7 must-see cherry blossom hotspots around the world

Cherry blossom branch with a blue sky in the background.

Not only does spring bring warmer weather and clearer skies, but it also brings the beauty of cherry blossoms. From colorful streets in Paris to cherry blossom festivals in Vancouver, make your way to one of these cities around the globe to get a glimpse of spring’s most photogenic blooms. 

1. Kyoto, Japan

Cherry blossom trees here are known as ‘sakura’ and only bloom for about 2 weeks between April and May, causing people to travel from all over the world during this short time frame to catch a glimpse of the colorful display. 

Kyoto is where most of the blooms occur with hanami (cherry blossom viewing parties) happening all around the city. There are so many spots in and around Kyoto where you can view these magical flowers like Philosopher’s Path (best time to go is early April) or Haradani-en Garden (best in mid-April). Check out a list of other recommended places here.

Cherry blossom tree in full bloom outside a traditional Japanese building in Kyoto, Japan.

2. Washington, D.C, USA

If you want to experience the beauty of cherry blossoms but don’t want to travel too far from home, Washington, D.C. is your place. Dating back to 1912, the planting of the D.C. cherry blossom trees was a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. On average, these flowers bloom around the last week of March into the first week of April, but it varies from year to year, so to make sure you visit at the right time, keep track of the peak bloom forecast here.  

Washington D.C. marks this time of the year by hosting the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. You can join D.C. residents and visitors by joining part of the 4 week event offering fun activities like a cherry blossom parade and a pink tie party. If you want to get even more involved in the tradition, The Trust for the National Mall allows you to adopt a cherry blossom tree to help care for the 3,700 trees on the National Mall. 

Cherry blossoms line the water with the Washington Monument in the background.

3. Jerte Valley, Spain

Located less than 3 hours west of Madrid, in Cáceres, the Jerte Valley is well known for its cherry blossoms in the spring. Over 2 million trees cover the valley in white, making it a scene you don’t want to miss. The peak blossom time is mid-March and lasts for about 10 days to a couple of weeks. 

The valley doesn’t only come alive in the spring with cherry blossoms, but also with different festive events to celebrate the beautiful landscape. Exhibitions, medieval markets and open-air celebrations are just a few activities that occur during peak bloom. 

White cherry blossom trees in Jerte Valley, Spain with snow capped mountains in the background.

4. Paris, France

People may only think of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre when traveling to Paris, but another must-see is the cherry blossom trees that arrive in the spring throughout the city. Cherry blossom season happens during March and April when pink and white dot the city streets. 

There are many popular locations where you can view these magical trees, but they’re often full of tourists, making it hard for you to find your own space to relax and enjoy. Instead of heading to the Eiffel Tower, opt for an off-the-beaten-path location, like Jardin du Ranelagh – a small park in the 16th Arrondissement (in the elegant Passy neighborhood). By going to places that aren’t as well known, you’ll be able to view the true beauty of cherry blossoms in Paris while avoiding large crowds. For more inspiration on where to go, check out this list, offering popular and hidden gem locations throughout the city. 

Cherry blossom trees line the street leading up to the Eiffel Tower.

5. Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is a bustling city known for its natural beauty, cultural diversity and of course…cherry blossoms! Each spring, after the rainy season ends (usually early April), the city is lit up with more than 40,000 cherry trees covered in pink and white flowers. 

Vancouver’s parks and gardens are the spots to visit to get the most out of the blossoms, but many urban locations also showcase them. Queen Elizabeth Park is home to many varieties of cherry trees, all blooming at different times throughout March and April. VanDusen Botanical Garden also boasts more than 100 trees, representing 24 varieties of cherry blossoms. When there, make sure to check out the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival which offers everything from bike rides to art classes, all celebrating the new season that comes with the cherry blossoms. 

Cherry blossoms shown in front of the Vancouver skyline.

6. Stockholm, Sweden

Did you know that Stockholm has an official Cherry Blossom Day? Every year, between late March and early April, a day is dedicated to the city’s cherry blossom bloom. This is thanks to more than 60 Japanese cherry trees being planted in Kungsträdgården (the King’s Garden) in 1998, allowing for yearly blooms making the park home to the city’s biggest display of cherry blossoms.

If you visit, don’t miss the annual festival at Kungsträdgården. Here, you’ll be able to watch a show put on by the Bunraku Puppet Theater from Chiryu (a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity), traditional Japanese music, food, art and so much more. 

Cherry blossoms lining a path in a park in Stockholm, Sweden.

7. London, England

April is known as cherry blossom month in London and transforms the city into a colorful landscape. Depending on the weather, blooms can appear as early as March and as late as May and only last for about 2 weeks. You can find these magical trees in some of the city’s most popular parks, gardens and streets around the city.

London’s largest botanical garden, Kew Gardens, is a cherry blossom hotspot. Head to the rose garden to explore multiple varieties of cherry blossom trees, right behind the famous Palm House. If you want to feel like you’re in Japan without actually going there, head to Holland Park’s Japanese Kyoto Garden where cherry blossoms are abundant and zen is all around. 

Spring is in the air

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