**UPDATED MARCH 2022**
Oh spring and cherry blossoms…we have been waiting for you since a long time! Here in Switzerland, we went through some pretty crazy weather in January and February, including having our skies turn a bizarre orange with sand particles blowing over from the Sahara desert!
So say goodbye to skiing, snowmen and sub-degree temperatures, it’s finally time for a riot of cheery spring colours!
In the past, I’d always thought that it is only possible to find beautiful cherry blossoms (sakuras) in Japan. But DID YOU KNOW? In Lausanne, there is actually a secret spot at Ouchy area where you can witness the blooming sakuras, with the same amount of splendor (minus the throngs of tourist crowds)? It is now my favourite way to kick off the spring season in Switzerland!
While we’re dreaming of faraway lands, we so often forget the wonders right in front of our doorsteps. In today’s post, let me help keep your wanderlust in check by showing you where to find the prettiest cherry blossoms in Switzerland, right in my city of Lausanne!
UPDATED MARCH 22: It’s been a year on since this blogpost and I have updated it with new places that I’d explored in Lausanne. Happy cherry-blossom chasing!
THE #1 SECRET SPOT: BEHIND Musée de L’Elysée
(Perhaps not THAT secret as most locals would probably know the place already, but always a handy information for those visiting Lausanne for the first time!)
This priced spot is located right behind the Musée de L’Elysée (an international photography museum in Lausanne)!
Just walk towards the terraced lawn, and you’ll find two stunning rows of cherry blossom trees, lined in vibrant shades of pink, red, and white.
It’s SUCH a splendid sight, You’d feel as though you are transported to Japan right in an instant!
Can you tell that I even colour-coordinated my outfit and dressed in the sakura colours…? Yes, all for the gram, haha! :B
To up your experience, why not bring along a warm blanket, make your own rolls of sushi and enjoy a picnic by the lake? Otherwise, strolling further down to the Olympic Museum is also another great option.
FACT: Cherry blossoms lasts only briefly, between four to seven days after peak bloom begins. After that, the blooms start to wither and fall, leaving behind a sweeping carpet of pink blush.
The fleeting and transient beauty of the sakura flower reminded me of our mere mortality. That at the end of it, our lives on this Earth is overwhelmingly beautiful…yet tragically short. That makes me just want to spend whatever time i have now in Switzerland even more meaningfully, and to enjoy life to the fullest!
How to Get There:
By Metro: Jump off at Délices station, then a short 5 min walk
By Bus: Take Bus 2, 4, 8 or 25 to Croix d’Ouchy, Montchoisi, Musée Olympique or Elysée busstop respectively
NOTE (as of 2022): If you type in “Musee d’Elysée” in Google Maps, it will direct you to Platform 10 next to the Musee Cantonal des Beaux Arts, which is incorrect. That is the current construction site of the future Musee d’Elysée, so please take note not to head to the wrong place!
It is better to type “Parc d’Elysée” to get the correct directional route.
#2 SECRET SPOT: STAIRS LEADING DOWN BEHIND PISCINE MON REPOS
This place was actually a little bit of a coincidence. In fact I was heading towards the Parc de Mon Repos (See location 3 below) and wandered off a bit, only to find myself to this charming little spot just behind and leading down from the Piscine Mon Repos (it’s the local swimming pool).
Once you walk down this spiral staircase, you will spot the cherry blossoms beautifully lined up. It is just a small park, but a truly sight for sore eyes!
How to Get There:
By Metro: To arrive here, alight at Ours station. Once you come out from the train station, turn right and walk down the flight of steps. From there the piscine is a 2 min walk.
#3 SECRET SPOT: PARC DE MON REPOS
You should definite combine Spot #2 with this location since it is right next to each other!
There is a nice alfresco café here, and right in front of it an enclosure where children can admire birds: which in my opinion is a nice really family-friendly area to enjoy over the weekend.
Other Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Switzerland
Note that I have personally not seen cherry blossoms in other parts of Switzerland, the information below are from other Swiss content creators who have shared their favourite locations to see cherry blossoms in Zurich and Geneva respectively! All credits to @evyinswitzerland and @livingingeneva for the location deeds!
- Seestrasse (BHF Enge)
- China Garden
- Playground at Nägasse 3
- Villa Patumbah-Park
- Parc des Bastions
- Promenade du Pin
- Parc Mon Repos
- Place du Rhône
- Rue de la Gabelle
- Terrasse Agrippa-d’Aubigné
When to Visit
The cherry blossoms tend to bloom from mid-March to early April. In fact, by the time of this writing, NOW would be the best time to see the cherry blossoms, as it would be out in full bloom!
In 2020, we visited a tad too late in April, due to the lockdown situation back then, and by then all the flowers had wilted, we were SO disappointed!
While the sun is out shining, don’t let that fool you into taking you can completely retire your winter coats! The weather is still rather chilly (5-9 degrees) at times with moderate winds, so you might want to come dressed in layers.
Parks can get very busy so try to get there early in the morning or on a weekday, if you want to capture good shots, sans crowds.
I hope you will take this chance in spring to visit this beautiful site in Lausanne! Tag me on Instagram with your cherry blossoms snapshots, I would love to see them! And if you know of any other scenic spots for witnessing cherry blossoms in Switzerland, do share them in the comments below!