Montpellier, a young, Mediterranean and alive city
Along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in southern France, Montpellier has everything it takes to please. A lively and surprising city in the heart of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, Montpellier is vibrant, elegant and artistic. People are drawn here by the city’s rich past, former and contemporary glory, intense cultural life and youthful feel. Its sunny climate and well-preserved historical environment are second to none, nestled between the sea, vineyards and mountain landscapes. Known internationally for its world-class medical schools, whose long-standing tradition dates back the middle ages, Montpellier is well practiced in the art of welcoming people. Montpellier today is a leading destination for business tourism, vacation and language stays.
Visit the official website of the Montpellier Tourist Office.
The historical center, also known as the Ecusson is known for its beauty. Walking through Montpellier’s historical center is like travelling through 1,000 years in time, from 985 to the seeds of the city’s future.
Montpellier, with its 62,000 students, has a university tradition wich dates back to the 11th century: its Faculty of Medicine is the oldest in the western world. The reputation of its univgersities of Science, Law and Letters also put it among the top university towns in the south of France. With its 257,000 inhabitants (400,000 in Montpellier and its suburbs), the capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon is the 8th largest and fastest growing city in France. 43% of its population is under 30 years old!
1 person out of 4 in Montpellier is a student
3 universities, 7 « Grandes Ecoles»
on the top 5 cities in France for international congresses
on the top 5 of university hospital complexes in France, with 11,000 employees
An opera, national orchestra, numerous theaters, two modern concert halls, Musée Fabre, one of Europe’s most beautiful museums, Montpellier has endowed itself with outstanding cultural facilities which are available 356 days per year and which host prestigious festivals such as the International Dance Festival, the International Radio France Festival and the International Festival of Mediterranean Cinema.
A former medieval capital, Montpellier still bears traces of its history even at the heart of the city. But it has also embraced modern architecture, such as the Antigone quarter designed by Ricardo Bofill, and is continuing seaward, with the construction of Port Marianne, Odysseum and a new city Hall designed by Jean Nouvel!
Going out in Montpellier
Montpellier is a great place to go out. There are a very large number of restaurants in the city center, best discovered on foot during a nice stroll in the evening. The restaurants open for food around 7pm. If you want to treat yourself there is even a Michellin 2 star restaurant: Le Jardin des Sens (see menu). Count around 200 euros per person for dinner and 50 for lunch.
The bars stop serving alocohol at 1AM. There are only two small and noisy nightclubs in center Montpellier (Fizz and Panama). For the full clubbing experience you will need to go outside the city, near the beach. Every Friday evening, between the Corum and the Comédie the Estivales take place: loads of food and crafts stands, sometimes outside concerts where most tourists come and buy souvenirs. The food is very nice (and cheap) and the athomosphere great!
Finally, shopping wise there are two main shopping centers in Montpellier: either the small Polygone just off the Comédie (passing by the Polygone will allow you to go to the Antigone area) or Odysseum, the new big open air shopping center situated at the terminus of the Line 1 of tram. For best sights to visit we reccomend going to the Tourism Office and asking for city tours and other activities.
The city has plenty of gems to be discovered.
Going out around Montpellier
As above, your best bet is to go to the Tourism Office and see what you like doing and what is available. Montpellier is close to the sea and the mountain, so depending on the available time you can hike, cycle, sail or simply lay in the sand and get a tan. Montpellier is very busy during the holidays. If you plan to go to the beach, and want to take the bus, make sure you do this quite early in the morning, otherwise the buses will be full. Also, when catching the last bus from the beach to town note that the driver won't stop to take more people is the bus is already full. Your best bet is not to risk taking the last bus. The beach (Palavas) is also accesible by bike from center Montpellier. You can rent bikes by day in Montpellier either by going to the main office in front of the train station and getting a special card (ID is compulsory) or by using the few credit card based machines (left hand side of the train station for instance). The bike trail to go to the beach starts from Rives de Lez (also on the line 1 of tram) and stops 10 Kms later at Palavas. If cycling after 11 and before 18 make sure to take plenty of water.
Taxi: +33 4 67 03 20 00
Hello – Bonjour!
Thank you – Merci!
I am lost – Je suis perdu!
Where is building 31? - Où est le Batiment 31?
Where is the entry to the UM2? - Ou est l'entrée de l'université?
I look for the IH&MMSec conference! - Je cherche la conference IH&MMSec!