Feel our top 5 sensory experiences in Amiens…

See the Notre-Dame cathedral and bell tower, both listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The cathedral is the tallest complete structure of its kind in France.

Hear the words of writer Jules Verne at his 19th-century former home on Rue Charles Dubois. Verne moved to Amiens in 1871 and rented this red-brick house from 1882 to 1890.

Smell the hortillonnages, floating market gardens you can explore by boat. The 300 hectares are interlaced with a 65km network of canals known as rieux.

Taste gâteau battu, a rich brioche cake, and ficelles picardes, pancakes stuffed with cheese, ham and mushrooms.

Touch bric-a-brac at the flea markets. April and October sees Amiens come alive with close to 2,000 stallholders – visitors from all over Europe come to browse the varied wares on offer in a vibrant, social atmosphere.

Whether you’re a history buff, garden lover or culture vulture, Amiens (External link) has become the new essential weekend destination, accessible in just under two hours from Paris. Capital of the former region of Picardy, the city boasts a wealth of treasures including its UNESCO-listed cathedral and belfry (External link) , the floating hortillonnages gardens (External link) and the former residence of writer Jules Verne (External link) . Amiens is ideal to explore either on foot or by bike and there are events not to be missed, including the arty Nuit Blanche in October and light shows on the cathedral from June to September as well as at Christmas.

Getting to Amiens

By air: 1 hour by TGV from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport; 45 minutes by car from Paris-Beauvais airport

By train: 3 hours by TGV from London via Paris; 1 hour by train from Paris

By car: A16, A29 and A1 motorways

Further information:Amiens Métropole Tourist Office 23 place Notre Dame80000 Amiens

Tel: +33 (0)3 22 71 60 50 (External link)