19 Best Places And Things To Do in Saint-Leu, France

Saint-Leu is a charming city located in the northern region of France known as Picardy. Nestled on the banks of the River Somme, this picturesque destination offers a delightful blend of historical sites, natural beauty, and cultural attractions. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an outdoor adventurer, or a lover of art and culture, Saint-Leu has something to offer everyone. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in the city:

1. Saint-Leu Cathedral

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Start your exploration of the city by visiting the stunning Saint-Leu Cathedral. This Gothic masterpiece dates back to the 15th century and is renowned for its intricate architecture and beautiful stained glass windows.

2. Jules Verne House

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Discover the world of the famous French author Jules Verne at his former residence in Saint-Leu. The Jules Verne House is now a museum dedicated to his life and works, offering an immersive experience for literature enthusiasts.

3. The Floating Gardens

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Take a leisurely stroll along the Floating Gardens, known as “Hortillonnages.” These enchanting gardens consist of a series of small islands surrounded by canals. Explore the picturesque landscape by boat or on foot and admire the colorful flowers, lush greenery, and diverse birdlife.

4. Maison de la Culture

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If you’re interested in contemporary art, make sure to visit Maison de la Culture. This cultural center hosts various exhibitions, performances, and concerts throughout the year, showcasing the works of local and international artists.

5. Saint-Leu Market

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Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Saint-Leu Market, held every Saturday. This bustling market offers a wide range of fresh produce, regional specialties, crafts, and antiques. It’s the perfect place to sample local delicacies and pick up souvenirs.

6. Rue des Vergeaux

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Wander along Rue des Vergeaux, a charming pedestrian street lined with quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants. Enjoy a cup of coffee or indulge in traditional French cuisine while taking in the picturesque surroundings.

7. Saint-Leu Park

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Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax in Saint-Leu Park. This peaceful green space provides an ideal setting for a picnic, a leisurely walk, or simply enjoying the serene ambiance.

8. Boat Tours

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Explore the beauty of the River Somme and its surrounding areas by taking a boat tour. Several companies offer guided tours that allow you to discover the region’s natural landscapes, wildlife, and historical landmarks from a unique perspective.

9. Museum of Picardy

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If you’re interested in history and art, a visit to the Museum of Picardy is a must. This museum houses an extensive collection of archaeological artifacts, fine art, and historical exhibits that provide insights into the rich cultural heritage of the region.

10. Théâtre Jean Vilar

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Enjoy an evening of entertainment at Théâtre Jean Vilar. This modern theater hosts a variety of performances, including plays, concerts, dance shows, and more.

11. Parc Samara

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Located just outside of Saint-Leu, Parc Samara is an archaeological park that provides a fascinating glimpse into the prehistoric era. Explore reconstructed villages, watch live demonstrations of ancient crafts, and learn about the daily lives of our ancestors.

12. Saint-Leu Beach

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On warm sunny days, head to Saint-Leu Beach, a popular spot for relaxation and leisure activities. Take a dip in the refreshing waters of the River Somme, sunbathe on the sandy shores, or engage in water sports such as kayaking and paddleboarding.

13. Musée de l’Hotel de Berny

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Visit the Musée de l’Hotel de Berny, a historic mansion that now serves as a museum showcasing the city’s heritage. Admire the elegant architecture, explore the various rooms filled with period furniture and artwork, and gain insights into the local history.

14. Les Hortillonnages

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Explore Les Hortillonnages, a unique network of floating gardens and canals surrounding the city. Embark on a guided boat tour or rent a kayak to navigate through the serene waterways, surrounded by lush vegetation and charming cottages.

15. Maison de l’Oiseau

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Bird enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Maison de l’Oiseau, a birdhouse and nature reserve located in Saint-Leu. Discover a wide variety of bird species, learn about their habitats, and observe them in their natural environment.

16. Château de Bagatelle

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Venture a short distance from Saint-Leu to discover the exquisite Château de Bagatelle. This neoclassical masterpiece is set amidst beautiful gardens and features elegant interiors. Take a guided tour to admire the opulent furnishings and immerse yourself in the grandeur of the 18th-century French aristocracy.

17. Gastronomic Delights

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Indulge in the culinary delights of Saint-Leu by sampling the local cuisine. From traditional French dishes to regional specialties, the city’s restaurants and cafes offer a wide range of options. Don’t forget to try some Picardy delicacies like ficelle picarde (a savory pancake filled with ham and mushrooms) and Flamiche (a savory tart made with leeks and cream).

18. Les Rendez-vous de la Baie

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Attend Les Rendez-vous de la Baie, an annual event that celebrates the maritime heritage of Saint-Leu and the Bay of Somme. Enjoy boat parades, maritime-themed exhibitions, live performances, and fireworks, all showcasing the rich maritime culture of the region.

19. Nature Walks and Hiking

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Saint-Leu and its surroundings boast several nature trails and hiking routes that allow you to explore the region’s natural beauty. From scenic riverside walks to forested trails, outdoor enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the tranquility of the Picardy countryside.