Best places to go in March: Our top 10 picks

Issariya Morgan

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When planning out your travel for the year, it’s easy for March to be a bit overlooked. It doesn’t offer the obvious easy sun, sea, and sand destinations of summer or snowy adventure of the more wintery months, but by travelling during the shoulder season you get to experience far fewer crowds and explore more of the world waking up. The best places to go in March offer the opportunity to shake off the cold and take on some adventure before the blistering sun of summer sets in.

In fact, March 20th marks the day of the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, and the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. As winter fades to spring, the psychological impact is powerful: this is a month of new beginnings, change, and celebration. 

It should come as no surprise, then, that many cultures around the world observe some form of new year celebrations in March. From Holi in India to Nyepi in Bali, March offers rich cultural experiences for the solo traveller. 

Without further ado, these are the best places to visit in March.

Bali, Indonesia

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Average temperature: 27ºC / 80ºF

Cultural attraction: Nyepi and New Year festivities 

Bali is a hugely popular destination at any time of year, and it’s not hard to see why: with its volcanic landscapes and dreamy shorelines, Bali’s natural beauty is both awe-inspiring and serene. It’s home to a deeply spiritual culture, as you’ll encounter in its ancient Hindu temples and water shrines. 

However, what makes Bali one of the best places to go in March is its Nyepi and New Year festivities. Nyepi is a Hindu festival which sees its followers observe a day of fasting, meditation and silence. At its core, this is an opportunity for contemplation and self-reflection, just before the start of the new year. 

The following day, known as Ngembak Geni, is the official start of the Hindu New Year. Balinese locals gather with their friends and families to ask for forgiveness and celebrate new beginnings. 

Nyepi and Ngembak Geni will run from 3rd – 4th March 2022.

Take a look at our Bali trip here.

Jaipur, India

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Average temperature: 30ºC / 86ºF

Cultural attraction: Holi Festival

Jaipur, the Pink City, is the capital of Rajasthan and one of India’s finest architectural jewels. Travellers flock to this historical city all year round to experience a taste of India in its chaotic, colourful splendour. Expect sprawling hilltop forts dating back to the 16th century, palaces carved out of rose sandstone and Hindu temples constructed from white marble; moments of beauty caught between the roar of traffic and the rattle of rickshaws. 

If it’s cultural vibrancy and energy that you’re after, you can really do no better than visiting Jaipur in early March, when the city comes to life with Holi celebrations. The Festival of Colour is an ancient Indian and Nepalese observance that heralds the arrival of spring and, like Nyepi, offers a chance for forgiveness and love. 

What follows is a wave of joy and technicolour in the streets, as revellers chase each other with handfuls of bright powder. It’s a beautiful festival, and Jaipur is one of the best places where you can experience it. Holi in Jaipur will take place from 18th – 19th March 2022.

Petra, Jordan

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Average temperature: 19°C / 66.2°F

Cultural attraction: Viewing the ancient city by candlelight

While not its hottest month, Jordan is still one of the best places to visit in March for an international trip. The rain tapers off swiftly and the days are warming up, although it’s definitely worth bringing layers to make the most of the cool but beautiful evenings. Petra, in particular, is a perfect sport for early March. You can beat the tourist crowds that arrive later in the month and the balmy weather is perfect for hikes through the first bloom of wildflowers.

At night, explore the ancient city by candlelight as live Bedouin music plays gently in the background. Linger a little longer and wrap up well to take in star-studded skies over this stunning city.

Join us on a trip to magical Jordan.

Kyoto, Japan

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Average temperature: 14ºC / 57ºF

Cultural attraction: Cherry blossom season 

If you’re considering a holiday in Japan, Kyoto is a fantastic place to start. One of Kyoto’s defining features is the way it preserves Japanese heritage and customs with respect; it’s one of the reasons why the city is considered the cultural capital of Japan. 

Walk through the historical neighbourhood of Gion, Kyoto’s geisha district, for an evocative flavour of Old Japan. You’ll encounter geishas dressed in colourful robes, shuffling down lantern-lit streets; and alleys lined with traditional eateries, teahouses and temples from a former time.

It’s worth noting that Japan has recently passed a law banning photography of geishas in Gion, with on-the-spot fines for tourists who ignore the new law. With that in mind, this is a place to put your camera away and immerse yourself in its rich cultural atmosphere.

But the biggest draw of visiting Kyoto in March is the opportunity to witness cherry blossom season in bloom – an act named hanami. Hanami is about savouring the transience of the blossoms, reflecting on the inevitability of change. It’s intertwined with Japanese notions of wabi-sabi and mono no aware; a bittersweet awareness of the transience of all things. 

Interested in Japan? View our trip here.

