by Seema Nande Updated on 13 Oct 2018
The city of Amiens, France has an exceptionally planned location, on the banks of the Somme river, which makes it a very popular destination for a short trip from Lille, Brussels or Paris. If you love history and extremely intriguing sights, then Amiens has a lot of stuff in store for you . The best part is that while roaming around the city you can also learn about their traditions and history. Apart from the various types of food and Gothic motivated churches, this little place is full of surprises. So here is the list of 15 places to visit in Amiens, France.
Let's explore points of interest and 15 best things to do in Amiens:
1. Trip to Amiens Cathedral
Image Source: wikipedia.org
Amiens Cathedral is one of the world's greatest cathedrals and it’s not a surprise that the landmark is a UNESCO site. The main aim of building this cathedral was to overflow the central part of the church with lights. You couldn't miss the 15th and 16th-century old renaissance oak choir stalls and the polychrome statues that are present inside. The enormous size and complex detailing are worth mentioning. You will be amazed to see the gothic carvings at the western and southern part of the church. During the evenings of summer, these statues are rendered in colorful lights for "Son et Lumiere" show.
2. Checkout Les Hortillonnages
In the marshy areas of Amiens, between Ave and Somme rivers, check out the unusual garden by travelling in a boat. Les Hortillonnages is marshy garden which also known as "Floating Gardens of Amiens" because it floats on the water. The gardeners or the "hortillions" have been cultivating in this garden since the middle ages. The boats are designed in such a way so that it doesn't harm the delicate shores of the fields. Keep extra time to capture the beautiful beauty and small bridges that cross the canals.
3. Explore Saint-Leu
Saint-Leu is a delightful medieval age quarter which is a pleasure in itself to discover. Tourists have a wonderful time by wandering around the narrow lanes and half timber made houses. You can also look around at the art-galleries, boutiques and the book shops that are present there. The scenic beauty of this place and the pictorial canals are similar to Venice in a miniature form. The riverside path is in itself a lovely place for walks. There are also many outdoor cafes and modern riverside restaurants, you shouldn't be missing out on them.
4. Visit Maison de Jules Verne
The red bricked Mansion was the home of Jules Verne for 18 years until he died in the year 1905. The building has a very unusual tower, covered by a dome-shaped skylight which lightens the staircase which you'll use to move around the building. Lovers of Verne's books will be surprised to hear that he had written 30 novels by staying in this house. The house is filled with his memorabilia, personal items and his writings.
5. Checkout Musee de Picardie
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Musee de Picardie is a local museum built in the year 1867. It has a lavish collection of paintings from ancient times which depicts Picardy's historic past. During your visit, you'll also witness weapons and hand-axes from the Bronze Age. The collection includes European paintings, statues, medieval paintings and archaeological finds. There are also recent modern-day works by artists like Miro and Picasso.
6. Adventure at Somme River
River canoe excursions take place during summer in the Somme river and the most loved trip is the 2 hours float down trip from Ailly-Sur-Somme to Picquigny, which is just a few minutes by car from Amiens. You'll be in awestruck by the peaceful environment of the town and if you're lucky enough you'll also witness the wildlife of the river. Animals like deer, herons, kingfishers, dragonflies and all types of amphibians built a home near the banks. On the dry land of Picquigny, there are castles and green valleys that can be explored while visiting the place.
7. Watching puppet show at traditional Marionettes & Puppet Theatre
Puppet shows are a much-loved custom in Picardy area and this old tradition is still continuing well in Amiens. Marionettes are made of clay and wood to portray all types of characters. Puppet shows are made to entertain the audience, especially the children. The Ches Cabotans d'Amiens Theatre de Marionnettes does this beautiful work of bringing the puppets to life. The marionette theatre performs entertaining puppet shows for children and older ones also.
8. Visit the battlefields of Somme
Whoever is interested in knowing the history of world war I, the battlefields of Somme are a must visit place for them. The serene and quiet town of this region was once a sight of brutal war during 1916. By visiting this place you'll get to know about the war and the bold soldiers who fought during that time. The museum has an aircraft which was used as a shelter during the battle. From Amiens, it's a 4 km drive to Somme.
9. Spend a day at Zoo d'Amiens
Image Source: wikimedia.org
If you want to spend a day with your kids in Amiens, the city's zoo is right at the centre. It is a large zoo with greenery and having trees which are as old as 100-200 years. Various types of animals are present from small goats to African elephants. There are around 300 animals of 70 different types of species. To cover every possible thing in the zoo will take around 2-3 hours.
10. Outing at Parc de Samara
Parc de Samara is an educational tourist spot in Amiens. Starting from Cro-Magnon Man to Roman times you'll get to know each and everything about our forebear, how they lived and the evolution of humanity. Small huts are placed at small distances where workshop takes place. Staffs showcase different skills like basket-weaving, pottery, wood-carving, ancient crafts and even the basic invention of fire. The park is as vast as 100 hectares which also includes a maze garden motivated from the one in Amiens cathedral church.
11. See the Tour Perret
Tour Perret is one of Europe's first skyscrapers. It is a residential skyscraper and is 110 metre in height. The Perret tower gets lightened up daily after the sunset. The tower marks a colorful light show which points the hours. Architect Augustus Perret was being hired to reconstruct the middle of Le Havre after which this place received UNESCO status.
12. Visit Cimetiere de la Madeleine
Cimetiere de la Madeleine is the cemetery on the outer part of the city. Jules Verne's relaxing place is one of the things to see in the cemetery. But this is not the only thing to check out here, the cemetery is 18 hectares vast with forests and its a very calm and quiet place. There are numerous tombs and statues of rich families and entrepreneurs of the ancient times.
13. See Beffroi d'Amiens
Image Source: wikimedia.org
While you visit Amiens Cathedral don't miss to come around to see Beffroi d'Amiens (The Belfry). The Belfry happens to be the first town hall of Amiens and was also used as a jail. It was built during the time 1400s but it was being damaged by a German bomb so it was again reconstructed. Beffroi d'Amiens represents the freedom in the city of Amiens and similar to the Cathedral, the Belfry is also labeled as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
14. Be amazed in Musee Lombart
A couple of minutes past Naours, in Doullens you can stop by to visit this museum made by Jules François Lombart, a nineteenth century chocolate maker. This was opened in the year of 1908 where the Agricultural minister and other notable public figures were present. There are various paintings of different artists from the French School like Charles-Francois Daubigny, Camille Corot and others. The museum also has a collection of samurai shields and antique weapons to mummies from the Egypt from an 18th era, almost 3500 years ago.
15. Cycling through the Noye Valley
If you have brought your bike or need to lease one, the visitors’ office in Amiens can come up with some brilliant solutions. One idea would be a 32 km marked path in the bucolic land down the Noye river, southeast part of Amiens. You will be riding through the beautiful countryside like Chirmont, Sourdon and La Faloirse lined by custom houses and locality rich in their traditions and customs.