The city of Amiens, France has a very strategic location, which makes it a go-to destination for a weekend or a few days, from Paris, Lille or Brussels. If you are into history and really interesting sights, Amiens has a lot in store for you. You will not run out of things to do and activities to try. What’s more exciting is that you can enjoy roaming around the city, while also learning about their culture and history. Aside from the variety of foods offered and Gothic inspired churches, this little town is full of surprises. And don’t forget to have a taste of the “macarons d’Amiens”, while exploring the city!
Read on to find out about the top things to do in Amiens, France.
1. Visit Amiens Cathedral (Notre-Dame d’Amiens)
This Roman Catholic cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Amiens. The tallest and largest of its kind in France, it is said to be a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, since 1981. This is definitely the most popular place to visit, in Amiens!
Address: 30 Place Notre Dame, 80000 Amiens, France
Website: Amiens Cathedral
2. See Tour Perret
As one of Europe’s few skyscrapers, Tour Perret is among the most iconic sights while exploring Amiens. Named after its architect Auguste Perret, this tower reaches more than 100 meters (328.1 feet) in height, almost as high as the spire of the Amiens Cathedral, making for a very captivating skyline. Take a picturesque photo during the tower’s colourful light show!
Address: Place Alphonse Fiquet, 80000, Amiens, France
Website: Tour Perret
3. Be captivated by the Musée de Picardie (Museum of Fine Arts)
The Picardy Museum is said to be one of the largest provincial museums, with very early rich collections of fine art, divided into four departments, namely Archaeology (located in the basement), Medieval Art (on the ground floor), Fine Art (on the ground and first floor) and Modern and Contemporary Art (on the first floor). This museum opened its doors to the public in 1867, acquiring the nickname the “Little Louvre of the Province”, since it was modelled on the Louvre Museum, in Paris.
Museum of Picardy
Address: 48 Rue de la République, 80000 Amiens, France
Website: Museum of Picardy
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4. Be a bit “bookish” in Maison Jules Verne (The House of Jules Verne)
If you want to find inner peace and release your imagination, then this place is a must visit. One of the most beloved writers in the world, Jules Verne’s home in Amiens is said to be the place that inspired his imagination and where it came to life. There are approximately 700 books here, that were the source of his inspiration, as well as memories from while he was writing.
This mansion is open to visitors who want to see his collection of books, from other famous writers, such as Shakespeare and Edgar Poe. There are also an array of flying machines from the imagination of Jules Verne himself, which predated the invention of planes. Now that’s a lot of information to squeeze in the brain!
Jules Verne House
Address: 2 Rue Charles Dubois, 80000 Amiens, France
Website: Jules Verne House
5. See Les Hortillonages
In the swampy area of Amiens, amidst the Somme and Avre rivers, take a different path with this unusual garden, only accessible by boat. Also known as the “Floating Gardens of Amiens”, Les Hortillonages are marsh gardens that float in the water. The type of boats used to travel through the marshes have been in use since the medieval era to transport goods and are designed to easily dock without damaging the fragile shores of the cultivated fields. Try experiencing this “Little Venice of the North”!
Address: 54 Boulevard de Beauville, 80000 Amiens, France
Website: Les Hortillonages (in French)
6. Be amazed in the Park of Samara
If you are tired of roaming around this 21st-century city, the Park of Samara will take you to a different time to the world of prehistory. If you are curious about the daily life of the prehistoric ancestors of Amiens and how they lived, this place has a lot of information for you. The Park of Samara demonstrates the way of life from over 600,000 years ago, such as fire making, stick throwing, and flint shaping. It is surely one of the most fun, yet educational trips you can take, in Amiens!
Address: Rue d'Amiens, 80310 La Chaussée-Tirancourt, France
Website: Samara - in French)
7. Visit Beffroi d’Amiens (The Belfry)
When you visit Amiens Cathedral, be sure to also drop by this place, which is close by. The Belfry is the first town hall of the city of Amiens and also used to be a prison. Built during the early 1400s, it was rebuilt after being damaged in 1940 by a German bomb and was repeatedly engulfed by fire. The belfry symbolizes independence in the city of Amiens and just like the cathedral, it is also tagged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Beffroi d' Amiens
Address: 1 Place Maurice Vast, 80000 Amiens, France
Website: Beffroi d’ Amiens
8. Explore Saint-Leu
Saint Leu is a district in Amiens, France, that has a range of picturesque canals, making it look like a miniature of Venice. Wander through this trendy neighbourhood, which extends from the cathedral to the Port d’Aval harbour on the Somme River, where you can see art galleries or pick up some treasures from their bookshops and boutiques. Make sure to try out one of their outdoor cafes with a terrace, which give a good view of the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Address: 23, Place Notre-Dame, 80000 Amiens
9. Bonus! Visit Amiens Metropolitan Zoo
Exploring with the kids? Then try visiting this zoo in Amiens, where you can see 300 animals, with approximately 75 species from different parts of the world. The zoo opened on May 22, 1952, when animals were initially borrowed. Luckily, as time went by, other types of animals were added to the collection, making the zoo more fun and filled with different kinds of animals, such as lions, giraffes, polar bears, chimpanzees and crocodiles.
The mission of the zoo is to conserve the species, endangered or not, while also informing and educating its visitors about the life of the animals and how to properly take care of them. Your kids will surely enjoy themselves while being educated!
Zoo of Amiens
Address: Esplanade de la Hotoie, 80000 Amiens, France
Website: Zoo d'Amiens
Enjoy the activities
The city of Amiens, France offers a wide range of activities to choose from. You’ll feel ecstatic from the beauty of the different structures and architecture in the heart of the city, that will take you to a whole different place. It is never difficult to find something to do in Amiens, but it’s up to you to decide how you will enjoy each and every moment. Have a great time visiting the wonderful city of Amiens, France!
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