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Camping Vias » Tourism in Hérault » Tourism in Montpellier

Things to see and do in Montpellier

Do you want to get away from it all and spend some pleasant moments with family or friends in a healthy environment, in contact with nature? Take advantage of your stay in the camping in Vias Plage to discover the Languedoc and more particularly its capital, Montpellier, located about 60 km away.

Montpellier, a city full of history

Just 10 km from the Mediterranean, Montpellier is among the most visited cities in the Hérault. The destination is known for its rich historical and cultural heritage. By visiting this city, it is as if you were taking a great leap into the distant past. Take the time to stroll through its medieval streets and let yourself be seduced by the charm of its 19th century buildings or by the contemporary architectural gems whose designers have clearly shown their audacity.

A must-see among the must-sees, the place de la Comédie is among the largest pedestrian spaces in Europe. A popular meeting place for locals and visitors alike, it is lined with numerous terraces. The setting is further enhanced by the beautiful facades that surround it but also by emblematic monuments such as the city’s Opera House and the Three Graces Fountain.

Among the places worth visiting in Montpellier, there is also the Saint-Pierre cathedral. Recognisable by its Gothic architecture but above all by its imposing baldachin porch, the religious building, whose origins date back to 1364 – at the time it was a simple chapel – became a cathedral in 1536, after major enlargement and embellishment work. Since its origin, the church has accompanied the history of Montpellier and, in a way, that of France. It was notably marked by the Wars of Religion, during which it was the target of numerous Protestant attacks.

Another place not to be missed, the place de la Carnougue, the oldest in the city, is perfect for a walk with family or friends. The same goes for Place Royale, which overlooks the Arc de Triomphe as well as the water tower extended by the Saint-Clément aqueduct.

If you still have time, you can also make a diversion to the Halles. From the city centre, it is also easy to get to Montpellier airport or to discover other nearby cities such as Sète or La Grande Motte.

The must-see places in Montpellier

There are several places that arouse the interest and even fascination of visitors to Montpellier. We have selected 10 of the sites that you should not miss during your stay :

  • The Arc de Triomphe

Climbing this imblematic monument of the city, which has no less than 90 steps, is certainly physical, but once at the top you will enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the Languedoc capital.

  • The Jardin des Plantes

The oldest garden in France dates from the 16th century. Attached to the botanical branch of the Faculty of Medicine, this place invites you to take a walk and relax.

  • Discovering the Odysseum

The Odysseum is a modern monument of a special kind. Indeed, the establishment includes a cultural centre with notably a planetarium and an aquarium, but also a shopping centre rich with several shops. There are also climbing walls.

  • the medical school
  • .

The oldest medical school in the world is located in Montpellier, right in the historic centre. Take the time to discover the origins and evolution of this emblematic institution.

  • The historic centre

The oldest part of the city is full of unmissable landmarks, including architectural gems dating back centuries but also boldly styled contemporary works. To explore the historic centre, you can hop on a small train or platform mini-bus.

  • The Lunaret Zoo

The second largest zoological park in France, this place welcomes many families, couples and groups of friends. Visitors have the chance to discover the largest Amazonian greenhouse in France for free.

  • The Place de la Comédie

The particularly lively Place de la Comédie is an imbolic place in the city. From there, you can walk along the medieval arches characteristic of the historic centre, and enjoy the many shops, workshops, galleries and restaurants that line them.

  • The Fabre Museum

This art museum, one of the most important in France and Europe, covers an area of 9,200 m2 and features many works of fine art from the 17th century to the contemporary period.

  • The City Opera

Take advantage of your visit to Montpellier to discover the backstage of this institution whose origins date back to 1888.

A stay at a 3-star campsite near Montpellier can also be used to take a themed guided tour to discover contemporary architectural works or the city’s private mansions. Also take the opportunity to appreciate street art or to discover the history of medicine.

Discover Montpellier with your family

Montpellier became the capital of the Bas-Languedoc in the 17th century, during the reign of Louis XIV. For the city, being granted this new status by the monarch marked the beginning of a flourishing period for the local economy. The city became more attractive to the upper middle classes of the time. The good society then took up residence in an upmarket district full of cultural houses.

Take advantage of your visit to Montpellier to discover or learn more about the city’s history. The old town is one of the places you should not miss. Treat yourself to a stroll through this historic centre, whose décor is embellished by the beautiful residences of the good society of the past. This family getaway will also allow you to appreciate many of the iconic monuments for which the city is famous.

The city’s culture and heritage

Proud of its rich heritage, the city is proposing its candidacy for the title of “European Capital of Culture” in 2019. It must be said that the city has many assets. It is full of squares that are among the most majestic in Europe, in particular the Comédie square. It can also be appreciated for the many jewels of medieval and contemporary architecture that line the streets of its historic centre. The scenery is all the more enticing as old buildings such as the city’s Opera House or St. Peter’s Cathedral sit alongside numerous modern establishments such as shops, restaurants or bars.

The architectural treasures of Montpellier also reveal some of the history of the city and the region. Among the most striking monuments is the Arc de Triomphe, a royal entrance completed in 1693, whose inscriptions and reliefs highlight various key events in the reign of Louis XIV, such as this figure depicting the Kingdom of the Netherlands showing deference to the French monarch following the capture of Namur during the ‘Nine Years’ War’.

The esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle also attracts many visitors. It is home to the Pavillon Populaire, an “Art Nouveaux” building whose origins date back to the 19th century. An emblematic monument in the centre of Montpellier, it has been hosting numerous exhibitions for over a century. Photographs and temporary exhibitions are offered to the general public, including works by Brassaï, Bernard Plossu or Jakob Tuggener, who are among the great names in photography of the last century.

How to visit Montpellier

To discover this heritage-rich city, we recommend you start with the historical centre. This is your opportunity to discover several sites and emblematic monuments, but also renowned squares lined with restaurants, shops and beautiful facades – Place de la Comédie, Promenade de Peyrou, esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle…

To make exploring the city easier, you can opt for a guided tour. This not only saves you time but above all ensures that you don’t miss any major sites or monuments. Check with your local tourist office, which may offer you a two-hour tour or a three-hour “big loop” tour, for example. Other options include a two-hour tour of the medical school or excursions to discover the culture and history of other nearby destinations.

Finally, it is always possible to keep your holiday expenses under control. To do this, we recommend that you book your trip as early as possible. By getting in touch with the Hérault campsite where you plan to stay several weeks before your planned departure, for example, you can benefit from great prices, especially on accommodation. There is also a good chance that you will come across special offers.

The other trick is to go out of season. This option, apart from the financial aspect, has some practical advantages. Many accommodations are still available, as well as parking spaces and activities. The main tourist sites, which are usually crowded in July and August, are also quieter.

Experience also shows that last-minute travel offers can result in significant savings, usually between 30 and 50%.