North East France places to visit and attractions

Below you can explore some of the most popular highlights and places of interest in the North East France region. See also our North East France travel guide.


photo of Abbeville

Abbeville makes a pleasant detour when you are exploring the Baie de Somme region, in particular to see the Collegiale Church of Saint-Vulfran

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photo of Aire-sur-la-Lys

Now officially listed as a 'recommended detour' town, the highlight in Aire-sur-la-Lys is the bailliage, an ornate renaissance style building built in 1600

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photo of Amiens

As well as the remarkabe gothic style cathedral which attracts most visitors, Amiens also has several other sites of interest and museums

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Amiens Cathedral

photo of Amiens Cathedral


photo of Arras

The belfry and the large number of baroque style houses make the centre of Arras very appealing with little clue that most were rebuilt less than 100 years ago after WW1 damage

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photo of Bar-le-Duc

In the upper town of Bar-le-Duc you can find good examples of both medieval and renaissance style houses

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photo of Beauvais

In Beauvais you can see the important (if often rebuilt and renovated) cathedral with its famous astronomical clock and several medieval houses

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photo of Bitche

The citadel in Bitche is very interesting, with videos explaining the history and sieges of the town

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photo of Boulogne-sur-Mer

The old town with its ramparts, castle and ancient streets are the highlight in Boulogne itself, while nearby there are plenty of good sandy beaches

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photo of Cambrai

Remarkably for the town that was the site of the world's first ever tank batle, Cambrai is very interesting to explore with lots of historical monuments and a high quality museum

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photo of Chalons-en-Champagne

In Chalons-sur-Champagne it is the various churches that are the main highlight of a visit

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photo of Charleville-Mezieres

In and around the grand Place Ducale, among the largest squares in France, you can see a large number of interesting 17th century houses and arcades

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photo of Epernay

The grand wine houses andvineyards around the town leave you in doubt that Epernay is the world capital of Champagne!

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photo of Epine

In the village of Epine you can visit the Basilica of Notre Dame de l'Epine, an impressive 15th century cathedral in the 'flamboyant gothic' style with gargoyles and many architectural features to admire

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photo of Ermenonville

The Mer de Sable theme park is the main reason visitors come to Ermenonville, but find time to also see the Chateau d'Ermenonvile and visit the Park Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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photo of Esquelbecq

At Esquelbec you can admire the Flemand style town centre with its Chateau and church, and visit an important war cemetery

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photo of Fort-Mahon-Plage

Both the beach itself and the resort of Fort-Mahon-Plage are among the most popular coastal destinations in Picardy

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photo of Gerberoy

The 18th century cottages and pretty gardens, and a radical transformation during the last 50 years, have ensured that Gerberoy is listed among the 'most beautiful villages in France'

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photo of Givet

On the border with Belgium, Givet is dominated by the Charlemont Fort and is a lovely place to stroll along the river banks

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photo of Gravelines

The principal attraction at Gravelines is the fortifications, built by the Spanish in the 16th century and reinforced by Vauban in the 17th century

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photo of Joinville

Garden enthusiasts will want to visit Joinville to see the extensive gardens of the Château du Grand Jardin

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La Ferte-Milon

photo of La Ferte-Milon

The curious facade of a 14th century castle dominates your visit to La Ferté-Milon

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photo of Langres

The highlight in Langres is the chance to follow the 3 kilometres of ramparts - either walking or by tram

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photo of Laon

The cathedral in Laon is an astonishing early gothic masterpiece, and the Museum of Laon is another unexpected highlight

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Le Crotoy

photo of Le Crotoy

The long sandy beach is the main attraction in Le Crotoy, and the town is also very pleasant to explore

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Le Touquet

photo of Le Touquet

Upmarket Le Touquet is probably the most popular of the coastal resorts in the region, with a lovely beach and wide range of facilties

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photo of Lille

The renaissance of Lille over the last 20 years has transformed an industrial town into one of the most rewarding cities in northern France to vist

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photo of Maroilles

It is the riverside setting and the buildings that remain of the abbey complex that once stood here that form the main attraction in Maroilles

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photo of Metz

As well as the cathedral it is the grand squares surrounded by 18th century townhouses that are among the highlights of your visit to Metz

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photo of Montherme

In a pleasant seting on the Meuse river, the two churches and a stroll along the riverside will be the highlights when you visit the village of Monthermé

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photo of Montreuil

The historic centre of the fortified town of Montreuil is lovely to explore with lots of cobbled streets and shady squares to discover

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photo of Nancy

Rather overlooked as a tourist destination, the centre of Nancy around Place Stanislaus is impressive enough to be classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there are several high quality museums!

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photo of Noyon

The medieval centre of Noyon is dominated by its cathedral in the 'transition' style (between roman and gothic periods) and related monuments

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photo of Parfondeval

The small and rather remote village of Parfondeval is lso very picturesque and centred around its fortified church

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photo of Reims

In the attractive and lively centre of Reims you can see three UNESCO listed world heritage sites: the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Abbey of Saint-Remi and the Palace of Tau

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photo of Rodemack

The medieval centre in the fortified village of Rodemack make it one of the most beautiful villages in the Lorraine region

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photo of Roubaix

Although its not a major tourist destination, the centre of the large town of Roubaix has several sights of interest

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photo of Saint-Amand-les-Eaux

Established as a spa centre for more than 2000 years, it is still the spa treatments that attract visitors to Saint-Amand-les-Eaux today

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photo of Saint-Omer

The attractive centre of Saint-Omr is one of the best towns to see houses built in the Flemish style typical of the region

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photo of Saint-Quentin

In the central square in Saint-Quentin, the 16th century town hall is a remarkable example of secular gothic style architecture

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photo of Saint-Quirin

The centre of the small village of Saint-Quirin is very pleasant to explore, then take the cobbled path that leads to a small chapel above the village

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photo of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme

Saint-Valery-sur-Somme is one of the nicest towns in the region, especially the area around the harbour with the old fishermen cottages

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photo of Sedan

Now a 'town of art and history' it is the castle and surrounding streets where your visit to Sedan will focus

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photo of Senlis

The ruined castle, the cathedral and the narrow cobbled streets make Senlis a very pleasant town to visit

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photo of Soissons

In Soissons you can explore the abbey and the cathedral before taking a pleasant riverside walk

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photo of Troyes

As well as one of the most impressive medieval quarters in France, Troyes also has important renaissance buildings, a cathedral, a Museum of Modern Art and lots of other highlights

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photo of Verdun

War memorials are the centre of most visits to Verdun, scene of some of the most terrible battles in the First World War, but don't overlook the cathedral and the citadel

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photo of Vireux-Molhain

In Vireux-Molhain you can follow an attractive nature trail and also visit the Collegiale Church

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For more information see the North East France guide