Sightseeing in Montpellier France

Montpellier is one of the nicest cities in France. It is the capital of Languedoc Roussillon and has a truly cosmopolitan air to it. The feeling you get as you stroll around the 'centre historique' is that of an over riding 'cafe culture' where good quality eating and drinking establishments are in abundant supply, this is chilling out French style; which isn't bad for a big city. Montpellier is actually the most desired residence in France, as voted for by a French population who identified it as their favorite place to live. Not hard to understand really, in truth it would probably compete with anywhere in Europe as a desirable place to live.

Why You Need to Visit Montpellier

The cafes and restaurants are tucked under tree covered courtyards around nearly every corner and you are never far from the numerous places of interest the city boasts. As you wander around and you see some members of the French population sipping a coffee whilst reading a paper at the tables of one of the many tree shaded cafes you will understand why the city was described earlier as being very cosmopolitan and why it emanates that feeling of 'cafe culture' France is so famous for. It is not just Paris that can lay a claim to that particular fame, Montpellier seems to have it in spadefuls as well but at a much more sedate pace.

Parking is a piece of cake you can simply drive into the city center and slip into one of the many pristine underground car parks. A good one to head for, from a tourism perspective, is the one right beneath the 'Place de Comedie'.

When you climb the steps from the car park you will emerge within a 100m of the 'Office de Tourisme' which very quickly allows you to arm yourself with a map of the city and a discovery guide for Montpellier.

If you happen to arrive at lunch time, the 'Place de Comedie' also has its fair share of cafes and restaurants from which to choose. I think you can say you will be a little spoiled for choice.

Not sure having lunch first is the right sightseeing strategy. Having eaten a very ample and delicious lunch, the last thing you might feel like doing is getting out in the afternoon sunshine to walk around the city and see the sights,

You may be more inclined to think about whether there is a good place to go for a 'siesta' instead. You do of course have the option to jump on the little train (petite train) that goes all around the city visiting the places of interest, which would make seeing off the lunch a little easier. It does drop off and pick up very close to the nearby tourist office as well, so it is quite convenient.

Places of Interest in Montpellier France

Places of Interest in Montpellier France

These are all the places that are considered must see, but you probably need more than an afternoon to get around them all. So to make the most of Montpellier you need to assign at least a day, especially if you want to take some time out for that nice lunch that was discussed earlier.

- Musee Fabre
- Le Corum - Opera Berlioz
- Opera Comedie
- Les 3 Graces
- Cathedrale Saint Pierre
- Place Royale du Peyrou
- Arc de Triomphe
- Aqueduc St Clement
- Tour de la Babote
- Couvent des Ursulines
- Esplanade de l'Europe Victoire de Samothrace

The 'Place de Comedie' is where you will also find the 'Opera Comedie' and 'Les 3 Graces' , the 'Graces' are sculptures of minor goddesses which in this case sit on the top of a beautiful fountain. They always come in threes and typically represent mirth, good cheer and splendor. Although there are variations on this theme depending where you are and who created them.

The 'Arch de Triomphe' was built in the late 17th century on a spot where the ancient door of the medieval ramparts once stood. It was built to celebrate the glory of Louis XIV and is adorned with medallions celebrating the highlights of the monarch's reign. Things like military victories and the inaugaration of the Canal Du Midi worksite.

As you approach the arch you can see the statue of King Louis XIV astride his horse in the centre of the Promenade Du Peyrou. So if you have to make a choice of which sites to see, I would say that this is the 'must see' of the must sees.

See: Montpellier on Wikipedia
The Surrounding Area

The Surrounding Area

Just north of Montpellier on the A75 motorway you can find the Millau Viaduct, the tallest bridge in the world and if you head into Millau to get below the viaduct you can find a visitor's centre that tells you all about the bridge and how it was constructed.

Montpellier also benefits from being only around ten kilometers from the Mediterranean coastline, a little like Barcelona in northern Spain. So if you like the best of both worlds, a modern vibrant city and a beautiful coastline where you can lay on a beach now and then, Montpellier would be a very good choice.

Of its neigbours you can visit Nimes where you will find an amazing Roman Colloseum or travel a little further north to visit Uzes, a beautiful town constructed primarily of limestone. You could even visit the Pont Du Gard a Unesco world heritage site, which is also close to Uzes.

Head in the other direction towards Beziers and you will find the medieval town of Pezenas, another little gem worth a visit.

But to be honest no matter where you go or what you do in this region, it is highly unlikely that the city of Montpellier or the surrounding area will disappoint you.

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