Nice: March Weather Averages
|Sunshine Hours||10 hrs|
|Chance of Sunny Day||29 %|
|Rainfall days||7 days|
|Chance of Rain||27 %|
|Chance of Cloudy Day||25 %|
|Chance of Windy Day||21 %|
Averages for Nice in March
Nice starts to heat up in March as the city heads towards the summer months. The days are longer and warmer than in January and February and there is more sunshine than the winter months. Streets are still fairly empty so this is a great time to visit to catch some spring sun before the throngs of tourists hit the shores.
With daily average temperatures of 12°C, often rising to 15°C and higher in the middle of the day, it’s very pleasant – but it’s still a good idea to pack layers to keep the spring winds at bay and to keep warm in the evenings, when temperatures can drop down to 8°C. Temperatures rise throughout the month, with the average high temperature increasing from 14°C at the beginning of March to 16°C at the end, and the average low temperatures rising from 5°C to 8°C as the month progresses.
Despite heading towards summer, March remains a fairly rainy month with about 70mm of rainfall spread over around 7 days. If you do get caught in the wet stuff it’s likely to pass quickly – the characteristics of a Mediterranean downpour. Remember to pack an umbrella, though, for protection against any showers that you might experience.
The rain might still be a problem in March, but on a positive note the days are getting longer and sunnier. 10 hours of sunshine per day throughout the month provides plenty of opportunity to explore the city and its cultural offerings during the day, before you have to shelter away from the cooler night time temperatures.
March is particularly warm in Nice compared to the rest of Europe, but beachgoers should give casual swimming in the sea a miss as water temperatures are still only around 13°C and the spring coastal winds can make the sea rough and unruly. However, if you’re looking to try out some watersports, then March is a great time to visit as the empty beaches mean you practically have the sea to yourself – plus you’ll be wearing a wetsuit which will protect you against the chilly spring temperatures.
Nice in spring is beautiful – the flowers start blooming along the famous promenade des Anglais and the days are long and sun-filled, but without that crowds that the summer months bring.
Where to Stay
Luxury hunters should check into the Boscolo Exedra, a five-star regal building in the centre of Nice. The modern décor is futuristic, with plenty of white walls and wavy furniture, and the elegant rooms are spacious, decorated in different shades of white which provides a bright and breezy atmosphere. Comfortable beds sport deliciously soft white linen, and the bathrooms boasts huge square bathtubs with Jacuzzi features. In addition, there is an on-site spa and wellness centre dedicated to relaxation with Turkish baths, saunas, and aromatic showers, and the hotel’s restaurant serves up a great selection of Mediterranean dishes.
The Excelsior Nice is an impressive 19th Century building representing the Belle Epoque in the quirky musician’s quarter of the city. It’s close to the Promenade des Anglais and the beachfront, and features bold, colourful designs with wall illustrations. Rooms are spacious and comfortable with views overlooking the sea or the city and breakfast is served to all guests in the stylish hotel café.
The Nice Garden Hotel is a quaint accommodation choice in the heart of Nice. It’s a family run hotel with only 9 rooms, providing an intimate experience for guests. Rooms overlook the exquisite, well-manicured Mediterranean garden that the hotel is named after, which boasts an array of terracotta pots and unusual plant species amongst the selection of outdoor seating where guests can enjoy the warm spring weather. The rooms are cosy in design, with mood lighting and a bright, airy ambience, and all have access to WiFi.
Things to do
The popular and picturesque Promenade des Anglais runs right across the beachfront and is dotted with several great quality restaurants, bars, and shops. March is a great time to take a stroll along this walkway as the flowers are just beginning to bloom at the start of spring, providing a beautiful, colourful backdrop against the clear blue skies. Plus, at this time of year the beaches are practically empty, meaning you’ll have uninterrupted views out across the beaches and beyond.
Nice Cathedral is a beautifully ornate example of 17th Century design, with intricate details and carvings. It’s the cathedral of the Diocese of Nice and is popular for culture lovers who visit the city. It’s pretty enough to simply look at from the outside but if you decide to go inside you’ll be rewarded with unusual pillars, an exquisitely decorated ceiling, and huge frescoes depicting religious scenes and more.
