I have been (and will be) travelling quite a bit around Europe. For once, I planned ahead and booked a trip a month ahead of time so that I could get reasonably-priced train tickets and accommodation. Even though I lived for an entire year in Grenoble, which is technically closer to the Mediterranean than Paris, I never went to the southern cities like Montpellier or Nice. That’s because of the weird layout of the French railway system, which means that it’s actually twice as fast to get to the south from Paris than it is from Grenoble.
So this year I decided to get away from the cold and rain in Paris (mid-July a lot of trees were turning brown and falling on the ground…ah!) for a nice, relaxing weekend by the beach. I also want to add that I’ve only been to a “real” beach (where there’s warm sand and you don’t shiver) only a few times in my life, so I was SET on going to Montpellier. Also, they have a great food and wine festival throughout the month of August, so food + beach = awesome long weekend!
We booked a great apartment in the middle of Montpellier and I even remembered to pack my SPF 60…then the AirBnB host cancelled on us Monday evening…we were leaving Thursday. We were arriving late, the host lived in China, and the person that took care of the keys was apparently too busy. Mhm. No need to panic, there must be other large, reasonably-priced AirBnB apartments available only a few days before a long weekend. No? Ok, what about hostels? The whole city is completely booked? Ok, maybe a cheap hotel? They’re all booked too? etc. etc. In the end, we ended up paying twice as much as we originally planned and even had to stay in another town (although it was a nice visit), all because AirBnB hosts can cancel on you like that. So that’s my cautionary tale. I never had problems before, but it really didn’t occur to me that while you have to pay a cancellation fee that could be the entire cost of the booking, your host gets off scott free when they cancel. Ok, rant over.
Other than that little AirBnB fiasco, I did have a great long weekend. Montpellier is just big enough to discover in a couple of days. The main square reminded me a lot of Paris but once you get a few steps away from it, you’re surrounded by narrow, winding, (medieval?) streets.
We also managed to find an AMAZING restaurant that had a funky decor, really friendly staff (rare thing here) and super good regional food.
Where to Eat in Montpellier!
Au Bonheur des Tartes
4 Rue Trésoriers de la Bourse
Anyway, here’s a look at Montpellier: