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La place de la Comédie à Montpellier, Hérault

- © Picturereflex / Shutterstock.
Montpellier
Montpellier

From its bustling city to its exceptional natural surroundings

Montpellier in short

With twice as many sunny days as the French average, Montpellier has a great deal of charm. As rich in discovery as it is in light, the city boasts a thousand-year-old historic centre teeming with cultural and heritage attractions that bring to life a Mediterranean culture of outdoor living. So it's hardly surprising that most of Montpellier's life takes place in its magnificent squares, the fruit of a rich architectural history in which the multitude of fountains has given the city its nickname of "city of 100 fountains".

Montpellier Opera

- © FredP / Shutterstock

One of the most representative examples of this visual abundance is the Place de la Comédie. Where the old quarters meet the modern buildings of the new Antigone district, this square is a favourite meeting place for the local population. You'll love wandering between the 19th-century theatre (whose architecture is similar to that of the Opéra Garnier), the Haussmann buildings, the Three Graces fountain and the many restaurants and bars that flourish here. It is also home to the city's most spectacular building, Saint Peter's Cathedral.

View of the old town of Montpellier

- © RossHelen / Shutterstock

This constant mix of urbanism, nature and wide open spaces is reflected in the younger districts such as Antigone and the Hôtel de Région district, which offer a firework display of lights when reflected in the Lez at night. Like these districts, the city of Montpellier has welcomed and opened up to young students. These young people have found here a modern university town, a thriving cultural life, with festivals (of dance and Mediterranean cinema, among others) and museums, and an exceptional quality of life with the added bonus of... sunshine!

What to do in Montpellier

With its many green spaces, pedestrianised areas and medieval streets, Montpellier is sure to amaze you.

So make the most of the good weather to discover the city's various must-see sites, such as the historic districts of l'Écusson and Antigone, or the Parc du Peyrou and the Jardin des Plantes.

The Porte du Peyrou and the statue of Louis XIV in Montpellier

- © Inu/Shutterstock

Come rain or shine, visit the Musée Fabre: just a stone's throw from the Place de la Comédie, its collections feature works of art dating from the 15th to the 21st century.

Every year in July, the city plays host to the famous Radio France Festival: a rendezvous for music fans (from classical to reggae, rock influences, jazz improvisations and traditional or modern trends). We advise you to book your tickets in advance.

Is Montpellier a family destination?

Montpellier is the ideal destination for families, with a wide range of activities and events organised in the city. Treasure hunts, escape games, concerts... Ask at the tourist office for the programme throughout the year. You'll also find an aquarium, a leisure complex dedicated to climbing such as Mad Monkey, and you can enjoy a snack in a child-friendly café or tearoom such as the Amandeous chocolate bar.

The beach at Palavas-les-Flots near Montpellier

- © SanRan / Shutterstock
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The must-sees

All the must-sees

How to get there?

The fastest way to get from the UK to Montpellier is by flying, which takes around 1h 50m. Flights from London to Montpellier cost $60-$350 on average.

Where to stay?

Montpellier offers a wide choice of accommodation in and around the city centre. Villas, farmhouses, hotels... there's something for everyone. Not far from the beaches and exceptional sites, the city is one of the favourite destinations for families. We've selected the best accommodation to help your children discover life in Montpellier.

Montpellier: top accommodation options for families
Montpellier
Montpellier: top accommodation options for families
Montpellier is an ideal destination for families looking for a holiday that combines the city with nature. The Occitanie metropolis is just a few kilometres from beaches and seaside...

Practical information

When is the best time to go?

The best time to go to Montpellier is from May to August. In summer, temperatures reach 30 degrees and the destination becomes ideal for visiting the surrounding area, beaches, waterfalls, lakes and for swimming.

Where to swim in Montpellier?

To enjoy the beaches in Montpellier, you need to take a bus, tram or car. In around 30 minutes, you can be on the beaches of La Grande Motte, Le Grau du Roi or Palavas-les-Flots.

What to see around Montpellier

Montpellier has one undeniable advantage: its exceptional natural surroundings. There are several exceptional natural sites within a 1-hour drive of the city. Don't miss the Cascade de la Vis, with its crystal-clear waters. There's also the Lac de Salagou, with its red earth that makes it look like an American canyon.

And that's not all: the town also has mountains in its vicinity. Head for the Pic Saint-Loup, 30km from Montpellier, to watch the sunrise with a view of the city and the sea on a clear day. It's a 2h30 round-trip hike. Last but not least, the typical villages of the Occitanie region are not to be missed: Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, for example, has been voted the most beautiful village in France.

lightbulb_outline Editor's tip

Just three hours from Barcelona, Montpellier is an excellent destination for a cultural holiday, and you can continue your Mediterranean adventure with a stopover in Nîmes, Marseille or Nice on your way home. The end of your holiday will seem less brutal...

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