The ultimate guide to spring blossoms in 2024

Grab your picnic blankets or camping chairs and head to these places in Shanghai to breathe in fresh air and the aroma of spring blossoms

Photo courtesy of Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden
By Khushboo Khanna

If you've called Shanghai home for a while, then you'll know that the city is practically one giant greenhouse for a dizzying variety of flowers. Spring in particular is a magical time to admire the season's flora, as they paint the city in a breathtaking palette of colours.

You needn't visit parks to bask in their glory; plenty of flowering trees line Shanghai's streets and are proof that the city government's landscaping team members deserve raises.

Here's Time Out Shanghai's recently updated and thoroughly researched list of places to admire this season's spring blossoms.

1) Shanghai Botanical Garden

🔎 Spot: Cherry blossoms, peach blossoms, peonies and tulips

Cherry Blossoms

As the largest municipal botanic garden in China, the Shanghai Botanical Garden (上海植物园) is the place to get your steps in. Spread out over over 200 acres, the garden contains various sections, including a conservatory, a greenhouse, an orchid garden and a bonsai garden.

Open since 1974, the garden is commemorating 50 glorious years with a special anniversary exhibition from April 16 until June 30, 2024. Be prepared to be dazzled by over 90 species of cherry blossoms and more than 150 species of magnolias.

📍1111 Longwu Road, Xuhui
7 AM - 5 PM
¥ 40 RMB for combo ticket to all attractions
🚇 Shillong Road Station (Line 3)

2) Gucun Park

🔎 Spot: Cherry blossoms


A popular family outing spot year-round with a dedicated metro station, Gucun Park (顾村公园) is famous for its rollercoasters and dinosaur statues, and attracts kite-flying enthusiasts. However, nothing beats the park's reputation for being the number one place to enjoy the cherry blossom season in Shanghai.

In fact, the park hosts an annual Cherry Blossom Festival (March 11 - April 15, 2024) with various activities such as opera singing, traditional costume competitions, performances, a gourmet bazaar, storytelling, games, et cetera.

At the time of print, this is the best route to see the most blossoms in the park: start from the Red Powder Road (红粉路) near gate 1, make your way towards Qi Shan Road (栖杉路) near exit 2, and finally head towards Feihan Tunnel (飞寒隧道) near gate 3. The route is updated almost every week based on the flowering season, so we recommend checking the park's official account for updates.

TIME OUT TIP: We advice going on weekdays or early on the weekends to avoid crushing crowds.

📍 4788 Hutai Road, Baoshan
6 AM - 6 PM, final entry at 4:30 PM
¥ 20 RMB
🚇 Gucun Park Station (Lines 7 and 15)

3) The Bund

🔎 Spot: Tulips

New Project

Every spring, The Bund becomes a mesmerising sight with its various types of tulips, like the elegant White Dynasty, the vibrant Orange Royal Ad Rem, the Apollo Essence, the Holland Beauty, the Golden Oxford, and the Pink Giant.

The flowers form a gradient of colours, creating a picturesque backdrop for iconic sites like the Waibaidu Bridge aka the Garden Bridge, the Lujiazui Suite, the Fosun Foundation and more, attracting flocks of tourists and city-dwellers alike.

📍 All along The Bund, from the Garden Bridge to the Bund Finance Center (BFC)
¥ Free of charge
🚇 East Nanjing Road (Line 2), Yuyuan Garden (Line 14) or Xiaonanmen Station (Line 9)

4) Suzhou Creek

🔎 Spot: Cherry blossoms

Suzhou Creek

The Suzhou Creek trail, especially between Sichuan Road Bridge and Zhapu Road Bridge, has become a popular cherry blossom viewing spot in Huangpu in recent years. Branches of elegant white cherry blossoms and romantic pink cherry blossoms intertwine with one another, conveying the breath of spring.

This year, the 1000 Trees Mall by Suzhou Creek is also hosting a Cherry Blossom Bazaar with themed treats and prizes to be won; drop by on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday until April 14, 2024.

If you need a pick-me-up while exploring the cherry blossoms by the creek, visit Xinnong (亲亲侬) café on the second floor of the first state-owned gas station in Chinese history, which affords a serene view of the surroundings.

