°F) and an average low of 5°C (41°F).
In contrast, the weather in Southern France in March is milder. So, if you are making a trip to, let’s say, Nice, you will find an average high temperature of 15°C (59°F) and an average low of 7°C (45°F).
Speaking of rainfall, France experiences around 10 to 12 rainy days on average during March.
Best Places to Visit France in March
So where to go in France in March? Here’s our selection of the best places to go and top things to do in France in March.
What Happens in France in March? Check out our list of major celebrations and festivals in France in March.
Nice in March is brimming with activities, and you will love spending the warmer hours of the day strolling through the Promenade des Anglais, admiring stunning palaces like the legendary Hotel Negresco.
In Nice, the Old Port and Old Town are other fabulous areas to explore on foot. If the rain catches you, you can check out the Lascaris Palace and the Sainte Réparate Cathedral or do some great shopping.
If you travel to Nice in early March, you can still enjoy its famous Carnival of Nice (this year until 3 March). With lots of parading floats, street art troupes and musical groups, and activities suitable for the whole family, Nice Carnival is a must!
If you visit Nice in late March, Spring begins to unfold, so the weather is already pleasant enough to sunbathe at the beach. However, it is still too cold for swimming!
2. French Caribbean
An excellent spot to visit in March is the French Caribbean. The incredible weather makes it the perfect destination to escape Europe’s still colder temperatures.
The dry season in the French Caribbean is from the end of December to April, so March is still a high season. However, you won’t find the crowds that visit the region at Christmas. For your March Caribbean holiday, you can choose from different islands.
Martinique, nicknamed the “island of flowers,” boasts white sand beaches with crystal-clear waters, colorful villages, and breathtaking lush rainforests with incredible wildlife. This island is ideal if you like water activities and hiking.
Guadeloupe is another fabulous archipelago with two main islands. Grande-Terre is perfect for relaxing, playing water sports at the beach, or rum tasting. Basse-Terre is ideal for outdoor activities, especially hiking, because of its mountainous landscape. Moreover, Guadeloupe showcases a rich Creole cultural heritage.
Another island in the French Caribbean is Saint-Barthélemy (Saint Barth), a top-notch spot for a March luxury vacation with flawless beaches, high-end shopping, and fine dining opportunities.
Southwestern France’s famous “pink city,” Toulouse, is great to visit in March for several reasons.
Sunny days are perfect for walking the Old Town, with its characteristic Neoclassical and Romanesque pink buildings, and passing by the Capitoline Square, Hotel d’Assezat, and the Basilica of Saint Sernin. These iconic landmarks are also ideal places to visit from the inside if the temperature drops too low for you or if it starts raining.
More things to do in Toulouse during sunny days are enjoying the Garonne River banks and exploring the city’s remarkable parks and gardens.
However, if there’s one reason a trip to Toulouse in March is worth taking, it’s violets. This French city is well-known for the beautiful flower, that is used to make many products, from candles to chocolate and liquor.
Violets of Toulouse are in full bloom in March, so this is the perfect excuse for a weekend getaway to Toulouse to admire the flowers and buy violet-related products.
The Old Port is among the best spots in the city. With a vibrant energy, it dates back to 600 BC, and it is filled with lovely cafés and restaurants where you can taste the local cuisine. I suggest you stop by a café with a terrace to enjoy a glass of pastis (a local aniseed-based drink) and do some people-watching.
Something else you can do in March is explore the majestic rocky cliffs of the Calanques, between the towns of Marseille and Cassis. Take a boat trip to the area or hike inside the Calanques National Park for a beautiful time.
The weather will already be pleasant enough for exploring this unique natural site on foot, an activity you can’t do in the heat of summer. So, Marseille is an unmissable destination for your March holidays in France!
Bordering Switzerland and Germany, the Alsace region has a unique character. March is great for a trip to Alsace as you can marvel at storks migrating back to the area, ready for Spring to arrive. This also makes a perfect excuse to take a cultural getaway to beautiful towns in the region, like Strasbourg and Colmar.
Strasbourg is the capital of Alsace, boasting a gorgeous Old Town, a vibrant art scene, and an intriguing food scene. Don’t miss the Notre Dame de Strasbourg, the town’s cathedral with a unique pink color, and the La Petite France neighborhood crisscrossed by canals.
The picturesque Colmar is wonderful, with its half-timbered houses lined along charming canals, flower displays everywhere, and a great covered market. Something else to check out in town is the Gothic St. Martin’s Church.
Another thing you can do in Alsace is take a road trip along the Alsace Wine Route to taste excellent local wines while admiring the landscapes.
If you visit France in March, you can explore the Château de Versailles and its Gardens. Visiting the world-famous Château de Versailles without the summer crowds is one of the best perks of travel to Versailles in March.
March is also the last month you can visit the Versailles Gardens for free before the start of the Versailles’ Garden and Fountain Shows, when you will need to pay to enter. The beautifully landscaped gardens showcase geometric precision, fountains, and ornamental lakes.
Many just stop at the Château de Versailles, usually with a day trip, and don’t take time to explore Versailles city.
However, this lovely town is exciting and has great attractions, like the Saint-Louis Cathedral and charming neighborhoods. So I recommend spending one night in one of the hotels near the Château de Versailles to have time to see Versailles city as well.
And there you have it, where to go and what to do in France in March. Which places tempt you most to spend March in France? If you need more suggestions, check out our post on the best places to visit in France in February.