Paris can be overwhelming sometimes, and I believe it is a very good idea to escape the immensity and the noise of the French capital.
I have heard about Amiens’ breathtaking Cathedral, therefore I decided to go there for a day trip with my sister and her Canadian friends.
Amiens, located midway from between Lille and Paris, is one hour and a half away from Paris by train, Gare du Nord. It is the capital of the historical Picardy region (now a part of the Hauts-de-France region).
Train ticket: 20 euros round trip
The city of Amiens is pretty small. Streets were much more crowded in the afternoon. The city is much visited by British people. Probably because British troops fought alongside the French troops during the Battle of the Somme, which is one of the bloodiest battles of History (over a million victims).
The Residential Tour Perret, in front of the Amiens Train Station
Here are a few highlights of our trip.
The Hortillonnages of Amiens
Amiens’ Hortillonnage are the 300 hectares floating gardens on reclaimed marshlands. The garden plots are separated by small canals, called rieux. Cultivated since the Middle Ages, the hortillonnages were market gardens, where townspeople would grow leeks, carrots etc. Nowadays, the garden plots are mostly privately owned. I saw some land for sale…
The Hortillonnages are only accessible by boat. You can either rent a boat at the Nautical Club or sign up for a 45-minute boat tour in the rieux (walk up the Boulevard de Beauville). We chose to do the latter and paid 6 euros per person.
The docks for the boat ride close from 12 to 1:30 pm, so I advice you to go there in the morning (we went there in the afternoon and there were a lot of French group tours. We had to sign up for the next available time slot and waited 30 minutes for our boat).
Randomly stumbled upon some art installation
The city is less than 15 minutes away by foot
The Tallest Gothic Cathedral of France
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, Notre Dame d’Amiens Cathedral is the tallest Gothic church in France. On that day, there were renovations on the right side of the Cathedral, but it did not disturb our visit.
The Cathedral is simply outstanding. I wonder how people and engineers from the 13th century erected such a monument.
Internal height under the central nave: 42.30 meters.
A few walls were being repainted with the 13th’s original colors
Jules Verne’s House
Located 7 minutes away from the Amiens train station, don’t miss Jules Verne’s House! The House is now a three-story high Museum you can visit.
Everyone heard about Jules Verne’s novels such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea or Eighty Days Around the World.
Amiens & its little canals
We did not have enough time to fully explore the canals of the city as we had booked an early train ticket. Nevertheless, the city is quite photogenic!