7 things to know about Montpellier: a popular French resort
If you want to spend an unconventional vacation in France, choose the sunny city of Montpellier. Since antiquity, it is famous for its rapid development, good living conditions, popular universities and, of course, luxurious beaches. So this is a destination you will remember for a long time. But there are things to know when planning a trip.
Montpellier is a large city, but its best locations should be walked. Only in this way can you enjoy the beauty of the narrow streets of the old quarter Ecusson, the unusual balconies and the houses with many interesting details.
Be sure to appreciate the street art of this city. Here you will see dozens of graffiti and murals that seem to come alive. In order not to waste hours looking for them, contact the local tour companies, there are many of them here.
In addition, appreciate the beauty of St. Pierre Cathedral, the eco-park Marianne, dozens of sculptures placed in different corners of the city.
Visit Europe's oldest medical school
More than 800 years ago, the first medical school in Europe opened in Montpellier. At that time, it was world-famous, so people from all over the world came here to study.
It was here that such famous people as Rondelet, who created the first anatomical amphitheater and demonstrated autopsies there, or Nostradamus, who was kicked out for disobedience, were educated and taught. Incidentally, the latter once predicted the city's demise. He believed it would happen the day the two trees growing near one of the medical school structures withered away. Fortunately, he was wrong.
Interestingly, the school is still in operation and accepts hundreds of new students each year. In spite of this, excursions are held here. It is advisable to visit one of these, because this is the only way you can get into the Conservatory of Anatomy, where there are more than 5 thousand different exhibits.
Feel the atmosphere of North Africa in the middle of France
In the 1960s, Montpellier was home to thousands of refugees from North Africa. Now in the city center you can be transported for a moment to another continent. For this you need to visit an area with the euphonious name of Cours Gambetta. Here you can find stores with spices, restaurants with traditional African cuisine, and handmade earthenware and colorful clothes.
Visit the local markets
The real atmosphere of Montpellier is revealed in one of the local markets. It is advisable to go to the fair, which takes place every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday in the area of Mossson. There is also a so-called flea market.
Here you will find not only fresh products, but also exclusive souvenirs that are not sold anywhere else.
Also visit the biggest market in Arso. Every Saturday, a large portion of the city's residents come here not only for food, but also just for recreation. Here you must try the octopus pie, which is considered the pride of this city, and the incredible mint tea.
Rent a bike
Of course, it is very hard to walk around the whole city. But we don't recommend using public transport anyway, because you will miss a lot of interesting things. But cycling around Montpellier is a very good idea. And if you have already taken a two-wheeler, then go to the local parks or one of the many beaches.
By the way, here, as well as at any other popular resort, during the day the whole coastline is busy with tourists. So it is better to come to the sea in the morning or evening. Firstly, it is safer and healthier, because at this time the activity of the sun is not as high. And secondly - you do not have to fight for a place on the sand.
Take a walk along the paths of the Jardin des Plantes
In summer it is very hot in Montpellier, so you can hardly stay outside during the day. In this weather we recommend to visit the oldest and largest botanical garden of the city - Jardin des Plantes. Here you will see plants from different corners of the planet, in particular there is a bamboo grove and a lake with lotuses. And try to find a wishing tree, which can help you make any dream come true.
Join the local cultural scene
Montpellier is actually much smaller than Paris. But there are many cultural institutions here. In particular, two opera houses, concert halls, and even pubs where local bands perform are definitely worth your attention.
As we wrote earlier, the city is home to many people of African descent, whose culture has had a great influence on the people of Montpellier. You'll notice this at the music concerts that take place almost every week.
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