Famous for its Gothic Cathedral Saint-Pierre de Montpellier, Montpellier is one of the fastest-growing cities in southern France located along the Mediterranean Sea. It is a stylish city and cultural hub with beautiful buildings, historical points of interest and glamorous hotels, not to mention that it is the third largest city along the coast after Nice and Marseille. From white sand beaches to grand private mansions and museums, there is much to see and do during your visit to Montpellier.
Every year, Montpellier hosts an annual classical music and jazz festival known as Festival de Radio France et Montpellier, which is hosted in numerous charming and historical venues across the city. Montpellier is also known for its opera, and the city’s main square is named after the Opera Comedie. Visit the Musee Fabre, an art museum from the 19th century that houses an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures and includes artwork from European artists like Poussin and Bernini. Montpellier is also hop to a rugby union and football clubs, and has been featured as a stop on the Tour de France route. Other places to visit include the Chateau de Flaugergues, an elegant 19th century chateau with beautiful grounds, Flemish tapestries and an enormous carved staircase; the Montpelier Cathedral that dates back to 1536 and features conical towers, 12 chapels and stained glass; along with the Porte du Peyrou, a historical monument that is an arch situated at the eastern end of the Jardin de Peyrou park. Be sure to visit the Jardin des plantes de Montpellier, a historic botanical garden that features an arboretum and orangery with 2000 different types of outdoor species, as well as Montpellier Zoological Park, which is home to more than 1100 animals.
Montpellier is conveniently located only four hours from Nice, Paris and Barcelona, making it a great gateway to visiting other European cities. Monaco is just under four hours away, and Geneva, Switzerland is slightly over four hours away. French cities located nearby that are worth the visit include the port city of Marseille, the stunning city of Narbonne, and Toulouse, which is home to beautiful terra-cotta brick buildings.
Montpellier is divided into seven official neighborhoods: Montpellier-centre, Croix-d’Argent, Les Cevennes, Mosson, Hopitaux-Faciltes, Port-Marianne, and Pres d’Arenes. These are then divided into sub-neighborhoods, with some of the most popular areas to stay being Antigone, Celleneuve, and Beaux Arts. Antigone is a cheek and stylish neighborhood known for its dramatic architectural design, and is located just next to the historical town center. Celleneuve is part of the Mosson neighborhood in the west part of town, and Beaux Arts is a charming area with beautifully lavish architecture.
The public transportation in Montpellier is excellent and features its own tram system that links the suburbs to the city center. Currently the tramway incorporates four lines, and it also has regularly operating buses and trains. There is also a bike-sharing system called Velomagg that is environmentally-friendly and a great way to get around town.
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