3/5 - Okay
Verified travelerSep 25, 2019
City center Montpellier is very pretty, however once you venture outside of the center, the neighborhood becomes run-down and dirty.
Montpellier is home to France’s oldest botanical garden and one of its oldest universities. Due to its southern location, Montpellier is not a typical medieval French city. Note the influence of Spain on the city’s architecture, sample fish caught fresh from the Mediterranean Sea and take a daytrip south to sunbathe in a Mediterranean resort town.
Begin in the Place de la Comédie, an open central square abutted by the grand Opera House. Watch a world-class performance here or simply observe the 19th-century building at night when its giant windows are illuminated with purple neon lights.
Walk just a few blocks east of Montpellier’s historic center to one of its newest developments: the Antigone neighborhood. Between 1979 and 2000, this area was entirely redeveloped by famed architect Ricardo Bofill, who is from the nearby Spanish region of Catalonia. The massive neoclassical buildings culminate in the grassy amphitheater of the Esplanade de l’Europe, which curves along the Lez River. Come to the esplanade on Friday evenings during the summer for wine tasting.
Montpellier’s history of prosperity and its rich artistic tradition have given it exciting and influential cultural attractions. The Botanical Garden, founded in 1593, is France’s oldest; it inspired the design of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. Visit the Fabre Museum to see a collection of classical European art, including an extensive collection of drawings by French masters. Inside the Montpellier Cathedral you will find a canvas by Sébastien Bourdon, one of the city’s most famous native artists.
Take advantage of Montpellier’s Mediterranean location by visiting Palavas les Flots, which is a 20-minute drive south of the city. This resort town is located on a long and extremely narrow island off the French coastline. While there, try succulent shrimp or cod from local waters.
An international airport lies 5 miles (8 kilometers) east of the Montpellier city center. Once in the city, get around via the extensive tramway network and on foot. You will find that a pleasant Mediterranean breeze blows through its narrow medieval streets.
Skyscrapers, Museums and Historical Buildings
One of the largest pedestrianized squares in Europe is a great place to come for coffee, to see some opera and shop for food and fashion.
With thousands of exotic fish, a storm simulator, sharks and a tropical rainforest, this aquarium provides fascinating insights into marine life.
Step inside an 18th-century mansion to explore hundreds of years’ worth of art from some of the world's leading painters and artistic movements.
The oldest botanical garden in France contains thousands of plant species and trees that are hundreds of years old.
Walk between the arches of the vast aqueduct near the moated water tower in this dazzling park celebrating the glory of a monarch.
Learn more about the local history when you visit Place de la Comedie, a well-known historical site in Montpellier. Take in the art scene in this walkable area.
Journey through the history of Montpellier by Gyropode Segway on a tour of the city's new and old districts. Benefit from a training session to master the art of an electric personal transporter! Discover landmark monuments, such as the Esplanade.
Delve into the wilderness of the Camargue, a coastal wetland populated by pink flamingoes, white horses, and black bulls. Visit the Pont de Gau Ornithological Park for up-close looks at the region’s winged residents, and take in the views from the church bell tower in historic Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
Considered to be one of the world’s finest French vermouths, NOILLY PRAT® is beautifully created in the South of France. Discover over 200 years of heritage and traditional craft at La Maison Noilly Prat in Marseillan.
Visit a treasure trove of Roman sites on this tour to Nimes and Uzès. Before making your way to the remarkable Pont du Gard aqueduct, enjoy exploring the amphitheater of Nimes—which rivals the Colosseum in style and size—and the town of Uzès, with its impressive collection of Roman architecture.
On a day trip through beautiful Provence, explore medieval towns such as Les Baux-de-Provence, Roman remains in Uzès, Nîmes, and the Pont du Gard. Make your way to the rolling hills covered with olive groves and vineyards to sample olive oil and wine at local estates.
Journey from central Aix-en-Provence and admire the natural beauty of Camargue Regional Natural Park. Continue to Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, capital of the region, where you have plenty of leisure time to explore the local sights and delights.
Verified travelerJul 18, 2019
Lots to discover in and around the city. Love the Peyrou gardens and monuments