Hanoi, Vietnam

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Average temperature: 23ºC / 73ºF

Cultural attraction: Thay Pagoda Festival

Vietnam’s capital city is one of the most ancient capitals in the world with a rich cultural history spanning Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences that can be seen in both its architecture and food. In fact, it’s a historical and gastronomical delight and, for a city that can experience blistering temperatures in the summer, March is one of the best times to visit. It’s warm and balmy, perfect for city wanders.

It’s also a great jumping-off point for the Thay Pagoda Festival at the beginning of the month. About 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Hanoi is the Tu Dao Hanh’s Pagoda, where a festival is held to celebrate the sage and inventor Tu Dao Hanh.

Visit Vietnam on one of our group trips.

Cape Town, South Africa

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Average temperature: 21ºC / 70ºF

Cultural attraction: Cape Town Carnival 

The port city of Cape Town, located on South Africa’s southwest coast, is renowned for its sweeping coastal landscapes. Table Mountain is one of the country’s most famous landmarks, with its iconic flat-topped plateau. It continually draws in adventure-lovers with thrilling abseils and hikes, with invigorating views of the Cape Peninsula unfolding below. 

For a unique wildlife experience, head to Boulders Beach to swim alongside Africa’s only penguin colony. Or, if surfing is more your thing, head for Muizenberg or Long Beach to catch some magnificent waves.

The special draw of visiting this city in March is the chance to experience the vibrant Cape Town Carnival celebrations, which will take place on the 19th March 2022.

Take a look at our South African adventure here.

Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

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Average temperature: 25ºC / 77ºF

Cultural attraction: Spring Equinox at Chichen Itza 

Few destinations exude mystical intrigue and tropical beauty like the Yucatan Peninsula. Known for its Mayan ruins, Caribbean waters and white-sand beaches, it’s hard not to be drawn in by this most magical of destinations. 

The town of Tulum is famous for its cenotes: the world’s largest system of subterranean sinkholes. The word ‘cenote’ means ‘sacred well’ – they were believed to be a portal through which the Mayans could commune with the gods. Nowadays, they offer an otherworldly diving experience; Cenote Dos Ojos, Gran Cenote and Cenote Ponderosa are particularly worthy of a visit. 

You’ll feel a sense of Yucatan’s mysteries just as strongly above ground. The most famous structure here is the Temple of Kukulkan (El Castillo) – a testament to the Mayans’ intricate understanding of astronomy and the skies.

Travel to Chichen Itza on the Spring and Autumn equinoxes (the 20th March and the 23rd September 2022) and you’ll witness an incredible vision: the shadow of a serpent snaking down the pyramid, until it merges with the serpent head at the structure’s base. 

Join us on a group trip to Mexico.

Cartagena, Colombia

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Average temperature: 31º C/ 88ºF

Cultural attraction: Semana Santa

If you’re looking for the best places to go in March for sun, you can’t go wrong with beautiful Colombia. Its location close to the equator all but guarantees sunshine and the weather only really changes based on altitude, so loftier locations like Bogotá can be a bit chillier but the lowland of Cartagena is totally toasty. Most of March falls out of peak tourist season, but Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a big deal, celebrated with celebrations and processions throughout the country, and therefore attracts plenty of people. Enjoy the celebrations, but make sure you book ahead as demand will be high.

Make the most of Colombia on our group trips.

Krabi, Thailand

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Average temperature: 35ºC / 95º C

Cultural attraction: Railay Beach

If you’re here for the best warm places to visit in march then Krabi in Thailand can deliver. March is at the end of the warm-settled season and is Krabi’s hottest month, reaching up to 35℃ (95℉), so pack both your sunhat and sunscreen. This is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy a little R&R. Home to the Phi Phi islands, which jut like great boulders from rich blue water, Krabi is a picturesque haven for weary travellers. For those looking for a little more adrenaline, there’s Railay Beach. This spot is only accessible by boat and is popular with rock climbers.

Take a trip to Thailand with us.

Sicily, Italy

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Average temperature: 11ºC / 52ºF

Cultural attraction: Pagan festivities for the Spring Equinox 

Located at the crossroads between Italy and North Africa, Sicily’s landscape has been shaped by invading forces as varied as the Phoenicians, the Carthagians and the Greeks. This blend of influences has resulted in a rich sense of history and mythology, made even more dramatic by the formidable Mount Etna. 

Lovers of architecture will be delighted by the cities here: Palermo, the capital of Sicily, is known for its Byzantine mosaics and Arab-influenced architecture, and Noto is renowned for its elegant baroque buildings. And one of the best places to explore the island’s ancient heritage is Syracuse on the Ionian Coast, where mystical caves and ruins peek out between Catholic landmarks.

Springtime in Sicily is associated with ancient folkloric rites. On the day of the spring equinox, a local tradition sees women plant pots with grains and flowers in a celebration of new life.

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