It is said that visiting Amiens is an amazing journey. Ideally located in the heart of the Paris–London–Brussels triangle, Amiens is a lovely town that offers the advantages of a city and the peaceful pleasure of the countryside. With three UNESCO listings and a ranking as the 4th greenest city in France, Amiens shines with its stunning architecture and natural heritage. It is also known for being in 2020, the only French city to have been promoted European Youth Capital!
Dominated by its imposing cathedral, Amiens offers an exceptional architectural heritage. Dubbed the “perfect city” by Jules Verne, this avant-gardist city since the 19th century guarantees an intense and bustling cultural life. Since the reception of the label “Land of Art and History,” the destination has been committing to maintaining its heritage, scheduling guided tours, events, exhibitions and various cultural activities all year long.
Yet Amiens is undoubtedly a city in the countryside, a green and blue oasis counting many parks, gardens, square, lakes, canals. You can enjoy the quietness as you walk or cycle along the river Somme tow path, have a picnic on a boat, listen to the birds while exploring the hortillonnages – Amiens’ floating gardens, or just lie down in any park that suits you. Amiens indeed is a kind of floating city: the city received Ramsar-label for the protection of its wetlands and being built around water, providing many places to chill and enjoy the nature.
This peaceful city is always liven up by numerous year-round events. Each season comes with its own specificities. In Autumn and Spring, the famous flea markets of Amiens bring curious collectors from all over Europe to the heart of the city. During these days when the weather is often mild, don't hesitate to join the locals in one of the various terraces of restaurants to discover the local cuisines. Try ficelle picarde, a crepe filled with sliced mushrooms, minced garlic, and ham then baked with grated cheese and cream.
When Winter comes, don’t miss the enchanting Christmas market and the Chroma show. It is a must-do on these cold days to have a cup of hot wine or hot chocolate at the Place Gambetta.
Summertime brings Amiens a whole new atmosphere. When the sunny days return, Amiens vibrates as people gather on the many terraces and parks to celebrate. Many events such as the Amiens Street Festival, the International Garden Festival in the Hortillonnages or the Comic Book Gathering, all give life to the city during the summer season.
One may ask what it is that makes Amiens so unique. It must be the gothic masterpiece 800 year-old Notre Dame d’Amiens; centuries later, its beauty still beguiles visitors. There comes the majestic Museum of Picardy, France’s first purpose-built as a regional museum to exclusively conserve and exhibit artworks. Then come the zoo of Amiens; a true island of biodiversity where endangered species are conserved in the calmness of nature. All these sites are family friendly and accessible. To have a more lively experience of the whole city, you can either hop on the touristic train or the horse carriage; the departure of both is in front of the cathedral.
Above all, Amiens is a place of relaxation.
The best thing to do is to take your time and soak up the atmosphere. You don’t have to rush from one place to another to experience the kindness of the people, the soft effervescence of the pedestrian city center or a nature immersion in the Hortillonnages. All you have to do is relax, take your time and enjoy every bit of your stay in Amiens, Naturally!
Best hotel deals
Hotel Le prieure ★★★
Located at the foot of the Amiens Cathedral
Guests can relax on the hotel’s terrace
Hotel Marotte ★★★★★
Located in the Centre of Amiens
Offers a tea room, a champagne and wine bar
Moxy Amiens ★★★
Situated in the heart of the City
A dining bar open to all 24 hours a day
Ibis Styles Amiens ★★★
This is our guests' favourite part of Amiens
The accommodation offers a sun terrace
Mercure Cathedrale ★★★★
Situated in the center of Amiens
The restaurant, serves delicate dishes
Top things to do
Amiens, an UNESCO World Heritage Spot
With three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, two for Notre-Dame d'Amiens in 1981, then in 1998 on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, and one for the Belfry, Amiens shines through the quality of its heritage with its indisputable symbolic value.
Amiens Cathedral also houses a sacred relic from Jerusalem. This is the skull of the John the Baptist who baptised Jesus Christ.
It is richly adorned with impressive sculptural décor. These sculptures depict biblical scenes such as the Creation, Adam and Eve, the life of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. They are collectively called "The Stone Encyclopaedia of the Bible".
Twice a year, the impressive “Chroma” show sublimates the façade of the cathedral every summer and during the Christmas market. At nightfall, this extraordinary experience brings to life the saints, apostles and other figures frozen on the Cathedral, thanks to a colorful projection of high definition digital images.
Amiens, city of Jules Verne
The author of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is the most translated French writer in the world. However, not many know that Jules Verne spent over 30 years of his life in Amiens. Dive into the depth of Jules Verne’s imaginary world and follow his footsteps. A creative and attractive territory, the destination is an inexhaustible source of imagination; Jules Verne was inspired by it when he settled here in Amiens in 1871. This famous author has left his marks on the city and his influence is visible at every street corner. You can even visit the house “A la tour” where he lived for 18 years. The Jules Verne's house offers a museographical space where the famous writer’s imaginary universe and daily life mingle.
An ambitious and innovative course dedicated to the creative genius of Jules Verne will emerge in April 2022. This innovative Jules Verne tour will use new technologies and will include immersive visits available in many languages.
The Hortillonnages, a unique place made of floating gardens
At the gateway to the city and Saint-Leu District, the Hortillonnages are an exceptional mosaic of floating gardens intersected by canals. Shaped by generations of market gardeners called “hortillons”, the site offers a unique landscape in France. The Hortillonnages are made up of a multitude of small cultivated plots surrounded by water, accessible only by "horn boat".
From May to October, the Amiens International Garden Festival offers visitors an aesthetic escape in the heart of this exceptional natural site.This festival proposes the public to discover some fifty creations by a new generation of artists from all over the world. Scattered over the islets of the Hortillonnages, these creations – gardens and visual works – give an offbeat and poetic look on this complex environment.
Saint Leu District
With its canals, half-timbered houses, boutiques and café, this picturesque district has become “the place to be.” Take a stroll in the cobbled street of Saint-Leu, let yourself be charmed by the colorful houses and street-art works and have a drink on one of the many terraces. When night falls, Saint-Leu takes on a new look, with a fine selection of restaurant and lively bars, revealing a typically Amiens atmosphere. Located in the heart of the city, a few steps away from the University of Picardy Jules Verne, Saint-Leu district is the place to go for a drink and a good meal on the banks of the river Somme.
The Best Christmas Market in Northern France
The Amiens Christmas market is the biggest Christmas market in Northern France. Once a year it graces the streets of the town centre for the delight of adults and children. For the occasion, Amiens will get decked out in lights and make room for over 130 chalets. Over a 2-kilometre stretch, arts and crafts, entertainers, illuminations and merry-go-rounds make sure that visitors see out the year amid fairy-tale magic. Don’t miss the impressive free Chroma Show at the end of the day.