For the past six years, I’ve been living in France and during that time I’ve traveled all over the country. From the Fort des Dunes near Dunkirk to the beaches in Marseille, I’ve been to a lot of places.
But one city that has always stuck with me is Amiens, so much so that I’ve visited more than once.
It’s famous for its stunning Gothic cathedral, rich history, and beautiful canals.
And while most flock to Amiens during the week, Sundays are quieter and less crowded.
So, now, you might be wondering what to do in Amiens on a Sunday.
In this post, I’ll share with you how to spend your Sunday in Amiens, including the best activities and sites to see.
What to Do in Amiens on a Sunday
Sunday is one of the best days to visit Amiens.
Here’s a look at some of the top tourist attractions and things that I recommend you do while you’re here.
1. Explore the Les Hortillonnages d’Amiens
One of my favorite attractions in Amiens was Les Hortillonnages or floating gardens.
This natural paradise spans an impressive 300 hectares and has a whopping 65 kilometers (40 miles) of canals.
Since the Middle Ages, it has been maintained by residents of the area, who use it to grow fruits and vegetables. And that’s what you’ll find here today. It’s full of lush vegetation, blooming flowers, and wildlife.
On Sundays, you can take a guided boat tour through these beautiful gardens and learn about their history and significance to the city.
I went on the first tour in the morning and saw tons of wildlife. Even a few people were gardening on their plots.
Then, at the end of the tour, my guide gave me a few tips for visiting Amiens.
If you’re coming from Paris, I recommend making this your first stop.
Helpful Tip: Boat tours are available from April to October.
Address: 54 Boulevard de Beauvillé
2. Discover the Maison de Jules Verne
The Maison de Jules Verne was where the famed French writer Jules Verne spent his final eight years.
His home, which is now a museum, offers a glimpse into his world.
Here you’ll find several floors of exhibits, showcasing Verne’s writing, personal effects, and the inspirations behind his stories.
They also had collections showing just how popular his works were. For his book “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” they must have had hundreds of translated copies. Some dated to the early 1900s.
They even had a room that looked like the front of a ship. It was so real I had the feeling I was in a scene from the book. It was easily one of the coolest parts of the museum.
Address: 2 Rue Charles Dubois
3. Stroll around Saint-Leu Quarter
One of the best ways to experience Amiens on a Sunday is by exploring its charming Saint-Leu quarter.
Take a walk along the canal and admire the picturesque streets. The area is also home to small boutiques, art galleries, and cafés.
One of my favorite streets was Rue Motte. There were tons of colorful houses and even a few half-timbered ones. It reminded me of traditional Alsatian architecture.
Then, if you’re looking for a bite to eat, stop by the historic Quai Belu. There are tons of fantastic restaurants lined along the river. And they all look out over the Amiens Cathedral.
4. Visit the Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens
No visit to Amiens would be complete without seeing the famous Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens.
Built in the 13th century, this majestic Gothic cathedral is the largest in France and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s renowned for its stunning façade that is covered in hundreds of sculptures. The cathedral’s interior is equally impressive.
I knew that its inner volume was twice that of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral, but I hadn’t realized how big it was until I stepped inside.
The ceiling seemed to reach the sky and the stained-glass windows lit the church with such a soft light. It was absolutely incredible.
Then, if you’re visiting between July and September or during the Christmas market, there’s a colorful light show that is displayed on the front of the cathedral every evening.
Address: 30 Place Notre Dame
5. Tour the Musée de Picardie
If you’re interested in art and history, the Musée de Picardie is a must-visit on your Sunday in Amiens.
This fine arts museum features collections from ancient civilizations to modern times.
It’s housed in a beautiful neo-classical building that was built specifically for the museum in the late 19th century.
I particularly enjoyed exploring the Egyptian and Greek collections. They had tons of artifacts, including a mummy.
One of the most beautiful rooms was the Rotonde Sol LeWitt. It was designed by Sol LeWitt, an American artist who was tasked with renovating the first floor.
The room is colorful, bright, and modern. It adds contrast to the rest of the museum, which looks more traditional.
Address: 2 Rue Puvis de Chavannes
6. Relax in Parc Saint Pierre
Parc Saint Pierre is a must-visit location in Amiens, especially on a relaxing Sunday. This contemporary park was built to be completely sustainable (i.e., it doesn’t need any watering).
It has been an ongoing project since the 1990s. And, in 2005, it won the Prix du Paysage for its eco-friendly design.
Take a stroll through the park to admire the different landscapes or sit down on one of the many benches to soak in the peaceful atmosphere. It’s also a great place to have a picnic. You can even rent a canoe and explore the lake.
When I visited there was a photography exhibition highlighting different sports photographers. The photos were displayed in an open space that was freely accessible.
It added an extra element to the park and made for a unique experience.
7. Marvel at the Tour Perret
The Tour Perret is a residential skyscraper standing at 110 meters (360 feet). Construction was completed in 1952 and it was named after its architect Auguste Perret.
Today, it’s most known for being France’s first skyscraper. And no matter where you are in Amiens you can see the top of the tower.
You can’t tour the inside, but it’s still worth checking out.
On one of my trips to Amiens, my hotel room had a view of the Tour Perret. And I got to see it up close. It was a surreal experience, to say the least.
