Amiens is a city where relaxation is inspired by the mild wind breeze floating among the cobbled medieval streets, pastel colored houses and inviting terraces and cozy restaurants along the canals, due to which Amiens was entitled the ‘little Venice of the North’.
The capital of Picardy, Amiens, boasts a gorgeous Gothic cathedral - Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens, recognized internationally, the famous house of Jules Verne, beautiful floating markets (hortillonnages) and not least, the outrageous Saint-Leu district, which earned the name of ‘The Little Venice of North’, with its wonderful canals over bridges that are filled with flowers, which lead you to plenty of restaurants with beautiful view and alluring scents.
Let's discover the top 5 places to visit in Amiens!
1. Notre Dame Cathedral
They say the Picardy region is the cradle of Gothic architecture, and no wonder, because in all the places where we were in this stunning region, we admired the richness of Gothic elements, found in abundance in all the cathedrals of Picardy.
The Gothic Cathedral of Amiens makes no exception; more she’s recognized worldwide, listed as a UNESCO Word Heritage Site, due to its clean soaring lines and its abundant statuary creating a lace curtain of stone, a true masterpiece and a pure example of Gothic architecture in its most obvious and harmonious shapes. Moreover, Notre-Dame Cathedral of Amiens is the largest Gothic edifice that was ever built, surpassing the one in Paris, another 2 times, its beauty being matchless.
The towers of the cathedral are accessible to the public, but when doing repairs or the weather conditions are unfavorable, obviously, the access is denied. The above view is speechless, so the effort to climb up the 307 steps it will not matter because you’ll admire the splendorous city from almost 113 meters tall!
During the Christmas holidays, in front of the cathedral there is a superb light show.
2. The Saint-Leu district ( The Venice of the North )
Snuggle in the arms of the Somme and protected by the shadow of Notre-Dame Cathedral, Saint-Leu district it’s the star of the whole picture. With its medieval design, Saint-Leu features small colorful houses lined up along the waterside district, making it the perfect spot if you want to enjoy French and International dishes at one of its welcoming water front restaurants. No doubt it’s such a pleasure to stroll around Saint-Leu, being full of craft stalls, bookstores, antique stores and those little boulangeries – French bakeries where the smell of fresh croissants filled with almond cream and butter is so tempting!
* From April to October, you can take a boat trip on the beautiful canal of Saint- Leu or if you prefer a horse-drawn carriage walk for 30 minutes’ in the medieval city of Amiens, this is available from May to September.
3. The Hortillonnages ( The floating gardens )
This ancient tradition began in the Middle Ages, when the 'hotillons' have been cultivated these amazing floating gardens around which are little water canals where you can walk by boat. Guided tours by electric boat are available for those who want to discover their beauty in a traditional punt-like boat know in France as a ‘barque a cornet’.
4. Jules Verne’s House
If you ever been or are passionate about the adventures of Jules Verne, will be enthusiastic to know that in Amiens is his home. With a collection of more than 700 personal objects, which evoke his personality and sources of imagination, the house has been restored recently, in 2006, being a luxurious house from the 19th century, known as Maison a la Tour' (House with the Tower), of which he wrote in his Extraordinary Voyages. Guided tours are available and also audio tours in French, English, Spanish and German.
5. The Picardie Museum
Considered among the most beautiful edifices in France, the museum features some of the most interesting collections just from the prehistoric times of the 20th century, being housed in a fascinating monumental building in the purest Napoleon III style.
> Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens
> The medieval Saint Leu district
> Amiens during the gorgeous Christmas fair!