Top 10 Things to do in Amiens - Cathedral, Jules Verne, Picardy Museum & more.

This article first appeared in My Travelogue by Bhushavali


The primary reason, I wanted to visit Amiens was to see Amiens Cathedral which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France. It was one of the largest Gothic churches in the 13th C CE and an excellent example of high Gothic architecture. Amiens Cathedral is still the largest Cathedral in France at 200,000 m3 which is more than twice of Notre Dame Paris! It also has the highest nave at 42.3m! Honestly, I can't write all about the Cathedral and all other Amiens Attractions in the same article, it would be too extensive. Read my other article on all about Amiens Cathedral.

All about Amiens Cathedral, tours, tickets, timings: Click here for all about Amiens Cathedral.

Museum of Picardy | Top things to do in Amiens
Posing with the sculptures in Picardy Museum (Musée de Picardie)

Musée de Picardie | Picardy Museum | Top Things to do in Amiens
Picardy Museum (Musée de Picardie) - Instagrammable locations in Amiens, France

Amiens Cathedral | Top Amiens Attractions | UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Hauts-de-France
Amiens Cathedral - UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hauts-de-France

Quartier Saint Leu | Venice of the North | Venice of France | Free things to do in Amiens
Quartier Saint Leu (Venice of the North)
Christmas in Amiens

I had already mentioned in my articles on Leuven, Tournai, Mons, Ypres, etc., that  56 Belfries in France and Belgium have been listed together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site - Belfries of France and Belgium. The Amiens Belfry is one of the 56 Belfries listed under UNESCO. Amiens Belfry is in fact the southernmost Belfry of them all!
Today it is open only on specific days for the general public only on certain days, a few times every month. You may want to check the dates and then plan your Amiens trip.

All about Amiens Belfry, tours, tickets, timings: Click here for all about Amiens Belfry

There's a very good chance you might have heard of 'Around the World in 80 days' and 'Journey to the center of the Earth'. If you know these names only as the films, here's some news for you - the films are based on novels of the same name, both written by Jules Verne. The novels were all very adventurous, very futuristic, and bordering on science fiction. Jules Verne wrote these here in Amiens! He was not only a writer but also a politician here and served as the City Councilor as well. 
Today, it is possible to go on a self-guided walking tour of Amiens in the path of Jules Verne. My first stop on Day 1 was to see the Voyages Lumineux, just beside the Amiens Railway Station. It is a video projection over a 40m-tall fountain depicting the original cover designs of 5 of his novels! 
The next day, I started on the walking tour. Just beside the railway station are Pavilion d'Octroi and Jules Verne Monument to see. Further ahead is the Maison du Jules Verne (Jules Verne House) which, unfortunately, I didn't have the time to visit, followed by Cirque Jules Verne which he inaugurated and gave a speech at. The next site is the Jules Verne Library which holds not just the books but also many objects that he used like documents, letters, travel journals, a writing desk, etc. Next is the Musee de Picardie where he served as one of the board of governors. All these sites could be entered and visited.
The next sites are the Amiens Savings Bank, Amiens City Hall, and Ancient Theatre. The next stop which Atyudarini loved the most is the playground that's built taking elements from the Jules Verne novels. The final stop before Amiens Cathedral was the Dewaily Clock which represents the women depicted in his novels.

Amiens Jules Verne Map: Jules Verne Self-Guided Walking Tour Map via Aronnax
Where is Maison de Jules Verne (on Google Maps)? Jules Verne House
How to reach Maison de Jules Verne? 600m (8 mins walk) from Amiens Railway Station. 4th stop on the Amiens Jules Verne Walking Tour Map.
Maison de Jules Verne Timings: Tue: Closed; Wed-Mon: 10:00AM to 12:30PM; 02:00PM to 06:00PM
Maison de Jules Verne Tickets: €7.50

Amiens Jules Verne Self-guided Walking Tour | Free things to do in Amiens

Amiens Jules Verne Self-guided Walking Tour | Free things to do in Amiens

Amiens Jules Verne Self-guided Walking Tour | Free things to do in Amiens
Amiens Jules Verne Library

