After months of cold weather and gloomy skies, spring is the magical time of year when Sweden bursts into life, shaking off all that grey with vibrant pops of colour. And while the country isn’t quite as famous for its cherry blossoms as Japan, there’s a very definite season for beautiful blooms.
Exactly when the trees will bloom is difficult to predict and it varies from city to city (and even year to year). Usually, you can expect things to get pretty in Sweden from April to early May. Here are some of the best places in the country to see the cherry trees in all their pink-and-white glory.
The nation’s most famous körsbärsträd (cherry trees) are found right in the heart of Stockholm, in the grand park known as Kungsträdgården. If you want to see rows of pink trees forming a gorgeous cotton-candy canopy, this is the place to come.
An annual Japanese festival also takes place at Kungsträdgården in mid-April, with craft stands and snack stalls setting up just beneath the trees. It’s free to wander through the park – just be aware that the crowds of tourists and locals can make it difficult to bag decent photos.
Thankfully, Kungsträdgården isn’t the only place in Stockholm where you can see blooming beautiful blossoms. More than 10,000 Japanese cherry trees have been planted across the city in recent years as part of government plans to beautify the streets.
You’ll find around 50 of the gorgeous pink trees (and none of the crowds) at Lumaparken, just southeast of the city centre in Hammarby Sjöstad. To get there, just take bus 74 from Skanstull.
Sweden’s second biggest city has no shortage of parks, so you won’t have much trouble finding handsome spring blooms. The best display of cherry blossoms can be found at Botaniska Trädgården, the city’s botanical garden.
In late April, to celebrate the arrival of spring, the park also hosts a Japanese-style hanami (flowing-viewing) picnic complete with dancing, games, food trucks and a tea-tasting session. There’s even a bonsai exhibition! See the botanical garden’s website for more details.
If you’re in Gothenburg during cherry blossom season, it’s also worth swinging past Järntorget. The trees edging this busy square flower fantastically for a couple of weeks each spring.
Take a walk through Malmö’s parks in the springtime and it won’t take you long to spot colourful blossoms. When the season’s right, the cluster of 130-odd cherry trees at Hyllie Vattenpark – with its spaceship-like water tower in the background – makes for quite a spectacle. The park is on the southern edge of the city, a 25-minute bus ride from the main train station.
Körsbärsdalen, near Lund
It takes a bit of commitment to get there but if you’re staying in Lund then Körsbärsdalen, or cherry valley, is well worth a visit. Each May, its bright-white blossoms open up before fluttering to the ground like confetti.
Unless you have your own wheels you’ll need to hop on a public bus from Lund to Veberöd (around 40 minutes). From there it’s a 40-minute walk south along Idalavägen. If you want to stay over, there’s a B&B in the valley. While you’re in the area you can also try riding this whacky bike-train through the countryside.
The cherry trees bloom later the further north you go, but if you’re in Sundsvall in May there’s a good chance you’ll see some pink petals. For pictures and picnics near the best cluster of cherry trees, head to Hedbergska parken, a couple of blocks south of the water in the city centre.