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Recommended Places to Stay and Eat


The obvious city for tourists to spend the night in the Artois region, is Arras. Although rather ugly and industrialised on the outskirts, the city centre is beautiful, culminating in the completely rebuilt Place des Héros with its magnificent Town Hall. This guide recommends the following hotels:

Place des Héros, Arras
The author in front of the Town Hall in the Place des Héros, Arras. Photo: Mark Sluman

Hotel Ibis Arras
11, Rue de Justice, Place Ipswich, 62000, Arras
Tel. 33 (0)3 21 23 61 61

Located within staggering distance of the bars and restaurants of the Place des Héros and the Grand Place, this is an ideal stopover for those who want to be as close to the city centre as possible. As with most Ibis’s, the rooms are basic but clean and comfortable in this modern hotel. Just one word of warning – Arras is probably one of the most confusing and congested cities to enter in northern France and parking in the centre is a nightmare on most days. Expect to ride around a few times before seeing a space!

For further information visit www.ibishotel.com.

Hôtel du Golf d’Arras
Rue Briquet Taillandier, 62 223, Anzin Saint Aubin
Tel. (0)3 21 504 504

For those preferring not to risk the chaotic traffic system in the city, the modern Hôtel du Golf d’Arras offers the perfect retreat. Situated just off the N25 ring road to the north west of the city, the hotel is, as its name suggests, next to a first-class golf course. Rooms are comfortable and the bar and terrace restaurant are delightful - also plenty of parking.

Just a word of warning – some of the hotel was still being built on my last trip in June 2007! Am sure it should be fully completed by 2008!

For further information visit their website.

Hôtel du Golf d’Arras
Photo: Mark Sluman

For those feeling peckish, I can certainly recommend the following establishments in the centre of Arras:

"Aux Grandes Arcades", Grand Place – 62000
Tel: +33 (0)3 21 23 30 89

"La Clef des Sens", 60-62 Place des Héros – 62000
Tel: +33 (0)3 21 51 00 50/Website: www.laclefdessens.com


Located in a region of France not renowned for its picturesque centres, once you've got past the crust of supermarkets, car dealerships and offices on the outskirts of the city, St Quentin is actually a revelation. The main square is closed to traffic and is ringed with smart pavement cafés and attractive restaurants. The First World War took a heavy toll on the city with 80% of the buildings damaged or destroyed by the end of the conflict including the magnificent gothic basilica. Happily it has now been sympathetically restored and is a heartily recommended place for an overnight stay.

St Quentin
The huge gothic Basilica of St Quentin. Photo: Mark Sluman

This guide recommends the following hotel:

Hotel Ibis Saint Quentin Basilique
14, Place de la Basilique, 02100, Saint Quentin
Tel. +33 (0)3 23 67 40 40

Located opposite the Basilica in the heart of town this Ibis is one of the best value-for-money establishments I've stayed in. Perhaps because it's off the main tourist trail, rates here appear to be much cheaper than similar Ibis' in Arras and Amiens. There should be plenty of parking in the Basilica car park opposite and it is a short walk right and then right again to access the main square where there are many bars, cafés and restaurants to choose from.

For further information visit www.ibishotel.com.

Hotel Ibis
The Ibis in the centre of Saint Quentin. Photo: Mark Sluman


Amiens is a large city with a stunning cathedral and all the facilities and amenities you'd expect. It is very busy as well, so keep your eyes peeled on the ring-road for the right exit to your hotel. Parking is also strictly limited. For the best restaurants and bars proceed to the cathedral and then take the path to the left of the bell towers which takes you down to the river where most of the nightlife is located.

This guide recommends the following hotel:

Hotel Ibis Amiens Centre Cathédrale
4, rue du Marechal de Lattre de Tassigny - 80000 - AMIENS
Tel: +33 (0)3 22 92 57 33

About 15 minutes walk from the cathedral and 20 minutes from the river-side bars and restaurants, this comfortable hotel is located on the ring road and possesses underground parking.

For further information visit www.ibishotel.com.