In Paris, March is the signal that the cold months are behind us. Everything is starting to come back to life and slowly people begin to venture out a little more – it provides the perfect atmosphere without an overwhelming amount of crowds.
This wonderful city has long been one of our favourite cities in Europe. It’s only a train ride away from London and is a city that we fall in love with a little more every time we visit – after all, it isn’t called the city of love for nothing. After several trips at varying points in the year, we’ve experienced the city in many different ways. Yet, this month seems to be the sweet spot.
In this post, we’ll uncover why we think visiting Paris in March is the best month, and give you some recommendations of what there is to do at this time of year. We’ll also go through everything that you need to know before your trip, including what to pack, where to stay and give you some top tips that should help you make the most of your trip. In addition, you’ll also find some great day trips from Paris by train.
WEATHER IN PARIS IN MARCH
The weather at this time of year can be hit and miss, with around 9 days of rain throughout the month and average temperatures of 12 degrees during the day. However, if you choose to travel here in the last few weeks of the month, then you significantly increase your chances of blue skies and sunshine as winter in Paris is long gone and spring is well underway; the flowers begin to bloom as the city starts to thrive.
Whilst travelling to France at this time of year comes with its weather risks, I’m a firm believer that travelling out of season to any new place is always worth it. Sure, you may get a spot of rain – but that’s pretty much the only downside. On the upside, you get cheaper prices, fewer queues, less sardine-like tubes and cooler temperatures that mean you don’t end every day in a sweaty mess.
When we visited at this time of year, we had 1 day of light rain and the rest of the time was filled with blue sky and sunshine, albeit still not warm enough for ice cream. But who eats ice cream in France anyway. It’s all about the crêpes.
In summary, the weather in Paris may not be the best and you should always check the forecast before heading anywhere, but the reward of having more of the city to yourself at a fraction of the price far outways a potential spot of rain.
THINGS TO DO IN PARIS IN MARCH
There are so many bucket list things to do in Paris, like seeing the Eiffel Tower and visiting the Louvre. However, below we will delve specifically into what the best things to do in March are.
If you’re a complete newbie to the city and are wondering what the heck the Eiffel Tower is, then we’ll put in a link to some of our other resources – like bucket list things to do, hidden gems, best areas to stay and so on, at the end of this post for you to check out.
EXPLORE PARIS IN BLOOM
March signifies the beginning of spring in France – it’s a time when all of the trees and flowers come back to life, filling the city with beautiful and vibrant colours.
Some of the prettiest trees in spring are cherry blossoms and magnolias. You’ll notice that they’re dotted all over the city at this time of year and they’ll crop up in some of the most picturesque of locations, including near the infamous Eiffel Tower – which is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places to see the cherry trees flowering in the world. Getting a picture of popular landmarks among the pretty pink trees certainly adds some sparkle to the memory!
Another great way to explore the city in bloom is to visit one of the many gardens across the city. The most popular gardens include Jardin du Luxembourg, Jardin des Plantes and the gardens at the Palace of Versailles. These are free to visit all year round and there is no better time to visit than in spring!
WATCH THE EIFFEL TOWER VERTICAL RACE
Every year, the Eiffel Tower holds a pretty bizarre event where athletes climb from the bottom to the top as quickly as they can. It’s a race that’s been going on since 1905 and it has become a great tradition each year to gather around and watch the nighttime event. Mind-blowingly, the whole event only lasts a couple of hours, with the fastest climber holding a record of under 10 minutes.
I don’t know about you, but I’m dizzy at the thought!
Who said Disneyland is just for children? Honestly, you will definitely not be the only adults there. Just as the famous quote goes that Paris is always a good idea, so is Disneyland. Plus, when it only takes just over half an hour on the train, there is no excuse not to visit.
Much like visiting the city at this time of year, visiting Disneyland comes with the same benefits. You’ll snag some bargain ticket prices, avoid the horrendous queues in the summer heatwaves, and actually be able to eat your hot dog without children screaming in your ear. It’s much more enjoyable.
HEAD ON A MINI HIKE AROUND PARC DES BUTTES-CHAUMONT
As keen hikers, finding a small slice of nature within a city is always a big win.
Parc Des Buttes-Chaumont is one of our favourite hidden gems in Paris, and whilst you don’t exactly need hiking boots, it’s nice to get the blood pumping as you head up the hillside, across the bridge and towards the temple at the top. There are great views over the city and it’s never usually that busy either.
