A weekend in Montpellier: 2 Days Itinerary
To help you prepare for your short stay, I have concocted a detailed itinerary for visiting Montpellier in a weekend.
You will find the route to follow each day with all the things to see as well as some ideas for very nice activities. I also give you all my advice to make the most of your stay in the South of France!
And at the end of the article, you will also find my selection of the best hotels to sleep in during your weekend in Montpellier.
So, what to do and see in a weekend in Montpellier?
The best itinerary for 2 Days in Montpellier
We get straight to the heart of the matter with my itinerary for a weekend in Montpellier.
A small precision: this schedule is based on 2 full days, and I also give you advice for a long weekend of 3 days at the end of this guide.
If you still have questions to organize your short stay in Montpellier after reading everything, do not hesitate to ask me your questions in the section dedicated to comments, at the very end of the article.
Day 1: Walk in Montpellier
A. Contemporary Montpellier
We start this weekend in Montpellier with a walk in the modern part of the city. Several international architects have competed in audacity to build surprising buildings that are really worth a look.
I advise you in particular to go through:
- The City Hall, a cubic structure in glass and aluminum signed by the famous architect Jean Nouvel (to whom we owe the Louvre in Abu Dhabi in particular )
- The Jacques Coeur district, located opposite the town hall, on the other bank of the Lez. You will find several buildings with quite original facades including Le Nuage (by Philippe Starck) or the White Tree.
- The Antigone district to discover the place of the Golden Number, the place of Thessaly and the esplanade of Europe.
Tips for your Montpellier itinerary:
To make sure you don’t miss any of the essentials to see during a weekend in Montpellier, and benefit from the explanations of a guide, you can also choose to explore the city by Segway.
The visit that I have selected for you lasts 2 hours and allows you to get a first glimpse of the 2 main districts (in the program of this itinerary). The guide is really super nice and interesting.
B. The Polygon
Then go through Place de Thessalie and Place du Millénaire located in the Antigone district to reach the Polygone.
This shopping center, which has long been one of the most important in France, houses a hundred shops, including the Galeries Lafayette or the major classic brands such as Yves Rocher or Zara.
If you want to take advantage of your weekend in Montpellier to go shopping, this is the ideal place.
Otherwise, you can directly cross the Polygone to reach the Place de la Comédie, because the place serves as a junction between the modern district and the historic district of Montpellier.
C. Place de la Comédie
Place de la Comédie is the place to see absolutely in a weekend in Montpellier.
One of the largest pedestrian esplanades in Europe, the one nicknamed “the egg” because of its oval shape, is bordered by magnificent historic buildings.
In particular, you can admire beautiful old buildings, as well as the Opéra Comédie, an Italian-style theater dating from the 19th century.
Constantly animated, there are also several cafes and restaurants, very pleasant to sit on the terrace, have a drink and enjoy the sun of the South of France.
Tips for your Montpellier itinerary:
The Montpellier tourist office is located on the Place de la Comédie, if you need a map or other information.
For those who cannot walk too much, from the square, you can also take a cabriolet minibus for a 1-hour circuit or the little train, which takes 40 minutes. For a family weekend in Montpellier, it can also be a good activity idea.
D. The Écusson district
The Place de la Comédie marks the beginning of the Écusson district, the historic center of Montpellier, which I invite you to discover while strolling on foot.
I was also rather surprised, because unlike other cities in the South like Nice, Monaco or Nîmes, it is quite extensive. There are also plenty of small original shops and not just the usual signs, located in beautiful buildings.
It is therefore impossible to visit Montpellier in a weekend without going through the Écusson!
Not to be missed during your walk:
- The square and the Sainte-Anne church
- Saint-Roche church, patron saint of the city
- The Babote tower, which you can visit only by asking the tourist office
- Private mansions (here too guided tours are organized by the tourist office)
- The Sainte-Foy chapel
- The street of the old mail and that of the treasurers of the Stock Exchange.
E. St. Peter’s Cathedral
Among the main tourist attractions of the district, I also recommend you to visit the Saint-Pierre cathedral.
