Temperatures rise in Turkey in March and the month is generally a good few degrees warmer than February. Beach resorts on the west and southwest coast mostly remain closed in March, although the average temperatures rise to quite pleasant levels if you do want to check out the beaches: Bodrum's average March temperature is 60°F (16°C) and Antalya's is 62°F (17°C). These coastal areas can be a bit wet, though.
Istanbul remains a bit chilly in March, with an average temperature of 51°F (11°C), but this might be ideal if you plan to walk around the city and spend time in indoor cultural attractions. Other popular destinations are similarly mild: Cappadocia has an average March temperature of 50°F (10°C) and Pamukkale 59°F (15°C).
Crowds & Costs
March is still the low season in Turkey, and beach resorts mainly remain closed this month. You might find some good deals on accommodation in and flights to the big cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir during this month. Cultural attractions like Cappadocia and Pamukkale are popular year-round but definitely don't see the same levels of tourists in March as in summer.
Where to Go
Aside from the beach resort towns, which aren't ideal when the weather isn't optimum for swimming and sunbathing, you can enjoy many parts of Turkey in March. The cooler temperatures make sightseeing in Istanbul especially pleasant because you won't be walking around in the blazing sun. This city, as well as Ankara and Izmir, have many indoor cultural attractions to duck into if the weather isn't great and outdoor parks, ruins, and architectural sites to wander around when it's fine. March is also a good time to visit the ancient Roman site of Ephesus, which is almost entirely outdoors and quite taxing in midsummer.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
General sightseeing in Turkey is the best activity to plan for March. An itinerary that visits both indoor and outdoor cultural and historic attractions will be most comfortable given the weather. Foodies can also enjoy touring local restaurants in March, which are a great way to learn about Turkish culture and forget all about the weather. Istanbul also has great nightlife.
Events in March
Nevruz, March 21st. This ancient Middle Eastern and Asian festival welcomes the arrival of spring. Turkish Nevruz festivities include feasting, games, bonfires, and the painting of eggs.
Ramazan, falling between late March and early May, is one of the most significant religious events in Turkey. Observant Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours throughout this month. Some restaurants close for the entire month while others operate more discreetly or for limited hours. Traveling in Turkey during Ramazan can be an interesting cultural experience but might take some greater planning and flexibility as not all eateries will be open for service.
Istanbul Dance Festival, in March. Reflecting Istanbul's history as a meeting point of cultures, dancers from all over the world, and representing a huge range of dance styles, gather in Istanbul for shows, workshops, and more.
Camel Wrestling Festival, three months from early January to the end of March. Held in Selcuk near the ancient site of Ephesus, camels wrestle for the ultimate honor of being crowned winner (or, the ultimate honor of its owners!)
Traveling to Turkey in March? Check out these great itineraries
Explore Classic Turkey From Istanbul to Pamukkale - 9 Days. This itinerary explores the diverse regions of Turkey, discovering the famous Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman sites.
Explore the Sites of Istanbul - 5 Days. On this trip, you'll explore the Ottoman and Byzantine sites of ancient Istanbul, including the Hagia Sophia, the Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, and the Basilica Cistern.