5 places to visit in Montpellier

Murad Akhundov 27 April 2021 59 views 7 min. read

Are you wondering what to do in Montpellier? Well, here we have 5 of the most incredible places to visit in Montpellier France.

1. Fabre Museum

fabre museum

Enter an 18th-century mansion to discover hundreds of art pieces inherited from the world's greatest artists and art movements.

The Fabre Museum is one of the main art museums and the best places to visit in Montpellier France. The exhibition features more than 5,000 works, including sculptures, paintings and drawings.

The museum's collection dates back to 1825, when the French artist Francois-Xavier Fabre donated his works to the city. Today, the collections cover many styles and periods, as European painting from the 14th to the mid-18th century or Flemish and Dutch painting from the 17th century.

The museum is located in a mansion built in 1775, and some rooms are decorated with antique furniture. You can visit the exhibition halls which is covering an area of 9,200 square meters. You can walk in your leisure time or follow one of the suggested thematic routes. Maps on topics such as nudes, heroes, flowers, angels, and monsters are available on the museum's website.

You can linger on the fawn canvases of the 19th and 20th centuries. Don't miss the paintings of one of the biggest names in the Impressionist movement, French artist Frederic Bazille. You can admire the collection of ceramics from Greece and other European countries. You can discover the abstract art of the mid-20th century, inspired by artists from the School of Paris. You can also go to a space dedicated to contemporary art to view contemporary works.

A visit to Fabre Museum will allow you to get acquainted with many symbolic works, such as Gustave Courbet Bonjour Monsieur, Frederic Bazille's Vue de village, Francois-Leon Benouville La anger D'achille, or Pierre Soulages' series of black paintings.

The museum is open every day except Mondays and some public holidays. Discounted fares are available for family tickets and students.

The Fabre Museum is adjacent to the Notre-Dame des Tables de Montpellier, near the Place de la Commedia. You can reach the square by bus, tram, or in the park at the underground paid parking lot before finishing the journey on foot.

2. Montpellier Cathedral

montpellier cathedral

Behind a facade worthy of the fortress of this medieval church, you will find a collection of biblical works of art and an impressive organ from the 18th century.

Montpellier Cathedral is a huge 14th-century Gothic church in the heart of the old town. Its columns, towers and fortress walls give the building the appearance of a medieval fortress. From its full name of Cathedrale Saint-Pierre de Montpellier, it became a cathedral in 1536. Its structure was badly damaged during the religious wars and was restored in the 17th century. It is the only church in the historic centre of Montpellier that survived the war.

Before entering, you can explore the monumental facades and observe the gargoyles added in the 17th and 19th centuries. You can admire the magnificent porch supported by two giant columns that once bore the coat of arms of Pope Urban V, the church's founder, in 1367.

You can view the many works of art that adorn the interior walls. One of the most famous paintings by Sebastien Bourdon is "The Fall of Simon the Wizard" of the 17th century. You will be amazed by the stained glass windows and their colourful depictions of biblical scenes. Appreciate the grandeur of the interior with its high ceilings and stone vaults.

Contemplate the impressive organ, which was set in 1776. It has more than 5,000 pipes, of which only 140 are visible. You will be able to distinguish the angels playing musical instruments on each of the five towers. Every Saturday from June to September, the cathedral hosts free organ concerts with the participation of national and foreign artists.

You can discover the cathedral's many chapels and their ornate paintings, statues, and altars.

Montpellier Cathedral is open daily from morning to early evening. However, it closes for two hours at lunchtime. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Religious services are held there almost daily.

It is located in the historic centre of Montpellier, the cathedral is easily accessible by public transport. Take advantage of your presence in the surrounding area to go to the Promenade du Peyrou, the Plant Garden and the Place Comedie.

3. Planet Ocean World

planet ocean world

Featuring thousands of exotic fish, a storm simulator, sharks and a rainforest, this aquarium offers a fascinating dive into marine life.

Visit the Planet Ocean World to discover an underwater world populated by sharks, corals and thousands of fish. You can walk through two floors, where there are huge aquariums, in which almost 400 species from all over the world swim.

You can admire the ocean fauna in reproductions of various Mediterranean environments, including an underwater cave. You will have access to a balcony with ocean views, a huge picture window that gives the impression of swimming with fish. You can watch grey sharks, sand tiger sharks or giant octopuses. You can go to the rainforest to meet piranhas and iguanas. You can cross the bridge to enjoy an Instagrammable view of the waterfalls.

