Things to do in Paris

Day trips from Paris | Visiting the legendary Somme Battlefields

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The Battle of the Somme is widely regarded as one of the most brutal battles in the history of World War I. The consequence of such a bitterly contested battle was more than one million casualities.

Even though more than a hundred years have passed since the tragic battle, the authorities have preserved the area as it was. In many regions, visitors can witness the trenches used by the troops. In some cases, even the crevices left behind by deadly shells can be clearly seen!

If you are a history buff wanting to learn more about World War I, a visit to this beautiful region is mandatory. Located at a convenient distance of 120 km from the heart of Paris, a day trip to this historically relavant site will make the perfect addition to your Paris itinerary.

Why Take A Day Trip From Paris To Somme Battlefields?

somme battlefields

As if paying tribute to those who lost their lives in the tragic war was not enough, Somme offers plenty of reasons for you to visit the French department. From historic sites to nature trails, Somme has something for everyone. Here are a few reasons why a visit to the Somme Battlefields will make the perfect addition to your trip to Paris.

  • Beautiful drive: The drive from Paris to Somme Battlefields is filled with beautiful sights. The winding roads are generally devoid of traffic, allowing you to truly enjoy the beautiful landscapes.
  • Guided walks: Somme Battlefields offers plenty of guided walks where you can visit all the major battlefields and memorials.
  • The great war: Experience the history of World War I on your visit to the Somme Battlefields and pay your respect to those who lost their lives in the war.
  • Adventure activities: Somme has more to offer than just battlefields and memorials. Indulge in sand-yachting, horse-riding, kayaking and hiking, along with other interesting outdoor activities.
  • Somme Bay: Visit Somme Bay, one of the most beautiful bays in the world. It is rich in wildlife and is most famous for the colony of seals that can be spotted at any given time.

Somme Battlefields - Ticket Options

Visiting Somme Battlefields: The Experience

The drive

Your experience will start in the center of Paris and will see you through a two-hour drive to the Somme battlefields. The picturesque drive will give you time to relax as your guide regales you with fascinating tidbits of information.

Memorials and battlefields

Visit the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux and pay tribute to those who laid down their lives for their country. Head over to the John Monash Center, and learn more about the battles. Marvel at the impressive size of the Lochnagar Crater that was created when the British sprung a mine under a German fortified site. Visit other important and historically relevant sites such as the Pozières battlefield, the Thiepval Memorial and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial.

Heading back

Before you head back to Paris, stop at the Museum of the Great War in Perroné and learn more about the history of the Battle of the Somme, along with the other significant battles fought in the region.

Visiting Somme Battlefields: Attractions You Can't Miss

Key Battlefields, Trenches and Memorials

Somme battlefield is liberally scattered with various battlefields and memorials. Some of the original trenches used by the troops can also be observed. While you may not be able to cover each and every one of them, no trip to Somme is complete without visiting atleast the key battlefields, trenches and memorials.

John Monash Centre

A trip to the John Monash Centre will tell you Australia's story during the tragic war. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this centre is that visitors get to hear these war stories in the form of letters, images and diary entries. The experience is an immersive and interractive one, allowing you to gain a better understanding of the war and its consequences.

Museum of the Great War

Located at the heart of the Somme battlefield, the Museum of the Great War is one of the largest war museums in Europe. Two of its most famous permanent exhibits, Prisoners of War and Children in World War I are truly worth seeing. The Museum of the Great War offers a clear insight into all the battles fought at Somme and provides information on all the nations that fought.

Historial of the Great War in Péronne

An international museum that attracts thousands of visitors every year, the Historial of the Great War depicts the lives of soldiers behind the trenches. The museum also has a collection of interesting documentaries and films that lets us know more about the war and its consequences.

Visiting Somme Battlefields: Self Guided vs Guided Tours

somme battlefields

Hassle-Free and Convenient

Although self-guided tours give you the freedom to explore the battlefields at your own pace, a guided tour offers a hassle-free and convenient experience that allows you to sit back and relax.

Covers all the Key Attractions

Since the battlefields, memorials and other attractions are scattered across the area, you might find it hard to move from one attraction to the next. Similarly, it is almost impossible to cover all the historically relevant attractions at Somme. A guided tour will let you visit all the key attractions, making sure that you do not miss out on anything important.

Expert English-Speaking Guide

With a guided tour, you will be in the company of an experienced English-speaking tour guide. Your guide will take you through the region, allowing you to make the most of your day trip to Somme battlefields.

Visiting Somme Battlefields: Tips, Guidelines & More

  • When to visit: The best time to visit the Somme battlefields is during the mornings. The museums and memorials around the area tend to be less crowded during this time. As the day progresses, you will find more and more people visiting these attractions.
  • What to wear: Visitors should wear comfortable clothes and shoes as a tour of the battlefields include a lot of walking. If you are visiting during the winter, do not forget to carry a thick jacket or shawl.
  • Language: Almost everyone around the major tourist spots speak English. The area sees many British expats running B&Bs and local tours, so one can easily communicate using English. However, you might find that the locals living in nearby villages do not understand English.
  • Money: ATMs in and around Somme are aplenty, so visitors need not worry about carrying enough cash with them. However, it should be kept in mind that some establishments do not allow the use of American and British cards.


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