Montpellier expat city guide
Montpellier is situated on the highly-desirable South coast of France, between the Spanish border and Marseille. Not only is Montpellier one of the fastest growing cities in France, it is one of the most popular areas amongst expats moving to France and it is not hard to see why.
Known for its internationally-renowned School of Medicine (one of the oldest universities in the world), Montpellier has a large number of students residing in and around the city – giving the city a younger and livelier feel but without the revelry that you might associate with student cities in England.
The city is also home to a large number of expats and a large Spanish population, who have also left their cultural mark on this multicultural and cosmopolitan city.
In the old centre of Montpellier, you can still find the picturesque ‘hôtels particuliers’ (translated to English as ‘mansions’), many of these were built during the reign of King Louis XIV (1643-1715) and still attract architecture-enthused visitors to this day.
The hôtels particuliers were primarily built as houses for royalty and the wealthy nobles of the city and although many of them remain private, a small handful of them welcome guided tours to give visitors a glimpse of the grand and lavish architecture.
Many of the streets in the older parts of the city are very narrow and built on steep hills, giving the city a rustic feel that comes with a romantic charm that is one of the many reasons why expats moving to Montpellier fall in love with the city.
Being part of the Occitanie region, Montpellier has had a strong reputation for producing wine since the 19th Century and in 2017 Vogue celebrated the region, regarding it above the Bordeaux region for the quality of its wine. In particular, Chateau de Flaugergues and Pic Saint-Loup are worth a visit if you want to sample the local wines, alternatively just ask any of the friendly local staff in the many restaurants and they will happily tell you about their pick of the many local vineyards.
If you are thinking of moving to Montpellier be sure to prepare for the Mediterranean climate that brings warm, dry summers – averaging between 24 and 29°C in July. There are plenty of places to take advantage of the sun in the city such as La Promenade Royale du Peyrou and Les Jardins de l’Esplanade.
The latter is a small park just off the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle that you can navigate your way around by using the numerous winding paths through the towering trees that bring welcome shelter when the weather warms up in the summer. If you move to Montpellier and find yourself looking for a cycling or jogging route, look no further than the scenic tree-lined paths along the Rives du Lez, which have been lovingly restored and looked after over the last few years.
Montpellier is an unspoilt gem in the Occitanie region, welcoming students, families, expats and tourists alike. For more information on our services for moving to France, click here.