Montpellier is one of the most exciting cities in the south of France. Whether you want to experience world-class art and culture or some exciting nightlife, there are plenty of things to do in Montpellier. Here are just 25 of them.
1. Visit the Musée Fabre
The Musée Fabre is Montpellier’s most revered museum, host to a number of important artworks. If you’re looking for something cultural to do in Montpellier, a visit to this museum is a must. Its artworks are mostly paintings and sculptures dating back to the 15th century. A visit here serves as a wonderful journey through time via some of Europe’s most impressive emblems of visual culture.
2. Marvel at Montpellier’s Arc de Triomphe
Montpellier wouldn’t be a proper French city if it didn’t have its very own Arc de Triomphe. Known formally as the Porte du Peyrou, this triumphal arch was completed in 1693. However, the façade to commemorate four major events from the reign of Louis XIV wasn’t added until 1715. Fans of French history and its architecture must take a stroll underneath this opulent arch.
3. Stroll along the Promenade du Peyrou
The Promenade du Peyrou is just on the outskirts of Montpellier’s historic centre and is a wonderful place for a stroll full of classical sights. Leading up to the Porte du Peyrou, along this promenade you can also find the Château d’eau near the aqueduct that offers a fantastic spot for a photoshoot. The Promenade du Peyrou is a favourite amongst the locals, so taking a walk here is a must!
4. Immerse yourself in Montpellier’s Planet Ocean World
The Planet Ocean World aquarium is a great place to visit if you’re travelling to Montpellier with kids. This huge aquarium is filled with some of the world’s most beautiful species of sea life and makes for a great day out. Not only will this place fascinate, but it will educate, and keep the little ones happy! For young travellers, this one of the most exciting things to do in Montpellier.
5. Explore the Jardin des Plantes de Montpellier
The fact that the Jardin des Plantes de Montpellier has free admission is only one of the reasons why you must visit this stunning botanical garden on your trip to Montpellier. Maintained by the university, this historic garden is brimming with a kaleidoscopic range of flowers and plants, and makes for a beautiful setting for walks and photos. Offering over 2600 species of plants in its spacious grounds, a trip to the Montpellier botanical garden is a must do!
6. Gaze at Montpellier Cathedral
The Montpellier cathedral is a Roman Catholic church that is dedicated to Saint Peter. Hence, its full name is Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Montpellier. Originally the monastery of Saint-Benoît, founded in 1364, today this imposing cathedral stands over the city of Montpellier, having undergone a number of renovations throughout the centuries due to war and conflict. Paying this beautiful building a visit when you’re in Montpellier is a wonderful thing to do for anyone interested in history, architecture, or who wants to pay their respect in a grand Catholic church.
7. Stroll around the Château de Flaugergues
A visit to this splendid castle really is a fantastic way to spend a day in the Montpellier region for those who want to soak up as much beauty and culture as possible. Not only does this stunning chateau boast gorgeous gardens and a magnificent art collection, but it is also famous for its wine tourism, including vineyard tours and tastings. This is a must-visit.
8. Entertain the kids at Montpellier Zoological Park
Looking for a family-friendly day out in Montpellier? Taking a trip to the Montpellier Zoological Park is a fantastic thing to do! Home to over 141 different species of animals in huge enclosures, this park is guaranteed to keep everyone entertained. Located just north of the city of Montpellier proper, not only is the zoo accessible but it’s also affordable. It will certainly be good fun for the little ones.
9. Spend a day by the Lez river
The river Lez runs through many towns in the Southern Occitanie region of France, but most notably Montpellier. However, if you really like the idea of spending some time on or near the river, it’s easy to reach any of the other Lez river towns for some canoeing. By visiting Prades-le-Lez, you can even bathe in the river. Otherwise, go for a scenic stroll or bike ride by the water and feel the Mediterranean sun on your skin.
10. Snap a picture of the Saint-Clément Aqueduct
Not only does this 18th-century aqueduct carry the water supply for the city’s many beautiful fountains, but it is a pretty Montpellier monument to see in its own right. It has a double layer of arches giving it its French name of ‘arceaux’. Taking a trip here is a fun thing to do in Montpellier, especially when you want to add some more historic photos to your collection.
11. Wander down the Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle
The Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle is a wonderful spot to take a stroll in the heart of Montpellier. It has a bounty of luscious green offering tranquility in the city centre, and it’s lined with a number of terraces and cafés. Take a walk here if unwinding is what you like to do on a city break.
12. Expand your understanding at La Panacée
Art aficionados, rejoice and visit La Panacée for something fulfilling to do in Montpellier. La Panacée is a vibrantly exciting artistic space in Montpellier, where you can visit to witness some of the art world’s most challenging and gripping exhibitions by contemporary artists. They also offer workshops and lectures for visitors, and boasts a very popular on-site eatery as well.
