Although it is close to Marseilles and Toulouse, many tourists don’t travel to Montpellier on the southeast coast of France. It is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area! The city centre is pretty with nice architecture including Roman remnants, and the beaches are close by. Also, it doesn’t feel too touristy so the prices are not as high as other coastal cities such as Nice.
My first visit was for a work conference in 2008, and then I returned to visit friends and attend a wedding in 2019. During the eleven years, it didn’t seem like too much changed in the city centre. The tram system is very useful to get around, though I mostly walked or ran.
- Promenade du Peyrou
- Guidais hotel
- Aqueduct Saint-Clément
- Arc de Triomphe
- Montpellier Cathedral
- Pine tower square
- Jardin des plantes de Montpellier
- Musée Fabre
- La Panacée art space
- Musée Art Brut
- Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle
- Pavillon Populaire
- Chapel of the White Penitents
- Salle Saint Ravy gallery
- Place de la Comédie
- Fountain of the Three Graces
- Carrousel De La Comedie
- Opéra Orchestre national Montpellier Occitanie
- La Tour de la Babote
- Château de la Mogère
- Plage Palavas les flots
- Plage Le Petit Travers
- Église Saint-Anne
- Halles Castellane
- Planet Ocean World
- Montpellier Zoological Park
- Cathédrale de Maguelone ruins
- Musée archéologique Henri-Prades
- Antirouille music venue
- Le Corum events venue
Before you go
- The city centre is reachable by public transport but a car is probably needed to visit the beach areas
- Montpellier tram system is very convenient and affordable. It’s actually free to the local residents, but tourists need to pay
- Temperatures are usually moderate, though June through August can be very hot
- If you’d like to see something at the Opera, then look for tickets in advance. We tried at the last minute and could not get tickets
- Many shops are open for shorter hours or not at all on Sunday
- Fish, seafood and cassoulet are all delicious foods to try
- Montpellier is the administrative capital of the Languedoc region, famous for wine
- Walk around the different areas and enjoy the varying architecture. There are medieval to modern buildings
- Many people speak some English, but French is appreciated. Some restaurant servers didn’t speak English so I was glad to know some French
- There are many castles in the surrounding area, accessible by car
- The main airport in the area is Montpellier-Méditerranée Airport
- Tram line 3 connects the airport to the city centre
- TAM is the tram company and the transport is easy to use. You can use the TaM or M’Ticket app
- Slightly south of the city centre is the main rail station, Montpellier Sud de France
I had a delicious and huge meal at Les Casseroles en Folie creperie. At first, I had planned to just have a crepe. But then I had a starter salad, savoury crepe, cider and sweet crepe. It’s nice to sit outside in the square and enjoy French food.
Les Pieds dans l’O near the beach is usually very busy on weekends, especially during the summer. However, it is a nice place to enjoy seafood, pasta or salad with a view of the sea.
Pâtisserie Scholler is slightly outside of the centre, but worth the small journey. The pastries were all delicious and not very expensive.
Cabiron Boutique chocolate shop was tasty for chocolate and also for macarons!
Des Rêves et du Pain is a small chain of bakeries with two locations in Montpellier. Definitely worth a visit for bread and pastries.
For a relaxing coffee and snack, the Cafe at La Panacee was stylish and spacious. It is part of the Contemporary art museum.
Montpellier is in the Languedoc region, which is well-known for its wine. Luckily, while I was at my friends’ wedding we could sample some of the local varieties including Cremant de Limoux. My favourites are the red wines, which are usually red blends made with Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault.
Q: Do I need a tour guide?
A: No, it is easy to find the places of interest and get around by public transport.
Q: Do people speak English?
A: Many, though not all, people speak some English. However, some French speaking is always appreciated.
Q: Is it a walkable city?
A: Yes, the centre is walkable. However, you would need to take a tram or taxi from the airport to the centre. And getting to the beach areas is easiest with a car.
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