A Maze in Montpellier’s Old Town

When we arrived in Montpellier, the first thing that struck me was the demographics of the population… I couldn’t see anyone above the age of about 20. A student we met on the bus explained that it was a University town. On a Friday night the streets were full of life… students having a beer and just hanging out (but in a nice way, not in a vomit-in-the-street way).

Arc de Triomphe, MontpellierMy favourite part of Montpellier was the old town… small medieval alleys like a maze to get lost in. Every turn revealed another picture perfect courtyard, with a little church or lively cafe, coloured lights strung overhead. We spent many hours just wandering, buying ice cream and taking photos.

Old Town, Montpellier

Cathedrale Saint Pierre MontpellierAnd who can forget the wonderful Place de la Comedie. This is the main square, complete with opera house, a lovely fountain, and, well, fastfood restaurants. We had many an ice-cream in the seated area outside Quick (the French version of Macdonalds). One day, sitting alone in the enclosed seating area and watching the chic french people going about their day, my BF asked “Do you think it says “Tourist Pen” on the banner outside this seating area?”, which made me laugh.

Place de Comedie MontpellierPlace de Comedie 2 MontpellierThe Place de la Comedie has a “new” addition – the shopping mall “Centre Commercial le Polygone“. I don’t think this warrants further explanation – it’s a shopping mall. However you can walk through it and after getting a little bit lost finding the exit, you will appear the other side in Antigone.

Antigone is rather strange. I thought it would be filled with bars and clubs, and there were a few but it was largely empty, so it was a long walk from the centre of town to the river, with only tall austere buildings for company (which apparently used to be military barracks).

On the other side of Antigone is Place de Europe – and this is filled with bars and clubs. We had a lovely pizza in a restaurant overlooking the river (which I thought would be ridiculously expensive but was actually reasonably priced).

We stumbled upon a vast extreme sports festival was being held, so we enjoyed watching wakeboarding, tight-rope walking, BMX-ing, and a bit of skateboarding. So that added an extra thrill to our little holiday!

Saint Clement Aqueduct Montpellier I loved Montpellier more than I expected – we only had a long weekend there (Friday to Monday) but it was a little slice of perfection. We also took the opportunity to go to the beach – see next blog!

Next blog: Palavas Les Flots, France

Previous blog: Oxford, UK

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