24 Hours In: Montpellier


Wake up in the Belle Epoque

08.30: Fling open the windows of your room at the New Hotel du Midi and look out on Place de la Comédie.

The first coffee of the day

09.30: Any of the café terraces on the Place de la Comédie are a great place to enjoy a grand crème and a croissant while people-watching.

Visit the new art gallery

10.30: Cross the square, picking up a map at the Office de Tourisme and browsing the market stalls, to reach the Musée Fabre (00 33 4 67 14 83 28; montpellier-agglo.com). Stroll through galleries of Classical and Romantic paintings before looking at Soulages's "black light" in the new wing.

Time for an al fresco lunch

13.00: Head up any of the steep streets behind the museum into the Old Town. Place St-Ravy with its pretty fountain is an ideal place for lunch: La Place (00 33 4 67 66 22 86) serves an array of fish dishes and grills with mountains of salad. Or grab a quick bite from La Pita Grecque or Le Natur'l soup shop on Rue de la Vieille behind. For a taste of local specialities, La Maison de la Lozère (00 33 4 67 66 46 36; celliermorel.com), 27 Rue de l'Aiguillerie, offers a €26 or €36 lunch menu in its palm-filled garden.

Shopping and sightseeing

15.00: Continue your wander around the Old Town, visiting Place St-Roch with its trompe l'oeil mural and pilgrims' church, and peeking into some of the hôtels particuliers. (A list is found on the tourist office map.) Shop for clothes, jewellery and objets d'art on Rue de l'Aiguillerie, Rue de l'Ancien Courrier and around Place de la Canourgue.

Take a break with a view

16.30: Take a break at the Comptoir de l'Arc (00 33 4 67 60 30 79), overlooking Place de la Canourgue.

Stroll in the gardens

17.00: After gaping at the impressive twin towers abutting Saint-Pierre cathedral at the Faculté de Médecine, cross Boulevard Henri IV to enter the Jardin des Plantes. Created in 1593 for the medical faculty, they are among the oldest in Europe.

Have a green journey

18.30: Get on the tram on Boulevard Pasteur and take it to Antigone (direction Odysséum), to look round the new quarter.

Make time for an apéritif

19.30: If the fountain on Place du Nombre d'Or is playing you might like to stop here. Otherwise, drop by the terraces of Place de la Comédie again.

Fine dining in style

21.00: Reserve a table if you want to sample the high art of the Pourcel brothers' cuisine at Le Jardin des Sens (00 33 4 99 58 38 38; jardindessens.com), 11 Avenue Saint Lazare - about €130 (£90) per person without wine. In the Old Town Le Petit Jardin (00 33 4 67 60 78 78; petit-jardin.com), 20 rue JJ Rousseau, serves reasonably priced seasonal fare. The cosy Vieux Four (00 33 4 67 60 55 95; levieuxfour .fr), 59 Rue de l'Aiguillerie, cooks meat on an open fire.

A late bite or drinks

22.30: The Pourcel brothers also own a lounge bar and brasserie, La Compagnie des Comptoirs (00 33 4 99 58 39 29), at 51 Avenue de Nîmes. For the Old Town's lively bar scene head for Place Jean-Jaurès, whose terraces are always packed with a young crowd.

Dance the night away

00.30: Follow the crowds to Le Fizz (21) (00 33 4 67 66 22 89; lefizz.com), 4 rue Cauzit.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Assistant Manager

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living