Amiens Jules Verne Self-Guided Walking Tour | Free things to do in Amiens
Musée de Picardie (Picardy Museum)

Musée de Picardie | Picardy Museum | Top Things to do in Amiens
Musée de Picardie (Picardy Museum)

A visit to Amiens cannot be complete without visiting Musee de Picardie. The Amiens Fine Arts museum was founded in 1853. It was initially constructed in a Napoleonic style with a palatial styled interior with state apartments-like rooms. Since 1878, it has been called Picardy Museum. When you enter it, you will honestly be confused if the purpose of the building when it was built, was a museum or a palace!
As soon as I entered I went directly to the Grand Salon. It was so picturesque filled with humongous artworks of various artists from 16th C CE onwards and definitely one of the most instagrammable locations in Amiens. Further ahead from this room in the grand staircase called the Escalier d'Honneur and I was in the first floor that began with the Cabinet of Curiosities. It was quite a range of objects from shells to skulls! The next room was dedicated to contemporary paintings of the 20th C CE. At the end of this room is another set of shelves of curiosities called the Atelier Maignan. The next room is for paintings by 19th C artists. Behind this is a long corridor in whose central room was again very stunning with its octagonal shape with ceiling frescoes & sculptures. 
The specialty when I visited is the temporary exhibition 'From Versailles to Amiens'. A few artworks & masterpieces have been brought from Chateau de Versailles for display here till the end of Feb 2023!
On the ground floor has a gallery dedicated to sculptures and another to the middle ages, its architecture, sculptures, & more. The sculpture gallery was quite extensive and had many artworks of the 19th C CE. Atyudarini had fun replicating the poses of the sculptures. In one corner of the ground floor is the Chapel (the pic above) though it never functioned as one but was built to display religious art and on another corner is a visitor's room to relax & read! The self-guided tour of the Picardy Museum of Amiens then continues to the underground galleries dedicated to Archaeology including Venus du Renancourt.

Where is Musée de Picardie (Picardy Museum) (on Google Maps)Musée De Picardie
How to reach Musée de Picardie (Picardy Museum)1.3km (15 mins walk) from Amiens Railway Station. 8th stop on the Amiens Jules Verne Walking Tour Map.
Musée de Picardie (Picardy Museum) Timings: Tue-Fri: 9:30AM to 6:00PM; Weekends: 11:00AM to 6:00PM
Musée de Picardie (Picardy Museum) Tickets: €9
There is a 20 Things to do in a Lifetime in the Museum of Picardie activity for children
There's also a MuseoJeux activity for younger kids

Musée de Picardie | Picardy Museum | Top Things to do in Amiens
Do you see how small Atyudarini looks here?!

