Are you looking for things to do in Montpellier? Then continue reading!
Montpellier, the city that has, and always will have, a piece of my heart. And after reading this, maybe she’ll take some of yours too.
Montpellier is a French city, situated on the Mediterranean coast, just a few hours from the Spanish border.
Sometimes referred to as “The Real South of France” due to its dissimilarity to the Cote d’Azur region, Montpellier is a traditional French city with a touch of Mediterranean class.
The 7th largest city in France, Montpellier is known for its young, student population.
With over 50% of the city’s inhabitants under the age of 35, you can guarantee Montpellier is one of the youngest, hippest and trendiest places you will visit in France.
But what is there to see and do in Montpellier? More than you might think!
Things to Do in Montpellier
1. Get Lost in The Narrow Streets
I’ve lived here now for over a year and I still can’t figure my way around the city, but do you know what? I don’t think I want to.
Part of the charm of the beautiful Montpellier old town is getting lost down a narrow street full of tiny boutique shops, surrounded by beautiful architecture.
2. Go Sightseeing
Montpellier prides itself on its rich architectural history. So if sightseeing is your thing, then you’re in luck.
Montpellier even has its own little tourist train that (somehow) manages to fit down the narrow, bendy roads and takes you around the beautiful sights – all with commentary in the language of your choice.
When it comes to sightseeing in Montpellier I recommend checking out:
- Porte & Promenade du Peyrou
- Saint Clément Aqueduct
- Cathédrale Saint-Pierre (Montpellier Cathedral)
- Esplanade de l’Europe
- City Hall
- Place de la Comédie
- Boulevard du Jeu de Paume
These are definitely the main sights not to miss on a trip to Montpellier.
3. Experience One of the Many Events
There is always something going on in Montpellier.
In May, Montpellier hosts both the FISE (Festival International Sports Extreme) and the Battle of The Year breakdancing competition, both famous international competitions.
In the Summer months, Montpellier has its Estivales: every Friday, local food vendors, musicians, and winemakers get together at the Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle and here you can sample the Languedoc’s world-class wines and snack on tasty street food.
And in July, Montpellier’s annual Gay Pride takes place. You can expect it to be as fabulous as the city itself!
There are so many more events in Montpellier so it’s worth checking out the full agenda before you plan a visit.
4. Watch the Dancers, Musicians and Magicians at Place De La Comédie
Place De La Comédie is the city’s meeting point and is the central hub of Montpellier.
As well as the beautiful Comedie Opera House and the 3 Graces fountain, Comedie is where you’ll find the talented street artists.
Every day you’ll experience something new, whether its Brazilian Samba dancing, Breakdancing, Magic Shows, Singers, Musicians – you’ll always find a free performance in Place de la Comedie.
5. Escape the City and Head into Nature
Lakes, beaches, and green spaces are all just a short walk, tram ride, or a cycle away from the city center.
I love heading to Lac du Cres to relax around a beautiful blue lake, Maison de la Nature for its wildlife, or heading to the beaches at La Grande Motte, Palavas-Les-Flots and Carnon-Plage.
If you’re heading to the beach, don’t forget to check out the pop-up bars on the beachfront – expensive, but great atmosphere.
If you do have a car and want to travel a little further out, then you can spend an active day out hiking the Pic Saint-Loup mountain.
6. Check Out the Museums
France is known for its artwork and Montpellier is no different.
The most famous museum in Montpellier is the Musée Fabre which houses Europe’s richest art collection.
But that’s not the only museum in Montpellier. There are over 10 different museums in the city center alone.
So whether you’re interested in photography, history, medicine, or paintings – there’s a museum for you to explore.
You can find a complete list of museums in Montpellier here.
7. Take a Picnic to Promenade Du Peyrou
Slightly overshadowed by the popularity of Place de la Comedie, Promenade Du Peyrou is another of Montpellier’s main meeting spots.
It’s the perfect place for a picnic, thanks to the park benches, trees, grassy spaces and beautiful historical monuments.
This place has so much atmosphere. Here you’ll find groups of friends playing petanque, busking, runners, acrobats, and such a wide range of people/groups.
Oh, and it also has the most perfect sunset view across the outskirts of the city!
8. Buy at the Brocante
France is known for its many flea markets or brocantes and Montpellier certainly keeps to tradition with almost daily markets across the city.
My favorite flea market to visit in Montpellier has to be at the Marché Du Lez.
Situated on the banks of the rive du lez (lez river), Marché Du Lez is the hipster hangout of Montpellier. The flea market is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10-7 and hosts 20 local professionals showcasing their second-hand treasures.
9. Eat and Drink in Montpellier
It’s hard to recommend any one place because there are so many restaurants, bars and cafes in Montpellier to choose from. A few of my favorites are:
Le Parfum – Incredible Cocktails
If your trip has a good-sized budget then you have to check out the cocktails at Le Parfum.
The decor here is incredible, the staff is friendly and the cocktails are to die for.
Gabriel, Créateur de Gourmandises – The Best Patisserie
Gabriel, Créateur de Gourmandises is my favorite patisserie in the city.
Whether you just want to start your day with a simple coffee and a croissant or are looking for incredible pastry, you can find it here!
El Chivito – Tacos & More
Thanks to its proximity to Spain, many of Montpellier’s restaurants have a strong Latino influence.
One of my favorites is El Chivito.
If you like tacos, fajitas, and all things Latin American, then you’ll love this restaurant.
Green Lab – For Vegetarian Food on a Budget
Green Lab is a great Falafel restaurant, perfect for vegetarians on a budget.
Tasty, healthy, and great portion sizes.
Comptoir de l’Arc – For the Best Happy Hour
I spend a lot of time here thanks to their tasty food and long happy hours.
Drinks in Montpellier are expensive, but it’s worth looking around for happy hour offers.
10. Rest Your Head – Where to Stay in Montpellier
Finding somewhere to stay in Montpellier is easy.
If you have a large budget and are looking for some city center luxury, then I’d suggest the Pullman Hotel with their beautiful rooftop pool, or the Courtyard Marriott Hotel which is right next to the famously designed city hall.
For smaller budgets, there are plenty of 3* city center hotels in Montpellier, perfect for a weekend break of exploring. I particularly recommend the Hotel de la Comédie for its proximity to the city center’s action.
Enjoy your trip to Montpellier!
I hope this guide has given you an idea of the best things to do in Montpellier, and that you will love the city as much as I do!
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Map of What to See and Do in Montpellier
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