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Destination Guide: Montpellier

Atmospheric museums and vibrant squares beneath southern Mediterranean skies
Soak up the sun on the buzzing Place de la Comédie, known locally as 'the Egg'. Combine shopping, grazing and museum culture around the old town's pedestrian streets of honey-hued Renaissance mansions.

Food and Drink

Sun-kissed Mediterranean cuisine and hearty Languedoc dishes. Spoil yourself with creative southern French food and an urban garden setting in le Jardin des Sens, a Michelin-starred restaurant on Avenue Saint-Lazare. Inviting restaurants on old town squares serve fish straight from the Mediterranean and hearty cassoulet packed with haricot beans and meat.

Sightseeing and relaxation

Mansion museums and a lively old town. Get fired up on strong coffee in bustling cafés on the Place de la Comédie, then stroll into the old town past elegant 17th-century mansions. Roman to medieval-era artefacts fill the vaulted Gothic halls at Musée Languedocien. The Musée Fabre in Champs de Mars Park displays art by Gustave Courbet, Delacroix and Raphael.

Shopping

Chocolates, cheeses and one-off fashion boutiques. Rue de la Loge is the city's main shopping drag, and the ultra-modern Antigone quarter is home to vast mall Polygone. In Écusson, the old town, trio of narrow streets Rue de l'Argenterie, Rue de l'Ancien Courrier and Rue St-Guilhem are fertile ground for upscale fashion shops, chocolatiers and cheese specialists.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Café culture and beachside bars. In the old town, sit outside a mellow café with a chilled apéritif of aniseed-flavoured pastis. The Opéra Berlioz in the Corum centre has a year-round programme of classical and pop concerts. Night owls head to clubs along the road to Palavas, where beach bars by the Med are a short bus ride away.