Montpellier

Graceful and easy-going, Montpellier is a stylish metropolis with elegant buildings, grand hôtels particuliers (private mansions), stately boulevards and shady backstreets, and gorgeous white-sand beaches on its doorstep.

Unlike many southern towns, Montpellier has no Roman heritage. It was founded in the 10th century by the counts of Toulouse and later became a prosperous trading port as well as a scholarly centre – Europe’s first medical school was established here in the 12th century.

The population swelled in the 1960s when many French settlers left independent Algeria and relocated here, and it’s now France's fastest-growing city and one of its most multicultural. Students make up over a third of the population, giving it a spirited vibe.

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Montpellier.

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