Hello to all travelers, we are ready for a new adventure in another french city and to be specific in Montpellier. What do you think? Do we start as we usually do? Let’s go with the presentation!
Montpellier is a city in the south of France, the capital of the Hérault district in the Occitania region. It borders the municipalities of Saint-Clément-de-Rivière, Montferrier-sur-Lez and Clapiers, Castelnau-le-Lez, Lattes, Saint-Jean-de-Védas, Juvignac, Grabels. It is also delimited by two rivers: the Lez and the Mosson. Montpellier is home to three universities, as well as a prestigious medical school and another one where studied the poet Petrarch. It is also a CNRS research center dedicated to environmental sciences. At an economic level there is a strong development due to the presence of various companies in the computer sector that favored this phenomenon and helped to achieve a good level of quality of life. Going deeper and analyzing some curiosities about the city, we see that the name Montpellier derives from the french mont pelé because of its scarce vegetation. However there is also another interpretation on the origin of its name which sees Montpellier as mons puellarum (“mountain of the girls”) and again, a third interpretation that derives the name from mons pelerin (pilgrim mountain), as the city was a stopping point for pilgrims heading to Santiago de Compostela. So there is a culture to know!
It must also be said that Montpellier is a very young city compared to the other major cities in the region as it was founded more recently than the latter. Furthermore (and we close here) the city is famous for being the birthplace of one of the most revered saints in Europe, San Rocco.
To know more ( what to eat, where to eat, where to have fun, things to visit…) continue to read.
We have already said enough during the presentation, we will not go further, so let’s start our exploration immediately.
PLACES TO VISIT (MUSEUMS/THEATERS…)
Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Montpellier
- Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Montpellier: this is the main Catholic place of worship in Montpellier, it is a historical monument of France and is located in the department of the Hérault. An architectural marvel right in the center of the city. Its style is very sober and solemn, it reminds one of the entrance of a castle because of its two side towers located at the entrance. The cathedral is in gothic style butit can be easily confused with the medieval style. There is also a small square around it, Place de la Canourge. The structure inside, besides the beautiful stained glass windows, has paintings, sculptures and a beautiful organ.
- Sanctuaire Saint-Roch: is a gothic-style catholic place of worship. Inside (very beautiful and evocative) we find paintings, statues and numerous precious objects (including several glasses) and relics. A place of inestimable value.
- Right next to the Saint-Pierre de Montpellier cathedral there is the museum and conservatoire d’anatomie montpellier, a museum dedicated to anthropology, anatomy, embryology and malformations, pathologies, skeletons, surgical instruments exhibited in display cases or in galleries. Plus some wax pieces of venereal lesions and so on. Its collections have been classified as a historical monument. A really interesting museum even for those who are not in the sector or a lover of it, you will be fascinated.
- Musee Fabre: it is one of the main art museums in the city. The museum is full of very interesting works featuring major artists such as Eugène Delacroix, Frédéric Bazille, Gustave Courbert, Claude Monet and many others. The reference period goes from the fifteenth to the twentieth century. The museum was located in the Massilian palace overlooking the Charles de Gaulle square. Such a beautiful structure internally (with its beautiful warm orange color and its staircase with Doric arches) and externally full of artistic value so as to have the status of Museum of France.
Also worth visiting is the Cabrières-Sabatier d’Espeyran hotel which houses some decorative arts belonging to the Fabre museum. Here you will see what are the most notable family apartments in its most everyday aspects and the vast collection of ceramics.
- Tour de La Babote: classified as a historical monument, the monument served as an astronomical observatory. It is a low tower not accessible on the upper floor but you can enter it through the main door which will lead you to a small square with several shops. So, as you have been able to understand, it is an open-air monument, a kind of city gate.
- Pavillon populaire: it is an exhibition space dedicated to the photographic art of the late 90s. The photographic exhibitions are temporary and this gives the opportunity to get to know the many big names in photography but also the lesser known ones. Some exhibitions are interesting and suggestive, others reflective, a nice mix! Particular is its architecture which reminds an ancient station.
- Espace Dominique Bagouet: this art museum is located not far from the Pavillon Populaire. It is a very enclosed place and not huge but of great beauty. Inside there are works made in sand, resin, marble and also many paintings. It really deserves a lot, wonderful!