📍 All along Suzhou Creek
¥ Free of charge
🚇 East Nanjing Road (Line 2), Tiantong Road (10) or Jiangning Road (Line 13)

5) Zhuanghang Town

🔎 Spot: Rapeseed flowers

yellow blooms- Shanghai Jiading copy

An experience you'll never forget, imagine wading into a sea of fragrant yellow flowers this spring. Take a day trip to Zhuanghang Town (上海花米庄) a scenic spot in the suburban district of Fengxian, Shanghai to see the annual rapeseed flowers in full bloom before the season ends in late April.

Stroll along the Zhuanghang Old Street to learn about the local culture and to appreciate the historical architecture, and add on other activities such as strawberry picking or fishing.

If it makes more sense for you location-wise, rapeseed flowers also grow in abundance in the Jiading district north of Putuo.

📍 2396 Nanting Main Road
¥ Free of charge
🚇 Xinzhuang Station (Zhuangxin Line)

6) Caoxi Park

🔎 Spot: Peonies

Peony 1

Shanghai's oldest peony garden, Caoxi Park (漕溪公园) has been around for a century, as have some of its peony plants, with the oldest one being over 120 years old! Several Chinese varieties of the flower can be found blooming in the park in the months leading up to summer.

Built over a family graveyard, this park is testament to the fact that no matter how harsh your life's winter, the sun will shine, and life will return.

Despite its small size, Caoxi Park is one of the best spots for flowers, all year round: spring's peonies make way for osmanthus blossoms in the autumn, which then take a bow for plum blossoms in the winter.

📍 203 Caoxi Road
5 AM - 9 PM
¥ Free of charge
🚇 Caobao Road Station (Line 1)

7) Jiading Wisteria Garden

🔎 Spot: Wisteria


As one in a handful of wisteria gardens in Asia, Jiading Wisteria Garden (嘉定紫藤园) is a must-visit in Shanghai.

Founded by politician Fujimoto Michio, an important figure in pushing Sino-Japanese relations, in the 1970s, the park combines traditional Chinese garden architecture with Japanese floriculture.

Michio brought 30 varieties of the wisteria plant from Wake Town, Okayama, Japan to Shanghai five decades ago, and it's incredible to see how the garden now has almost 100 flowering trees.

While it is free of charge to enter this stunning sanctuary, reservations are required via the Shanghai Jiading app. Spots are limited to protect the plants, so book in advance (new slots are added every Sunday).

📍 45 Bole Road, Jiading
8 AM - 5 PM
¥ Free but reservations required
🚇 West Jiading Station (Line 11) followed by bus or taxi

8) Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden

🔎 Spot: Cherry blossoms, tulips and orchids

A botanical research centre, Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden (上海辰山植物园) houses what is arguably the second-most popular cherry boulevard in Shanghai.

Said stretch and the rest of the park contain some 2,000 cherry blossom trees, around 1,000 of which are made up of 60 species imported from the Netherlands, Germany and Japan — including the most popular, Kawazu-zakura cherry blossom trees planted by the garden's bodies of water.

There's so much to see at this botanical garden. Life thrives here even in the colder seasons, thanks to a massive greenhouse.

In light of the cherry blossom-viewing season, the park has extended its weekday hours but will remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays, probably to avoid unmanageable numbers of visitors on the weekends.

📍 3888 Chenhua Road, Songjian
March 25 - April 3: Mon - Fri, 8 AM - 7 PM with last entry at 5 PM (closed on weekends)
April 4 onwards: Daily, 8 AM - 5 PM with last entry at 4:30 PM
¥ 60 RMB
🚇 Dongjin or Sheshan stations (Line 9)

9) Various locations

🔎 Spot: Magnolias

Picture 1 by Eastday

Magnolias, specifically the magnolia denudata or the Yulan magnolia, hold a special place in the hearts of the Chinese, especially the Shanghainese.

Symbolising purity and planted in the emperor's palace in the Tang dynasty, the Yulan magnolia is the official city flower of Shanghai.

Magnolias can be found in various locations throughout the city, including People's Square, Xintiandi, the Shanghai Film Museum park, and the entrance to the Shanghai Museum.

Although Shanghai Botanical Garden houses a dedicated magnolia garden, did you know that a small magnolia garden can also be found in the city centre? Head towards the intersection of Chongqing South and Nanchang roads to ogle over 30 varieties of magnolias, including white magnolias, red laughing star magnolias, yellow bird magnolias, star magnolias and Judy magnolias.