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Each year, around March to April, the pink and white flowers of cherry trees are the undisputed stars of early spring in Paris.
The blooming of cherry blossoms is a brief spectacle that lasts a few weeks. Because their lifespan is very limited and subject to the vagaries of the weather, it is better to know which direction to go so as not to miss them!
Planning to see cherry blossoms in Paris this spring? Check out our Paris Cherry Blossoms guide, including forecast, best times, great locations, and photography tips for making the most of your trip.
Over the years we have become big fans of cherry blossoms and we look forward to the start of each spring to photograph them so you are in good hands!
Interesting Facts About Cherry Blossoms
- Known as “sakura” in Japanese, cherry blossoms are a symbol of spring because it is a time of renewal.
- Hanami (花 見, literally “to look at the flowers”), is the traditional Japanese custom of appreciating the beauty of flowers, mainly cherry blossoms (sakura).
- Each cherry tree may only bloom for up to a week.
- There are eleven steps in the cherry blossom life cycle: bud -bud expansion – flower opens – 10% in bloom – 30% in bloom – 50% in bloom – 70% in bloom – full bloom – petals start to fall – petals fall vigorously- Finished
- Picnicking beneath cherry blossom trees is a Japanese tradition and it is getting popular also in Paris.
- The cherry blossoms and the leaves are edible. In Japan, they are used in many traditional sweets and tea.
Paris Cherry Blossoms Guide
Here are the best places to see cherry blossoms in Paris along with a couple of magnolia blossoms that you cannot miss. This Cherry Blossom Paris Guide includes spots in almost all the districts of Paris so it is a good opportunity to explore the lesser-known arrondissements. Head here for our Arrondissements of Paris quick guide.
We have developed our favorite cherry blossom spots but there are many more! Below, there’s the full list of cherry blossoms in Paris with their location on a map.
Palais Royal (magnolias) – Paris 1
The first trees to bloom in March are the magnolias. Most of the time, magnolia flowering in Paris begins in the second week of March and continues until the end of the month.
Even if technically, magnolias are not cherry trees, they are definitely worth admiring and one of the most beautiful places to see these large fuchsia flowers is the Jardin du Palais Royal.
Despite its very central location, the gardens of Palais Royal don’t see many visitors so you can take beautiful pictures without the crowds.
Hôtel de Ville – Paris 4
The Jardin des Combattants Espagnols de la Nueve, next to the Town Hall, is a place with beautiful cherry blossoms. In this garden, there are magnolia trees too but when you go to see the cherry blossoms the magnolias are gone.
This garden opens only on weekends and it’s a cute little haven in the center of Paris.
Square Jean XXIII (Notre Dame) – Paris 4
Sometimes you don’t have to go far to see beautiful blossoms. One of the most popular spots to see cherry blossoms in Paris is in Square Jean XXIII, on the south side of Notre Dame Cathedral. You will find some beautiful and large cherry trees, with many benches and a large sandbox so it is ideal for playing the photographer. Due to their central location, it gets crowded very quickly, so get there early.
UPDATE: After the fire that ravaged the cathedral on 15 April 2019, Notre Dame and surrounding area including Square Jean XXIII is closed for restoration until further notice. However, you can get pleasing panoramas gazing from across the river.
And while you’re around, take a look at Shakespeare & Co., the famed (for Instagrammers) English language bookstore at only 5 mins walk from Notre Dame, on the Left Bank. There are two beautiful sakura trees right in front of the bookstore.
Jardin des Plantes (Paris 5)
The next stop is the Jardin des Plantes, in the Latin Quarter of Paris. There are beautiful flowers everywhere but you want to head to the Gallery of Evolution to see the HUGE cherry tree, probably the largest in the city.
This magnificent cherry tree, whose branches reach almost to the ground, blooms in late April and it is a wonder. During your stroll in the park, admire also the very beautiful white cherry trees.
Luxembourg Gardens (Paris 6)
The Jardin du Luxembourg has probably the most beautiful flower beds in Paris. However, if you are visiting the park early in the season, you want to see also its wonderful cherry trees. This picture was taken on the west side of the park, near Paul Verlaine’s statue.
And while you are around, you may want to try our Treasure Hunt in the Luxembourg Gardens. Throughout this brain-teasing expedition, you will learn about one of the most famous parks in Paris and its first owner, Queen Marie de Médicis. Look for her hidden, sometimes quirky, treasures whilst completing fun challenges to reach Queen Marie’s final and most precious treasure!