Much like many of the gardens in the city, Parc Des Buttes-Chaumont looks stunning in spring and is definitely the place to head to if you enjoy nature, waterfalls and great views with fewer crowds.
For us personally, this is one the best free things to do in the city if you have a spare few hours.
GET CHEESEY ON NATIONAL CHEESE DAY
If you love cheese and you’re visiting Paris in the last few weeks of March then you’re in luck. The 27th is National Cheese Day in France, and with Paris being the capital, it’s where all the great cheese stuff is going on.
Whilst the main purpose of the day is to promote quality and sustainability, there are heaps of markets, workshops and different lunches to get involved in across the city.
If you’re looking for a recommendation for a workshop or to simply pick up some artisan cheese, then Lyrics De Fromagers La Ferme Du Faubourg is your best option. They’ll also suggest the perfect bottle of wine to compliment it too, so it’s a double winner!
HEAD TO THE THEATRE OR CABARET
During early spring, the temperatures will drop and you’ll most likely want to be inside. There is no better way to spend a chilly spring night than at the theatre or cabaret. Plus, this is arguably a bucket list activity that you’d want to tick off of your list, regardless of what time of year you’re visiting.
While there are a few different shows to pick from, Moulin Rouge is the most popular. The show has been running in Paris since 1889 and runs two performances every single evening at 9 pm and 11 pm in the popular district of Pigalle. The front of the theatre is hard to miss, with a huge red windmill that sticks out like a sore thumb. Inside, guests enjoy an evening of food and drinks as the performers parade around the stage in extravagant outfits and dance to upbeat music.
PARTY IN THE STREETS OF PARIS ON ST PATRICKS DAY IN MARCH
Although St Patricks Day is closely related to Ireland, it’s also widely celebrated in France. A sea of green lights poor over some of the most popular tourist attractions such as Sacré-Cœur and parades flood the streets. You won’t be short of choice when it comes to picking out where to go for a drink on St Patricks Day. However, some pubs which come highly recommended are The Galway and The Green Linnet.
Alternatively, for those who are looking for something a little tamer, then Disneyland is a great place to head to for some St Paddy’s Day celebrations. They transform the famously pink palace into a green palace and put on a parade through their Emerald island.
CHECK OUT THE PARISIAN MUSEUMS AND MARCH EXHIBITIONS
If it’s one thing this city has a lot of, it’s museums. It’s got heaps – including fashion museums. Some of the best museums which any enthusiast should make sure they visit are The Louvre, Musée de l’Orangerie and Musée d’Orsay. Plus, most museums are free which is awesome.
In Paris, March is the month for some great exhibitions too. It’s definitely worth checking out the latest events calendar to see what’s on whilst you’re there.
STROLL ALONG THE RIVER SEINE
The River Seine zig-zags through the centre of the city like one big snake. Whilst you can hop on a boat and meander your way through the city, we much prefer a walk – especially at this time of year. It will most likely be a much-needed walk too after enjoying some of the best crêpes in Paris.
Since one of the biggest things that make Paris so appealing in March is the spring flowers and birds fluttering around, it also makes much more sense to walk rather than take the boat.
From the pathways of the River Seine, there will be plenty of photo opportunities of some of the best landmarks in the city, too.
In fact, this is one of the best photo spots of the Eiffel Tower.
WALK BESIDE CANAL ST-MARTIN
Alternatively, the Canal St-Martin is also a great place for a walk. It’s also close to Parc Des Buttes-Chaumont that we mentioned earlier and is slightly less busy than the pavements beside the River Seine.
EXPLORE THE VIBRANT STREET OF RUE CRÉMIEUX
Rue Crémieux is situated in the Parisian suburb of Bastille and is essentially the Parisian version of Nottinghill in London. It’s a street filled with brightly painted houses, all of which seem to have plants falling from the windowsills and stacked outside their front doors.
When early spring blesses us with some sunshine, Rue Crémieux becomes the most Instagram worthy street in the city.
If you’re visiting this lovely little rainbow street, then just be mindful that people live here and it’s important to respect their privacy.
SCOOT AROUND THE CITY
Scooting around a city has become one of our favourite things to do in any city that has an electric scooter rental network. For those who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, then Paris – and many other cities these days – have electric scooters dotted around the city which you can rent through an app. At a small cost, you can scooter around certain areas. If you decide that you want to stop and explore an area, then you park the scooter up in a designated parking space. When you want to get going again, you simply check the app to see where the nearest available scooter is and off you go again!
