Welcome to Aisne, France! This beautiful region of northern France is home to breathtaking natural beauty, fascinating history, and plenty of fun activities. From exploring medieval castles to skiing down the slopes at a local resort, there are many unique experiences that await you in Aisne. In this blog post, we will explore 12 fun things to do in Aisne, France that are sure to make your trip an unforgettable one.
1. Visit the Château de Coucy
If you’re searching for an enchanting escape, head to Château de Coucy located in Aisne, France. Boasting an incredible history dating back to the 12th century, this castle was built by two distinguished families throughout the centuries. Present-day visitors may explore its majestic towers, walls, and dungeons as well as its beautiful chapel. Enjoy stunning views of nearby villages from vantage points atop the castle keep. Aside from taking in breathtaking panoramas, make sure to wander around the picturesque gardens filled with lush foliage and statues from mementos of bygone days.
Last but not least, end your visit to the museum with artifacts that tell stories of this castle’s rich history. For anyone seeking a unique medieval adventure, Château de Coucy won’t disappoint!
Address: Rue du Château, 02380 Coucy-le-Château-Auffrique, France
For pictures, booking, and more information, click here.
2. Take a Trip to the Compiègne Forest
If you’re looking for a great day trip while in Aisne, France, then look no further than the stunning Compiègne forest. Located within the medieval castle of the same name, the forest is composed of a variety of vegetation and flora that can transport visitors back to a time of chivalry and romance. Wander amongst ancient beeches and impressive conifers before exploring the many works of art scattered throughout the castle grounds.
After soaking up these magnificent sights, tourists can end their journey by visiting some of the quaint former dwellings found near the gates of the castle as well as several preserved pieces from World War I. No matter what you’re looking for in Aisne, France, don’t miss out on experiencing a visit to the Compiègne forest for unparalleled beauty and history!
Here’s the overview map for Compiègne Forest, click here.
3. Go on a Guided Tour of the Laon Cathedral
Exploring the Laon Cathedral, one of the oldest and most spectacular Gothic cathedrals in France, is an absolute must-do experience. Located in the commune of Aisne, the cathedral was built in the 11th century and is filled with breathtaking architecture that is sure to impress any traveler. The best way to ensure you get a comprehensive view of this majestic landmark is to take a guided tour.
Your professional guide will share with you fascinating stories about its history and details about the intricacies of its architecture. You’ll receive an introduction to French culture as your guide makes sure to point out some of their unique customs that have been cherished by locals for generations now. Book a guided tour today and it will surely prove to be one of your highlights from Aisne!
Address: Rue du Cloître, 02000 Laon, France
4. Visit the Laon Citadel
A visit to Laon Citadel is a must if you find yourself in Aisne, France. The impressively large citadel, set atop the hill overlooking the town of Laon, dates back to the early 12th century and provides visitors with spectacular views all year round. One can take their time to explore the high stone walls, which have survived all kinds of warfare over the centuries. Entering through one of four gates on any given side leads you past ancient fortifications and two striking chapels within.
There’s also an ecumenical center dedicated to peace paying homage to where it’s located; between two world wars. Any visit here leads to thoughtful reflections in this very special environment.
Address: 02000 Laon, France
5. Take a Day Trip to Soissons
A visit to Soissons in the department of Aisne, France is a must for those looking to explore French culture and history. The cobblestone streets are lined with architecture that dates back hundreds of years, while the ancient ruins reveal an even deeper look into the city’s past. Plus, many restaurants and shops are located within walking distance of these attractions, so you can browse through them after sightseeing.
Because there is so much to see and do in Soissons in one day, taking a guided tour is strongly recommended; it will ensure that you get the most out of your knowledge experience without missing anything important. So if you’re looking for a unique place to go that has plenty of culture and history to offer, make sure to take a day trip to Soissons in Aisne!
Here’s the overview map for Soissons, click here.
6. Explore the Battlefields of World War I in Aisne
A visit to the Battlefields of World War I in Aisne, France is a great way for history buffs and curious travelers alike to explore an important part of world history. You can relive the events of WWI in reconstructed trenches and tunnels. In addition, museums across the region showcase artifacts from soldiers, as well as interactive historical displays so you can learn about the different battles that were fought there.
If you’re looking for something a bit more off-the-beaten-track, you could go on a bike ride along old train tracks with knowledgeable tour guides who give insightful accounts of what it was like during wartime. It makes for an exciting adventure! There is also plenty to do in Aisne besides exploring WWI battlefields, including savoring its gastronomy specialties, visiting ancient castles and villages, or being inspired by some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes.
Here’s the overview map for Aisne, click here.
