Looking for a break from Paris, want to see something else than Paris, you may consider an one day trip to Amiens.
Amiens is in the north of Paris. There are trains from Paris Gare du Nord station almost every hour and the journey is only about 1 hour and 15 minutes. I’ll suggest to take the train at 9 am and return train at about 5:30 pm.
Once there, you may go to the Tourist office which is next to the Amiens Cathedral to take some information. There is also a free toilet there.
My itinerary :
Morning : visit the Cathedral Amiens and Saint Peter Park
Afternoon: Hortillonages boat ride, walk or cycling along the canals
The Cathedral of Amiens is a must of the visit. This cathedral is dated from 1220. It is one of the biggest church in France and has been listed by UNESCO as World Heritage since 1981. Besides admiring the architecture, you can see The Maze , The High Relief of Saint Firmin, the relics of Saint John the Baptist… Do not forget the Weeping Angel which became worldwide famous since the World War I Allied troops sent postcards with this image to their families.
After some walking, you may have lunch in one of the restaurants along the canal. We have triedLe Quai Amiens. Good food and good service.
We had visited Amiens last Christmas. Since we had not done the Amiens hortillonnages, we returned again this Easter week-end to do it. It was just fantastic, such a heaven of peace. The Hortillonnages is also known as the floating gardens. It’s existence dated from ancient time. “Hortillonnages” comes from the Latin “hortus’ meaning garden. The marshy land today is about 300 hectares connecting by 65 km of water ways: ditches and canals. This 45 minutes boat ride is suitable for all ages. You see the beautiful gardens, colorful chalets and the wild life in the marshy land… It is better to arrive at 1:15 pm to take the first boats in order to avoid long queues especially in summer time.
Take a walk or ride a bike on the Chemin de Halage. It is a scenic path next to the Hortillonnages.
On the water ditches are passages to the gardens. These passages are closed by gates. Some of these gates are dated from the 19th century. In metal, wood, stone, classic or modern, they are fascinating.
Amiens used to be a workers city but it has been developed recent years to welcome visitors. It is indeed quite pleasant to stroll around the canals, parks and squares.
There are so many day trips that we can do from Paris. Keep an eye on my next exploration journal !
Celia SO, Paris. April 2019
Useful information :
Transport : Train from Paris to Amiens is about 1 hour and 15 minutes. : 15-22€ one way, train about every hour.
From Amiens train station to Hortillonnage: 14 mns walking From Amiens train station to Cathedral of Amiens : 9 mns walking
Le Quai Amiens restaurant 13-15 Quai Belu, 80000 Amiens. Opens everyday for lunch and diner. Reservation recommended or arrive early. Tel : +33 03 22 72 10 80
Hortillonnage Boat ride : Maison des Hortillonnages, 54 Boulevard Beauville -80000 Amiens Tel : +33 3 22 92 12 18 Tarif : Individuals : 7 € / adult. Boat ride starting at 1:30 pm, ticket office opens at 1:15 pm Morning time is reserved for group : 60€ for a boat of 12 adults + 1€ / person
For more information, check http://www.amiens-tourisme.com/