Dynamic, creative, attractive, Montpellier is a thousand-year-old city with a surprising combination of traditional heritage and contemporary architecture. A cultural and sporting hotspot, offering a host of festivals, bubbling over with students, it invites you to come and join in the celebrations. The sea just 10 min away, the rising Cévennes just as close: what better place to live!
Have a drink on Place de la Comédie, THE vibrant heart of Montpellier: enjoy the atmosphere of the South, admire the Fontaine des Trois Grâces, the opera, 19th-century facades at a glance…
Then head off for a stroll through the medieval side streets lined with some 80 mansion houses built during the classical era. On the agenda: shopping in the trendy boutiques, a cultural visit at the Pavillon Populaire,… You'll see street artists on every city square and you'll find a myriad of restaurants, tapas bars and concert venues where you're sure to spend amazing evenings.
From the Place de la Comédie to the beaches, from concert venues to café terraces, Montpellier invites you to enjoy a host of great moments.
Video 1:40 © Montpellier Méditerranée.
Just forget your car! Montpellier is to be visited on foot, on a bike, or by the tramway"dressed" by Christian Lacroix. The must-of-all-musts? A tour on tram line 4, to admire the monuments illuminated at night.
Both! Visit the Fabre Museum, one of Europe's most important, admire 800 works of art from the Renaissance to the present day, including works by Gustave Courbet and Pierre Soulages. And, while you're there, head over to La Panacée. This contemporary art space located in a former Royal College of Medicine, weaves together student life, a café, leading entertainment and successful exhibitions.
Then go green at Montpellier Zoo with its Amazonian greenhouse, the Lez River perfect for fun water activities, and Méric Park, the oldest botanical garden in France.
WELL WORTH A VISIT
In the centre, 300 bronze studs mark out the path on the Santiago de Compostela Route (the Arles Route) which crosses the city. They will lead you to Saint-Roch Church, to Notre-Dame-des-Tables and to Montpellier Cathedral.
Some fifteen world-renowned events hold centrestage in Montpellier throughout the year: Festival Radio France Occitanie Montpellier, Montpellier Danse, FISE Festival where the world's top extreme sports enthusiasts gather, Cinémed, Internationales de la guitare, ... Along with high-powered sports competitions, traditional and gourmet celebrations like Montpellier Estivales.
WELL WORTH A VISIT
From Peyrou, a 17th-century royal square, admire a 360°C vista over natural surroundings. To the north... the garrigue (heathland), Pic Saint-Loup... To the south: the Mediterranean Sea and, on a clear day, the Canigó Mountains.
Direction Port Marianne, brand-new district designed by the leading lights of contemporary architecture around the Jacques Cœur water body. Admire the Arbre Blanc (designed by Sou Fujimoto), the City Hall (immense blue-coloured cube designed by Jean Nouvel and François Fontès), the RBC Design Center, the Nuage (wellness space imagined by Philippe Starck) and Sou Fujimoto's White Tree Tower with its balconies suspended in thin air!
A stone's throw away, the Odysseum complex offers you a bouquet of leisure activities, including an aquarium and planetarium. Since the Antigone district was built by Ricardo Bofill in the 1980s, Montpellier has gained a reputation as one of France's leading avant-garde cities for architecture.
The sea's at just 11 Km from Montpellier. Rent a bike in the city and cycle there (Vélomagg). An 8 km-long cycle path follows the banks of the Lez, then Méjean Lagoon, populated by pink flamingoes, and continues past Saint-Pierre de Maguelone Cathedral, a jewel of Romanesque art built on a peninsula. Take time out once you arrive on one of the numerous private beaches open from April through September.
"Folly": ("folie" in French) is the highly-original name given to wonderfully exquisite bourgeois homes built around Montpellier three centuries ago, like Flaugergues and l’Engarran castles.
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