7. Visit the Abbaye de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes
Aisne, France is home to numerous fun activities for the whole family. One of the top things to do in Aisne visits the Abbaye de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes. The abbey, founded by Benedictine monks in 1100 AD, is an incredible piece of French architecture and history. Inside this magnificent building, visitors can explore the beautiful chapels and cloisters, while appreciating the incredible details throughout these ancient structures.
For those interested in learning more about local history, many artifacts and documents are kept inside that tell the story of Aisne. The grounds are also gorgeous and perfect for a picnic lunch or an afternoon stroll around its gardens. With such a variety of activities all available at the Abbaye de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, it’s no wonder it is considered one of the best things to do in Aisne, France!
Address: 02200 Soissons, France
8. Go Skiing at One of the Resorts Located Near Aisne
Aisne, France offers a unique and memorable skiing experience that you won’t find anywhere else. Several ski resorts are close to Aisne, surrounded by a stunning natural environment with breathtaking mountain views. With numerous trails to choose from, novice and experienced skiers alike can have an amazing time on the slopes.
Many of the resorts boast expert instructors available for private lessons, as well as ski schools for kids who are just starting out. Off the slopes, you’ll find cozy chalets and delicious food like tartiflette and fondue savoyarde to keep you warm during your visit. From friendly locals, world-class skiing facilities, and amazing activities for all ages – Aisne is sure to provide a truly magical ski holiday!
9. Spend an afternoon in Lac d’Ailette
Lazing away from a perfect afternoon in Lac d’Ailette, Aisne – one of the most picturesque regions of northern France – is an absolute delight! This idyllic lake is situated in a massive 817-hectare park, with emerald forests, meadows of wildflowers, and rolling hills. Nature lovers will be thrilled to find many activities available for exploration such as boat rides, fishing, or walking along the shoreline. You can also savor the delicious regional cuisine from nearby restaurants or picnic at the lakeside beaches.
Adventure seekers who want to entertain themselves beyond just watching nature can experience the thrill and excitement of karting and discover charming art galleries, archaeological sites, and churches. Get your cameras ready – this gorgeous rural escape will not disappoint!
Here’s the overview map for Lac d’Ailette, click here.
10. Take a Tour in the Jardin de L’Horticulture
A visit to the Jardin de L’Horticulture in Aisne, France offers a memorable experience to travelers of all ages and preferences. Considered part of the Parc Naturel Régional Scarpe-Escaut, this 5-hectare garden consists of various themed gardens such as a flower garden, a scented garden, and an Amazone greenhouse.
This unique site includes interactive exhibitions and glasshouses, filled with diverse vegetation which allows visitors to learn more about various plants and gain a better understanding of their significance in the natural world. All through their tour, guests are able to admire plenty of climbing ivies, cacti in different sizes and shapes, lush grass fields, and numerous scenic views scattered throughout the area that’ll make for great photos!
Address: 3 Rue du Général Leclerc, 02200 Soissons, France
11. Explore Laon’s Old Town
Laon’s old town is a must-see for anyone visiting the Aisne region in France. With its beautiful twisting cobblestone pathways, expertly preserved medieval structures, and abundant local eateries, there is plenty to keep visitors entertained in the historic town. Start by wandering around Notre Dame de Laon Cathedral – built in 858 AD it boasts stunning 13th-century architecture that will amaze anyone lucky enough to behold it.
Then take some time to explore the many shops dotted around town that contain everything from trinkets to artisanal goods. To top it all off, sample some of Laon’s traditional dishes such as Langoise à la bière or coq au vin rouge, and discover why this city is renowned for its food as well as its culture.
Here’s the overview map for Laon, click here.
12. Attend Annual Festivities Such as Laon’s Christmas Market
Laon’s Christmas Market is an annual highlight for tourists and locals alike. Held on the first weekend of December, it draws visitors from all over the world who come to witness its spectacular celebration of holiday cheer. The market features local vendors selling food, drinks, and ornaments; live music performances; and a variety of festive activities such as ice skating.
For those interested in exploring Laon’s history and architecture, there are a number of guided walking tours featuring sights like the 10th-century Notre Dame de Laon Cathedral and Romanesque basilica. And if you want to get closer to nature, you can check out nearby parks with trails through the surrounding forests. With its many festive experiences, Laon’s Christmas Market offers something for everyone in Aisne, France!
In Aisne, France, you will find a wide range of activities to keep you entertained regardless of your interests or age. From exploring ancient castles to skiing down the slopes at a local resort, there is something for everyone in this beautiful region. Don’t forget to take advantage of the many cultural attractions such as Laon’s Christmas Market or the Laon Museum of History. Whatever your preference is, Aisne has it all! So pack your bags and get ready for a unique experience that you won’t soon forget. Bon, voyage!