Top things to do

Top Choice Cathedral in Amiens

Cathédrale Notre Dame

A Unesco World Heritage Site, the largest Gothic cathedral in France (at 145m long) and the largest in the world by volume was begun in 1220 to house the skull of St John the Baptist. It's renowned for its soaring G…
Top Choice Museum in Lille

Palais des Beaux Arts

Inaugurated in 1892, Lille's illustrious Fine Arts Museum claims France's second-largest collection after Paris' Musée du Louvre. Its cache of sublime 15th- to 20th-century paintings include works by Rubens, Van Dyc…
Top Choice Seafood in Le Touquet

Perard

One of France's most famous seafood restaurants, frequented by a host of celebrities, 1960s-opened Perard combines a casual oyster bar with seating at high stools, a fishmonger and a restaurant with a retractable gl…
Top Choice Palace in Compiègne

Palais de Compiègne

This 1337-room palace, originally built for Louis XV, hosted Napoléon III's dazzling hunting parties, which drew aristocrats from all around Europe. A single ticket grants access to the sumptuous Grands Appartements…
Top Choice Museum in Somme Battlefields & Memorials

Historial de la Grande Guerre

For historical and cultural context, the best place to begin a visit to the Somme battlefields is the outstanding Historial de la Grande Guerre in Péronne, 60km east of Amiens. Located inside the town's fortified me…
Top Choice Cathedral in Laon

Cathédrale Notre Dame

A model for several of its more famous Gothic sisters – Chartres, Reims, Dijon and Paris' Notre-Dame among them – this medieval jewel was built between 1150 and 1235 in the transitional Gothic style on Romanesque fo…
Top Choice Aquarium in Boulogne-sur-Mer

Nausicaá

At this vast manta ray–shaped aquarium – one of the world's largest – huge tanks with floor-to-ceiling windows make you feel as though you're swimming with the sharks. All-up there are more than 60,000 creatures, in…
Top Choice Tunnel in Somme Battlefields & Memorials

La Cité Souterraine de Naours

Believed to date from the 3rd century AD, this extraordinary underground 'city' of quarried tunnels was started by the Romans and expanded over the centuries, incorporating 28 galleries and 300 rooms, including thre…
Top Choice French in Calais

Le Grand Bleu

Run by talented avantgardiste chef Matthieu Colin (formerly of Paris institution Ledoyen), royal-blue-painted Le Grand Bleu is known for its cuisine élaborée (creatively transformed versions of traditional dishes) s…
Top Choice Flemish in Cassel

'T Kasteelhof

At the 'highest estaminet (traditional Flemish restaurant) in Flanders', facing Cassel's hilltop windmill, you can quaff Flemish beer (including Kassels Bier, only available here), sip vin de chicorée (made with red…