5 good reasons to go to Montpellier
To see / do
Culture and history
Place de la Comédie, where time stands still
Montpellier's epicentre is the Place de la Comédie square, an oval-shaped esplanade that locals refer to as 'the Egg', encircled by formidable 19th-century buildings and home to the unmissable Trois Grâces fountain and the opulent Comédie opera house. The Italian-style concert hall at the Comédie is simply magical.
Built in the 14th century and consecrated in the 16th century, Saint-Pierre cathedral is an impressive feat of architectural prowess. Extended and altered over the centuries, the result is a harmonious blend of southern Roman and Gothic influences. The porch is bracketed by two turrets that lend the cathedral a castle-like feel.
Get some fresh air on the Promenade
A few minutes away from the cathedral lies the Promenade du Peyrou, a panoramic viewpoint that offers spectacular views of the city. Built in the 17th and 18th centuries, the promenade is studded with architectural gems that delight visitors: the water tower, the Porte du Peyrou arch, a statue of Louis XIV and the gardens.
An art lover's paradise at the Panacée
A five-minute walk away from the Musée Fabre, the Panacée is a fantastic arts centre where visitors will find year-round exhibitions as well as conferences and round-table debates. The Panacée does more than just exhibit art - it aims to bring art to life.
A temple to art
The Carré Sainte-Anne is a quirky little site set up in an old church, the bell tower of which is still standing today. This cultural centre is open to all members of the public, and hosts exhibitions - but visitors flock here simply to marvel at the original setting of the building itself. The Carré organises a plethora of festivals throughout the year.
Gardianne, Camargue's local stew
Thanks to its proximity to Camargue, Montpellier's cuisine draws heavily on the region's finest produce. Montpellier locals love nothing more than a steaming plate of gardianne, a Camargue bull-meat stew in which the meat is left overnight to soak up the flavours of red wine, carrots, onion and celery before being left to simmer and plated up with rice.
Nostalgic sweet treats
Grisettes are the city's most iconic sweets. Shaped like marbles and flavoured with honey and liquorice, grisettes were originally prescribed as medicine. Over time, they became Montpellier locals' favourite treat, and it's said that this is France's oldest known sweet.
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