Amiens is a peaceful, charming city full of delightful surprises. Famed since the middle ages and located in the Picardie region of Northern France, Amiens is just two hours north of Paris.
In the heart of the city is the unmissable landmark that is the 13th century UNESCO listed Cathedral Notre-Dame. Its galleried and rose-windowed façade, pierced by three portals and topped by twin towers, is truly splendid. It has a remarkable interior with a soaring nave and bold supporting columns. The year 2020 marks the celebration of the 800th year since the first foundations were laid at the cathedral. Bringing this auspicious occasion to life is the Chroma light show which is free for all to enjoy. France’s largest Gothic construction has more to offer than simply the landmark itself: there is a museum which is home to once lost relics which have gradually been recovered over the years such as the head of Saint John the Baptist, the shrine of Saint Firmin and the votive crown of Paraclet.
Travellers looking for places to explore beyond museums and churches should not miss a trip to the famed floating gardens nearby, Les Hortillonnages d'Amiens, waterways that were created by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago. Its atmospheric network of canals run through the centre of town with restaurants and quaint shops dotted along its banks. The Hortillonnages floating market gardens are a pure delight and you can visit on foot, by bicycle or by boat.
After an extensive and ambitious renovation, the Museum of Picardy re-opened to the public in March 2020. Built between 1855 and 1867 during the reign of Napoleon III, the Museum of Picardy was the first building built in France specifically as a museum of fine art and classified as an historical monument in 2012. Rich collections from Amiens, which cover the history of the western world from prehistory until the present day, have been redeployed in a revamped setting and punctuated with magnificent ancient decor.
Whilst in Amiens, Jules Verne's home is a must to visit. The house is where the famous writer lived for 18 years in Amiens and where he wrote most part of his work. You will discover a luxurious private 19th century mansion, and learn about Jules Verne, his life and his "Extraordinary Voyages".
Amiens is also the perfect starting point to do day trips to the famed battlefields of WW1 including the village of Villers-Bretonneux and the Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre.