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Pocket Guide: Montpellier

Where to Stay in Montpellier

Montpellier is a charming town in southern France, just off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. From spiralling cathedrals in the historic centre to classic art museums and plenty of upscale shopping, there is something in Montpellier for everyone.

The town enjoys over 300 days a year of sunshine, as well as easy access to sandy beaches and quaint seaside resorts. Couples can take romantic strolls along Medieval streets, while families can take the children to spacious parks or Montpellier Zoo for an afternoon out.

The various neighbourhoods of Montpellier are well-connected by train and tram, making it easy to explore the city no matter where you stay. If you want to spend your time exploring Gothic architecture and historic ruins, find a hotel or suit near Montpellier’s historic centre.

For a more modern take on the city, stay in a hotel in Antigone, a stylish neighbourhood known for its Neoclassical architecture and elegant shops and restaurants.

To get away from it all, head a bit further out of Montpellier centre to the seaside resorts of La Grande-Motte or Le Grau-du-Roi. Enjoy private swimming pools, relaxing health spas, and views overlooking some beautiful sandy beaches.

Immerse Yourself in Montpellier’s History

Montpellier was first mentioned in 985 and has a rich Medieval history. The city used to be centred around Place de la Comédie, a city square surrounded by narrow Medieval streets. Here you can sit next to the fountain, known as the Three Graces, and have lunch in the Esplanade de Charles de Gaulle, a small park just off the square.

Visit the Cathédrale St-Pierre, established in 1536, to learn what life was like for Montpellier’s historic religious figures. Or explore the Musée Fabre, one of Montpellier’s most popular attractions, which has a stunning collection of European art covering more than 600 years of artistic movements. The museum was founded in 1825 and showcases some of the region’s most talented artists, including Fréderic Bazille and Nicholas Poussin.

Exploring Montpellier with Children

Montpellier may be a stylish and sophisticated city, but that doesn’t mean it is off-limits to little ones. Montpellier also has lots to entertain younger visitors. Families can visit France’s second largest zoo, the Montpellier Zoo, to see rare white rhinos, large families of lions and a replica exhibit of the Amazon rainforest that includes piranhas and alligators.

Another good family option is Montpellier’s aquarium, Aquarium Mare Nostrum. Interactive displays allow children to get up-close to a variety of aquatic animals, including sharks, sting rays and plenty of fish. Finish the day by watching the Mediterranean sunset from a nearby beach while enjoying an ice cream cone from a beachfront cafe.

Montpellier is a fantastic destination to explore the history and elegant charm of the southern French coast. Stay in one of Montpellier’s many welcoming hotels to enjoy a visit in this stylish city near the sea.