Updated 02.28.2020: Although some parts of the world are still knee deep in snow, spring is definitely in the air in Europe. If you’re planning a European adventure this month or next, you’ll be delighted by the beautiful blossoms that are popping up almost everywhere!
However, even though Europe is filled with endless things to do and see, there are a handful of gorgeous cities that truly “bloom” this time of year. From the white blooms of the almond trees to pink petals of the Judas trees, some of the continent’s most urban cities showcase some seriously vibrant blossoms. Guest contributor David Johnston from Travelsewhere, is here to tell us where to see spring blossoms in Europe.
Best cities to see spring blossoms in Europe
With winter in Europe keeping you captive indoors where its warm, there’s nothing like the promise of spring to get those travel juices flowing. But it’s not just the end of winter which should have you excited, but the chance to see Europe at one of its most enchanting times of year. Amazing spring blossoms aren’t a phenomenon exclusive to Japan you know.
Much like the cherry blossoms in Japan, Europe’s spring bloom in April and May has a drastic effect on certain European destinations. Whether they’re popular year-round or just seasonally, these places exhibit the sheer beauty of nature that arrives each spring.
Chances are you’ll be familiar with some of these places. After all, several of these spots are world-famous for exactly this reason. But hopefully you’ll also find some new places to visit for the upcoming spring season too or check out these European spring wildflower walks.
Springtime in Bonn, Germany
Off in Western Germany, Bonn might not be the most popular German destination with tourists most of the year. All that changes though when spring rolls around.
Suddenly, Bonn is the place to be and that all comes down to two city streets. Along both Heerstrasse and Breite Straße, you’ll find an overwhelming burst of color from the cherry trees that were planted along them years ago. The cherry trees here were actually brought over from Japan after German reunification, so there’s still a sense of wonder from the sight come spring.
Heerstrasse is the better known of the two and is affectionately known as “Cherry Blossom Avenue” thanks to its tunnel of cherry blossom trees. Fair warning, this street can get pretty crowded once the trees start blossoming, but I’m sure you’ll find it worth it.
- When to Visit: Mid to Late April
- Where to Stay: The 3-star Hotel Aigner is located adjacent to Heerstrasse in Bonn’s Old Town.
Spring blooms in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
One of the prettiest places in the Czech Republic no matter the season is the spa town of Karlovy Vary. Most of the time visitors head for the town’s thermal spas and to see the elegant architecture that lines its river front. And yet, in spring you’ll likely find more visitors looking at the town’s parks and streets that anywhere else.
That’s because Karlovy Vary is transformed with spring, pale pink flowers enlivening even the most ordinary streets and park squares. For instance, normally Theatre Square Park wouldn’t be the most striking of Karlovy Vary’s many, many parks. Thanks to spring though, tourists can’t help but flock here to get their photo taken among the blossoming trees.
- When to Visit: Mid-April onwards
- Where to Stay: The palatial Hotel Imperiale is located near the city’s many hot springs.
Keukenhof, the Netherlands, the queen of spring gardens
When it comes to talk of springtime in Europe, one place guaranteed to come up in the conversation is the Keukenhof Gardens. Home to one of the world’s largest and most popular gardens, Keukenhof is a place totally and utterly dedicated to the splendor of spring, since it’s only ever open from mid-March to mid-May.
Set within former hunting grounds, over 7 million flower bulbs are planted here each year. While it’s famous for its tulips, a symbol of Holland, the gardens are home to a variety of different flowers that cause the park to explode with color when spring arrives. The great thing is that Keukenhof is only a short trip from both Amsterdam and The Hague so you won’t find it hard to reach.
- When to Visit: Mid-April
- Where to Stay: The 4-star Boutique Suites Lisse – Schipol is within walking distance of Keukenhof.
Spring blossoms in Copenhagen, Denmark
You don’t really need much reason to visit the city of Copenhagen. The Danish capital has so much going for it that it’s simply an obvious choice of tourist destination. Strangely, the capital isn’t particularly well known for its dazzling cherry blossoms, and I do mean dazzling.
Perhaps the best place in Copenhagen to see the beautiful blossoms is at Bispebjerg Kirkegård a park and cemetery. Even covering as much ground as it does, this park can get quite busy once spring arrives.
A nice and central alternative, however, is the Langelinie. This park just along the waterfront from the famed Little Mermaid statue becomes a sea of blossom come April. It really is one of the city’s more beautiful sights, seeing the Angel of Peace statue floating above clouds of cherry blossom.
- When to Visit: Late April onwards
- Where to Stay: Axel Hotel Guldsmeden offers four-star luxury in a convenient location.
Spring flowers in Obidos, Portugal
A small fortified town in the countryside north of Lisbon, Obidos is a common day trip for tourists seeking traditional houses and medieval walls. Obidos is no stranger to greenery with rose bushes lining its streets and private gardens about. But the town is also squarely situated within cherry-growing country used to create the delicious local liquor of ginja.
While you can drink ginja year round, the cherry orchards and local Judas trees are only at their most vivid when spring hits in April and May. You don’t even no wander far to find the blossoms with the Judas trees’ bright pink flowers blooming right outside the town’s western gate and cherry orchards found at the bottom of the hill.
- When to Visit: Early April to early May
- Where to Stay: At Pousada Castelo Obidos, stay in a 700-year-old castle with a view
Springtime in Hallerbos Forest, Belgium
Sometimes finding the best spring spots will mean leaving the city behind and venturing deep into nature. The perfectly example of this is just south of the Belgian capital of Brussels in the Hallerbos Forest.
Full of soothing beech trees, this tranquil forest becomes a major tourist destination each spring. Rather than flowering trees, this is a forest that becomes blanketed with vibrant bluebell flowers come spring. Also known as the Blue Forest as a result, there’s a dream-like quality to seeing the forest floor densely bathed in blue. Because of where it lies, it’s best if you have your own car to visit, although it is possible to get close by with the bus.
- When to Visit: Mid to Late April
- Where to Stay: Hotel Les Eleveurs puts you near the Hallerbos Forest and away from the busyness of Brussels.
Spring is beautiful in San Sebastian, Spain
It’s kind of hard to imagine that there’s something that San Sebastian doesn’t have. This vibrant city in northern Spain is a paradise for tourists thanks to its world class food scene, beautiful beaches, compelling history and grandiose Belle Epoque architecture. And then there’s the fluffy white trees that blossom each spring in the downtown neighborhood of Old Amara.
Strolling through the pedestrian streets and squares of Old Amara, you’ll pass by plenty of gorgeous blossoming trees as you window shop. Stop somewhere like De Bilbao and you’ll find a full ring of pale white flower blossoms around you.
- When to Visit: Mid-March onwards
- Where to Stay: Splurge by booking the luxurious Hotel Maria Cristina. You won’t be sorry.
When do spring flowers bloom in Europe?
Much like in North America, the European spring runs from late March to late June. Generally though, you’ll find flowers blossoming from late March to late April. Of course, it bears mentioning that the best time to see the blooms and blossoms will vary from place to place and year to year.
You can time your visit in advance best as possible but in the end, it’ll really come down to pure luck. The one thing you can count on though is that for places like Keukenhof and Hallerbos, this is when they’re at their most busy.
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