You don’t need to be studying to get the most out of this cosmopolitan student city. Montpellier holidays are a cultural wonderland, with palaces, museums and art galleries to peruse, meaning you’ll certainly be put through your scholarly paces. The medieval city is home to several universities and, as a result, more than a third of its population is students. The youthful residents give the city a vibrant energy and, unsurprisingly, a lively night scene.
Holidays to Montpellier are an explorer’s paradise, so be sure to pack a pair of comfortable shoes. Start at the Place de la Comédie and amble through the cobbled streets of the old town, looking at the city’s grand ‘hôtels particuliers’ (private mansions) with their romantic Gothic courtyards. As the sun goes down, order a bottle of the local Languedoc wine at the Place de la Canourgue, Montpellier’s oldest square, and soak it up with a plate of Roquefort cheese and warm bread. Strolling around the medieval streets, it’s easy to forget that Montpellier is a coastal city. Most beaches can be reached within half an hour by bus, or you can hire a bike and cycle there. Whether you like having your nose in a guidebook or a plate of cassoulet, Montpellier is bursting with possibilities.
Art by the Old Masters
Art lovers are well catered for at the Musée Fabre, which houses one of the country’s richest collections of European art, including works by Monet and Rubens.
The Botanical Gardens
Established in 1593, the Botanical Gardens of Montpellier are the oldest in France. The majestic glasshouses and exotic foliage make for the perfect backdrop for a picnic.
Modern art at La Panacée
This creative-art venue is in the former Royal College of Medicine. It’s an exhibition space and café for the public and artists to share ideas.