What to see and do in Montpellier? 6 must-see visits!

Who I am
Aina Martin


Article rating:

Content warning

The metropolis of Montpellier is one of the symbols of the art of living in the Occitanie region. In each district, cultural effervescence and slow life intermingle, in an atmosphere conducive to relaxation and discovery. Whether you are a fan of gastronomy, old stones, festive evenings or contemporary art, the city of Montpellier is available to you. Romantic weekend or family getaway, let yourself be surprised by this city of a thousand and one facets.

Here are 6 must-see visits and activities to do in Montpellier!

Stroll on the Place de la Comédie

The Place de la Comédie owes its name to the opera house which dominates it. Oval in shape, some people have fun calling it the place of the egg. Located in the heart of the inner city, this huge pedestrian area is the nerve center of Montpellier. The many bars and restaurants that line the esplanade entice locals and tourists alike to enjoy the city vibe. While sipping a drink on the terrace, you will quickly see that comedy is not just about opera. Beyond the scenes of traditional life, you will enjoy the amusing games of a few street artists, or the sweet melodies sung by musicians who come to entertain passers-by.

Comedy Square

Place de la Comédie is a lively break in the heart of the city. If you are looking for what to do in Montpellier with children, it is a must. While enjoying an ice cream, they will patiently wait for the departure of the little train for a fun visit of the city. You can also please them with a few laps on the magnificent carousel which sits on the square. To enjoy a magical moment, do not hesitate to come for a stroll in the evening. At night, beautiful lighting plunges the square into an atmosphere that is both colorful and magical. Something to delight young and old!

Stroll through the alleys of the Écusson

L'Écusson is the historic center of Montpellier. Made up of medieval alleys, the ideal is to get lost in it trusting your instinct alone. Alone or hand in hand, stroll without a plan and do not hesitate to get lost in its intertwined alleys. You will feel at the heart of a small village with the atmosphere of yesteryear. The beautiful facades of XNUMXth and XNUMXth century mansions can reveal magnificent interior courtyards and sculpted stone staircases.

Narrow street leading to Saint-Pierre Cathedral

However, if you are a fan of history and ancient architecture, the best thing to do in Montpellier is to let yourself be carried away by a guide from the tourist office. It will open the door to many secret mansions for you. The Écusson district is not only interesting for its atmosphere steeped in history. He is also used to unearth some nuggets under the vaulted ceilings of the beautiful shops. Lovers of original or old pieces will be able to delight in pushing the door of antique dealers or small passionate creators. In short, the Escutcheon alone is a real journey through time!

Admire the sunset from Peyrou

Right next to the Arc de Triomphe, which serves as the gateway to the old town, is the promenade du Peyrou. It's about a large esplanade created on two levels in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries. From this park which constitutes the highest point of the city, you will have a splendid view over the entire Montpellier region. By discovering this panorama which stretches from the Cévennes to the sea, you will understand why Peyrou is one of the favorite places for the inhabitants of Montpellier. Sunday morning, the park wakes up with a flea market which comes alive very slowly from the first light of day.

The Peyrou promenade

But the best time to fully enjoy the place is at the end of the day. At nightfall, the sunset is magnificent and allows you to recharge your batteries after a day in the heart of the city. The icing on the cake, thanks to the talent of plastic artist Yan Kersalé, you can also admire the lighting of the Saint-Clément aqueduct and the monumental water tower. A bluish and magical atmosphere invades the place every evening. When you don't know what to do in Montpellier in the evening, the Peyrou Park is the ideal place to stroll away from the urban bustle!

Discover one of the most beautiful Fine Arts museums in Europe

Whether you are fond of painting or not, the Fabre museum is a must visit during a stay in Montpellier. Created in 1828 by the painter François-Xavier Fabre, today it is one of the finest collections of paintings in Europe. During the visit, you will go back in time from the XNUMXth century to today. Ruben, Poussin, Delacroix, Courbet, Delaunay… All periods and styles are represented through the works of highly famous painters.