Its construction, which began in the 14th century, was ordered by Pope Urban V (who knew the city well since he had studied there).
The cathedral, which has 3 towers and a canopy porch surrounded by gigantic pillars, is today the largest Gothic-style monument in the region.
Do not hesitate to admire its interior to contemplate the pretty stained glass windows and the great organ. Free entry.
F. The Jardin des Plantes
On leaving the cathedral, you only have to cross Boulevard Henri IV to access the Jardin des Plantes de Montpellier.
Created by King Henri IV in the 16th century with the aim of studying medicinal plants, it is considered the oldest botanical garden in France. Well laid out and maintained, there is a vast collection of plants and plants spread over 4 hectares.
The visit is free but if you want to learn more about the different plants, it is possible to choose a guided tour.
Several themes are proposed such as “useful plants”, “medicinal plants” or even “the historical walk”. You must register in advance by clicking here.
The opening hours of the garden are available here.
G. Place Royale du Peyrou
To conclude this first day of your weekend in Montpellier, I suggest you go through the royal square of Peyrou.
It is located right next to the Jardin des Plantes.
At the level of the water tower, at the end of the square, you can admire a clear panorama of the city and the surroundings as well as the old 18th century aqueduct which was used to transport water over nearly 14 km. to the city center.
Tips for your Montpellier itinerary:
At the entrance to the square, you can also see the Arc de Triomphe dating from the 17th century.
Symbolizing the gateway to the Écusson district, it is possible to climb to the top to contemplate the Peyrou gardens (but again, you must go through the tourist office to access it).
Day 2: What to see and do?
A. Flaugergues Castle
For the second day of your weekend in Montpellier, start with a visit to the Château de Flaugergues.
Located about 3 km from the city center, it is accessible by car, bus or tram.
The castle is one of the oldest “Madness” in Montpellier, the second homes of bourgeois families who took refuge there in the summer to enjoy the countryside and organized grandiose receptions.
Today classified as historical monuments and still inhabited, it is possible to visit the exteriors and its interior. In particular , you can stroll through the gardens and discover the 18th century furniture and tapestries.
As the Château de Flaugergues is also known for its vineyards, you can also enter the cellar and take part in a wine tasting.
Several formulas of visits (free or guided) are proposed, you will find the information on the official site of the castle.
Tips for your Montpellier itinerary:
Departing from Montpellier, you can also choose an organized excursion with guide and transport to visit 2 wine châteaux and take part in a wine tasting.
Lasting 1/2 day, it includes not only a visit to the Château de Flaugergues but also that of Château Puech-Haut, both of which produce excellent wines.
This visit is done in small groups of a maximum of 8 people to guarantee the quality of the service.
To book with the link here (2 time slots available):
B. Options for the afternoon
For the rest of the day, I offer 3 options depending on your interests:
1) Weekend in Montpellier with children.
If you have decided to go with your family, I advise you to take them to the Lunaret zoo. The zoo is huge (11 km of trails) and has more than 1,300 animals (cheetahs, rhinos, giraffes, etc.) from 5 continents.
And the best thing is that admission is also free! You will only have to pay if you wish to access the Amazonian greenhouse, which with its 3500 plants is the largest in France.
Info, timetables, access can be found on the official website.
2) Relaxing at the beach.
If you want to take advantage of your stay in Montpellier to spend some time by the sea, you can for example go to Palavas-les-Flots, Carnon, La Grande-Motte or Grau-du-Roi.
There are several public and private beaches that also offer water activities such as paddleboarding or jet skiing. You can click on the following links for more information and to book:
3) Visit of Sète.
The pretty little town of Sète, very picturesque with its network of canals, is located just 50 minutes by car from Montpellier.
Once there, you can follow the city’s enhancement circuit passing through the emblematic sites and take the Corniche promenade to admire the viewpoints.
And speaking of views, I advise you to reach the Mont Saint-Clair belvedere, known for offering a beautiful panorama of the city and the sea.
Tips for your Montpellier itinerary:
What to do on a weekend in Montpellier in case of rain?