Not only is this a really convenient way to travel around the city without having to stick to a timetable, but it’s also great if you’re only spending a few days in the city and want to enjoy the spring flowers whilst getting from A to B quite quickly.
CELEBRATE WOMEN AT CARNAVAL DES FEMMES
Carnaval Des Femmes translates to women’s carnival and we are absolutely here for it.
Regardless of your gender, it’s your chance to dress up in your best frock and parade around the town. Typically, women dress up as queens and men put a frilly dress on. The whole event lasts around 3 hours and anyone and everyone are free to join in. However, you’ll need to get your timings right as the Carnaval Des Femmes clashes with National Cheese Day – who knew the 27th was such a popular date!
FOIRE DU TRONE
In Paris, March is the month that Foire du Trône starts. On the very last day of the month, the countries biggest fair opens its gates for 2 whole months.
What’s amazing about Foire du Trône is that it’s been going since 857, and it has evolved to be bigger and better each year. Today, there are over 350 funfair rides and food stalls held in Bois de Vincennes which is on the east side of the city and not too far from Luxembourg Gardens.
Entry to the Foire du Trône is free, however, rides usually costs a few euros.
CELEBRATE HOLI FESTIVAL IN PARIS DURING MARCH
Holi Festival is a well-known Hindu festival that has grown in popularity and now takes place in countries all over the world. It represents love, colours and spring – which fits perfectly for a trip to Paris, as it’s coincidently dubbed the city of love.
To celebrate Holi, colourful powder is thrown in every direction, covering everybody at the festival. Whilst some countries celebrate Holi with a fun run, Paris opt for a gathering. The festival is held on the 18th in Bois de Boulogne and is celebrated with music, dancing and of course, lots of colour being launched into the air!
Although the colours do wash out eventually, we’d recommend buying a cheap t-shirt for the occasion and wearing an old pair of jeans that you don’t mind ruining.
TAKE A DAY TRIP
There are heaps of beautiful day trips from Paris by train, bus or car that you can take super easily. It’s worth checking out some of the below locations if you have time:
Another great place to combine with Paris is Amsterdam – you can read a full itinerary here: Amsterdam and Paris itinerary.
WHAT TO PACK FOR A TRIP TO PARIS IN MARCH
For a trip early in the year, there are definitely things not to wear in Paris – like a summer dress and shorts – and then there are some things that you absolutely won’t want to be leaving behind.
The key to a successful trip to the city during the early spring is to layer up and also go prepared. With temperamental weather, you just never know what natural elements will be thrown at you during the week that you’re visiting.
Below is a list of things to pack, besides the usual stuff like underwear and general clothes.
Regardless of what time of year you’re visiting Paris, you’ll need a good backpack to carry all of your bits and bobs in. Personally, I’m all about the practicalities when travelling and don’t get too caught up on looking fashionable. If you’re like me, then I’d recommend the Osprey Backpack. It’s been on many hikes with me and isn’t too bulky like some of the others out there. It’s also a decent price for an Osprey one!
Without wanting to tempt fate, it’s always a good idea to pack an umbrella if you’re visiting at this time of year as you really just never know when you may get a little sprinkle of rain. Luckily, this miniature umbrella does the trick and I love that it doesn’t take up too much space in my bag.
A POWER BANK
When you’re in such a beautiful city like this one, you’ll be snapping pictures like no tomorrow. Annoyingly, this absolutely rinses any phone battery. The HETP Power Bank charges phones up 5 times over which is pretty bloody amazing. I always carry one with me when travelling as you never know when you’ll be back in that exact spot again to capture the same image. Plus, what I love about the fact that this one can charge my phone 5 times over is that I don’t have to remember to keep charging up the power bank when I’m home.
A MERINO WOOL JUMPER
When travelling to Paris during these ‘hit and miss’ months, a merino wool jumper is the perfect solution. For those who don’t already know, merino wool keeps you cool when you’re hot and hot when you’re cold. I’m not sure what kind of wizardry it is, but it’s pretty magic. And also very helpful. It means you don’t have to carry about a spare jumper in your backpack – you can just chuck this on and it will adjust accordingly. Merino wool also has antimicrobial properties which means you can wear it over and over and it won’t get smelly – a truly great property for my fellow grubs out there.
