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July 19, 2024

Why Amiens in France is a Gem of a Destination to Discover


With easy access by train, Amiens is one of Northern France’s best kept secrets

Home of famous author Jules Vernes, the historic capital of Picardie region offers visitors a wide range of attractions, including France’s largest gothic cathedral, floating gardens known as “Hortillonnages” and a vibrant culture & art scene.

Just 1h30 minutes by train from Paris, with its rich past and varied heritage, Amiens offers visitors a unique atmosphere,

A cathedral with 360 city views

Amiens’ most famous monument is certainly its classic XIII century Gothic cathedral, the largest in France. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the 800-year old cathedral of Notre-Dame impresses with its size and offers sweeping views of the town from the top of its towers. Every year, during the summer and Christmas periods, it welcomes “Chroma”, a light show which brings the cathedral’s facades to life.

Notre-Dame d’Amiens Cathedral

The medieval alleyways of Saint-Leu

Just a stone’s throw away lies the picturesque district of Saint-Leu, with its medieval streets along the canal, which are filled with art galleries, vintage shops, restaurants and cafes nestled in small colourful houses. A must-see for visitors.

Saint-Leu district in Amiens with its picturesque colourful houses

Floating vegetable gardens

Another highlight is the “Hortillonnages”. The name designates floating gardens where locals have been growing vegetables since the Middle Ages. Today, these vegetable patches and ornamental gardens extend over 300 ha between the Somme and Avre rivers. Visitors can discover them aboard traditional punts and learn about this local tradition at the eco-museum, Musée des Hortillonnages.

Follow in Jules Verne’s footsteps

A visit would not be complete without a look at its museums. The recently renovated Musée de Picardie, dedicated to fine art, is often called the “Louvre of Picardie” for its extensive collections. Another must-see is Jules Verne’s home, a splendid mansion which presents an extensive collection of memorabilia linked to Jules Verne’s work. A thematic tour of the city following in the famous writer’s footsteps is also available.

Jules Verne

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