Turkey Weather in March: Travel Tips for First-Timers

By Margaux | Updated Jul. 3, 2023

Turkey in March is mild to colder in some areas, with highlights being Istanbul and Cappadocia. Continue reading for more information on travel and weather, including average temperatures, rainfall, humidity, and travel tips for the month of March.

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Turkey Weather in March: Overview

Averages:

  • Temperature range: 7–17°C (44–62°F)
  • Rainfall: 76 mm (3 inches)
  • Rainy days: 9
  • Sunshine hours/day: 4.5
  • Sea temperature: 13°C (55°F)
  • Humidity: 65–76% (lightly muggy in the south to more oppressive on the northwest coast)

March is the end of winter in Turkey and the start of spring. As a result, temperatures are a little warmer than they were in January and February, and the days become a little sunnier too with an average of 4.5 hours of sunshine a day in March.

Visiting at the end of March will guarantee warmer temperatures, as well as slightly less rain in Istanbul and Antalya. While temperatures can hit a high of around 18°C (64°F) in the beach destinations of Bodrum and Antalya, March is still a little cool for a beach holiday.

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Weather of Turkey's Major Cities in March

Turkey City Daily High Temp. Daily Low Temp.
Istanbul (largest city, historical importance) 11ºC (52ºF) 4ºC (39ºF)
Cappadocia (Rockscape, ballooning) 13ºC (55ºF) -1ºC (30ºF)
Antalya (Top beach resort city) 18ºC (64ºF) 8ºC (46ºF)
Izmir (near Kusadasi, once Ephesus) 17ºC (63ºF) 9ºC (48ºF)
Turkey City Rain (cm) Ave. Rain (in)
Istanbul (largest city, historical importance) 7 3
Cappadocia (Rockscape, ballooning) 5 2
Antalya (Top beach resort city) 9 4
Izmir (near Kusadasi, once Ephesus) 8 3

The Best Places to Visit in Turkey in March

March is a transitionary month in Turkey, with temperatures still a little low to hit the beach, but the snow will have melted off the ski slopes. It is, however, still a great time of year to come for more active outdoor activities without overheating and for exploring the historical sights and food scene in Turkey!

For visitors in March, we recommend visiting Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. Read on for more information about what to see and do in each of these destinations.

1. Istanbul — Go on a Foodie Tour

Istanbul has a lot to offer, and with March getting slightly warmer, it is a great time of year to visit and explore.

For foodies, we recommend going on a food tour of Istanbul to try the local cuisine. From famous Turkish coffees and Turkish delight to incredible grill restaurants and street-side vendors making handmade treats, there is something for everyone. To learn more about what to eat, read our piece here: The 10 Dishes You Must Try in Turkey.

There are also plenty of impressive historical sights to see in Istanbul (most notably the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque), as well as the beautiful scenery over the Bosphorus Strait, dividing the city into its Asian and European sides.

For further reading, we suggest checking out Top 10 Things to Do in Istanbul, and for itinerary inspiration, we have the following:

2. Fly Over Cappadocia's Famous Landscape

After Istanbul, Cappadocia is probably Turkey's second-best known destination, famous for its beautiful landscape dotted with colorful hot air balloons. March is a great time of year to go, with temperatures increasing following the winter.

We recommend having a few days in Cappadocia, to ensure that you are able to take a hot air balloon ride, because the wind sometimes doesn't allow for it, and you don't want to leave without this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

There are lots of other activities in Cappadocia. To find out more, read: Top 10 Things to Do in Cappadocia, or check out our customizable Cappadocia tour here: Cappadocia Panoramic Adventure — 2-Day Cappadocia Highlights.

3. Learn about Turkey's Capital Ankara and Hike Nearby

Ankara's capital has lots to see, and the Ankara Castle is a great place for a pleasant walk. March sees temperatures in Ankara increasing a little, and is a good time of year to visit.

While you are there, we also recommend visiting Anitkabir mausoleum complex, the Anadolu Medeniyetleri Museum, Haci Bayram Mosque, and the Rahmi M. Koc Museum. For hikers, there are a few loops, including some difficult but rewarding hikes, such as the Eymir Overlook to Lake Loop on, where you'll be able to see lots of interesting bird species.

4. Visit Ephesus near Modern-Day Izmir

Izmir province is home to a lot of beautiful ancient ruins, as it was historically one of the members of the Ionian League, coming under Roman control in 129 BC. One of these is the nearby Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Temple of Artemis is also home to the Library of Celsus. It is one of the Top 10 Historical Sites in Turkey.

Temperatures near Izmir increase in March, making it pleasant to explore without the heat that will come in later months closer to the summer.

A visit is included in one of our popular itineraries: New Testament Legacy Tour: 7 Churches from the Book of Revelation — 9-Day Christianity Highlights (Churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea) with Turkey Highlights.

Turkey Festivals in March: Ramadan

In 2024, 2025, and 2026, March sees the celebration of Ramadan in Turkey, as with all of the Muslim world. Since many Turkish people are Muslims, it is important to know these dates if you're thinking of traveling to Turkey in March.

Ramadan will take place in Turkey from the evening of March 10 until April 9 in 2024, the evening of February 28 until March 30 in 2025, and the evening of February 17 until March 18 in 2026.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset, with restaurants in predominantly Muslim areas closed during the day. Fewer people will be out on the street during the day, with people preferring to rest at home.

This doesn't mean Turkey isn't good to visit in March, you will just have to be mindful about people not eating and drinking during the day, and that it is worth planning ahead (calling restaurants to ensure they are open, or checking that the smaller, local museums are open).

End of the Low Season: Least Crowding and Cost

March is still in the end of the low season, similar to February. You can expect fewer crowds, and lower costs to get around Turkey and to find accommodation. It is therefore a great time to visit Turkey before the high season of the summer, when prices go up and crowd sizes increase. This is especially the case at sights such as the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, which sees a lot of visitors during the busy summer months.

What to Wear in March

For visitors to Turkey in March we recommend layering. While some cities are warmer during the middle of the day, in general you will still need a jumper and a coat while traveling through Turkey in March.

This is especially the case for those planning on going into the mountains for hikes, where temperatures will be lower, and those visiting Istanbul, where daytime temperatures are still relatively low too. Anywhere near the coast will also require some more layers.

We also recommend bringing good, sturdy footwear if you're planning on exploring, and a waterproof layer for those visiting Antayla and Izmir as there is a chance of a little bit of rain at some point during your stay.

If you are hoping to visit the mosques and churches of Turkey, women, we recommend that you bring a headscarf or shawl to cover your head. You can always rent one there, but it is easier to bring your own.

Monthly Weather in Turkey

Suggested reading: Best and Worst Times to Visit Turkey>>>

Recommended Tours for Turkey in March

To help you make the most of your trip to Turkey, Global Highlights is able to help you put together your ideal itinerary to ensure you see everything you want to see during your time there.

Just reach out to let us know what your expectations are, when you're hoping to go, and what you'd love to see, and we can put together a suggested itinerary that fits your needs. If you are looking for some inspiration or want to see what is most popular during a trip to Turkey, please see some of these itineraries we recommend for March:

Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

7-Day Turkey Classical Wonders Tour (Istanbul–Ephesus) 13-Day Natural Highlights of Turkey 10-Day Turkey Honeymoon Tour (Istanbul to Cappadocia) 16-Day Turkey Great Circle Tour

More Travel Ideas and Inspiration

7 Days in Turkey — 5 Top Itinerary Ideas 10 Days in Turkey: Top 4 Itinerary Ideas How to Plan a Trip to Turkey in 2024 How to Plan a Trip to Turkey and Greece in 2024
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