If, unfortunately, the weather is not very nice for your short stay in Montpellier, I recommend:
- The Odysseum, a leisure center with cinema, ice rink, planetarium, aquarium and hundreds of shops. Your children will be delighted and shopping enthusiasts too!
- To visit museums such as the Fabre museum or the MOCO
- To discover the surrounding caves: the Labeil cave, the Trabuc cave or the Chauvet cave.
Extended weekend in Montpellier
If you can visit Montpellier on a 3-day long weekend, on the last day, I recommend (your choice):
1) To spend a day in Nîmes, 1 hour by car.
The city is famous for its bullring but there are plenty of other things to see there. You will have all the information to organize your day in my article: What to do in Nîmes?
2) To go hiking in the cirque of Navacelle, one of the biggest canyons in Europe, or in the lake of Salagou.
3) To discover the Pic Saint-Loup and its wine estates.
You will find the list of areas to visit around Montpellier by clicking here.
And what’s great is that some tours are free!
Here is my selection:
- The HAUT-LIROU estate, in the heart of the Pic Saint-Loup vineyards. Different oenological workshops to choose between “Wines and chocolates”, “Wines and Cheeses”, “Tapes and wines”.
- The Enclos de la Croix estate produces a range of organic wines.
If you do not have a vehicle, it is possible by going through an organized excursion.
4) To visit Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, ranked among the most beautiful villages in France.
Here too, no problem if you don’t have a car, an excursion with transport and guide is organized from Montpellier. The day also includes a wine tasting and the discovery of another medieval village: Saint Jean de Buèges.
5) Go to the coast and book a private boat trip
In my opinion, this is the best way to make the most of your day at sea near Montpellier.
From Palavas-les-Flots, Sète or La Grande Motte for example, you can rent a boat with a skipper, and he will take you to the most beautiful corners of the Gulf of Lion.
Motor boat, sailboat, catamaran or even yacht : it’s up to you to choose the boat that suits you to spend a dream day during your romantic weekend in France!
In any case, I recommend that you rent your boat with a skipper as far in advance as possible, because as you can imagine, this type of VIP day at sea is extremely in demand, and it would be a shame not to have room!
Other Activity in Montpellier
Do you want to adapt this itinerary a little and want to add other activities or ideas for a weekend in Montpellier?
Carefree! I give you other examples of things to do for this short stay in Montpellier or the surrounding area:
- Visit the city’s museums: the Fabre museum – the Atger museum – the art brut museum – the anatomy museum – the Moco
- Lunch at the Halles Laissac located opposite the Babote tower
- Dinner at the Lez market: a space located in former industrial premises and bringing together restaurants and food trucks
- Take your children to the Odysseum
- Discover the caves: Labeil cave – Trabuc cave – Clamouse cave – Demoiselles cave – Chauvet cave
- From initiation or improvement to multi-pitch climbing – Several routes possible.
- Canyoning in the Gorges de l’Hérault (45 min from Montpellier)
- A hydrospeed descent
- Via Ferrata: for a beginner level course click here and for an intermediate level, the information is here!
- Fly over Montpellier in a private plane. And yes it is possible to enjoy an incredible experience during your stay!
Accommodation in Montpellier:
There you go, I think you now know what to do in a weekend in Montpellier!
We come to the last step: book your accommodation.
For this, I have selected the best hotels in the city by presenting you with some perfect weekend ideas for a romantic getaway.
Luxury weekend in Montpellier
We start in style with this hotel dedicated to a luxury weekend in Montpellier: the Domaine de Verchant & Spa.
This 5* establishment is located a little away from the town centre, 1.5 km from the Château de Flaugergues and 4 km from the Place de la Comédie. A perfect location for anyone looking for calm without being too far away for visits.
The hotel occupies a beautiful building full of character while offering modern equipment and top-of-the-range services : indoor swimming pool, outdoor swimming pool, Spa with sauna and hammam, gym.
