Though Germany's cities grab most visitor's attention, the country's natural attractions - especially in spring - can be equally showstopping. Not quite warm enough for the country's beaches, there is something in full bloom. Avenues of Japanese cherry blossoms are just about to flourish.
For 10 days to three weeks in April/May (depending on the weather) rows of glorious cherry blossoms spring forth into grey skies. An accurate prediction of exactly when the blooms will hit their zenith is impossible, but the bluetenbarometer can help you guess.
An exported Japanese tradition, the Sakura Campaign brought the blossoming trees to Germany after reunification. Japanese channel TV Asahi collected over 140 million yen (around €1 million) to gift the trees to their friends in Germany as well as locations as far off as Washington D.C. and Macon, Georgia.
An embodiment of spring, the delicate blossoms are eagerly anticipated and as soon as they appear people are quick to fawn... over them, photograph them and picnic beneath them. Here are the best places to enjoy the cherry blossoms in Germany.
01 of 05
Not necessarily known for the most beautiful anything, photographers put Bonn and its dreamy pink blossoms on the map.
Where to find Bonn's Cherry Blossoms
With a place on lists like "Top 10 Most Beautiful Tree Tunnels In The World", Bonn's Heerstrasse is also known as Cherry Blossom Avenue. The long limbs of the trees are weighed down with blooms, creating a tunnel-like canopy. This area is in the Nordstadt neighborhood near the city center.
Top Tip for Viewing Bonn's Cherry Blossoms
The street's popularity can make it quite crowded with more people than flowers. Try visiting in the early evening to avoid the crowds and enjoy the pink shaded lamp light.
Bonn's Cherry Blossom Festival
The city's Kirschblütenfest takes place in the Altstadt, hopefully in the heart of the blooms - if the weather cooperates.
Date: April 23rd, 2016
Address: Dorotheenstrasse 101, 53111 Bonn
Phone: +49 (0) 157 5417 2817
02 of 05
Like so many things, the blossoms in Berlin are not only beautiful but have a story to tell. Largely part of the Sakura Campaign, 9,000 trees were planted around Berlin and Brandenburg starting in November 1990.
Where to find Berlin's Cherry Blossoms
There are over 50 locations from parks to graveyards. Many replaced the desolate stretches that used to line the Berlin Wall. Where the Totestreifen (death strip) once stood, pink blossoms now bloomed. These extend throughout Brandenburg along the innerdeutsche Grenze (inner German border).
Locations in Berlin:
- One of the first sites was surrounding Glienicker Brücke (Glienicke Bridge), better known as the Bridge of Spies.
- Bornholmer Straße is located in the north of the city beneath the bridge of the same name. Along with 215 Japanese Cherry trees there is a memorial to the Sakura campaign. Before admiring the trees along the Mauerweg (Wall Way), check out the Fall of the Wall memorial at the top of the bridge.
- Lichterfelde Süd... station's trees can be found by walking down Holtheimer Weg.
- Lohmühlenbrücke at the border of Alt-Treptow and Neukölln has 45 cherry blossom trees and another memorial to the Sakura-campaign.
- Just northeast of Wollankstraße S-Bahn, trees border the track on a former death strip.
- Gärten der Welt's (Gardens of the World) beautifully landscaped lawns are adorned with eighty trees and blossoms at this time of year. Note this park charges admission. This is the site of the annual Kirschblütenfest (more info below).
Locations in Brandenburg:
- Frankfurt (Oder)/Słubice is on the Easern border with Poland and sports 750 cherry trees planted in 2003 for the city´s 750th anniversary celebration in.
- Potsdam Studentendorf Babelsberg
- Kleinmachnow, Karl-Marx-Straße
Berlin's Cherry Blossom Festivals
There are two Kirschblütenfest (cherry blossom festival) held in Berlin.
- Japanisches Kirschblütenfest in Teltow / Berlin-Lichterfelde - Now in its 15th year, the blossoms are joined by market stalls of food, handcrafts and fruit wine. In additional to the usual festival findings there will be Japanese products and food. Held April 24th, 2016 from 13:00 - 18:00.
- Kirschblütenfest at Gärten der Welt - Along with the blooms this festival centers on Japanese culture. Cosplayers arrive in their favorite anime wear and delicate Japanese performances take place on stage. Held April 17th, 2016 from 12:00 - 17:00.
In addition, there is Baumbluetenfest in Werder just outside of the city in early May.
03 of 05
04 of 05
Hamburg's trees also turn pink in April/May. The Sakura were offered as a gift from the emerging Japanese community. The yearly cherry blossom celebration honors the special relationship between the two communities each year.
Where to find Hamburg's Cherry Blossoms
Alsterpark is the largest gathering of blossoms. Look for the flowers at Alsterkrugchaussee, Kennedy Bridge and at the Altonaer Balkon.
Hamburg's Cherry Blossom Festivals
The event has been taking place since 1968 and honors the Japanese community as well as the blossoms. Sister city with Osaka, there are Japanese performances, a cherry queen and a spectacular fireworks display over the Alster around 22:30.
The event is actually held so late in the season the blossoms have not just lost their luster but fallen to the ground. No matter. It is a party.
Date: May 20th, 2016Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Dortmund will be celebrating its first Kirschblütenfest this year. The Botanical Garden Rombergpark eV provided 10,000 euros last year in order to plant over 200 cherry trees in Krüssmann Arboretum. The garden once held many of these blossoming trees, but this new stock will help bring an annual festival to life, complete with Japanese performances.
Date: April 10th, 2016
Hours: 11:00 - 17:00
Address: Romberg Park