Why Montpellier’s Old Town Is One of France’s Perfect Little Cities

 
Hotel Baudon de Mauny
 
 

Want to spend a few days strolling through narrow, centuries old streets, viewing the old masters and modern art, savoring southwestern French cuisine, and listening to music in the squares? Come to Montpellier, the eighth largest city in France and just a little over three hours from Paris on the TGV train. You’ll ride through the country’s scenic breadbasket with fields of wheat, mustard, and poppies at your side. See Rail Europe.

Stay at Hotel Baudon de Mauny, an eight room guest house with super friendly and helpful hosts. It’s right smack in the center of the historic district and a short walk to any section of town. Because only residents have cars, you don’t have to jump up on curbs to avoid the traffic in the winding alleyways as you sightsee.

The inside foyer and entrance to Baudon de Mauny

The inside foyer and entrance to Baudon de Mauny

The inside foyer and entrance to Baudon de Mauny once led to horse stables, which now house a gift, shop, tea parlor, and art gallery. The recently restored late 1700s residence has an elegant eighteenth century parlor, but cutting edge modern bedrooms, art and sculpture.

Eat at once of the city's many cafes and restaurants. Boris

Eat at once of the city’s many cafes and restaurants. Boris

Eat at once of the city’s many cafes and restaurants. Boris, around the corner from Baudon de Mauny, and not far from the main square, is cozy and has excellent southwestern French cuisine.

Montpellier's main square, Place de Comedie

Montpellier’s main square, Place de Comedie

Montpellier’s main square, Place de Comedie, has an opera house, the tourist bureau, and the tram line along the edge. By day merchants sell wares at tented stalls, By night dancers and musicians perform, while tourists stroll by licking ice cream cones. Stairs near the tall building to the left lead you through a shopping center and on into Antigone, the neoclassical section of the city built as a housing project in the nineteenth century.

One of a number of colorful trams in Montpellier

One of a number of colorful trams in Montpellier

One of a number of colorful trams in Montpellier.

Musicians play on a tree lined boulevard just off the Place de Comedie.

Musicians play on a tree lined boulevard just off the Place de Comedie.

Musicians play on a tree lined boulevard just off the Place de Comedie.

Musee Fabre

Musee Fabre

Musee Fabre has over 800 works, including such European masters as Veronese, Courbet and Poussin, plus moderns like Soulages.

The entrance to Saint Pierre Cathedral

The entrance to Saint Pierre Cathedral

Walk to the northwestern end and wander through the medical school, dating back to the 12th Century. The entrance to Saint Pierre Cathedral has outlandishly huge cone towers.

Promenade du Peyrou

Promenade du Peyrou

Stand in a park at the end of Promenade du Peyrou and gaze over at the huge aqueduct reaching out over the valley.

Pomme de Reinette

Pomme de Reinette

Shop at unusual small stores like Pomme de Reinette.

Espiguette beach

Espiguette beach

Side trip for sunny day: take the bus to Espiguette, a huge nearby beach. Get info at tourist office.


Original article by Emilie C. Harting on The Huffington Post

Montpellier area on Belvicci

 

 

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