4 years, 10 months ago
“I never knew the charm of spring, I never met it face to face, I never knew my heart could sing, never missed a warm embrace, till April in Paris.”
So famously sang Ella Fitzgerald in Count Basie’s April in Paris, and I’m not about to argue. Paris is one of the most special places to visit once cold, grey winter has fallen behind for another year, and while you can find those ‘charms of spring’ throughout the city, there are a number of places you should seek out if you want to over-indulge in springtime scenes full of bursting flower buds and aromatic blossoms. The following is for those without hayfever, by the way.
Obvious and often teeming with tourists, the Trocadéro Gardens that lead you to the foot of the Eiffel Tower are also home to a collection of cherry blossom trees which’ll be covered in pink flowers come April. Ignore the crowds and admire the pastel shades or walk around to spot flower beds full of tulips too. If you have a camera and the ground is dry, you can have a go at perfectly framing the EiffelTower with blossom.
Le Jardin du Luxembourg
Le Jardin du Luxembourg, or Luxembourg Gardens, is another place to find flowers in bloom as springtime stirs up some colour in Paris’s second largest public park. Many of the flower beds will give Amsterdam a run for its money with unusual tulips sitting pretty around statues and tree-lined avenues offering perfect views of the grandiose Luxembourg House, home of the French Senate. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s warm enough for you to sit awhile on one of the garden benches and enjoy the quiet beauty.
The Gardens of Musée Albert-Kahn
image from parigirando
To the west of the city, in Boulogne-Billancourt, and on the banks of the Seine is the Musée Albert-Kahn, a place dedicated to the life of the French banker and philanthropist. In 1909 he launched an ambitious project whereby photographers would travel the world photographing – in colour – people and their lives in over 50 countries. To honour Kahn’s international research, the gardens of Musée Albert-Kahn are inspired by the world’s many different climates and landscapes, including a Japanese garden with exquisite Japanese cherry blossoms.
Bois de Boulogne
If the River Seine is the lifeline of Paris then perhaps Bois de Boulogne is the city’s life-giver, so full of plants and trees and green things. Paris’s largest park is therefore one of the best places to see the joys of spring coming to life in April. With several landscaped gardens within its boundaries, including the famous English garden and the Jardins des Serres d’Auteuil, a greenhouse botanical garden, if you don’t find spring in bloom in Bois de Boulogne you’ve probably got sidetracked by Pré-Catelan, the amusement park found there.
On the border of the famous 17th Arrondissement lies the oval Parc Monceau, an open space of grasslands and gardens popular with local families who live in the area. This is thanks to the park being home to children’s play areas as well as a collection of interesting sculptures inspired by architecture from around the world. In between spotting the spring flowers you can set your kids the task of finding the Egyptian pyramid, a Dutch windmill and curling row of Greek style pillars.
Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris
There’s a small park next to Notre Dame called Place Jean XXIII, where you can sit under a blossoming cherry tree and watch the water of the Seine flow by. The perfect place for lots of people-watching opportunities, you may also see other flowers bravely emerging in their beds around you. A quick stop here before or after – or instead of – inside the Cathedral is definitely worth doing in springtime.
La Coulée Verte
Paris’s elevated garden has been bringing smiles to Parisian’s faces for over 20 years and springtime is one of the most popular seasons for exploring the gardens lining this old railway line, which actually inspired New York City’s Highline. La Coulée Verte is also known as ‘le promenade plantée’, which literally means ‘the planted stroll’, suggesting that you should do your best to walk its 4.7km length in full, an act that will be rewarded in April with cherry blossom and blooming perennials in bright colours.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Out to the east of Paris in the 19th Arrondissement is Parc des Buttes Chaumont, an elaborately landscaped open space that has many winding walkways snaking through cherry blossom trees and flower beds that will just be starting to show their true colours in April. The park’s most famous landmark is the Temple Sybille which watches over a lake from a cliff face, and the gently sloping grass hills give you a lovely view point of this and the fragrant springtime flowers.
Now you have eights spots to find the joys of spring in Paris, all you need to do is find a place to stay close to one or more of them. Why not have a quick look at Paris apartments available in April.