France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Amiens, France Guide

  Clock tower, Amiens
Ornate clock tower, with the
cathedral in the background.




Amiens, capital of the Somme département 150 km (93 miles) north of Paris (map), is a small city (pop. 136,000) that boasts the largest cathedral in France, and the largest Christmas market in the north of the country.

Surrounded by lush fields and the "floating gardens" (hortillonnages) watered by the great River Somme, it's difficult to imagine that a century ago it was the site of the final great battle of World War I, and was extensively damaged during World War II.

Even so, the city has its medieval and imperial monuments and its quaint historic districts such as Saint-Leu, as well as a wealth of Art Deco and Modernist architecture, the result of rebuilding after the wars.

The city has a vibrant, youthful air lent in part by its character as a university town. The attractive restaurant and café-bar areas on the banks of the Somme are busy with sippers and diners on any day with fair weather. More...

All this and Jules Verne too! The great author, founder of the science fiction genre and one of the most famous and translated authors in history, chose Amiens as his home city for the last 15 years of his life. His wonderful mansion and the great circus building he founded are open to visitors. More...

It's easy to visit Amiens on a day-trip from Paris—the train trip from Paris's Gare du Nord takes just over an hour by fast Intercités train or the slower but very inexpensive intercity bus, but to fully enjoy the city you should stay a night or two in one of its good hotels. More...

Amiens makes a good base for visiting the numerous World War I battle sites and memorials in the Somme département. More...

Hotels in Amiens

Amiens Restaurants

What to See & Do

Transport for Amiens

Tourism Information




World War I

Northern France


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Cathedral of Amiens, France

Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens,
loftiest in France.




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