Montpellier, located in the south of France, is a vibrant and dynamic city known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and youthful energy. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Montpellier:
1. Place de la Comédie
Start your exploration of Montpellier at the heart of the city, Place de la Comédie. This bustling square is lined with cafes, shops, and historic buildings. Take a leisurely stroll, people-watch, and soak in the lively atmosphere.
2. Montpellier’s Historic Center
Explore the picturesque streets of Montpellier’s historic center, known as the Écusson. Admire the beautiful architecture, including the Saint-Pierre Cathedral, the Mikvé (Jewish ritual bath), and the Porte du Peyrou, a triumphal arch offering panoramic views of the city.
3. Fabre Museum
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the Fabre Museum, which houses an impressive collection of European paintings from the 14th to the 21st centuries. The museum’s diverse collection includes works by renowned artists such as Delacroix, Courbet, and Van Dyck.
4. Promenade du Peyrou
Enjoy a peaceful walk in the Promenade du Peyrou, a large park situated on a hill overlooking Montpellier. Admire the 17th-century aqueduct, Château d’Eau, and the statue of Louis XIV on horseback. This spot offers a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
5. Antigone District
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Marvel at the unique architecture of the Antigone district, designed by Ricardo Bofill. This area is characterized by its neoclassical buildings, grand boulevards, and beautiful squares. Take a walk along the banks of the Lez River and admire the stunning views.
6. Jardin des Plantes
Escape to nature at the Jardin des Plantes, Montpellier’s oldest botanical garden. This serene oasis features a vast array of plants, trees, and flowers. Take a peaceful stroll, relax on the benches, or visit the greenhouses showcasing exotic plant species.
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For a dose of entertainment and shopping, head to Odysseum. This modern district offers a variety of activities, including a multiplex cinema, an aquarium, an ice rink, and a range of shops and restaurants. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon with family or friends.
8. Festivals and Events
Montpellier hosts numerous festivals throughout the year. One of the highlights is the Montpellier Dance Festival, which attracts renowned dancers and choreographers from around the world. The city also hosts music festivals, art exhibitions, and cultural events, providing a vibrant cultural scene.
9. Les Halles Castellane
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Food lovers should make their way to Les Halles Castellane, a bustling indoor market where you can find an abundance of fresh produce, local delicacies, and regional specialties. Sample delicious cheeses, cured meats, pastries, and indulge in a delightful culinary experience.
10. Le Corum
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Visit Le Corum, Montpellier’s modern conference center and cultural venue. This architectural masterpiece hosts a variety of events, including concerts, theater performances, and conferences. Check the schedule and catch a show or immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant cultural scene.
11. Musee du Vieux Montpellier
Step back in time at the Musee du Vieux Montpellier, a museum dedicated to the history and heritage of the city. Discover archaeological artifacts, historical documents, and learn about Montpellier’s evolution over the centuries. The museum is housed in a beautiful 18th-century mansion, adding to its charm.
12. Pic Saint-Loup
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Embark on a day trip to the Pic Saint-Loup, a distinctive mountain located just north of Montpellier. Hike to the summit for breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, visit local vineyards and taste the renowned wines produced in the region.
13. La Serre Amazonienne
Experience a tropical adventure at La Serre Amazonienne, a unique botanical garden specializing in Amazonian flora. Discover an array of exotic plants, tropical flowers, and vibrant wildlife. It’s an educational and immersive journey into the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
14. Maison de la Nature
Nature enthusiasts should visit the Maison de la Nature, a nature center dedicated to promoting environmental awareness and education. Explore interactive exhibits, learn about local ecosystems, and participate in guided nature walks or workshops.
15. Château de Flaugergues
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Discover the Château de Flaugergues, a magnificent 18th-century estate located just outside Montpellier. Take a guided tour of the castle, explore the beautiful gardens, and indulge in wine tastings of the estate’s own production.
16. Street Art
Montpellier is home to a vibrant street art scene. Take a walk through the city’s streets and alleys to admire colorful murals and urban artworks. Places like La Rue du Bras de Fer and La Place de la Chapelle Neuve are known for their impressive street art displays.
17. Musée Atger
Art enthusiasts should not miss the Musée Atger, which houses an exceptional collection of drawings, prints, and engravings. Established by a local artist, the museum boasts works from renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Dürer, and Raphael. It’s a hidden gem for art lovers seeking a more intimate and focused art experience.
18. Domaine d’O
If you’re a fan of performing arts, make sure to visit the Domaine d’O. This cultural park hosts a wide range of events, including theater performances, concerts, dance shows, and open-air film screenings. Enjoy a show in a picturesque setting surrounded by nature and immerse yourself in the world of performing arts.
19. Le Polygone
Shopaholics will find their haven at Le Polygone, a modern shopping center located near Place de la Comédie. This multi-level complex offers a wide range of shops, from well-known international brands to local boutiques. Browse through fashion, accessories, electronics, and more, and take a break at one of the many cafes and restaurants within the center.
20. Le Jardin des Sens
Treat yourself to a culinary experience at Le Jardin des Sens, a renowned Michelin-starred restaurant run by the Pourcel brothers. Indulge in exquisite French cuisine prepared with finesse and creativity, showcasing the best of local and seasonal ingredients. It’s a gastronomic journey that will delight your taste buds.
21. Cathédrale Saint-Pierre
Marvel at the impressive Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, a Gothic masterpiece dating back to the 14th century. Admire its intricate architectural details, stained glass windows, and the stunning organ. Take a moment to appreciate the serene atmosphere and the spiritual significance of this historic place.