Did you know that Nice also has a Notre Dame like Paris’? The edifice looks extremely similar to its Parisian counterpart and is a great example of neo-Gothic architecture. Situated in the centre of Nice, it’s difficult to miss with its two towering turrets, grand archways, and intricate detailing. Inside, the beautiful design continues in the high-ceilinged basilica, which boasts a selection of glowing stained-glass windows, an impressively tall organ, and well-carved religious statues dotted around.
Hikers might want to head up to the peak of Mont Gros where the Nice Observatory is. The scientific and astronomy viewing point is a favourite for visitors to the city. It was founded in the 19th Century by Raphael Bischoffsheim and remains in working order with regular seminars and talks taking place there. If science isn’t really your thing, though, the views from the top of Mont Gros are worth the trip alone.
Hit the Beach
Despite hurtling towards the warm summer months, March isn’t a great time for beach-lovers to visit Nice. The weather is very pleasant, but the coastal breeze is still fairly chilly and the sea temperatures are still very cold. That being said, if you’re looking to try your hand at windsurfing, kitesurfing, or paragliding, then the empty beaches make the perfect backdrop. Alternatively, the beaches at this time of year are great for taking a spring stroll along and you can enjoy spectacular views around the coast and beyond. Bear in mind that some of the beach restaurants and bars might still be shut at this time of year, so it’s best to check availability and opening times of places you’d particularly like to go.
Beaulieu-Sur-Mer sits just along the coast from Nice, about a 25 minute bus journey, but the travelling is worth it once you emerge on to the fine shingle beach. It’s protected in a secluded cove surrounded by tall cliff faces, meaning that the spring winds aren’t so strong and the waves are basically non-existent. In March you are likely to have the entire beach to yourself, but there may be fellow walkers or explorer sharing the sand. Here, you can sit back and enjoy a book in the warm afternoon sun, enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant, or simply enjoy the brilliant views out across the bay to the horizon.
Where to Drink & Eat
The contemporary and stylish Vingt4 offers a cosy atmosphere of pale lilac and exposed brickwork alongside a delicious menu filled with traditional French tastes. The flavours change with the seasons, meaning that each time you go there might be a different selection of dishes. Usually, there is a broad choice of freshly caught fish, like slices of roasted cod with tomatoes and peppers and monkfish ‘en cocotte’, as well as a mouth-watering range of meat dishes, from veal chops to guinea hen supreme. To finish it off, each dish is paired with two or more wines, so you can find the perfect accompaniment to your meal.
Oliviera is a restaurant with a difference. Tucked away in the winding streets of Nice’s old town, it offers selection of flavoursome French favourites that focus on highlighting the delicious varieties of olive oil available in the region. Dishes range from olive oil based salads, to fresh Mediterranean recipes, like lentil sausages and beef tartare. The menu reveals which olive oil has been used in the dish and, afterwards, you can go through to the adjoining shop and purchase a few bottles of your choice.
For a fun mix of fusion food, book a table at Keisuke Matsushima, a Michelin-star restaurant that serves up an experimental menu of French and Japanese cuisine. Flavours of the east mix surprisingly well with those from the west in dishes like foie gras, beef with wasabi, and white truffles. It’s a pricey experience but well worth the investment to explore some of chef Kei Matsushima’s exciting new ideas, plus the sleek monochrome interior provides a stylish backdrop and the presentation of the food can only be described as a work of art.
Old port, Nice.
March events in Nice
Mars aux Musees
1st March 2015 to 31st March 2015
At various venues through Nice, special deals on exhibitions around the city's museums are available during the month of March. Many of the museums will be featuring various dance, music, theatre, photography, conferences and creative workshops. The event was organised to allow French students living in and around Nice to change their initial perceptions of museums and learn more about the city's culture, arts and history. This superb event is organised by the MICA Association and the University of Nice. Most of the events will be in French but it is likely there will also be English translations.
Printemps des Poetes
20th March 2015 to 12th April 2015
The art of the written word is celebrated in Nice in March, with the festival dedicated to poetry, Printemps des Poetes. The festival lasts for two weeks and is celebrated in theatres, cafes and schools across Nice.