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With more than 40% of its population under 30, Montpellier, chosen place of study for about 70,000 students, is a particularly youthful, sprightly city. And never more so than after dark, whether you're roaming the cobbled streets of the old quarter or sampling the state of the art amenities of Odysseum, a giant leisure complex on the outskirts. It's especially eco-friendly; three high-speed tram routes trisect the town, which is also crisscrossed by nearly 100 miles of cycle lanes. Although one of the few contemporary cities in southern France not to have been founded by the Romans, Montpellier’s history is a long one. Despite its inland ...

With more than 40% of its population under 30, Montpellier, chosen place of study for about 70,000 students, is a particularly youthful, sprightly city. And never more so than after dark, whether you're roaming the cobbled streets of the old quarter or sampling the state of the art amenities of Odysseum, a giant leisure complex on the outskirts. It's especially eco-friendly; three high-speed tram routes trisect the town, which is also crisscrossed by nearly 100 miles of cycle lanes. Although one of the few contemporary cities in southern France not to have been founded by the Romans, Montpellier’s history is a long one. Despite its inland position, by medieval times it was trading throughout the Mediterranean, while the handsome 17th- and 18th-century "hotels particuliers," or private mansions, at its heart bear witness to later prosperity. The city today is famed for its international music and dance festivals, traditional markets, some stunning contemporary architecture — and the recently and comprehensively renovated Musée Fabre with its world class permanent exhibitions of classical and contemporary art.

Miles Roddis
About the Expert

Miles Roddis has written or contributed to more than 50 Lonely Planet titles including country and regional guides to Spain, France, their Mediterranean island offshoots — and little Andorra.

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Miles Roddis for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Montpellier is the capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France.
  • Language: French
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Year round