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Paris in March: everything you need to know

Oh, March! What a beautiful time to enjoy the city of light. With fewer tourists, lots of festivals, carnival evenings and celebration for practically the whole month, it's perfect for a fun-filled vacation.

Katherine Betances

Katherine Betances

9 min read

Paris in March: everything you need to know

Paris Aerial View | ©Lucas Gallone

The month of March could well be among the best months to visit Paris. Although the cold of winter is still making itself felt, it is also true that spring withall its goodness is just around the corner and Parisians know it. This month is full of festivities and celebrations ranging from the highest Parisian fashion to colorful and picturesque street parades.

Discover all there is to do in Paris for these dates, put together a travel itinerary that allows you to include all the celebrations you can but also get to know the beautiful Parisian museums, its fabulous food and its charming landscapes.

1. Attend the Paris Half Marathon

Paris Marathon| ©Caravanum
Paris Marathon| ©Caravanum

Since 1993, the Semi-marathon de Paris has been held in the French capital every March; the event that marks the starting point for the city's annual sports agenda. This event is also known as the warm-up phase for the Grand Marathon de Paris which takes place every year in April.

Where it takes place

Although the route can be modified in certain aspects, the most important avenues of Paris and the most attractive tourist spots or monuments are always taken into account. The result is a race route with beautiful views so that the runners, who come from all corners of the world, are captivated by the attractiveness of the city.

How to get tickets

If you want to register as a runner in the Paris Semi-marathon you can do so on the official website. Please note that the Paris Marathon is one of the few events in this category that requires all competitors to have a full medical examination less than one year old. The registration fee for the event starts at 50 €; but to watch the race as a spectator you don't need to pay anything.

Book a tour of Paris

2. Enjoy a Parisian Jazz Festival

Paris Jazz Festival| ©InfoParis
Paris Jazz Festival| ©InfoParis

The French love Jazz, so moving to the Parisian suburbs to enjoy the Festival Banlieues Bleues, is on the agenda for many years after years. It was founded by Jacques Pornon and artistic director Xavier Lemetre in 1984; with over 30 years of operation the festival is held over 5 weeks between the months of March and April.

This Jazz festival takes place in various venues in Seine-St-Denis and includes a varied program of shows that we recommend to take a close look at the official website. As a general rule you can enjoy performances of very talented artists from genres such as jazz, blues, R & B, soul, funk, flamenco and rhythms from various corners of the world.

Where it takes place

The festival takes place every year in Saint-Denis, a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris located 9.4 km from the city. To get to Saint-Denis I recommend taking the H train from Gare du Nord to Saint-Denis station.

How to get tickets

Information about the event's itinerary and ticket prices can be found on the official website. The historical average ticket price does not usually exceed 16 € for general admission tickets; seniors over 60, students and children under 21 pay a lower price.

Book a guided tour of the Saint-Denis Basilica

3. Be part of the party at Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week model| ©Simon Ackerma
Paris Fashion Week model| ©Simon Ackerma

Semaine de la mode de Paris or Paris Fashion Week is the name given to the famous day of presentations that takes place in the French capital and closes the tour of "fashion weeks" in other capitals such as London, New York and Venice.

Paris is proclaimed worldwide as the capital of fashion and style, so this event is extremely important for Parisians in general but especially for its designers and models who move a millionaire industry around the world. The main Parisian fashion houses such as Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Hérmes and Louis Vuitton join the event.

Where it takes place

This event is repeated twice a year: between the end of February and the beginning of March; then between the end of September and the beginning of October. It does not have a fixed location, since the organizers work each year to create a unique show and usually choose different monuments, museums and iconic spaces in Paris.

How to get tickets

Through the official website of the Paris Fashion Week, you must fill out the invitation request form. It is a very closed event where only personalities linked to fashion and show business usually have access.

Book a tour of Paris

4. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day as the Irish do

St. Patrick at the Moulin Rouge| ©RTV
St. Patrick at the Moulin Rouge| ©RTV

With a growing Irish population and tourists traveling from all over the world for the festivities, Paris is one of the most popular European destinations to enjoy the famous St. Patrick's Day celebration. Every year on March 17, the French capital hosts several events that combine music, beer, dancing and parades.

Where it takes place

This celebration takes place all over Paris. However, here is a list of the most interesting activities and events, in the hope that they will inspire you.

St. Patrick's Day Parade If you are a Disney fan or visiting Paris with children, you can choose to visit the St. Patrick's Day Parade at Disneyland Village.

Irish Cultural Center of Paris If you are really interested in Irish culture you can check out the activities of the Irish Cultural Center, each year they have a varied program covering 5 full days.

Tour of the best Irish Pubs in Paris: If what you are looking for is to taste top quality Irish beer, here is a list of the best that Paris has to offer.

Compare the best tours in Paris

5. Enjoy a horse show

View from the Eiffel Tower of the Grand Palais| ©Roger W
View from the Eiffel Tower of the Grand Palais| ©Roger W

If you are a horse fan or have any curiosity about these fascinating creatures, consider attending the Saut Hermès Equestrian Show. The sporting event is an annual competition with an artistic and cultural tinge that celebrates all facets of the equestrian world: it is sponsored by the Parisian fashion brand and company Maison Hérmes,

This event has received the highest classification from the International Equestrian Federation; it gathers an average of 4,000 spectators each year. In addition to watching the competitions, visitors will be able to participate in stands, specialized bookstores and a photo booth.