For this romantic getaway in Montpellier, you will stay in sumptuous rooms and suites, spacious and equipped with designer furniture. Some also have a Spa type bath.
For your dinner, don’t forget to book a table at the gastronomic restaurant “Verchant”, awarded a plate in the Michelin Guide.
This is the best choice for a luxury hotel in Montpellier!
Book your stay at Domaine de Verchant with the link below:
Weekend in the center of Montpellier
If you prefer to spend a weekend in the center of Montpellier, I have selected the Pullman hotel for you.
This 4* is located right next to the Polygone, right on the boundary between the modern Antigone district and the historic Écusson district. It is the ideal location to visit everything on foot and be in the heart of the lively area of the city.
The establishment welcomes you in modern and warm rooms, with contemporary decoration.
The hotel also has a heated outdoor swimming pool open all year round located on its roof terrace, which also houses a panoramic restaurant.
Tips for your Montpellier itinerary:
If the Pullman hotel is no longer available or if you prefer to stay in a more typical establishment with Haussmanian architecture, always for a weekend in the center of Montpellier, I recommend the Grand Hôtel du Midi: Opéra Comédie.
It is located on the Place de la Comédie and has pretty rooms with sophisticated and quite original decoration .
Romantic weekend in Montpellier
If you have decided to spend a romantic weekend in Montpellier, here is another excellent establishment: the Oceania Le Metropole.
Located just 5 minutes walk from the Place de la Comédie, its location is perfect for visiting the city.
The hotel offers elegant and warm rooms and you will also have a swimming pool to cool off.
Charming weekend in Montpellier
For an exceptional weekend idea in Montpellier, I have found a charming little address for you: the Domaine de Biar.
Located 6 km from the center, the estate has a large outdoor swimming pool, a hammam and a garden.
The building is just magnificent and the interior decorated with great taste, a perfect blend of modernity and original elements. You are guaranteed to have an excellent stay, in a super pleasant and quiet setting.
Book this charming weekend in Montpellier using the following link:
Cheap weekend in Montpellier
I end this selection of hotels with some cheap weekend ideas in Montpellier.
- Citadines Antigone Montpellier: located in the Antigone district, 10 minutes walk from Place de la Comédie. Studio and apartment fully equipped with kitchenette with fridge and dishwasher from 70€ per night. Most: the terrace, the location just in front of the tram, the size of the apartments. This is the best choice if you are looking for a cheap hotel in Montpellier!
- Palace of the Kings of Aragon : located 200 meters from the Place de la Comédie, this guest house offers 3 accommodations in a beautiful renovated 14th century house, from €75. Most: the ideal location, the comfort, the friendliness of the owner. A good choice for a cheap weekend in Montpellier!
- Appart’City Confort Montpellier Saint Roch: located 15 minutes walk from Place de la Comédie. Air-conditioned, modern studios and apartments, with kitchenette from €84, breakfast at €6.90. Most: private parking, comfortable bedding, cleanliness.
- Hotel Campanile Montpellier Center St Roch: located in the city center of Montpellier. Modern and comfortable double room from €95, breakfast at €12. Most: the friendliness of the staff, the cleanliness, the location in front of the station.
Map of your weekend in Montpellier
To help you visualize your routes during this weekend in Montpellier, I made you a map listing the places to visit day by day. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button with a small arrow.
You will then be able to view the routes for each day.
When to go for a weekend in Montpellier?
You can go on a weekend in Montpellier at any time of the year.
The program that I have prepared for you is done very well all the time. Afterwards, it is certain that it is better to choose to spend a weekend in Montpellier between the month of May and the end of September when the temperatures are more pleasant.
In the middle of winter, the city can seem a little sadder and less lively.
If you want to take advantage of the surrounding beaches to go swimming, I advise you to leave in July-August. But, it will be right in the high tourist season and the region attracts a lot of people, especially to Sète or Grau-du-Roi.
Book your accommodation as far in advance as possible to have space.
How to go to Montpellier?
Montpellier has an international airport.
You can also compare rates with Marseille airport , which is only 2 hours away.
You can also reach Montpellier by train.
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