Musée de Picardie | Picardy Museum | Top Things to do in Amiens

Musée de Picardie | Picardy Museum | Top Things to do in Amiens

Musée de Picardie | Picardy Museum | Top Things to do in Amiens

Musée de Picardie | Picardy Museum | Top Things to do in Amiens

I visited Quartier Saint Leu twice - once at night and once in the daytime. Under the moonlit sky and Christmas lights, the place was so lively at night. During the day, it has an old-world charm to it. I began my walk from Church St.Leu
From there, my next stop is a few steps ahead at the ruins of Hotel Dieu Saint-Jean-Baptiste, which was a hospital. It dates back to 1236 CE, but the current building dates back to 1531 CE. By mid-1800s, it was so big and fit 430 beds. It was partially damaged in WWI and completely damaged in WWII after which it was not restored. Recently, in 2017, archaeologists excavated 263 skeletons of 17th C CE here! This seems to be the mass burial due to the plague epidemic. Today it is not possible to go inside the ruins except during the occasional guided tour that's organized by Musee de Picardie.
Further ahead is a sneak peek into the industrial past of Amiens! Moulin Passe-Avant-Passe-Arriere is what remains of the 25 mills that once functioned in Saint-Leau that not only helped in grinding wheat but also fulling cloth, crushing barks, etc! The building behind the facade was almost crumbling and the mill isn't functioning now. Behind it is the facade of Ancienne Vinaigrerie G. Brulé, a historic vinegar factory! There's also a tall chimney of the factories that once functioned here and the ruins of Saint Sulpice Church which is currently being renovated! 
Then we started walking along the canals and reached the very colorful Rue des Archers and continued on Rue Canteraine. Colors, patterns & frescoes everywhere reminded Jules Verne! Rue Canteraine was incredibly charming with the colorful, old, half-timber houses laid perfectly along the canal with occasional pedestrian bridges across the canals. Soon we were at l'Arbre à gargouilles - a gargoyle tree! A belief that if you make a wish and make a little gargoyle out of a piece of fabric/kerchief and tie it there!
Soon we were back at Dodane Bridge. I had a look at the 'Man on the Buoy' sculpture by artist Stephan Balkenhol in the middle of the river! There's also a puppet theatre which unfortunately I missed because there was no show when I visited. 

Where are the ruins of Hotel Dieu Saint-Jean-Baptiste (On Google Maps)Ruine de l'hôtel-dieu
Guided tour of the ruins of Hotel Dieu Saint-Jean-Baptiste: Email with the subject Visites L’affaire des charniers d’Amiens to know the upcoming tours and book one.
Where is Moulin Passe-Avant-Passe-Arriere (On Google Maps)? Moulin Passe-Avant
Where is Ancienne Vinaigrerie G. Brulé (On Google Maps)Ancienne Vinaigrerie G. Brulé
Where is l'Arbre à gargouilles (On Google Maps)L'Arbre à Gargoilles
Quartier Saint Leu | Venice of the North | Venice of France | Free things to do in Amiens

Quartier Saint Leu | Venice of the North | Ruins of Hotel Dieu Saint-Jean-Baptiste
Ruins of Hotel Dieu Saint-Jean-Baptiste

Moulin Passe-Avant-Passe-Arriere | Quartier Saint Leu | Venice of the North | Free things to do in Amiens
Moulin Passe-Avant-Passe-Arriere - Historic Watermill

Quartier Saint Leu | Venice of the North | Venice of France | Free things to do in Amiens
Rue des Archers and Rue Canteraine

Mural at Quartier Saint Leu (Venice of the North)

France & Macaroons go hand in hand. When you're in Amiens, you've got to visit Jean Trogneux.

How is Amiens Macaron different from Classical Macaroons: Unlike a classic macaroon which is made of meringue and a filling (buttercream or jam or curds), an Amiens Macaron is made of Almond powder, egg, honey, and sugar. This gives a rougher texture to the macarons and they generally do not have a filling.

Here at Jean Trogneux, they source their Almonds from Spain, free-range eggs & sugar from local farms. Their family has been making macarons for the past 6 generations since 1872.

Where is Jean Trogneux Amiens (on Google Maps)? Jean Trogneux
How to reach Jean Trogneux Amiens900m (10 mins walk) from Amiens Railway Station. 400m (4 mins walk) from Notre Dame d'Amiens
Jean Trogneaux Amiens Timings: Mon to Sat: 9:00AM to 7:00PM

My last trip to Amiens was during the Christmas season and I loved how the place was lit up so beautifully. Apart from the usual decorations & games, here, right in front of the city hall is the huge Christmas Tree & Santa Village which includes a Santa's House - a perfectly instagrammable location in Amiens. There were more than 120 kiosks including one of the Amiens Craft beers by Charles & Vianney with its 9 types of beer! There can be no Christmas market without fun rides for children - there were carousels, roller coasters, an ice rink, and many more which Atyudarini absolutely adored! She went on her first-ever solo roller-coaster ride, right here! 

