Travel Begins at 40 has scanned the globe to bring you our tips on where to go in March from Japan to Brazil, with activities from watching bulbs grow in Amsterdam to camel racing in Mongolia.

March is a wonderful month when spring finally shrugs off those cold winter nights, bulbs burst their way through frozen ground, and clocks go forwards. At least, that’s what happens in the Northern Hemisphere. Further south, summer peacefully yields to autumnal hues, and in many parts of Southeast Asia dark storm clouds gather as the long, dry months yield to the ‘green’ season.

The question is where to go on holiday in March. From blooming Japan to the frozen steppes of Mongolia, here is our bite-size guide to the best places to go in March.

Where To Go in Europe in March

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Where to go in March Netherlands
Tulips in Amsterdam Photocredit: Keukenhof / Laurens Lindhout.

If your image of Amsterdam is coffee shops, red lights and canals, then think again. Yes, you can find all of these here, but come spring the fields just outside of the Dutch capital explode with colour as the tulips from Amsterdam emerge from their winter shackles. The most spectacular place to see floral proof that spring is well and truly on its way is Keukenhoff, which understandably calls itself the most beautiful spring garden in the world. It’s only open from 21 March to 10 May, so don’t leave your trip too late. And while you are there, enjoy the plethora of cultural things to do in Amsterdam, one of the most diverse and interesting capitals in Europe. It is certainly one of the best places in Europe to go in March.

Hot Places To Go in March

Brazil
Brazil Iguazu
March is a great time to visit the Iguazu Falls.

If you are seeking places where to go in March for sun, then you could do far worse than opt for Brazil. If the cold nights of the northern hemisphere prove too much for you then head south for that much needed winter sun. It is still warm in March and so you can enjoy that lively beach culture anywhere along the coastline. In the far south it is also a great time to visit Iguazu Falls as the weather is pleasant and the park is not overcrowded. In the Pantanal, March marks the end of the rainy season, whilst in the north and in the Amazon rainforest, it is warm all year round. You are also outside the peak time for air travel, which is June to August.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica Travel
Bump into a red-eyed tree frog in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica has to be one of the best places to go on holiday in March. The month sees the start of the dry season, making it a great time to visit some of the countries amazing national parks. The leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs at this time and it is easier to spot birds, and other wildlife than in the rain. It is a pleasant time to go surfing, though remember your sun block. The northern humpback whales will still be visiting the Pacific coast and you will also see St Lawrence humpback whales at Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast as well. Tortuguero, Lake Arenal, the Central and South Pacific are great areas for sport fishing at this time. Hiking is good too as the paths are drier.

Where to Go in March for Culture
Northern Plains of India
Hindu Festivals of India, Holi
Holi Festival takes place in India from 9 to 10 March

March is an idea time to visit the northern plains of Rajasthan. Towards the end of the cooler winter months, this is your final opportunity to see the amazing colourful cities of Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur before the oppressive heat of the summer months, or see the Taj Mahal Palace. Try to combine your trip with the Indian Holi Festival from 9 to 10 March, a riotous two-day Hindu celebration where crowds douse each other with colour and water; it’s probably India’s most vibrant and fun festival. This is also a good time to visit the northern hills of Darjeeling as the cold winter nights have faded away, and rainfall is minimal. Or visit the country’s spiritual capital of Varanasi on the banks of the holy Ganges. As the air quality in cities like New Delhi is better than average, March really is the perfect month to visit India.

Best Places To Go on Holiday in March

Japan
Cherry blossom festival Japan
Cherry blossom festival Japan

Few travelling experiences compare with Japan’s Cherry Blossom Season or sakura. The entire country turns crazy with lots of hanami or flower viewing picnics under spectacular cherry trees. This explosion of colour is a true national treasure and the pride of all Japanese. Shizuoka prefecture – just one hour from Tokyo by bullet train – sees some of the country’s earliest cherry blossom with the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival. Estimates are that the 2020 cherry blossom season will commence on 19 March in Tokyo, reaching full bloom by the end of the month, and in Kyoto by 1 April. While in the country make sure to visit Mount Fuji and enjoy the wonderful cuisine during your Japan travel. You can also still catch the tailend of the spectacular Nabana no Sato Winter Light Festival, which concludes at the end of the month.

Where to Go in March for Festivals

Mongolia
Camel Festival Mongolia where to go in march
Lining up for the world’s largest camel race

Sadly, since writing this article, the border with China has been closed due to fear of the spread of the coronavirus outbreak into Mongolia. Although there have been no reported cases of coronavirus in Mongolia, event such as the camel race, Eagle Festival and Persian New Year celebrations have been cancelled.

If cold is no problem, and you are looking for something a little bit different in your places to go in March, then head to Mongolia. This is the month of festivals in Mongolia. The Winter Golden Eagle Festival (3 to 4 March) sees Kazakh eagle-hunters clad in thick fur and traditional attire descend to the capital to demonstrate the hunting performances of their trained eagles. A couple of days later (6 to 7 March) the Temeeni Bayar Camel Festival is held outside Dalanzadgad in the Gobi Desert, where nomadic herders compete in the largest camel race in the world. As well as cultural activities, involving Mongolian musicians and dancers, there is a camel beauty contest. Alternatively, head to the country’s Bayan-Olgii province, to join in the annual Persian New Year celebrations on 21 March.

With such choice over where to go in March 2020, you are sure to discover a fantastic new experience this year.