Address: 13 Place Alphonse-Fiquet
8. Apéro at Baobar
An apéro is a pre-dinner drink and snack, like a happy hour. And there’s no better place to take part in this French tradition than at Baobar.
They have tons of fun cocktails, and their planches are so delicious. I ordered the biggest one they had so I could taste everything. There was fruit, cheese, bread, and some charcuterie. It was beyond tasty.
Then, if you’re visiting in summer, they have outdoor seating so you can relax under the sun.
Address: 2 Rue des Bondes
9. Bike along Chemin de Halage
Chemin de Halage is a long path that follows the beautiful River Somme. It’s a popular spot to go biking, walking, or running. But if you want to see everything, I recommend renting a bike.
Buscyclette has a variety of bikes that you can rent for as little as €5 a day.
Along the way, you’ll pass charming houses set on the back of the river, colorful passerelles or bridges, and lots of greenery.
My favorite passerelle was the one in the photo above. It was near the Association Arts Et Mouvement (89 Chemin de Halage), not far from the beginning.
There are a few cafés and restaurants along the way, but you should pack some food and water in case you might need it.
10. Visit Jules Verne’s Tomb
Not only did Jules Verne pass his final years in Amiens, but he was also buried here at Cimetière de la Madeleine.
It’s far from the other attractions on this list, but I can guarantee it’s worth the hike.
Here you’ll find beautiful tombstones, lush greenery, and peaceful walking paths.
So, even if you’re not familiar with Jules Verne’s work, it’s still an incredible place to visit.
It reminded me of the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. And the calmness of the place is perfect for a Sunday afternoon.
11. Indulge in a Macaron from Jean Trogneux
Since moving to France, I’ve tried a lot of macarons, and the ones from Amiens are my favorite.
They are very different from the ones you often see in Paris.
The macarons from Amiens are small dense round cookies (photo above).
The outside is crispy while the inside is soft and gooey. They’re sweet but not too sweet so you can indulge in two, if you want.
There are quite a few places in Amiens that sell these delicious treats, but I got mine from Jean Trogneux.
Address of Jean Trogneux: 23 Rue André
12. Check Out the Beffroi d’Amiens
The Beffroi d’Amiens is often overlooked. It sits in the shadow of the Amiens Cathedral, so most pass by this unique structure.
But the lesser-known monuments always catch my attention.
It dates to the time of King Louis VI, but the exact year remains a mystery. It was rebuilt in the 15th century and had many purposes. At one point or another, it was a prison, a meeting place, and a watch tower.
After a series of fires, it was restored to the bell tower you see today.
The top half dates to the 18th century, while the lower half is from the 15th century.
And, in 2005, it joined the Amiens Cathedral as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You can’t visit the tower without a tour and the tourist office only offers two tours per month. So, make sure to book in advance.
13. Explore the Musée des Hortillonnages
The Musée des Hortillonnages is an open-air museum at the edge of the floating gardens. It’s dedicated to celebrating the unique history, culture, and landscape of the area.
Here you’ll find exhibits that show how these floating gardens have developed over time. From tools and boats to photographs, it’s an impressive collection.
Every ticket comes with a guided tour (you can’t visit without one).
When I went, my guide was a local from Amiens. I loved hearing his story and the role these floating gardens played in his life. It was a personal experience that you don’t typically get at a museum.
Helpful Tip: There are no photos allowed inside the museum, but you can take pictures of the gardens.
14. Relax in Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is one of the oldest botanical gardens in France.
For years, it was where botany classes were held.
And it’s easy to see why botanists wanted to study here.
There are thousands of different flora and fauna, all labeled and indexed. It’s so impressive that in 2013, Jardin des Plantes was labeled as a Jardin Remarquable.
When I visited, I had the entire place to myself. It was a relaxing escape from the busier city center. I strolled down the walkways and then sat on one of the benches to enjoy a macaron.
15. Take a Day Trip
Amiens is a great base for exploring other cities in France.
And, on Sundays, there are direct trains to both Lille and Reims from Amiens.
In Lille, you’ll find beautiful architecture, delicious food, and a vibrant culture. Wander around the Old Town, stop by La Vieille Bourse, or try the infamous pastry Le Merveilleux. There are tons of things to do here.
In Reims, you can visit the famous Champagne houses and learn about the production of this iconic French beverage. There’s also the Reims Cathedral and the Musée de la Reddition.
It’s about as big as Amiens, so even if it’s further than Lille, it’s easy to see in a day.
I’ve traveled to both cities from Amiens and they make for the perfect day trip. I found traveling to and from Lille slightly easier, only because there were more trains.
Either way, if you have more time, definitely consider taking a day trip to one of these cities.
Conclusion: What to Do in Amiens on Sundays
Amiens may seem quiet on Sundays, but there is still plenty to see and do.
From historical sites to peaceful gardens, there is something for everyone in this charming French city.
Of the sites I visited, Les Hortillonnages and the Amiens Cathedral stand out as the most spectacular. And, on Sunday, you’re guaranteed to have them to yourself.
So, next time you find yourself in Amiens on a Sunday, follow these tips and make the most of your experience!
Now, it’s time to start planning your trip. Why not buy your tickets and book your accommodation with some of the websites that I use for traveling around France?
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