When most people think of France, they picture beautiful towns that exude grace, elegance and charm, and Montpellier is the perfect embodiment of all these desirable qualities. Located in the South of France, Montpellier is ideally located for any travelers looking to explore Provence and the French Riviera. Whether you’re searching for beautiful architecture, interesting history, delicious cuisine or pretty beaches, you’ll find it all in my new favorite French town of Montpellier.
I’ve spent many vacations in France over the years, and on a recent trip to Paris I decided to branch out and explore a part of the country I had never visited before. So I bought a train ticket to the South of France and booked a great last-minute hotel in Montpellier through HotelTonight. If you like keeping your travel plans flexible like I do, HotelTonight will become one of your favorite travel resources. Whenever I have a craving to take a spur-of-the-moment trip, I always rely on HotelTonight to find the best last-minute hotel deals possible. And it’s because of HotelTonight that I’m able to make impromptu trips (like my trip to Montpellier) possible.
The Place de la Comédie is located in the center of Montpellier, and it connects the historic Old Town with the city’s newer districts. This square feels like the heart of the city, as it’s always bustling with excitement and activity. The Comédie is where locals come to meet each other for a glass of wine or to see a movie at one of the nearby cinemas. So I decided to do as the locals do and sat at a charming café just off of Place de la Comédie, where I observed all of the activity around me. Not only is this a great spot for people watching or for meeting friends, but it’s also a terrific spot for admiring beautiful architecture. For instance, in the center of the Place de la Comédie is the Three Graces fountain, a majestic 18th century fountain that has become one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.
I always love exploring a city’s historic center, because I feel that’s the best place to understand the deep culture and atmosphere of a town. Montpellier’s Old Town teems with beauty and charm, and its narrow, cobbled streets are lined with quaint cafes, boutiques and family-run restaurants. Since the Old Town streets are car-free, it’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the metropolitan districts of Montpellier and instead seek serenity in winding, shaded streets and calm squares. Many of the buildings in the Old Town date from the 1600s and 1700s, so if you’re looking for rich history and beautiful old architecture, this is definitely a part of Montpellier you won’t want to miss.
After visiting the charming, storied streets of Montpellier’s historic city center, I wandered over to Antigone, one of the city’s other most beloved neighborhoods. Antigone provides a striking contrast to the Old Town, as its design is modern and imposing and its boulevards are wide. The neighborhood of Antigone was designed by the renowned architect Ricardo Bofill in the 1980s, and its massive neoclassical buildings are just as interesting as the historic center’s old, carefully preserved buildings. The fact that you can walk from a charming historic Old Town to an impressive neoclassical neighborhood of Antigone is just another reason why Montpellier is such a unique city.
Montpellier gets over 300 days of sunshine every year, so it’s no wonder why locals love getting outdoors and enjoying their beautiful natural surroundings. One of the best areas to enjoy the gorgeous natural setting of Southern France is at Pic Saint-Loup, a mountain surrounded by picturesque vineyards and fields of flowers. I took some great advice from a few locals and hiked up to the top of Pic Saint-Loup, where I soaked in the beautiful views of the surrounding French countryside and the Mediterranean Sea. Then I hiked back down and headed to a few of the wineries in the Pic Saint-Loup area to reward myself with some delicious French wine after a long hike.
Since it’s located in the south of France, Montpellier has no shortage of beautiful beaches within driving distance. To get to one of the best beaches in the area, however, you don’t even need a car. You can bike from the city center of Montpellier along Lez to the charming seaside town of Palavas-les-Flots. After a leisurely bike ride through Montpellier, I arrived in Palavas and made my way to the beach, where I spent the afternoon enjoying the easygoing vibes of this charming Mediterranean town.
When I travel, there are certain towns that I immediately know I’ll return to some day in the future. Montpellier was one of those towns, as I fell in love with the charm, beauty, and elegance of Montpellier almost instantly. And you can bet that when I plan my next trip to Montpellier, I will use HotelTonight to book a convenient last-minute hotel in this idyllic French town.