Travel Guide to Montpellier


Montpellier, the capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France, is located 10 km inland from the coast of the Mediterranean. The Place de la Comédie, located in the southwest area of the city, is the main focal point of the city, thanks in large part to the building of a railway station during the mid 19th-century. A famous French fountain known as “Three Graces” is located at the town square’s center. In its northeastern corner, the square continues into the Esplanade de Charles de Gaulle, a small park, and in the southeastern corner, it is connected to the former Citadel of Montpellier, now known as the Lycée Joffre. The Place de la Comédie is an ideal place to begin a visit to Montpellier, especially for those searching for something to eat, as the square has several cafés and restaurants around its peripheral.

La Promenade Royale du Peyrou, a promontory just beyond the Ecusson, extends from the city center and is the site where Louis XIII set cannons off toward the city in 1622.

Other places of note to visit in Monpellier include the Roman-Catholic cathedral, Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Montpellier, one of France’s national monuments; the Musée Fabre, a recently renovated art museum recognized by the French Ministry of Culture as being a Musée de France; Le Jardin des Plantes, a garden dating back to 1593, which contains trees dating back to the founding of the garden, both exotic and indigenous species of plants, an Orangery, rock and bamboo gardens, greenhouses and a duck pond; the Musee de la Pharmacie, a museum displaying items derived from the history of pharmacy, medicine and surgery and reconstructions of a set of pharmacies from the 19th- and the first part of the 20th-century; and finally, the Piscine Olympique d’Antigone, an aquatic park designed by Ricardo Bofill, a Spanish architect, can be found in the Antigone quarter and features two swimming pools, aqua aerobics classes, a whirlpool and solarium, cafeteria and gym facilities.

When it comes time to eat, Montpellier offers several dining options, with everything from Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine to choices in barbecue, pizza and breakfast foods. Les Bains, a popular seafood restaurant occupying the area which used to be home to the city’s public baths, features a tea room, which offers tea selections in the afternoon, a courtyard with ornamental ponds and a full wine list.

Le Jardin des sens, a true French dining experience, offers dishes in the French style, but with exotic flavors, brought into existence by the Poursel brothers, who are known for having great imaginations when it comes to new dishes.

The restaurant is found within the four-star hotel with the same name.

In addition, Le Repalatin, a tiny pizza restaurant (there are only 15 seats, so reservations are encouraged) gives patrons a selection of unusually-garnished pizzas and quiches. The restaurant offers a relaxed atmosphere, seating all patrons at the same large table, and a cocktail is served free of charge in the evening.