Montpellier has a youthful university-student population that helps it maintain its vibrant vibe despite its historical roots. The natives also seem to have a flair for style and a zest for life. It says a lot that Christian Lacroix, a renowned French fashion designer, was hired by Montpellier to design the city’s shiny new tram lines. The lines 3 and 4 trams are decorated with the artist’s whimsical paintings of Montpellier landmarks, hospitable sea monsters, and glittering jewels.
France’s seventh largest metropolis, Montpellier, is a major economic and cultural center. (In 2019, there were about as many people living in the city of Miami as in Miami proper.) And that doesn’t even account for the increasing number of summer visitors who flock to Montpellier every year. In that case, why do so many people visit Montpellier?
Top 8 Montpellier attractions
Montpellier is full of fascinating attractions that attract a large number of tourists to this beautiful city per year. We’ve listed down some of the most popular and best attractions in Montpellier. Bonne voyage!
- Place de la Comédie
- Promenade du Peyrou
- Musée Fabre
- Montpellier Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre)
- Jardin des Plantes (Montpellier Botanical Garden)
- Planet Ocean
- Montpellier Zoological Park
- Parc et jardins du Château de Flaugergues
Place de la Comédie
The Place de la Comédie serves as the city’s heart and is located right near the major railway station, the tram, and several other tourist attractions. The city’s opera house, a grand structure at one end of the square, is just one of many charming French cafes and theaters that line the pathways on either side. Place de la Comédie tops the list of Montpellier’s best attractions!
At the other end is a shopping center with some fascinating French boutiques, while just in front is the Esplanade, a lovely green space with a tranquil pond. From the Place de la Comédie, up the winding streets, you can visit the city’s main art museum or go shopping.
- Address: Pl. de la Comédie, 34000 Montpellier, France.
Promenade du Peyrou
The Promenade du Peyrou, which includes the stylish Arc de Triomphe and the grand Château d’eau, is also known by its alternative name, the Royal Square of Peyrou. Henri Pitot designed it in 1768, but the castle-like building with Corinthian pillars that sits atop the picturesque pond was built by Etienne Giral and his son Jean-Antoine. Behind it lies a Roman aqueduct that has been painstakingly conserved, making it one of the best attractions in Montpellier.
The Promenade du Peyrou park is perfect for a stroll because of its beautiful tree-lined Esplanade and huge terraces. Residents of Montpellier jog here, relax on the grassy lawns and play petanque.
The Promenade du Peyrou, perched high above the rest of the city, offers breathtaking vistas in every direction. Views can be seen all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and the Cévennes Mountains from the city (about 15 kilometers away).
- Address: Promenade du Peyrou, Rue la Blottière, 34000 Montpellier, France.
- Timings: every day from 7 am to 12 am.
The Musée Fabre is the main art museum in the city, containing many valuable masterpieces, making it one of the greatest attractions in Montpellier. Its central location on the Esplanade, next to the massive Place de la Comédie, makes it easy and convenient for visitors from everywhere in the city.
The museum is not a quick stop because there are always multiple displays to see and multiple levels filled with beautiful artwork and architecture. On the first Sunday of every month, the museum is free to the public, so anyone in Montpellier on that day can enjoy a wonderful afternoon of culture without breaking the bank.
- Address: 39 Bd Bonne Nouvelle, 34000 Montpellier, France.
- Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 pm.
- Closed on Mondays.
Montpellier Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre)
The Cathédrale St. Pierre is the focal point of the historic district of Montpellier and the city’s Gothic architectural legacy. It is also one of the best attractions in the beautiful city of Montpellier. It’s free to wander inside this Roman Catholic church, which has exquisite stained-glass windows along the cross, a wooden and gold organ, and an ornate altar. Although construction began in 1364, it wasn’t officially recognized as a cathedral until the 1600s.
The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre stands out due to the fact that it is a strange mixture of many architectural styles. The cathedral was constructed between the 14th and 18th centuries and looked like a fortress from the outside, thanks to its two medieval towers.
- Address: Rue Saint-Pierre, 34000 Montpellier, France.
- Monday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 11:45 am and from 2:30 pm to 6 pm.
- Closed on Sundays.
Jardin des Plantes (Montpellier Botanical Garden)
One of the earliest European botanical gardens, the Jardin des Plantes was commissioned by King Henri IV in 1593, and it is one of the best attractions to visit in Montpellier. Similar gardens sprouted up all over France in the wake of the success of the Jardin des Plantes.
There is a long tradition of healthcare in Montpellier; in the past, the city attracted many of the country’s affluent residents who came for the fresh air and the renowned skill of its physicians. The wide variety of plants in the Jardin des Plantes is fascinating, even if they are no longer employed for therapeutic reasons. This beautiful spot is perfect for a leisurely walk on a weekend morning because of its zero entry fee.
- Address: Bd Henri IV, 34000 Montpellier, France.
- Tuesday to Sunday from 12 pm to 6 pm.
- Closed on Mondays.
Another one of Montpellier’s top attractions is an interesting aquarium called Planet Ocean. Perfectly situated in Port Marianne, Planet Ocean transports guests to a fantastical underwater realm. More than 400 unique species are available for exploration by guests, including coral reefs, penguins, sharks, stingrays, clownfish, frogs, geckos, and iguanas. Young people find it fascinating to study the world’s many aquatic ecosystems, from the Mediterranean to the North Pacific to Polynesia.
The Planet Ocean is more like a theme park than a traditional aquarium, with several interactive learning activities. Kids may enjoy interactive games and experiences, including a touch pool and a storm simulator.
- Address: Centre commercial Odysseum, All. Ulysse, 34000 Montpellier, France.
- Timings: every day from 10 am to 6 pm.
Montpellier Zoological Park
The Montpellier Zoological Park is definitely one of the top attractions in Montpellier. These days, it’s unusual to stumble onto a free attraction, much less one of this magnitude and excitement. A wide variety of animals, from giraffes to lions to frogs of many different colors, are on display at the zoo, which is organized according to geographic regions. The Amazonian Jungle is the only section that needs paid admission.
- Address: 50 Av. Agropolis, 34090 Montpellier, France.
- Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.
- Closed on Mondays.
Parc et jardins du Château de Flaugergues
When Montpellier was one of the most significant towns in France in terms of medicine, many wealthy aristocrats had mansions erected on the outskirts of the city, and this kind of residence is known as a “folie” in the region. Among these ‘folies,’ the Château de Flaugergues is deemed by many to be the most innovative example of its kind in the city. The grounds are extremely magnificent, making this majestic property worth a visit.
- Address: 1744 Av. Albert Einstein, 34000 Montpellier, France.
- Monday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 6 pm.
- Closed on Sundays.
Final words about Montpellier’s top attractions
Located in the south of France, the vibrant metropolis of Montpellier serves as a perfect starting point to explore the nearby regions of Provence, Camargue, and beyond. There is a wide variety of attractions inside the city itself, from interesting museums to charming historic districts to mouthwatering eateries. Hope this article provides a complete guide to this amazing city’s beauty and attractions. Don’t forget to pay a visit to this charming city whenever you are in France.