Fabre Museum

In recent years, the collection was enriched by an exceptional collection with thirty-four paintings by Pierre Soulages, one of the most highly rated living artists in the world. Free route, guided tour or workshop of artistic practices, the museum offers a variety of options accessible to all. Passionate about art or just curious, the collections of the Musée Fabre leave no one indifferent. And this is the secret of a successful visit!

Take in the sights in the Antigone and Port Marianne districts

While retaining strong historical imprints, the city of Montpellier is resolutely turned towards the future. The modern Antigone and Port Marianne districts are perfect examples. The first step of the visit is to gain height by climbing to the top of the Polygone shopping center. You will then realize the extent of contemporary architecture to which Montpellier attaches so much importance. On your way back down you will probably come across the most beautiful tram in France. Its colorful graphics have been designed by renowned artists such as Christian Lacroix or Bonetti.

The Antigone district

As you stroll around Antigone and Port Marianne, you will be blown away by the particular architecture of these neighborhoods. Here there are no rules and anything goes. Public infrastructure takes on a futuristic look. Town hall in the shape of a giant parallelepiped designed by Jean Nouvel, Olympic swimming pool with the air of a huge liner, ultra-modern glass media library… The private buildings are not left out. L'Arbre Blanc, a seventeen-story building in pure white, has been the city's artificial highlight since 2019. Its balconies, suspended in the air, give it, in all lightness, Japanese airs.

Le Nuage by Philippe Starck is both an architectural concept and a concept of life in its own right. This spectacular building contains an ensemble dedicated to well-being and health. With its avant-garde designs, Montpellier shows an energetic dynamism and forever anchors pretty symbols in its identity. Open your eyes wide and let yourself be surprised!

Feast on Mediterranean flavors and local wines

There are not really any dishes that mark the image of the city. However, being located 10 km from the sea, the local gastronomy is inspired by all the codes of Mediterranean cuisine. Consequently, lovers of fish and other crustaceans can fill up with iodized flavors in Montpellier. Oysters, fish stews, mussels or shellfish come to delight the taste buds of gourmets.

The vines of Maguelone

A short stay in Montpellier is also an opportunity to taste Languedoc wines, the first wine-growing region in the world. Why not push open the door of a small tavern and treat yourself to a glass of wine from the famous Pic Saint-Loup or other appellations in the region? And to prolong the pleasure at home, the Grisettes of Montpellier will please the whole family. These little honey and liquorice balls, the recipe for which was invented in 1, are a real treat for young and old alike!

Useful information

  • Access to Montpellier: At the heart of the Occitanie region, Montpellier is located 3h30 by TGV from Paris. From the capital, access by plane is also quick with only 1 hour 10 minutes. Connections from major European cities are also possible with bus companies, national and international lines.
  • Getting around the city: If you are coming by car to Montpellier, park in the interchange car parks on the outskirts of the city. The ideal is to opt for one of the 16 car parks which offers the P + Tram package, giving the right to a free return trip by tram for each occupant of the car. For trips in the heart of the city, walking is still the best way to visit. For athletes or for a more original discovery, it is possible to rent a bike via the vélomagg service from 50 cents an hour.
  • City Card : This discovery passport is offered by the tourist office. Available in 3 versions from 24 h to 72 h, it gives free access to public transport in the agglomeration, a guided tour of the tourist office, an audio guide, and many other visits and reductions in museums and shops.

PRACTICAL TIP : consult our climate forecasts for the year to know when to go to Montpellier!

The essentials of Montpellier… and after?

The city of Montpellier and its unique architecture is sure to mark passing visitors. It is also an ideal base for exploring the region. After a walkabout in the city, why not explore the magnificent natural spaces that are at the gates of the city? Do you also know all the tourist attractions of Languedoc-Roussillon? So ready for a discovery of the south of France with accents of the sun?

Add a comment from What to see and do in Montpellier? 6 must-see visits!
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.