- Musée des Moulages: university museum was created with the aim of preserving and exhibiting the collections related to the teaching of archeology (famous are those of the casts). It is located in the city’s Faculty of Letters. The museum is both a historical testimony of the teaching of scientific research between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the protagonist of cultural life thanks to the scientific, artistic and cultural events that are regularly organized there. A very interesting and fascinating museum, not to be missed.
- Atelier musée Fernand MICHEL Arts brut et singulier: this museum is so particular and singular because it represents the arts, but the “ugly” ones, those which are superficially not considered visually attractive. You will find a mix of arts, the infantile, rudimentary, surprising ones. Here there is art everywhere, even outside its small courtyard. Not only do you learn a lot but you will also have a lot of fun, think that to access the museum you have to knock the bell!
- If you love castles, Montpellier is the perfect place for you, there are so many and one more beautiful than the other. Here are some of them: Chateau de Flaugergues (castle tour with wine tasting), Le château de la Piscine, Domaine d’O, Château des évêques de Montpellier. With these we have tried to enclose at least those that have struck us most, but there are really many and all beautiful. Fantastic places in which to enjoy a few hours of royalty by exploring the beautiful castles.
- Planet Ocean Montpellier: it is an aquarium full of marine species (including penguins) with multiple simulators and a room. It is a nice and fun experience to do, especially if you have kids with you.
As for theaters, we find: Opéra national de Montpellier, Théâtre des 13 vents, Théâtre Jean Vilar, Printemps des Comédiens.
Ready to go on? Let’s go!
- Jardin des Plantes: the botanical garden of Montpellier is part of the University of Montpellier and is home to over two thousand plant species. Some structures, some small lakes, paths to discover, a greenhouse, a small grove. So besides the great biodiversity, there is also a lot of relax and a charm to visit and breathe!
- La Serre Amazonienne: here we are catapulted suddenly into the Amazon. This is much more than just a greenhouse, inside the world. In addition to greenery, waterfalls, a path to go on a wooden walkway and also a lot of fauna (reptiles, fish, birds). A really nice attraction.
- Parc du Domaine de Meric: is a park located in the center of Montpellier and it is famous mainly for its lawn of poppies. Inside, in addition to many interesting and beautiful plants to know, there is an area for dogs and an area for children, plus some benches overlooking the lake. Another nice park to visit is Parc Rimbaud, also very beautiful.
In addition, we find the réserve naturelle, a truly unmissable nature reserve with paths, waterfalls, lakes, some fauna and a lot of flora.
- Marché Du Lez: it is a place so particular and suggestive not to be missed. It is an outdoor place with several food trucks full of typical food, but not only, there are also trucks that sell objects, flowers, furniture… So beautiful!
- Source de l’Avy: a beautiful source where are told many legends and a wonderful place to visit. You won’t find just that, but much more. For example, nearby there is a wooded park equipped with tables, wooden benches and is also the starting point for many paths. What a wonderful place.
- Going far and wide through the city among the squares and streets we will meet: place Jean-Jaurès located in the medieval center is a small square lined with numerous bars and restaurants, shops and is the main meeting place for many students. Place de la Comédie, located at the Écusson (historic city center, which can also be visited comfortably seated on the Petit Train de Montpellier) takes its name from the theater located there. The square is the center of all the activities of Montpellier and it is a great attraction but also the starting point for an in-depth discovery of the historic city. Place de la Canourgue, the oldest square in the city, where we can find the Hôtel de Sarret with its particular shell-shaped structure in its corner, a beautiful fountain with benches next to it and a wonderful view of the Saint Pierre Cathedral. Place Edouard Adam where there is the magnificent art of trompe l’oeil (the most beautiful three-dimensional effect genre of Montpellier). Stop to look at it from different angles, its three-dimensional effect is incredible despite the flat wall. Antigone is a very modern neighborhood near the large Esplanade de l’Europe square. This is dominated by a huge neoclassical semicircle structure, inside which there are apartments, shops and restaurants, it is the symbolic building and it is truly magnificent. Another beauty is the Nike monument of Samothrace, a famous marble statue. In addition, there is a long cycle and pedestrian avenue and a walk along the riverside. To do is a nice walk in the Promenade du Peyrou that will welcome you with its door, Porte du Peyrou. Breathtaking views, long avenues, a place to admire and explore. During you walk you might come across the Saint-Clément Aqueduct, it is an ancient aqueduct that can be visited where young people often go at sunset to spend the evening together.
