In the past few years I have been lucky to see Paris in shades of summer, winter and fall. Each season convincing me further that the city is one of the most beautiful in the world.
The summer can be sticky but the nights are long, festivals are in full swing, the stores are all on sale and Bastille Day is still the most impressive fireworks display I’ve ever seen. The fall feels right, people make their way back from holiday and settle in, museums have the best exhibits and the cooler air calls for light coats that I love so much. The winter is dark but the city is filled with holiday bustle and decor, Christmas markets line streets, stores are all on sale again and the winter air seems to pair most perfectly with the bridge lights and chocolat chaud.
I thought I had a good idea of it all. Then I visited in the Springtime. Most of my visit was spent on the streets and in parks, trying to find the most wondrous blossom spots. Here are some of my findings and a mini guide to finding them on your own.
The Paris blossom season has been largely kept quiet but the influx of social media has made it more of a known spot for visitors in recent years. The city actually has some of the oldest trees and most impressive Cherry Blossoms or Sakura. Pink flowers ornately paint scenes around the already loved gothic architecture and landmarks making for a really impressive display.
The city is filled with places to see them, the trick is timing and persistence.
Need to know:
Blossom Season is roughly early March to late April and depends heavily on the weather conditions.
There is no official blossom calendar or watch list like in Japan
For daily updates a good way is to check geotags on instagram. Try searching ‘cherryblossomparis‘ or ‘blossomsinparis‘ for a good start.
Getting up early is always your best chance to avoid the crowds. It is not always easy but jet lag is on your side and it’s really your only shot if you want photos without people.
Easiest way to get around is either walking, the metro, uber or renting a city bike [velib]
Some notable places to start:
The whole block, especially the gardens around the Cathedral have some of the best views in the city. Plenty of benches to sit a watch little pieces fall.
My timing was a little early here but they have notable blooms all around the center of the park. I had the most fun with a very random tree in red blooms. Seeing the famous temple on the cliff is always a good stop regardless of your bloom timing and exploring the gardens from above have some of the quietest and loveliest views on Montmartre.
One of my favorite neighborhoods and one of the best secret gardens in the city. Palais Royal Gardens are great for seeing blossoms. I caught a few lining the fountains in the center.
My visit was early April and most of the blooms around the Eiffel Tower came much later. Managed to get a few for a family session I was in the city to shoot. There are plenty all around the gardens along Trocadero and also down on the lawns at Champs de Mars. Views of the Eiffel Tower are always nice but something about the blossoms give it all a fresh new brightness.
Springtime brings a whole new life to the city and it something special to see.
Other places that I didn’t have time this trip but are well-known for blossoms: Parc Floral de Paris, Parc Georges-Brassens, Jardin de Luxembourg, Petit Palais gardens, Garden de Planets.
Also, in writing this I learned that Cherry Blossoms happen in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Korea, Turkey, the UK and the US. Wonder where the next hotspot will be?
Thanks for taking time to read!