Is there is anything more romantic than sitting under pink blossoms? And the good news is that you don’t have to travel all the way to Japan, either. Here in Paris there are a few places where to bring your love interest, or indeed a good book, and relax on a bench under a pink sky, and leave with some very Instagrammable pictures, too.
1. My absolute favorite is the Square Marie Trintignant, on the southern edge of the Marais, on Quai des Celestines. This is a cute enough little park for lunch any time of the year, but, quite honestly, rather unspectacular considering the other parks Paris has on offer. But in late March, early April every single tree here bursts into flower, you cannot see the sky for blossom, and the ground is covered in pink confetti.
2. Behind the Institute de France between rue de la Seine and rue Mazarine you find the even tinier Square Gabriel Pierné. This is the quartier for art galleries and colleges, so you’ll usually find students here sketching away. There is also the very the lovely, if controversial, sculpture of ‘Carolina’, a naked young girl, who was reportedly modeled on the daughter of sculptor Marcello Tommasi. And then there are the benches, shaped like open books, they are perfect to sit under the cherry blossom.
3. The Petit Palais is not just a beautiful building filled with incredible art, it also has one of the most secret and prettiest gardens flanked by a rather good café. Sitting on the tiled terrace that arches around the garden filled with flowering trees, is one of the pleasures not to be missed when visiting Paris in spring.
4. Next to Notre-Dame, Square Jean XXIII offers a little bit of peace mere steps away from the hustle and bustle in front of the cathedral. The trees are mature with thick trunks and branches heavy with blossom, and benches are strategically placed under the trees with views of the Seine.
5. The Jardin du Palais-Royal is an amazing sight come rain or shine, but when the cherry trees and the magnolia trees are flowering, the photo opportunities are endless.
6. Away from the usual tourist tracks, in Belleville, there is Square des Saint-Simoniens, filled with blossoming trees of the pink and white variety. Not far from here, just down past Gambetta, lies Père-Lachaise, and you’ll find beautiful flowering trees dotted throughout the cemetery, making it even more magical than normal.
7. Then there are some lone trees that are worth visiting for their sheer beauty. The famed pink magnolia tree next to the Eiffel Tower offers probably the most Instagram-able Paris spring photo-opportunity and has some cherry trees nearby. Outside Paris’ most famous bookstore, Shakespeare & Company, the cherry trees are prettiness incarnated, whilst, just a little walk along the Seine, in the Jardin des Plantes, stands Paris’ largest cherry tree, which is usually the last to burst into flower. It is absolutely enormous and a real stunner.
8. Outside Paris, the most spectacular park filled with pink trees is at Parc de Sceaux, a brief train ride (RER B) outside Paris. There is also a pretty château, great views and just a lovely park, so it’s well worth leaving Paris for.
8. Last but not least, Saint Denis might not be the first point on your Paris itinerary, even though it should be on there, if just for the kings of France’s necropolis at the Basilica of Saint-Denis, but the Avenue du Stade de France, leading from the RER station to the stadium is a long straight walk under the blossoms, out of character for the area, but well worth a look. You can see it from the RER B taking you to the CDG Roissy airport. Sit on the left going out.
Follow Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey on Instagram: @writearoundtheglobe
Follow Krystal Kenney on Instagram: @missparisphoto