Top French Cities - Amiens at a glance

AS Flament
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

About Top French Cities -

Top French Cities is an association of 29 cities, from regional capitals like Bordeaux to important towns like Avignon and Versailles. They are perfect for young travelers, families and anyone else looking for fun and authentic French experiences that will fit their budget. Most of these cities are university towns with a youthful atmosphere, but all of them reflect the heritage and distinctive flavors of the regions to which they belong. Many are forward-looking too, with historic buildings repurposed to house contemporary art and activity centers like Les Docks in Marseille. Many have created or integrated new, modern museums to contrast with their classical, architectural heritage, like in Nimes, where the cutting-edge Museum of Roman Civilization (Musée de la Romanité) is located across from the historic Roman amphitheater, or in Nantes, where whimsical mechanical creatures are being created, or in the UNESCO World Heritage Site concrete city of Le Havre.


Marion Fourestier
Atout France-The France Tourism Development Agency