When does the Christmas Market happen in Amiens? 26 Nov to 31 Dec

While a zoo may not be an interesting place to visit for an adult; for kids it is awesome and Atyudarini would have loved it! There are more than 700 species of animals, & birds here. However, Amiens Zoo is open only till mid-Nov, so I wasn't able to visit here. 

Where is Amiens Zoo (on Google Maps)Zoo Amiens Métropole
How to reach Amiens Zoo3km from Amiens Railway Station. Take Ametis Bus N1 & disembart at Zoo d'Amiens.
Amiens Zoo Timings: 10:00AM to 05:00PM on all days. Annual closure from mid-Nov to Jan
Amiens Zoo Tickets: €9.9 (reserve online via Zoo Amiens official website)

Jean Trogneux | Amiens Macarons

Jean Trogneux | Amiens Macarons

Jean Trogneux | Amiens Macarons

Christmas Market in Amiens | Best time to visit Amiens

Christmas Decorations in Amiens | Best time to visit Amiens

Christmas in Amiens | Best time to visit Amiens
Santa's house - Christmas in Amiens

Les Hortillonages are floating gardens in the canals of Amiens. They are essentially 300 hectares of marshlands where various vegetables and fruits are grown. The cultivated vegetables are also sold on boats in what's called the Water Market of Amiens which is held every Saturday! Hortillonages are important not only for the vegetable gardens but also for the marshland birds.
The best way to explore the Hortillonages is via boat. There's a traditional horn boat tour with a guide that begins at La Maison des Hortillonages. Unfortunately, since boating was not happening in winter, I missed this!

Where is Les Hortillonages (on Google Maps)? Les Hortillonages
How to reach Les Hortillonages900m (10 mins walk) from Amiens Railway Station. 
Les Hortillonages Timings: Open only from April to October. 9:15AM (or 9:45AM) to 11:45AM & 1:30PM to 4:30PM (or till 6:00PM in summers)
Les Hortillonages Boat Tour Tickets: €10 (reserve online via Les Hortillonages official website)
Les Hortillonages Self-Guided walking/biking route: via Visit Somme on Google Maps

When you're in Amiens, you're at the heart of the Somme region where the Battle of Somme happened during World War I, in Jul-Nov 1916. More about the Somme Offensive (Somme Battlefields) is coming soon; but for now, here is about St.Pierre Cemetery located on the outskirts of Amiens. Here's a section dedicated to the Commonwealth War Graves.
If you're an Indian reading this, here's what you need to know. More than a million Indians took part in World War I when India was under British Raj and more than 73000+ died! Many laid down their lives here in the Battle of Somme as well. Here's an idea of the role of Indians during World War I. The CWGC Cemetery inside St.Pierre Cemetery in Amiens has 749 war graves, one of which is an Indian War Grave of WWI - Baru, from Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh, India) who served as a driver in the Indian Royal Artillery.

Where is CWGC St.Pierre Cemetery in Amiens (on Google Maps)Cimetière Saint-Pierre
How to reach CWGC St.Pierre Cemetery in Amiens? 3km from Amiens Railway Station. Take Ametis Bus L and disembark at Beaumarchais or take Ametis bus N2 and disembark at Centre Saint-Victor and walk.
St.Pierre Cemetery in Amiens Timings: Sunrise to Sunset


Amiens is a small city and there are quite a few Amiens hotels at various price points. I stayed at Moxy Amiens which is just beside the Amiens railway station, making it super easy. I mean, I left the hotel 10 before my train's departure time; it is that easy! Moxy Amiens is a part of the Marriot chain of hotels, so everything is pretty streamlined.
The rooms of Moxy Amiens are no fuss, and straightforward. The specialty of Moxy hotels is being stylish, chic & affordable. There's a working area, a restaurant+game room on the ground floor. The rooms have all the basic necessities like toiletries, a hair dryer, etc. Being a budget hotel, there is no minibar or cafe corner in the rooms. The breakfast, as usual in any European hotel, is not good for vegetarians who will have to fill up on bread & fruits. 
I had ordered room service for dinner on Day 1. I didn't have any expectations. I'm used to eating unseasoned, bland pasta and bread during my travels because not many restaurants can handle vegetarian cuisine in western Europe and it was a pleasant surprise here! I was mind blown! I truly did not expect that kind of variety, that big a platter, and that level of seasoning and deliciousness in it! Absolutely yummy food!!! If you're staying in Moxy Amiens, I definitely recommend you order, at least, one dinner in your room.

