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The town is host to one of the largest Christmas markets in northern France. With an alpine flavour, this market is quite different to many around Europe and offers visitors a change from the traditional wooden crafts found elsewhere. Instead, visitors can enjoy Le Creuset kitchenware, fine crystal and hand-made glass, as well as Angora sweaters. For fish lovers, the market is home to many stalls selling eel, shrimp, duck and trout, as well as Beauvais chocolate and Amiens macaroons.

The town is host to one of the largest Christmas markets in northern France. With an alpine flavour, this market is quite different to many around Europe and offers visitors a change from the traditional wooden crafts found elsewhere. Instead, visitors can enjoy Le Creuset kitchenware, fine crystal and hand-made glass, as well as Angora sweaters. For fish lovers, the market is home to many stalls selling eel, shrimp, duck and trout, as well as Beauvais chocolate and Amiens macaroons. 

About the Market

The capital of Picardy, Amiens, is well known for its Gothic cathedral but also for one of the largest and greatest Christmas Markets in Northern France. The quaint streets in the town centre display over 120 chalets and stalls transforming the area into a beautiful Christmas Alpine festive scene. Produce from the region such as Amiens macaroons and marrons glacés, smoked and potted eel, shrimp, duck and trout, as well as pâtés of all kinds, are sold alongside local Maroilles cheeses from the Laon area.

The market is the best place to stock up on your Christmas drinks, look out for Marne Valley Champagne and homemade ciders. Your choice of gift can vary from Picardy's Le Creuset kitchenware, fine crystal and hand-made glass, Angora sweaters straight from the farm, specialist beauty products, and baskets in all shapes and sizes.

Entertainment is provided in the form of shows, carol singing and activities for children, as well as an ice-skating rink, merry-go-rounds and plenty of vin chaud - the perfect warm drink in winter. Wander through the pedestrianised streets with ease and be enthralled with Christmas trees, decorations and the festive atmosphere.

Amiens glows with festive spirit from the 24th November to the 29th December. Then from the 1st December to the 1st January at dusk the Cathedral is brightly illuminated and music fills the air it is pure magic.

Christmas market pictures: copyright is © Laurent Rousselin - Amiens Métropole

More about Amiens

The university town of Amiens exudes life and is only a 90 minute drive from Calais. There are a fine selection of restaurants many offering traditional French cuisine with particular reference to Picardy.

Amiens is a city with a strong historical tradition and one of the main attractions is the ancient cathedral of Notre Dame. This is the biggest Gothic building in France and was completed within a very short time scale, unlike most churches, making it unique and of huge architectural interest because of the period features which all date from a short interval in history. The cathedral has been described as the 'parthenon of Gothic architecture'.

Another area of great interest to the visitor to Amiens is the old quarter of St Lieu. This once formed the centre of the textile industry in the area.  It was built in the Flemish style and is situated to the north of the cathedral. it is best reached by Rue de Metz L'Evêque and Place du Don where the city's oldest houses are distinguished by their gables. Here you will find old cobbled streets lined with pretty colombage houses and a collection of Dutch and Flemish style cottages.

Accommodation in Amiens

Accommodation in central Amiens gets booked fast during the Christmas market period, so search for a hotel in Amiens now. Alternatively you may want to try charming rural self catering accommodation near Amiens, as during the winter months many holiday property owners allow short stays.

Transport quick facts about the markets:

Free Parking:  1/4 km / 20 mins by foot from the market
Pay Parking: Underground
Coach Parking: Depose Minute Cathedrale, Port d'Aual
Nearest Bus Route: All bus routes
Nearest Railway Station: Gare du Nord
Nearest Tram Stop: none
Nearest Tube Station: none
Nearest Airport: Beauvais - 50.66km: Charles de Gaulle International Airport 59.11km
Nearest Ferry Port: Calais

Getting to Amiens

Suggested Travel Routes:

Choosing to travel by train to France is a simple option. It’s fast and cost effective and also allows you to enjoy the beautiful French countryside. With a great rail network in place, it has never been easier to get to France by train. Book Eurostar and TGV tickets.

As a foot passenger from UK to Calais:

By Train: From as little as £59 return, you can take Eurostar direct from St Pancras International in London to Lille, in under 2 ½ hours. Trains run regularly departing London from 7am and the last return journey 9.13pm from Lille, Monday to Sunday. Connections can also be picked up from Ashford or Ebbsfleet. Once in Calais a transfer to another rail network would be required to reach Amiens. Book Eurostar and TGV tickets.

By Plane: the nearest Airport is Beauvais, but Charles de Gaulle International Airport would give you more flights to choose from. For example, you can fly direct to Charles de Gaulle International Airport from either Gatwick, Heathrow or London City with Airfrance. Once in Charles de Gaulle International Airport you would need to travel by rail for Amiens. Book cheap flights to France.

Taking your car from the UK to Amiens:

By Train: Take your car on Eurotunnel from Folkestone, Kent direct to Calais in France. Journey time is about 35 minutes and the cost varies but is around £55 day trip return for a car and 5 passengers.

By Boat: It is usually cheaper to take a car over to France by boat, because the journey takes longer. Operators offer regular ferry trips across the channel, with prices ranging from around £30 for a return day trip. Book a ferry to France.

The drive from Calais to Amiens is just over 157km and takes one and half hours.