Top French Cities - Amiens at a glance

Press release

For more information, visit the Amiens Metropole Tourist Office at

City region: Picardy / Hauts-de-France

Population & what they are called: 132,479 inhabitants (2014 census), called Amiénois

Access from Paris:

  • by road: about 1 h 40 min (90 miles) via the A16 autoroute L'Européenne

  • by train: about 1 h 10 min by an Intercity service from the Gare du Nord

Famous native daughters & sons:

  • Jules Verne, writer, city councillor

  • Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, politician, former Minister of Education

  • Emmanuel Macron, politician, President of France

Most distinctive and/or unique fact or trait (or little known fact):

  • The 1918 Battle of Amiens was a key Allied victory at the opening phase of the Hundred Days Offensive that helped bring an end to World War I.

  • The many canals throughout Amiens have long given it the nickname “little Venice of the north.”

Notable sites:

  • Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens – a jewel of Gothic architecture, the tallest of the 13th-century churches, the largest of its kind in France and the largest cathedral in the world by interior volume

  • Maison de Jules Verne – the house where Verne lived and composed more than 30 novels

  • hortillonnages – floating gardens set in a natural reserve of marshland and surrounded by a grid network of manmade canals

Top annual events:

  • La Rue Est à Amiens – an international festival of street theatre (

  • Chroma – a dazzling summer sound-and-light show projected on the facade of the Notre-Dame cathedral

  • Marché de Noël – the largest Christmas Market in northern France (

Most notable museums:

  • Maison de la Culture d'Amiens (MCA) – focuses on exhibiting contemporary art (

  • Maison de Jules Verne – the house where Verne lived and composed more than 30 novels

Culinary specialties:

  • pâté de canard d'Amiens – duck pâté in pastry, where the filling is is a mix of spiced duck meat (meat, fat and liver) and sautéed mushrooms and onions

  • la ficelle Picarde – an oven-baked cheese-topped crêpe with ham and mushroom filling

  • macarons d'Amiens – almond-paste biscuits that were favorites of Catherine de Medici who introduced them in the 16th century

Local wines & spirits:

  • La BlueReide – the blue beer of Amiens, and the first blue beer brewed in France

  • beer – look out for other local beers brewed right in the Somme, the département in which Amiens is located


  • Grande Réderies – held twice a year (spring and autumn), the second largest largest flea markets in France

  • Marché sur l'Eau – every Saturday morning, a farmers market of food and flowers along the quays of the river

  • Rue des Trois Cailloux – a major shopping street whose numerous boutiques attract both tourists and locals

Most popular night spots:

  • La Lune des Pirates – a contemporary music venue set in a former banana warehouse of the Belu Wharf

  • Le Nelson – a relaxed lounge atmosphere in the heart of the Saint-Leu district

  • Le Rétroviseur – a recreated 1930s brasserie atmosphere

Local population’s favorite activities (or hangouts):

  • Parc Saint-Pierre – adjoining the hortillonnages, a large landscaped park right in the heart of the city

  • Saint-Leu district – narrow streets with historical names and colorful medieval houses that attest to a time before today’s art galleries, boutiques and antique dealers

  • canal towpath – fresh air and friendly biking right alongside the Somme and the famous hortillonnages

Local industries:

  • soaps and detergents – in Amiens, Proctor & Gamble owns one of the largest factories in the world for laundry and house cleaning products

  • Amazon – in response to rising demand, the American company opened its largest facility in France in Amiens in September 2017

  • Dunlop – the American tire company projects production of 4 million tires out of the Amiens factory in 2018

In Pop Culture:

  • Zic Zacou – a local band that for more than 35 years has struck a balance between street art and stage-show

  • comic art – a whole generation of Amiens designers and writers make the city an important creative centre of the 9th art, and the annual Rendez-Vous de la Bande Dessinée d'Amiens is one of the most important comics festivals in France

  • The Keepers (La Tête contre les murs) – a 1959 film drama about an institutionalized man who airs questions about how society defines and treats mental illness

Major 2018 development:

  • Tour de France – will be welcomed in Amiens on Bastille Day, July 14, 2018

  • Word War I commemorations – 100 year since the world war battles of 1918 and the end of the war


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency
New York, 10022
United States