Where is Hotel Moxy Amiens (on Google Maps): Moxy Amiens
How to reach Hotel Moxy Amiens? Just beside the railway station
Hotel Moxy Amiens phone no: +33 03 66 32 18 99
Hotel Moxy Amiens room rates: Room rates begin at €100 for double occupancy in a standard room

Best Amiens Hotels | Budget hotels in Amiens | Moxy Amiens by Marriot

Best Amiens Hotels | Budget hotels in Amiens | Moxy Amiens by Marriot

Best Amiens Hotels | Budget hotels in Amiens | Moxy Amiens by Marriot

Best Amiens Hotels | Budget hotels in Amiens | Moxy Amiens by Marriot

Best Amiens Hotels | Budget hotels in Amiens | Moxy Amiens by Marriot

I did not expect it, but Amiens has pocket-friendly vegetarian-friendly food options available! There are quite a few quick eats & sandwich shops in the main shopping area of Amiens and most of them have at least one vegetarian option incl. Subway, Nachos, Fresh Burritos, etc. 
That said, one of the best places for vegetarian food in Amiens is Break! It's a simple little restaurant with pre-packed meal options which you could get as it is or with a drink & dessert. There is seating available inside the restaurant but you could easily take the packaged food and have your lunch near the Cathedral or Canals or anywhere!


Day 1 (Winter) - Jules Verne Walking Tour, Maison Jules Verne, Christmas Market, Santa Village, Chroma Light Show
Day 1 (Summer) - Les Hortillonages Boat tour, Jules Verne Walking Tour, Amiens Zoo (or) Maison Jules Verne
Day 2 (Summer/Winter) - Amiens Cathedral, Belfry, Picardy Museum, walking tour of Le Quai
Day 3 (Summer/Winter) Remembrance Tourism through the Somme battlefields, cemeteries, and war museums.

Break vegan restaurant in Amiens
Break Vegan Restaurant in Amiens

Break Vegan Restaurant in Amiens
Interiors at Break

Things to eat at Amiens | Candied Chestnuts | Jean Trogneux
Candied Chestnuts at Jean Trogneux

Amiens Craft beers by Charles & Vianney | Things to eat in Amiens
Amiens Craft beers by Charles & Vianney

Le Quai | Best restaurants in Amiens
Dinner at Le Quai

Amiens is the home to 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France. Amiens is the heart of the Somme region which was an important place during WWI and this is where the Somme Battlefields are. Amiens is the home to the largest cathedral in France. Amiens is the home to the very unique Hortillonages (floating vegetable gardens & markets)! Amiens is where Jules Verne wrote 'Around the world in 80 days'. Of course, Amiens is an easy day trip or weekend trip from Paris, Lille, and Brussels even if you don't have a car! So yeah, it is totally worth visiting Amiens.

Visit Amiens on 2 trips - once during Christmas time and once in Spring or Summer. During Christmas time, you can see the Chroma Light Show and also experience the rest of the city, esp., the Le Quai area lit with Christmas lights! However since Amiens Zoo and Les Hortillonages are closed in winter, take another trip to Amiens during Spring or Summer to experience everything that Amiens has to offer.
If you're planning an overnight in Amiens, both summer and winter are good. However, if you're planning a day trip to Amiens choose December because the Chroma Monumental Experience light show is much earlier, at 7:00PM in December (when compared to 10:00PM in summer).

Amiens has an excellent railway station and a bus station as well. Amiens is well connected by SNCF as well as buses like Flixbus. There are direct trains to Amiens from Lille and Paris.

