The blossoms on the city's cherry trees are always a hopeful sign of the approaching spring. And after a long, cold winter there can be fewer more welcome sights in Shanghai.
The Global Times has devised an itinerary of the very best cherry blossom sights in the city, and which take in parks, public greenbelt spaces and universities among other destinations. And they are all easily accessible by the metro system.
As the largest area of cherry trees in Shanghai, Gucun Park in Baoshan district continues to expand its cherry coverage this year, reaching a total area of more than 530,000 square meters. There are more than 28 cherry breeds planted in almost every corner of the park, all within walking distance of the various entrance gates.
And although some cherry breeds started to blossom as quickly as early March, members of the park staff told the Global Times that the best time to visit is from the end of March to early April. There will also be a cherry festival inside Gucun Park, the start date of which has yet to be confirmed.
Address: No.1 Huandao Road, 4788 Hutai Road, Gucun town
Admission: 20 yuan (6 am to 6 pm)
Transportation: Gucun Park Station of metro Line 7
One of the best-known destinations to catch blossoming cherry trees in Changning district remains Zhongshan Park. And the wait until early April to see them in their full splendor is certainly worth the effort. This cherry tree landscape has a history of more than 100 years.
Address: 780 Changning Road
Transportation: Get off at Zhongshan Park Station of metro Line 2, Line 3 or Line 4
Chenshan Botanical Garden
The Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden in Songjiang district boasts hundreds of Kawazu Sakura (an early-blossoming cherry species) which can be found in abundance on either side of its central avenue. And there are more cherry breeds to be found in the Cherry Blossom Garden.
And just a 15-minute walk from the park, the newly planted Songjiang Cherry Blossom Woods (near Chenhua Road and Longyuan Road) has been highly anticipated. However, this free-to-the-public green project is still in its early stages, with a lack of visiting facilities and immature cherry trees. Save a trip here until next spring.
Address: 3888 Chenhua Road
Admission: 60 yuan (8 am to 5:30 pm)
Transportation: Get off at the Sheshan Mountain Station of metro Line 9, take a free bicycle from the cycle service outside the station, and ride some 3 kilometers along Linyinxin Road to the park
Shanghai Botanical Garden
The Shanghai Botanical Garden is seeing some early cherry trees in blossom inside its Qiangwei and Lan Gardens. And if visitors enter at Gate No.4 (near Luocheng Road), there are also a great many cherry blossom on either side of the garden's main avenue.
According to staff, the Yoshino Cherry will be in blossom from the end of March to early April, and the best time to see Prunus Lannesiana (a later-blooming cherry) is from mid-April to late April.
From March 28 to May 6, the annual Shanghai Botanical Garden Flower Exhibition will be held inside garden, with the ubiquitous cherry among the many breeds on display.
Address: 1111 Longwu Road
Admission: 15 yuan (40 yuan for the flower exhibition)
Transportation: 10 minutes' walk from the Longcao Road Station of metro Line 3
Luxun Park in Hongkou district features its very own cherry blossom garden, which has become a favorite spot over the years to enjoy the colorful spring landscape.
Address: 280 Tian'ai Road
Transportation: Get off at Hongkou Football Stadium Station on metro Line 3 or Line 8
If you want to see acres of beautiful cherry blossoms but in a more academic setting, then Tongji University in Yangpu district is a good option. On both sides of Aixiao Road, the campus' internal roads are lined by cherry trees which blossom in early April every year.
Address: Aixiao Road inside the university, near the gate at 50 Chifeng Road
Admission: Free (but be respectful of the campus environment)
Transportation: Get off at Tongji University Station on metro Line 10, and walk along Chifeng Road for a few minutes
The landmark Century Avenue in Pudong New Area features many beautiful paths and thoroughfares all boasting a luscious cherry blossom landscape.
Address: Between Laoshan Road West and Pudong Road South
Transportation: Get off at Dongchang Road Station of metro Line 2
This 200-meter-long thoroughfare beside the Shanghai Television Station in the downtown area, boasts some 20 cherry trees. Passers-by can sit down on benches under the branches of these trees.
Address: The small street between Weihai Road and Nanjing Road West
Transportation: Five minutes' walk from Nanjing Road West Station on metro Line 2