- If you want to continue with the fun, know that you cannot miss: Sensas Montpellier for an unmissable sensory activity and Patinoire Vegapolis if you love skates, since it is a skating rink, don’t worry, it is open 365 days a year. An unforgettable ride along the cycle path near the Lez river towards the areas that will lead you to the beach. And what about the river Lez, if you are a sports person do not miss activities with kayaking or stand-up paddle.
- And again, if you love summer, the beach, the sea, there is truly paradise for you. Nearby there are: Plage du Prévost, Espiguette, Plage Est Petit Travers, Plage de la Rose des Sables, Plage l’Avranche, Plage St. Pierre, Palavas-les-Flots (where there are also many nice restaurants where you can eat excellent fish and lagoons inhabited by numerous pink flamingos)… Such a wide choice. Furthermore, at Pic de Saint-Loup you can enjoy a fantastic view of some mountains and the coast. An unmissable stop for lovers of excursions, climbing and trails (the area is famous for its wine, the Coteaux du Languedoc – Pic Saint Loup). Les Halles Castellanes, the largest covered market in Montpellier, perfect for tasting some typical dishes. If you still have time, or you want spend half a day outside the city, go to Sète, one of the major ports in France.
Promenade du Peyrou
For the nightlife, there are many bars and clubs located around Place Jean Jaurés, in the heart of the historic center; without forgetting Place de Comedie populated by the many students who are in the city.
Let’s take a closer look at some places:
- 341 Wone Street: nightclub
- Black Building: nightclub
- Perpète les zoives: nightclub
- Le Fizz: nightclub
- Circus: lounge bar
Let’s move on to the typical dishes. Ready?
It must be said that the cuisine of Montpellier is influenced by the flavors of nearby Marseille but also by the one of the French Riviera. So it is composed of both sea and land dishes (an example is the daube de boeuf, beef stew cooked in red wine.) Let’s see the typical foods in detail.
- Bouillabaisse: is a stewed fish soup that can be composed of various species of fish (redfish, red mullet, red snapper, turbot…). The dish is accompanied by a typical sauce, the rouille, made with bread, fish cartoon, garlic, egg yolk, olive oil, saffron and chili pepper.
- Salade Nicoise: it is a salad prepared with tomatoes, black olives, anchovies or tuna, boiled green beans and various seasonal vegetables cut into small pieces. An excellent variant of the usual salad.
- Brandade de morue: it is a stockfish and oven-baked potato puree. A real goodness!
- Tarte au citron:it is a tart stuffed with lemon cream, but a special one as it is prepared with the fruits grown in the Provence citrus
- Profiterole: famous all over the world they are typical french sweets that can also be found here. For those who don’t know them, it is a cream puff filled with custard, chantilly cream and covered with a chocolate cream.
- In addition, Montpellier is also very famous for the wines of Languedoc, a region rich in vineyards that produce Grès de Montpellier with its typical ruby color and the unmistakable flavor of berries.
WHERE TO EAT (RESTAURANTS/CAFE’…)
There are always many places where you can taste typical dishes, but don’t worry, we have selected some for you.
- Le Lab: French, European cuisine.
- Le Petit Bistrot: French, European cuisine.
- L’Effet Jardin Restaurant: French, Mediterranean cuisine.
- Renaldo: French, international, vegetarian cuisine.
- La Tasca: French, Mediterranean cuisine.
- Jardino: French, Mediterranean, European cuisine.
- L’Oignon Givre: French, European, vegetarian cuisine, vegan options.
- Creperie C Breizh: French, international, vegetarian cuisine.
- L’Egregore: bar, wine bar.
We end like this our adventure in Montpellier, while our journey in France is not over yet. Keep to follow us to find our next destination.
Let us know your opinions about this place. If you liked it or not, if you’ve been there or you’re going to go there? What you liked the most or least? We’re curious to read your opinions.
A big kiss to everyone.
Below we will list the accommodations that you can find in Montpellier.