22. Le Marché du Lez
Visit Le Marché du Lez, a trendy and vibrant marketplace offering a mix of vintage shops, art galleries, design studios, and food stalls. Explore the eclectic blend of creativity and craftsmanship, and enjoy live music and events that take place in this dynamic cultural space.
23. Wine Tasting
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Montpellier is located in the heart of the Languedoc wine region, known for its excellent wines. Take a wine tour or visit one of the many wine bars in the city to sample the region’s renowned reds, whites, and rosés. Immerse yourself in the rich wine culture and learn about the local winemaking traditions.
24. Le Pavillon Populaire
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Photography enthusiasts will appreciate Le Pavillon Populaire, a photography museum that hosts captivating exhibitions of contemporary and historical photographs. Discover the works of talented photographers from around the world and explore the diverse perspectives captured through the lens.
25. Picnic at Parc Magnol
Find tranquility in Parc Magnol, a charming park with beautiful landscapes, colorful flowers, and shaded paths. Pack a picnic and enjoy a leisurely afternoon surrounded by nature. It’s an ideal spot for relaxation and unwinding.
26. Canoeing on the Lez River
Embark on a canoeing adventure along the Lez River. Rent a canoe and paddle through the calm waters, taking in the scenic views of the surrounding nature. It’s a fun and active way to explore the city’s waterways and appreciate its natural beauty.
27. Parc de la Lironde
Enjoy the outdoors at Parc de la Lironde, a spacious park with ample green spaces, playgrounds, and sports facilities. Take a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or engage in various activities like jogging, cycling, or playing sports with friends and family.
28. Maison des Chœurs
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Explore the Maison des Chœurs, a cultural center dedicated to choral music. This unique venue hosts concerts, workshops, and rehearsals for various choirs. Attend a performance to experience the harmonious melodies and the power of collective singing.
29. Le Domaine de Grammont
Escape to Le Domaine de Grammont, a sprawling park located just outside Montpellier. This green oasis offers walking trails, picnic areas, and a lake where you can go boating or fishing. Enjoy the peaceful surroundings and connect with nature in this serene retreat.
30. Le Musée du Pain
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Discover the history and culture of bread at Le Musée du Pain. This unique museum takes you on a journey through the art of bread-making, showcasing traditional tools, historical artifacts, and demonstrations of traditional baking techniques. Gain insights into the significance of bread in French cuisine and culture.
31. Golf de Montpellier Massane
Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a day on the green at Golf de Montpellier Massane. This prestigious golf course features 18 holes set against a backdrop of scenic landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, you can challenge yourself while taking in the beauty of the surroundings.
32. Château de la Mogère
Step back in time with a visit to Château de la Mogère, an elegant 18th-century castle located on the outskirts of Montpellier. Explore the grand halls, ornate gardens, and enjoy guided tours that reveal the history and architectural significance of this magnificent estate.
33. Les Halles Laissac
Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Les Halles Laissac, a vibrant covered market where you can find an array of fresh local produce, gourmet products, and regional specialties. Indulge in culinary delights, sample artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, and fresh seafood, and experience the vibrant culinary culture of Montpellier.
34. Place de la Canourgue
Wander through the charming Place de la Canourgue, a picturesque square lined with elegant mansions and beautiful architecture. Admire the well-preserved historical buildings, enjoy a meal at one of the cozy cafes or restaurants, and soak up the atmosphere of this enchanting spot.
35. Le Petit Train de Montpellier
Hop on Le Petit Train de Montpellier for a unique and leisurely tour of the city. This tourist train takes you on a guided journey through the main landmarks, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the sights while learning about the city’s history and culture.
36. Esplanade Charles de Gaulle
Explore the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle, a spacious square that serves as a central gathering place in Montpellier. Enjoy a leisurely walk, take in the views of the surrounding architecture, or simply find a spot to sit and people-watch in this vibrant and lively area.
Just a short drive from Montpellier, Palavas-les-Flots is a popular beach destination. Its long sandy beach stretches for several kilometers, providing ample space for sunbathing, swimming, and beach activities. The beach is lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops, where visitors can enjoy delicious seafood, ice cream, or refreshing drinks.
Situated between Palavas-les-Flots and La Grande-Motte, Carnon-Plage is another charming beach near Montpellier. With its soft sand and clear blue waters, it is a favorite spot for sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts. The beach offers facilities such as beach clubs, water sports rentals, and beachfront dining options.
39. La Grande-Motte
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Known for its unique architecture and long sandy beaches, La Grande-Motte is a vibrant coastal town located about 20 kilometers from Montpellier. The beach here is well-maintained and offers a range of amenities, including beach bars, restaurants, and water sports activities. The town itself is worth exploring, with its modernist buildings and lively atmosphere.
40. Aresquiers Beach
Located between Frontignan and Sete, Aresquiers Beach is a hidden gem along the Montpellier coastline. It features a wide expanse of golden sand and clear waters, perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The beach is part of a nature reserve, ensuring a peaceful and natural setting.
41. Espiguette Beach
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While a bit farther from Montpellier, Espiguette Beach is well worth the visit. Situated near the Camargue region, it offers a vast expanse of wild and untouched shoreline. This expansive beach is known for its sand dunes, natural beauty, and a sense of tranquility away from the crowds.
42. Plage du Couchant
Located in La Grande-Motte, Plage du Couchant is a family-friendly beach with a relaxed atmosphere. The beach is easily accessible and offers a range of facilities such as showers, beach clubs, and water sports rentals. It’s a great spot for families looking to enjoy a day at the seaside.
Places and Things To Do