Ahh, Paris in the springtime! Does it get more beautiful than this city dotted with delicate pink flowers? When sauntering through Paris, you’ll come across blossoming trees pretty much everywhere, but there are certain places where you can truly immerse yourself in the pink delight of the cherry blossoms and take some stunning photos.
The Jardin du Palais-Royal is beautiful throughout the year. While the garden is on most visitors’ lists of things to do, you probably didn’t know that this is also where spring in Paris starts first. It all begins with the gigantic pink magnolia blossoms, cheery yellow daffodils, and then later the delicate cherry blossoms bloom and make the park even prettier.
Hidden from public eye lies the café and garden of the Petit Palais. Visitors often think that you need to have a ticket to an exhibition to enter, but not so! The permanent exhibition is free, and in the center of the museum lies the prettiest little garden with just a handful of trees. A true oasis just off the Champs Elysées and a good spot for coffee and lunch too.
The Jardin des Plantes is worth a look in any season as there’s always something flowering. But it has one main attraction in early spring: its enormous Mount Fuji cherry tree. Late-blooming but impressive in terms of both span and age, this Shirotae tree has beautiful pillowy white blossoms. The branches hang low and seem to have been bent under the weight of the blooms, letting you get up close to the flowers.
Jardin de Reuilly-Paul-Pernin can be found along the Coulée Verte René-Dumont, an elevated park path that passes through the Bercy neighborhood. The cherry trees in this garden are quite unique in that their flowers are dark pink, their fallen petals covering an area dotted with benches so you can get the most out of the experience. It’s a great stopping point if you are walking the entire
Next to the Notre Dame Cathedral, the small Square Jean XXIII is an Instagram dream. With pretty trees, typically-Parisian green park benches, a gorgeous Gothic cathedral in the background, and the river right next to it, this is the perfect setting for some great pictures. And, while you’re there, pop across the river to the flowering tree in front of the famous Shakespeare & Company bookstore for another iconic picture.
Just a bit further along on the Rive Droite, tucked in the Marais, you can find the Square Marie Trintignant. Throughout the year this park is relatively unremarkable, mostly enjoyed by workers having a quick lunch. But once a year it comes into its own when its trees erupt into magnificent blossoms. You can’t see the sky for all the pink!
A cute, but also often-overlooked little garden is the Square Gabriel Pierné, just behind the grand Institut de France across from the Louvre on the Rive Gauche side of the Pont des Arts. Near the densest assembly of good art galleries in Paris, this small triangular park with its few sculptures is stunning when in bloom. Not too overwhelming, but rather the perfect place to sit and have a sandwich under a pretty pink tree.
In the northern part of the 17eme arrondissement, you’ll find the Parc Clichy-Batignolles-Martin-Luther-King. Far from the touristy centre-ville, don’t let this park’s long name and modern surroundings put you off! This is where the locals picnic under masses of cherry blossoms in a beautifully laid-out park with plenty of space. And the nearby Batignolles neighborhood is lovely to explore as well.
And finally, there’s the Parc de Sceaux. Oui,
If you love books, then you're in for a treat in Paris! Narrowing the best shops for book lovers down to just five is a difficult task, but to help my fellow traveling bookworms, I'm sure going to give it a try, probably cheating a little as I go.