13. Visit Place de la Comédie
Place de la Comédie is the main square in Montpellier, and so it is a must-visit. Here, you will find the statue of the Three Graces (the goddesses of Montpellier), a whole host of street artists and performers, as well as bustling commuters and tourists. Stroll and gaze at the sculpture and architecture of the square, before sitting at one of the square’s cafés or restaurants for a delicious bite to eat.
14. Take a day trip to Perpignan
Perpignan is a lesser-known town in the same region as Montpellier. It’s easily accessible by train, coach and car. For those who want a taste of a smaller, more Catalan town without having to cross the border, taking a trip to Perpignan is the perfect thing to do. In Perpignan, not only will you find a charming selection of independent boutiques, bars and restaurants, but you will also witness the historic Castillet in the town centre. You’ll also be just a stone’s throw away from the beach.
15. Play the Skryptic Escape Room Game
For something challenging and different to do in Montpellier, pay a visit to the Skryptic Escape Game. With locations in Toulouse and Montpellier, this escape room game is sure to be a fun challenge for all visitors. Not familiar with this game? The aim is to solve a series of puzzles whilst trapped in a themed room, in order to free yourselves. Teamwork is a necessity.
16. Go for brunch at Bonobo
Bonobo in Montpellier just might be the most popular brunch spot in the city. However, it’s worth the queue. Serving up trendy classics, from delicious eggs to fluffy pancakes, and a variety of hot chocolate, coffees, and even something stronger, Bonobo is popular for a reason. Get there early to avoid the queues, and be prepared for something delicious.
17. Skate at Patinoire Vegapolis
Patinoire Vegapolis is a huge indoor ice-skating rink in Montpellier. It is the perfect activity to get your adrenaline going, an activity for a rainy day, or want to try a new sport. You should absolutely pay this place a visit. With music, disco lights, and the opportunity to take lessons and even play ice hockey, Patinoire Vegapolis is one of Montpellier’s most dynamic venues.
18. Be bohemian at Marché du Lez
Marché du Lez is a super trendy market-cum-food hall south of Montpellier city centre. When you’re into trying only the hottest places, and don’t mind travelling out of the centre to find them, then Marché du Lez is the perfect place for you to go for a browse and a bite to eat. Sit in their cool surroundings with a refreshing drink from the bar and some great street food.
19. Visit Carré Sainte-Anne
Another of Montpellier’s alluring art galleries, the Carré Sainte-Anne is actually a 19th-century church that has since been converted into a space for the arts. Playing host to contemporary art exhibitions and festivals all year round, this is truly a unique place to visit when in Montpellier in search of arts and culture.
20. Drink in some of Montpellier’s cool bars
Being a metropolitan and student-heavy city, Montpellier is not short of places to drink, from the trendy to the traditional. Whether you’re in search of a delicious pitcher of sangria to share with your friends, some classic French wine, or an ice cold pint in Fitzpatrick’s Irish Pub, you are spoiled for choice in Montpellier. Plus, at Al Andalus you can grab yourself a litre of mojito whilst listening to the freshest reggaeton beats.
21. Take a picture of the Fountain of the Three Graces
The fountain of the Three Graces can be found in Montpellier’s Place de la Comédie, and is a must-visit for those holiday snaps. Its beautiful design and attention to detail make it a stand-out monument in the large city square, and a perfect focal point for any large gatherings or social movements.
22. Take a trip to Palavas-les-Flots
Palavas-les-Flots is a stunning archipelago not far from Montpellier that has recently become a haven for holidaymakers. This beautiful little fishing village offers sunsets, sea, and an array of laid-back places to relax. You must escape the bustling city of Montpellier here.
23. Dine at La Réserve Rimbaud
Montpellier is home to one Michelin star restaurant: La Réserve Rimbaud. If you consider yourself a foodie, or simply want to experience some elite fine dining whilst in Montpellier, then going for a delicious dinner at this exquisite restaurant is a must-do in Montpellier.
24. Go wine tasting in Languedoc-Roussillon
Montpellier is in the Languedoc Roussillon region, which is the largest wine-making region in France. Therefore, when in search of something typically French to do whilst in Montpellier, taking a venture into the countryside of Languedoc Roussillon should be top of your list. Whether you enjoy red, white or rosé, or even a traditional sweet Muscat wine from the region, you are guaranteed to find something delicious.
25. Boogie at L’Antirouille
Montpellier is filled with awesome nightclubs and nightlife options, thanks to its heaving student population. However, my personal favourite club in Montpellier is called L’Antirouille. Hip, trendy, and always offering the best themed nights, this club is nothing short of fabulous. Get prepared for a long boogie into the wee hours of the morning, and some of the best DJs you can see on the scene.
Montpellier is one of France’s coolest cities, with heaps of things to do. Once you’re there, make sure you take advantage of all of Montpellier’s different culinary, cultural, and artistic scene.