Where it takes place

Since its creation in 2011, this event takes place at the Grand Palais, Avenue du Général Eisenhower.

How to get tickets

Tickets for the event can be purchased directly on the Saut Hermes website. The price to pay is from 60 €.

6. European Crafts Days

Crafts| ©julian mora
Crafts| ©julian mora

Organized by the National Institute of Handicrafts, this event seeks greater recognition of the handicraft sector. These days invite the general public to meet the artisans, visit their workshops and discover the knowledge of their craft.

The event was created in 2012 and has since gained a strong international dimension. 5,000 events are organized throughout France, including: workshop openings, exhibitions in heritage sites, meetings of professionals, educational tours, thematic circuits, fun activities and much more.

The event takes place every year in late March and early April. For more information on the program of activities in Paris and other cities, please visit the official website.

7. Climb to the top at La Grande Roue de Paris

Great Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde| ©Quim Esteban Osta
Great Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde| ©Quim Esteban Osta

If you visit Paris with children you must make time to visit La Grande Roue de Paris. Built in 1900 for the millennium celebrations, for a long period of time it held the title of the largest Ferris wheel in the world. Today it is considered the largest mobile Ferris wheel since it is assembled and disassembled every year during the winter festivities.

The Grande Roue is 70 meters high and from the highest point it is possible to see the whole of Paris. Do you want to enjoy an experience on another level? Ride the Ferris wheel during sunset.

Where it takes place

From the end of November in Paris until the beginning of April, the traditional Parisian Ferris wheel is installed at Place de la Concorde. If you want to know the specific dates or other historical details you can visit the official website.

How to get tickets

You can buy them directly at the ticket booth. The average price is around 10 € for adults and 5 € for children under 10 years old.

8. Enjoy Mardi Gras and French Carnival

At the Mardi Gras| ©Cécile D
At the Mardi Gras| ©Cécile D

Carnival festivities in France are a set of celebrations that include all kinds of parades and activities and conclude on Mardi Gras. They usually take place between the months of February and March so if you are in Paris for the carnival celebrations you can't miss it!

Two particular celebrations stand out among all of them. Choosing one or the other will depend on your travel itinerary and hunger for adventure.

Carnival festivities in the French capital

On the Sunday afternoon before Mardi Gras in Paris, the carnival parade known as the Promenade du Bœuf Gras is held. The celebration includes costumes and a limousine cow, which leads the parade and serves as the main protagonist. It is a free, non-profit event and completely open to the public.

9. Enjoy French cinema and its festivals

Film Showing| ©Erik Witsoe
Film Showing| ©Erik Witsoe

Cinema was born in France with the creation, by the Lumiére brothers, of the first film and the first reproduction device; it is no surprise to anyone that the art of cinema and festivals are an important part of the French cultural landscape.

During the month of March Paris celebrates several annual film festivals, so if you visit the city during these dates you will have an opportunity to admire the work of award-winning directors and of course emerging talents.

Where it takes place

To enjoy Parisian cinema in March you have several alternatives, here are my favorites:

  • Cinéma du Réel The International Documentary Film Festival takes place in mid-March and screenings are held at the Pompidou Center. Check the official website for more information.
  • Printemps du Cinéma or the Spring of Cinema takes place every year during the last days of the month. Participating Parisian cinemas show for three days a wide collection of films at a greatly reduced box office price.

10. Join the Carnaval de Femmes

At the Carnaval de Femmes| ©Basili
At the Carnaval de Femmes| ©Basili

The Carnaval de Femmes is a colorful costume parade held every year during the month of March. This peculiar celebration is also known as Fête des blanchisseuses or Fiesta de la Lavanderas, in honor to the story that gave origin to the celebration. According to Parisians, this tradition began in the XVIII century, when the washerwomen who worked along the Seine River select the Queen of the Day, and then dance under the stars until dawn.

Where it takes place

The Fête des blanchisseuses route starts at the Gambetta metro station in the 20th arrondissement and ends at Place de la République.

How to get tickets

No tickets are required for this event. It is a free, non-profit parade open to the public. If you want to know more details about upcoming dates visit the official website of the event.

Paris temperatures in March

From the Arc de Triomphe terrace| ©Guilhem Vellut
From the Arc de Triomphe terrace| ©Guilhem Vellut

With temperatures ranging from 5 to 13 degrees Celsius, the weather in Paris during the month of March is usually defined as cool and pleasant. While it is true that it is still necessary to pack warm clothes, snowfalls are practically non-existent and only in exceptionally cold years can they occur as an occasional event.

Unlike January in Paris and February in Paris, which remain cold almost all the time, March is a changeable and polarizing month; don't be surprised if you find yourself caught in a cold winter rain one afternoon only to, the next day, see a bright sun rise and hear the birds singing as if it were spring.