Delving into Montpellier's cultural life

From music and dance to street art and cinema, Montpellier has nothing left to prove when it comes to cultural life. The city is an ideal destination for anyone who loves a lively atmosphere. Whether it's a place to live or a holiday destination, Montpellier is a magnet for visitors from all over the world. With its theatres, two opera houses, numerous exhibition venues and concert halls, the city puts culture at the forefront in every field. The opera house on Place de la Comédie is one of the city's landmarks, closing the square and facing the fountain. An architectural gem, it's well worth a visit to discover its interior and decoration, worthy of the greatest Italian theatres. From public places to private spaces and associations, here's everything you need to know to occupy your days and evenings in the capital of Hérault, with a bonus of events not to be missed!

Montpellier Opera

Montpellier Opera

- © BOULENGER Xavier/Shutterstock
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Mo.Co, contemporary art and living spaces

Dedicated to contemporary art, Mo.Co (Montpellier Contemporain) is an organisation that brings together several cultural venues in the city, two exhibition spaces and an art school (l'Esba).

The Mo.Co Panacée

The Mo.Co Panacée hosts conferences, exhibitions and shows. It also houses a café where art lovers and enthusiasts can meet and chat.

Practical info

Opening times: Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm in summer and 11am to 6pm from October to May.

🚌 Access: by tram, get off at Louis Blanc station, line 1 or 4.

👛 Admission: free

📍 Mo.Co Panacée: 14 rue de l'Ecole de Pharmacie, 34000 Montpellier

Le Mo.Co

Le Mo.Co, located on rue de la République, is a veritable living space. Housed in a former hotel, it hosts temporary exhibitions with an international dimension, as well as all kinds of events such as workshops and concerts. The venue offers a varied programme, from concerts by the Montpellier opera to student evenings and guided tours of the exhibitions. You can easily spend the day here, because as well as being a museum, it has a park and a restaurant. The Faune restaurant welcomes visitors for a convivial lunch or dinner.

Practical info

🚌 Access: by tram, get off at the Saint Roch stop on lines 1, 2, 3 or 4

Opening times: Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm (June-September) and 11am to 6pm (October-May)

👛 Price: €8 per adult, €5 for seniors, €3 with the family visit pass and free for under-18s and jobseekers, artists or people with disabilities.

📍 Mo.Co: 13 rue de la République, 34000 Montpellier

👉 More information here

The Opéra, Montpellier's masterpiece

Situated on the Place de la Comédie, the Opéra is a cultural mecca for the people of Montpellier. Performances by the Montpellier Occitanie national orchestra, plays, stand-up shows and all kinds of concerts and evening events are organised there. The venue, which caters for all age groups, is a real architectural gem. Dating back to the 18th century, it is an Italian-style theatre with sculpted balconies, gilding, paintings and draperies that captivate visitors from all over the world. Guided tours are organised by the tourist office, so don't hesitate to ask, just to discover the beauty of the place!

Practical info

👉 Tickets: the Opéra Comédie box office is open from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 6pm from Tuesday to Saturday and 1 hour before the start of the show. You can also book online on the opera's website.

👛 Prices: prices vary according to the show, but tickets for €10 are sold 1 hour before the start of the show if seats are still available.

L'Opéra Comédie

The Opéra Comédie in Montpellier

- Copyright © 2014 Photoprofi30/Shutterstock. No use without permission.

The Old Montpellier Museum

The city has a number of museums, including the Fabre Museum, one of the best known, but the Vieux Montpellier Museum is also worth a visit. This will help you to learn more about the city, with its collections of objects linked to the city since the Middle Ages. It takes you back through history to the 20th century. Located in a flat in the Hôtel de Varennes, it has several rooms. These include the Processions Room, with its paintings depicting the portraits of donors to the Hôpital de la Ville, an 18th-century salon displaying furniture and objects from the period, and the Revolution Room, which is unusual in that it contains stones from the Bastille.

Practical info

📍 Address: 2 place Pétrarque

Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6pm in winter and 11am to 1pm, and 2pm to 4pm to 7pm in summer.

👛 Admission: Free admission with reservation at the following address: visites@ville-montpellier.fr

The Nestor Burma Cinema

Opened in 2011, the Nestor Burma cinema offers a selection of mainstream and arthouse films. The cinema is also open to young audiences as part of a special school programme. The cinema's patron is none other than José Garcia, who also attended the inauguration.

With the aim of making culture accessible to all, the cinema offers attractive prices for all, special rates and support for people with disabilities as part of the 'Ciné-ma Différence' programme.

Practical info

📍 Address: 2, rue Marcellin Albert, Quartier Celleneuve

👛 Tickets: €5 before 5pm and €6 after 5pm

🚌 Access: Celleneuve stop on tramway line 3

👉 See the programme here

Events not to be missed

🎵 Every year, events and festivals take place at different venues in Montpellier. The Radio France Occitanie festival, which takes place in July, offers an eclectic programme in 70 venues across the city. A total of 150 concerts take place over 10 days.

📽️ The Cinémed (international festival of Mediterranean cinema) returns every year in October with a selection of the best Mediterranean films. Young talents can showcase their films, and audiences can discover a week's worth of short, feature and animated films. During special screenings and previews, actors and producers come to present their work in various cinemas around the city. More info on prices and access here.

🎭 The Arabesques festival showcases all the arts of Arab culture in September. For more than 10 days, spectators attend concerts, plays, screenings, dance performances or calligraphy workshops in various venues around the city. An event not to be missed.

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Editor's tip :

👉 To take advantage of discounts and free admission to certain museums, the tourist office offers a "City Card", a culture pass with formulas ranging from 1 to 3 days. Find out more on the tourist office website .

Where to stay in Montpellier?

Hôtel du Parc 2*

Hôtel du Parc is the accommodation of choice for those wishing to opt for a cultural trip. This 18th-century mansion offers an atypical setting with period furniture and objects. And as a bonus, there's an inner courtyard planted with trees where you can relax in the shade in summer.

Hôtel du Parc Montpellier
Booking.com

Hôtel du Parc

A comfortable hotel nestled in an 18th-century building.
8.7 Superb
From
£147 / night
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by Faustine PEREZ
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