Merino wool jumpers can be fashionable or pretty basic. I go for basic as I use it when hiking and this is the one I have: Helly Hansen Merino Jumper. Whichever you go for, this will be a life-saver if you’re visiting Paris in March.
A LIGHT JACKET
If you’ve got a merino wool jumper on underneath, then a light jacket is all you need to explore the city and be warm enough. I personally opt for a waterproof jacket like this North Face one, as it keeps me dry, shields me from any wind and is compact enough to fit into my bag if I get too hot.
A COMFORTABLE PAIR OF TRAINERS
A comfortable pair of trainers is probably the most important thing on this list. It absolutely blows my mind when I see people exploring a city in heels – how and where did these people get feet of steel?! A good pair of trainers will save your feet from aching at the end of each day, as you likely be walking WAY more than you usually do. When we visit a city, we rack up 20,000+ steps per day and a simple pair of Nike Airforce 1’s help us through.
I’m adding a hat to the list, just in case. I’d like to think by early spring, you won’t need to take a hat, but I guess you just never know what nature may throw at you.
Similarly to a hat, I’d throw a scarf in just in case. I always find it surprising how much difference a scarf actually makes. I’m not really a scarf owner, but I had this snood for a recent trip to somewhere much colder and it was great because it wasn’t bulky and could easily fit in my bag.
TIPS FOR VISITING PARIS IN MARCH
SUNDAY IN PARIS
You may or may not know that France treasures Sundays as their day of rest.
This means that many shops, restaurants, supermarkets and so on are closed across the country.
However, this city is slightly different and there are plenty of things to do in Paris on a Sunday.
Tourist hotspots usually remain open throughout the week, but smaller suburbs of the city may stick to their French tradition and take the day off.
Whilst you’ll likely find if you’re sticking to the central areas of the city, it’s just something to bear in mind.
FREE ENTRY ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH TO MUSEUMS
Whilst many of the museums in Paris are free, some of the ones you have to pay for still offer visitors the chance to enter for free if they’re visiting on the first Sunday of the month. Although I’ve suggested that you should visit Paris in late March for the best chance of great weather, if you’re really tied into going in earlier in the month, then at least you know this handy tip!
DON’T STRESS ABOUT BOOKING AHEAD FOR THINGS IN PARIS DURING MARCH
If you’ve been to Paris in peak season then you will know that organisation is key to be able to see, eat and do everything that you want to do.
Thankfully, visiting out of season gives you much more freedom with your schedule. Don’t stress too much about booking ahead for certain things and just make the most of going with the flow. It’s not very often you get to visit a city with this kind of benefit!
We will caveat though, if there are things that you really, really want to do, then you should definitely book those.
WHERE TO STAY IN PARIS IN MARCH
Personally, we think there are better locations than others to stay in during a trip to this city in the early spring. It’s nice to look out of your bedroom and see the rainbow of colours that springtime presents rather than some random building or street.
Below are the two areas of Paris that we would recommend, however, this guide to where to stay in Paris for first-timers is also great.
- Le Marais
In our opinion, Le Marais is one the best places to stay in the city in the spring. It’s situated in the fourth arrondissement and has easy access to many of the most popular attractions in the city. However, the reason why Le Marais in so great in the spring specifically, is because there are plenty of gardens around – most notably Jardin des Archives.
This recommendation may be slightly biased, as we absolutely adore Montmartre all year round. However, in spring, the hillside towards Sacré-Cœur is blooming with flowers, so our bias does come with some valid reasoning.
Read more: things to do in Montmartre
FINAL THOUGHTS ON VISITING PARIS IN MARCH
To summarise, in Paris, March is one of the best months to visit. With a bit of luck, you should enjoy some blue sky, colourful flowers, few crowds and cheap prices. For us, travelling out of season is always worth the risk as more often than not, it’s more enjoyable and means that you can save more money for future trips!
We hope you have the best time visiting this incredible city and if you’ve got any further questions then feel free to drop a comment down below and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.
If you’re looking for further resources ahead of your trip, then some of our other posts below may be useful
- Hidden Gems in Paris / Discover some of the best kept secrets in the city
- Things to do in Paris / You won’t want to miss some of these bucket list things to do and see in the city.
- Where to stay in Paris / This guide covers all the best areas to stay in the city, from budget to luxury
- Paris vegan travel guide / discover all of the best places to eat, shop and more
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