I’ve called France my home for more than six years, and, of those six years, I lived in Paris for three of them. During that time, I took countless day trips to nearby cities and towns, but one of my favorites was to Amiens.
Located 90 minutes north of Paris by train, Amiens is the perfect destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle for a day.
It’s full of charming cobblestone streets, winding canals, and, of course, there’s the stunning Amiens Cathedral.
In this post, I’ll share with you the perfect Paris to Amiens day trip itinerary. It has everything you need to guarantee an incredible visit.
Paris to Amiens Day Trip Overview
If you’re short on time, here is an overview of my helpful guide.
- Morning: Travel to Amiens, Amiens Cathedral, Beffroi d’Amiens, Saint-Leu District, Street Art, Les Hortillonnages
- Afternoon: Dine at Ad Hoc Café, Jules Verne’s House, Try a Macaron, Musée de Picardie, Parc Saint-Pierre, Chemin de Halage
- Evening: Return to Paris
How to Get to Amiens from Paris
While there are tons of ways to get to Amiens from Paris, for this day trip, the best ways are by car and train.
Below I’ll cover both in detail.
Helpful Tip: The way you get to Amiens will be the same way you return to Paris.
The easiest and quickest way to get to Amiens from Paris is by train. You’ll take a regional TER train from Gare du Nord, which will get you there in about 75 minutes.
When I did this day trip, I took the earliest possible train because I didn’t want to miss out on anything.
Helpful Tip: As long as you leave in the morning, you’ll be able to complete everything on this itinerary.
Train tickets can be bought online or at the train station. But I recommend buying them in advance to secure your seat and potentially save money.
Once you arrive in Amiens, the city center is a short 10-minute walk from the train station.
If you prefer to drive, the journey from Paris to Amiens will take around two hours depending on traffic. You can rent a car in Paris and make your way there at your own pace.
The route is very straightforward. You just have to follow the A16 highway until you reach Amiens.
Helpful Tip: Parking in Amiens is limited and expensive. There are only six underground parking garages, so make sure to get there early if you want to guarantee a spot.
11 Things to Do in Amiens in One Day
Now that you know how to get to Amiens from Paris, let’s dive into all the amazing things you can do in one day in this charming French city.
1. Visit the Amiens Cathedral
The Amiens Cathedral was the first stop on my day trip from Paris.
It dates to the 13th century and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. It’s most known for being the largest cathedral in France.
In fact, the Amiens Cathedral is so big its inner volume is twice that of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral.
But that’s not the only reason to stop by.
The intricate details of the façade are some of the most impressive I’ve seen, even more so than Reims’ Notre Dame Cathedral.
And the inside is as incredible as the outside. The soaring nave, stunning stained-glass windows, and beautifully carved choir stalls are a few of the features that caught my eye.
Then, if you’re feeling brave, you can climb the tower to its highest platform for a view of the city below. It was a long slug to the top and my vertigo kicked in at the halfway mark. But once I saw the views, I forgot all about it.
Of the cathedrals I’ve toured in France, it easily tops the list.
Address: 30 Place Notre Dame
2. Stop by the Beffroi d’Amiens
The Beffroi d’Amiens is a bell tower that stands at an impressive 52 meters (170 feet).
The original tower was thought to have been built under King Louis VI but was rebuilt in the 15th century.
Over the years it served as a meeting place, record room, prison, and watchtower.
Unfortunately, it was destroyed by two consecutive fires, and the tower you see today is a blend of different types of architecture. The bottom half is from the 15th century while the top was built in the 18th century.
It was listed as a historical monument in 1926 and later a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
You can go up in the tower, but you’ll need to make a reservation with the tourist office.
Helpful Tip: The tourist office only offers two tours per month.
The views were not as impressive as those from the Amiens Cathedral, but I enjoyed the history and architecture.
Address: 1 Place Maurice Vast
3. Take a Stroll in the Saint-Leu District
The Saint-Leu district was my favorite district in Amiens. Its origins date to the Middle Ages when it was home to millers. And for years it was the poorest neighborhood in Amiens.
Today, it’s the most picturesque area in town. Here you’ll find art galleries, bookshops, boutiques, and cute cafés.
I loved strolling through the alleyways and admiring the colorful houses. It reminded me of Colmar’s Little Venice district.
Some of my favorite streets were Rue de la Dodane, Quai Belu, and Rue Motte.
Then, there’s the Saint-Leu Catholic Church. It’s not as big as the Amiens Cathedral, but it’s still impressive. It’s actually one of the twelve oldest churches in town.
4. Check Out the Street Art
Amiens is not only known for its rich history and architecture but also as a canvas for street art.
There are tons of murals and paintings all over the city. You’ll find them hidden on street corners, on the sides of buildings, and under bridges. And some of the most impressive are in the Saint-Leu district.
Here are the addresses of my favorites:
- 38 Rue Dame Jeanne
- 15 Rue de la Dodane
- 7 Rue du Pont À Moinet (above photo)
Then, if you head to Pont de Beauvillé, you’ll find two more murals under the bridge. It’s about a five-minute walk from Saint-Leu, but you’ll be in the area for the next activity I’m going to talk about.