Just like I have mentioned earlier in my articles on Chartres, Reims, Lorsch, etc., the local transport within Amiens doesn't show on Google Maps, but it exists! Amiens local transport buses are operated by Ametis. The ticketing of Ametis is completely digitized - just pay with your contactless card or phone on the ticket validator as soon as you board the bus. There is no option to buy a ticket from the driver. A single trip costs €1.50 but if you make more than 4 trips a day it costs only €4.60 for the whole day! Also, Saturdays are free days for everyone on Ametis buses!!!

Ametis Route Map: Download via Ametis official website

l'Arbre à gargouilles - A gargoyle tree at Le Quai (Venice of the North)
l'Arbre à gargouilles - A gargoyle tree at Quartier Saint Leu (Venice of the North)

Amiens Belfry | Top Amiens Attractions | UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Hauts-de-France
Amiens Belfry - UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hauts-de-France

Ultimate Travel Guide to visit Amiens Pinterest Top Things to do in Amiens Pinterest

Hotel Moxy Amiens - A Review | Pinterest Musee de Picardie | Picardy Museum | Amiens | Pinterest


An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands


  1. I didn't know that Jules Verne was so tied to Amiens. I remember reading Journey to the centre of the Earth, when I was growing up my parents had his entire collection of books. I read quite a few of them. I would love to go on the self guided Jules Verne trail in Amiens as well, and discover where he lived as well as other places he is connected to. Dewaily Clock looks very intriguing, I'd like to spend some time seeing if I recognise the characters on it. I would also love to stroll along the streets of Quartier Sain Leu. I can see why it is called the Venice of the north.

  2. It is so funny to see Amiens here because it's one of the first places I've ever been in France when I first arrived in early 2020, and some of the things on this list such as the Cathedral I've actually seen and taken pictures in! I didn't know about the Picardy Museum because this indeed seems so Instagrammable and cool, I have to go on my next visit.

  3. That's so interesting to know about the Jules Verne connection here. I'd never heard about Amiens before, or that it was considered the Venice of the north! Living near the real Venice makes it more interesting. You're right about the Museum, it's something I really want to see. And those macarons? I'll eat at least 3!

  4. I had not even heard of Amiens before. But was interested to read that it can be done as a day trip or weekend outing from Paris. Fun to read that you can do a walking tour and follow Jules Verne’s path. The Piccadilly Museum building looks like a work of art itself! Glad you found lots to keep your kids engaged too. Hubby would want to visit battlefields so that would make it a longer visit for us.

  5. With so many places to see and activities to do, Amiens is a truly amazing city. There is no denying the beauty of Amiens Cathedral. The Picardy Museum appears to be a highly fascinating location with a very exquisite interior. This day trip seems to have been enjoyable for both you and Atyudarini. This trip guide will most certainly be pinned for later use.

  6. Happy to know that there is so much to see and do in Amiens. I am a huge fan of these classics written by Jules Verne and it would be exciting to join this walking tour. A visit to the Picardy Museum sounds great too. Bookmarking this post for future reference.

  7. Looks beautiful! I always enjoy visiting churches and cathedrals, and I love the gothic ones. I have been to Notre Dame before it burned and it was big. So for this to be twice in size it must been huge! Also the museum looks very interesting. Great find!

  8. I had no idea that Jules Verne wrote his books in Armiens! The self-guided walking tour along his footsteps is something I would love to do. Also interesting to read your verdict about the Moxy in Armiens. I have a stay in one of the Moxy hotels on my wish-list. Armiens seems to be a lovely weekend destination and I am looking forward to your post about the cathedral!

  9. Except Paris we haven't seen any other city in France. Now Amiens would certainly feature in our plans after seeing what's on offer. Visiting Cathedrals always gives me a sense of peace and therefore Amiens Cathedral would probably be the starting point.Next would be Picardy Museum starting with Grand Salon. Quartier Saint Leu during the day and night again as you suggest, and trying out Macarons in Jean Trogneus is a must being a foodie. Thanks for this complete Guide.


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