Champ de Mars (Paris 7)
Eiffel Tower with cherry blossoms? Yes, please! Champ de Mars is one of the best spots to photograph the Eiffel Tower, framed by beautiful blossoms during the month of March.
On the left side, we have a magnolia tree that makes a perfect framing whilst on the right side we find the cherry tree. If you are visiting Paris in the spring you cannot miss this spot!
Champ de Mars is a beautiful garden that blends nature with architecture. The cherry trees are scattered in this vast garden so you will have to look for them! When the weather is good, it is a popular spot to have a picnic while enjoying views of the Eiffel Tower.
Trocadéro Gardens (Paris 16)
Created for the Universal Exposition in 1937, the Trocadéro Gardens is a green space of nearly 10,000 m² offering stunning views of the Eiffel Tower.
Trocadéro has some beautiful beautiful cherry trees and also a traditional carousel, all bundled together for your pleasure. The view with the carousel and the Eiffel Tower in the background is just picture perfect!
The bad side of this place is that this is a favorite spot of Instagrammers, wedding photographers and regular tourists so you might have to wait in line to take the picture.
These cherry trees are some of the first to blossom in the city (around the end of March) and also the longest-lasting (through to the middle of April).
Parc Buttes-Chaumont (Paris 19)
This lonely cherry tree, located by the pond of Parc Buttes-Chaumont and with views over the park’s little temple is one of the most beautiful cherry trees in Paris, perfect for a hanami moment or a picnic in the park.
This tree is a vestige of the first plantations in the park – mostly fruit trees – since the designers’ idea was to represent the countryside in the city.
Unfortunately, the walkers of yesterday were as uncivilized as those of today and we don’t need to tell you why the fruit trees did not last long in Paris.
Bonus: Parc de Sceaux
The BEST spot for enjoying the cherry blossoms is definitely the Parc de Sceaux. It is a bit out of town but it’s worth the 30-minute train ride (RERB).
This beautiful park featuring an octagonal lake and canal was designed by Andre Le Notre, the principal gardener of King Louis XIV of France. He is also the author of the parks and gardens of the most beautiful castles near Paris such as Fontainebleau, Chantilly, Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles Gardens.
Here, you will find an entire orchard of pink cherry blossom trees blooming from mid to late April. We recommend visiting mid-week, early morning for quieter times (but it’s closed on Mondays).
On a warm sunny day, pack a picnic and eat below a canopy of fluffy pink petals, you don’t need anything else for a fantastic day trip out of Paris!
During the sakura season, Parc de Sceaux starts to get busy after 9 am.
Other Places with Cherry Blossoms in Paris
To be honest, every year we discover new spots with cherry trees so probably we will be adding new spots soon. The icons in red correspond to the locations mentioned above while the violet icons are the rest of the locations. Have fun!
Jardin Anne Frank – Paris 3
Metro Saint Paul – Paris 4
Square Marie Trintignant – Paris 4
Jardin Tino-Rossi – Paris 5
Shakespeare & Co. bookstore – Paris 5
Square Gabriel Pierné – Paris 5
Around Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church – Paris 6
Gardens of Musée Quai Branly (no entrance fee) – Paris 7
Champs Elysées Gardens – Paris 8
Gardens around Petit Palais – Paris 8
Parc Monceau – Paris 8
Place Franz-Liszt/ Church of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul – Paris 10
Parc Floral de Paris (there’s an entrance fee) – Paris 12
Parc Montsouris – Paris 14
Parc Georges Brassens – Paris 15
Metro Falguière – Paris 15
Rue Carrier Belleuse – Paris 15
Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil – Paris 16
Parc Martin Luther King – Paris 17
Montmartre Cemetery – Paris 18
Jardin Saint-Simonian – Paris 20
Père Lachaise Cemetery – Paris 20
Tips for Photographing Cherry Blossoms in Paris
There are average dates for the cherry blossoms but nature is fickle and the bloom period is short. If you are in quest for the best cherry blossom shots in Paris you need to be patient and flexible
Try to be early in the morning, pre-dawn, when there are no crowds yet. During the cherry blossom period in Paris, crowds become unmanageable later in the day.
Think about the colors. You’re going to be looking at a lot of pink so choose contrasting colors and good exposures to showcase the blossoms best. For example, blu sky on a sunny day as background.
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