You will be able to proceed to the replica cargo ship to try out the storm simulator. While the boat is rocking, you can enjoy realistic wave projections and light effects. The exhibition dedicated to the iceberg will allow you to improve your knowledge of the formation of these frozen blocks. You can also touch the large central ice column. You can visit the penguin colony in the aquarium and watch them swim and dive in their pool.

aquarium

You can enter the abyss to meet the life of the seafloor. The exhibition is presented in an underwater setting, the portholes of which allow you to see giant spiders a meter in diameter, pine cones or even sea anemones.

Take a few minutes to get to the Ocean Theater. The amphitheatre has 60 seats, which will allow you to have fun in front of the main aquarium. Let yourself be amazed by the sawfish, rays and sharks visible through the large window.

Playgrounds will allow the youngest to touch the fish and enjoy the slides and various activities. They will also be able to show their climbing talents in a very fun cave.

The Mare Nostrum Aquarium is open every day except Christmas. Children, students, disabled people and job seekers are offered a reduced rate.

Located near the centre of Montpellier, the aquarium is served by bus and tram. The first two hours of parking are free.

4. Place de la Comedie

place de la comedie

Place de la Comedie is one of Europe's largest pedestrian areas - the perfect place to have a coffee, go to the opera, eat or go shopping.

Place de la Comedie is a vast oval space in the heart of Montpellier. This pedestrian area is a popular meeting place, surrounded by imposing 19th-century buildings, including a theatre.

Place de la Comedie has played an important role in the life of Montpellier for over 250 years. The locals call it the "egg" because of its shape.

Do as the residents do, and let yourself be tempted by a walk around the square. Do not miss the fountain of the Three Graces, which occupies a central position there. This large sculpture represents the three graces of Greek mythology sitting on a hill surrounded by cherubim. In hot weather, you can see passers-by getting their feet wet. Come back after dark, when the fountain is turned on and looks even more impressive.

place de la comedie

The face of the Opera Comedia is a majestic 19th-century building that hosts operas and classical music concerts. You can admire its elegant facade, consisting of large arched windows and columns. Go to the reception to find out if there are any performances during your stay.

You can take advantage of the terraces of the numerous bistros and restaurants that dot the square for your lunch break. Then you can head to the nearby streets, where bars and shops will surely allow you to find your happiness. Right next to the square is the Landfill, a major shopping centre where many national and international brands are located.

Place de la Comedie is also a very popular gathering place in the evening. Many people flock to restaurants or just come to appreciate its atmosphere. Without a doubt, you will have the opportunity to applaud the street performers. The Christmas market takes place in the square from the last days of November to December.

Due to its central location in the city, Comedia Square is easily accessible by bus and tram. Montpellier Saint-Roch, the city's main train station, is a short walk away, and multi-level paid parking is located below the square.

5. Plant Garden of Montpellier

montpellier garden

Plant Garden of Montpellier is one of the best places to visit in Montpellier France. The oldest botanical garden in France is home to thousands of plant and tree species that are hundreds of years old.

Located near the centre of Montpellier on an area of 4.5 hectares, Jardin des Plantes is an oasis of peace of stunning natural beauty. Founded in 1593, this delightful park is the oldest botanical garden in France, Europe. It unites more than 2,500 plant varieties, ponds, arboretums and landscape areas. The site is operated by the University of Montpellier I. It is also used by students and researchers.

It is worth spending at least two hours of your time in the garden. You can visit its oldest part, the mound called "Rich Mountain", where you can see the frame and the Judas tree planted by the garden's founder. Then you can head to the arboretum to admire the ginkgo biloba, planted in the late 18th century. This species is unique in that it is the only representative of its family. You will also see an olive tree that is over 250 years old.

Then go through the tropical greenhouses. You can observe giant water lilies, orchids and many other exotic species. You can enjoy slalom in the bamboo forest and relax by the large pool in the landscaped garden. You can find koi carp and water turtles and then head to a small greenhouse to find a collection of cacti.

You will be able to walk through the school of taxonomy in the garden, where you will notice busts of famous naturalists of the region. While walking through this greenery, you will encounter the remains of masonry, as well as arches and columns covered with flowers, the origin of which goes back to the creation of the garden.

The Montpellier Plant Garden is open every day except Mondays. Admission is free. To avoid the crowds, choose a weekday visit. Guided tours are available on request.

Located just under a kilometre northwest of Comedie Square, the garden is well served by public transport.

Apply for a France Schengen visa today and explore extraordinary Montpellier. 

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