If you’re finding yourself fed up with the cold, gloomy winter months and just can’t wait any longer until your summer holiday, why not book a weekend break to Europe this March? In so many incredible European cities, there are an abundance of great events happening that offer such unique and unforgettable experiences.
March is also an ideal time to visit Europe because there are far less tourists, the weather is often very pleasant, and you can discover some really affordable flight and hotel prices. This list will give you a run-down of some of Europe’s festival highlights for March, as well as some other things to do in the specific destinations.
Venice, Italy, for the Carnival
23rd February – 5th March
One of Europe’s best festivals is Venice’s Carnival, where the city celebrates both its past heritage and present; there are a huge variety of events that take place within the Festival, such as dressing up on traditional Venetian attire, wearing historical masks, as well as lots of live entertainment and great food and drink.
The Carnival attracts a huge number of foreign tourists, as well as locals and Italians from different parts of the country, as it is truly an unforgettable and exciting experience. Aside from the Carnival, Venice is the perfect European city to visit in March, as in the summer, the sheer volume of tourists crammed into its small and narrow alleyways can be very unpleasant.
One of the most amazing things the city has to offer, and something that bears relevance to the nature of the Carnival, is to take a Gondola ride along the Grand Canal.
Sitges, Spain, for the Carnival
28th February – 6th March
Each year, in the run up to Lent, the gorgeous Spanish city of Sitges hosts an extravagant and enticing carnival, that consists of a whole variety of celebrations. The carnival consists of a whole array of different performances and parades, such as The Burial of the Sardine, The Extermination Parade and The Debauchery Parade.
Like many European festivals that attract visitors from around the world, Sitges’ carnival is no different, and the friendly locals welcome all visitors. As well as the fun and the excitement involved in the carnival, Sitges itself is an incredibly city that is so worth exploring.
For example, the Maricel Museum is a one-of-a-kind museum that encapsulates guests in a journey from tenth-century artworks until modern day; not to mention, it is housed in a beautiful building with gorgeous interior features and breath-taking views.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, for the Carnival
27th February – 10th March
Tenerife is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the entirety of Europe, and it is famed for its white sandy beaches and luscious blue oceans. From the end of February until the middle of March, the island becomes alive with celebrations, and attracts so many visitors from across the globe.
Each year, the public selects a theme for the festival, providing it with a high degree of excitement from the very beginning. The Carnival consists of a series of performance, parades and parties, that inject the city with a magical and exciting atmosphere; there are also lots of live performances and great places to eat and drink.
Aside from the festival, Tenerife is a great place to escape to in Europe for some winter sun. Some of the best things to do include spending a day on Playa de las Americas, which is one of the island’s best beaches, with its great variety of water sports and activities, as well as plenty of sand to relax on.
Dublin, Ireland, for St Patrick’s Day
One of the greatest celebrations in Irish history is St Patrick’s Day, where the whole country comes alive to celebrate on March 17th. Many visitors from around the world are enticed by Irish hospitality and charm, and make a trip to visit this incredible day; pubs become alive with people drinking, dancing and celebrating their heritage, and there are also many parades and performances.
One of the best places to celebrate St Patrick’s Day is in Dublin, which is the capital of Ireland, and an incredible city. Make sure that you visit the Temple Bar on St Patrick’s Day and have a pint of Guinness; the Bar is one of the most famous in the whole of Dublin, and you will undoubtedly see why once you have visited! Also make sure that you wander around the University grounds, as they are particularly beautiful, and there is so much history to uncover.
Keukenhof, The Netherlands
21st March – 19th May
Though many of you may never head of Keukenhof, but it is a series of beautiful gardens that are grown for every spring, and welcome visitors from all over the world to admire its magnificent array of colours. It features 800 different types of tulips, which are synonymous with the Netherlands.
This is a great place to visit for both families, as there is a lot to explore for young children, as well as for couples, as the abundance of natural beauty is perfect for a romantic stroll. There is so much to explore at Keukenhof, including mazes, animal shows, places to eat and drink, as well as performances and exhibitions.
Every year, the festival has a theme, and this year it is Flower Power; it is incredibly fitting with the nature of the festival, and it invites visitors to dress up in Hippie costumes, and admire and celebrate the wonder of flowers.
Las Fallas – Valencia, Spain
21st March – 19th May
Las Fallas is the perfect festival to visit in March if you love all things big, loud and full of fire! The city literally lights up with some of the most impressive fireworks you will ever see in your life; they are loud, colourful and so incredibly exciting.
There are also an array of different parades, where creative groups design the most outrageous and intricate floats, that they show off to onlookers. There are also many different performances and various forms of entertainment, as well as people dressing up in traditional Spanish attire; the festival is massive in Europe, and attracts over 3 million visitors a year.
Aside from the festival, Valencia is a beautiful city; make sure that you visit Plaza de Toros de Valencia, to sample a culture entirely different; here, you can discover a bull fighting arena, and gaze at its sheer impressiveness and enormity.
Binche, Belgium, for the Carnival
3rd March – 5th March
Held in the build up to lent, the beautiful Belgian city of Binche holds a wonderful annual festival, which celebrates an annual street Carnival, which has its roots in the fourteenth century. The purpose of the festival is to bring back to life historic traditions, and celebrate Belgian culture; there are a variety of different performances, events and parades, and many of the locals dress up in traditional attire to bring the city’s heritage back to life!
It is a brilliant and exciting event which attracts many international and national tourists alike. Binche itself is an incredible city worth exploring in its own right; make sure that you visit the Francois Duesberg Museum, which is dedicated to decorative arts from the year 1775 until 1825; make sure that you check out the clocks, as they are truly exquisite.
Taste of Florence – Florence, Italy
9th March – 11th March
If you are a foodie at heart, you would be a fool to miss the Taste of Florence food festival happening in Italy’s most gorgeous city, and the hub of the Renaissance, Florence, otherwise known as Firenze to its locals.
Over 300 Italian food companies meet in this incredible city every march to share their foodie techniques, and encourage visitors to try new styles of food, traditional foods, as well as a variety of different Italian flavours and dishes.
There is always a great shop as well, where visitors can buy many of the items that they tried, and try to incorporate them into their own home cooking. Aside from the festival, Florence is an enticing, magical city; make sure that you catch sunset from Piazza Michelangelo, as it has one of the most breath-taking views of the city down below, and looks beautiful seeing it sheltered by the mountains.