Things to see in Picardy

  • France-Picardie
    © Philippe Halle / 123RF
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination France


One thing's for sure, fish lovers won't be disappointed in Picardie. Sole, shrimp and eel are essential ingredients in many of the region's dishes. For dessert, you will discover a special cheese, whose maturation process is interrupted to flavour it with tarragon and pepper. The "Dessert de Napoleon" is a cake made with pineapple. A chef obsessed with the Napoleon army is also responsible for creating "la confiture de lait" jam (a sweet caramel sauce made with milk and sugar) for which the area is very well-known. Mustard is also a typical product of the region and you will find wine is produced here too, on the border with Champagne.

The fauna and flora

Picardie has nearly 200 mi of inland waterways and approximately a fifth of its surface is covered with forests, especially in the area around Soissons. Champagne has a profusion of vineyards and a few rivers and canals make up part of the landscape around Saint-Quentin. Many migratory birds use the mouth of the river as a resting place and lay their eggs in the region. 543 acres of dunes, marshland and forests in the Somme are dedicated to the "Parc du Marquenterre", a protected zone for birds.

Arts and culture

At the museum of art and archaeology, regional archaeology takes centre stage. At the Musée de Picardie you will be able to admire paintings from El Greco to Picasso. The Museum of Barbarian Times will have you relive the time of the Merovingians. Unfortunately, the Second World War left behind its mark on the region. A museum at the Castle of Péronne provides visitors with information about this period. The home in which Jean de la Fontaine was born can be visited in Château-Thierry.


Besides the numerous churches and castles, there are six large cathedrals in Picardy. At 145 metres long, the cathedral of Amiens is the largest in France. The Gothic era, in particular, left a mark on Picardy; Notre Dame of Laon is a good example of this. The Basilica of St. Quentin is also interesting from an architectural point of view. At the Château-fort de Guise you can visit some terrifying oubliettes ("secret dungeons reached only via trapdoor"). The Renaissance Castle of François I in Villers-Cotterets is known for its elegant park. The St. Michel Abbey in Thiérache is also an important building in the region.

Activities and leisure

The adventure park in the middle of the pine woods of Quend-Plage is aimed at the more adventurous tourists holidaying in Picardy. Parc Astérix attracts visitors with its daring rides. Saint Leu d'Esserent leisure park offers more contemplative attractions. The farm animals here never fail to light up the faces of the little ones. Adults can also set out to enjoy the hiking trails around the bay.

Sports and activties

Horse riding and golfing are the most popular sports in the region. In fact, there are several golf courses waiting for you to tee off. Fishing fans will also not be disappointed. Several lakes offer a reservoir of various varieties of fish. Of course, you can always just enjoy the scenery on foot and organise a hike along the lakes or through the lush forests.

Night Life

Amiens has plenty of bars where you can spend a pleasant evening. Two we would recommend are 'Arawak 1', which exudes the sun of the West Indies, and 'Squale Bar', located at the edge of the Somme river. 'Au Bureau', in Beauvais, holds live concerts once a month. The 'J. B Pub Hotel' is located in the same spot. At the heart of the city of Laon is 'Les Arcades' and in Coucy-le-Château you will find 'L'évasion'. Each of these have their own, very unique atmosphere.

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