5. Go on a Boat Tour of the Hortillonnages
The Hortillonnages are a 300-hectare labyrinth of floating gardens and waterways in the heart of Amiens.
These gorgeous gardens were cultivated since the Middle Ages, and they continue to be maintained by locals today. And the best way to experience them is on a traditional gondola.
Guided tours are offered throughout the day. And you can buy tickets online or at the office.
If you can, try to join one of the early tours. That’s what I did.
The tour lasted about an hour and my guide was very informative.
He shared stories about the history of the gardens, how they were used for farming, and how they survived during times of war. He was also very personable and was interested to know where I was from in the United States.
And, since I took the first tour that was available, the area was calm and peaceful. I only heard the sound of birds chirping and the boat gliding through the water.
It was one of the best experiences I had in Amiens.
Helpful Tip: Boat tours are offered from April to October. If you’re visiting outside these times, you can explore parts of the Hortillonnages on foot.
Address: 54 Boulevard de Beauvillé
6. Dine at Ad Hoc Café
The Ad Hoc Café is one of the most popular places to eat for locals. And I was lucky enough to get a table for lunch.
The menu has tons of delicious options, but I had the duck confit with roasted vegetables. It was absolutely delicious, and the presentation was beautiful too (picture above).
But what I liked the most was the atmosphere of the café. It’s cozy and inviting and the staff were very friendly. It’s the perfect spot to take a break.
Address: 1 Place du Don
7. Visit Jules Verne’s House
Jules Verne was a famous French author known for his science fiction novels such as “Around the World in Eighty Days.” He lived in Amiens from 1882 until he died in 1900.
His former residence is now a museum dedicated to his life and works. From the garden to the attic, it’s full of artifacts, manuscripts, and personal belongings of the author.
I loved exploring the different rooms and learning about his life. There was even a small room that looked like the bow of a ship, which was inspired by his novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.”
The visit doesn’t take more than an hour, so it’s worth fitting into your schedule.
Address: 2 Rue Charles Dubois
8. Try a Macaron
The Amiens Macaron is one of the best I’ve ever had.
Unlike the commonly known sandwich-like macarons in Paris, the ones from Amiens are small and compact. They have a crisp exterior, a dense yet delightfully soft center, and are full of flavor.
It reminded me of the ones from Nancy, but more dense.
There are tons of places where you can try these little treats, but I got mine from Jean Trogneux.
They have a boutique next to the cathedral and the staff was very friendly. You can even sit at their café if you want to take a break.
Address of Jean Trogneux: 23 Rue André
9. Visit the Musée de Picardie
The Musée de Picardie houses an impressive collection of archaeology, sculpture, and fine arts.
It first opened in 1869 and is considered one of the most beautiful museums in the region, so much so that it’s listed as a Musée de France.
It was the first purpose-built museum in France with the specific aim of housing works of art.
Needless to say, you can’t come to Amiens without stopping by.
There were so many incredible exhibits that I can’t choose which was my favorite. I really enjoyed the archaeology exhibits about ancient Egypt. They, actually, had preserved mummies.
Then, on the ground level, the Grand Salon had a beautiful collection of paintings. And the Rotonde Sol LeWitt was absolutely spectacular.
If you’re looking for something to do on Sunday in Amiens, this is a great activity!
Address: 2 Rue Puvis de Chavannes
10. Hang Out in Parc Saint-Pierre
If you’re looking for a place to relax and soak up some sun, Parc Saint-Pierre is the perfect spot.
Here you’ll find lush green lawns, picturesque ponds, and plenty of benches where you can sit and people-watch.
On one of my visits to Amiens, there was the 20th edition of Photaumnales. There were 40 different exhibitions around France and the one in Parc Saint-Pierre was called 128 Photographes Terrains de Jeux.
The photos were displayed in an open area and showcased work from different sports photographers. It was a unique and creative way to see sports through a different lens.
11. Admire the Passerelles along Chemin de Halage
Chemin de Halage is a great spot for a relaxing walk.
It’s a picturesque path along the River Somme and is lined with beautiful willow trees.
But what makes this walk extra special are the passerelles, or bridges, that connect both sides of the river.
Each one is different, either in design or color. And in this area, they are covered in vines and flowers, giving an extra touch of charm.
It’s a great way to get some fresh air and take in the natural beauty of Amiens. Plus, it’s an excellent spot for photo opportunities.
There are no addresses in Google Maps, but my favorite was near 89 Chemin de Halage (next to the Association Arts Et Mouvement). It’s the one you see in the photo above.
Conclusion: Day Trip from Paris to Amiens
A day trip from Paris to Amiens is more than worth your time. With its rich historical sites, charming districts, and stunning nature, Amiens offers a mix of culture, history, and beauty all in one place.
You can spend the day exploring the Hortillonnages, wandering around Jules Verne’s house, and soaking up the atmosphere in Saint-Leu.
Now, all that’s left to do is plan your trip. Why not start with booking your tickets with the same websites that I use to travel around France?
Read More Articles About France
I hope you enjoyed my post and found it useful. Here are some other articles that I think you might find interesting.
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