Montpellier might not be one of the best-known cities in Europe. But we think that it certainly deserves to be. This beautiful French city is an historic gem, with a fascinating medieval centre. But it is also a vibrant, modern cultural hotspot that makes for the perfect getaway.
Most impressive of all is the effort the city has gone, to make as many of its sights and facilities as accessible as possible. The city actively encourages its tourist attractions and shops to be open to all – and the results are impressive. Here is our pick of the very best of accessible Montpellier.
Enjoy some classic (and modern) architecture
Montpellier is an architecture buff’s dream. Just take a tour of the city centre. You’ll be treated to a crash course in architecture from the last thousand years or so.
There is the stunning medieval quarter for a start. Many of the buildings you’ll see here were first built in Middle Ages, but they’ve been added to in the intervening years. Le Tour des Pins is a part of the old medieval city walls and sits just opposite the botanic gardens (more of these in a moment).
But the city centre also includes more modern architectural treasures too. These include buildings by architects such as Jean Nouvel and Ricardo Bofill. Our favourite however is the Pierres Vives Building, a striking government building designed by Zaha Hadid.
While you’re in the centre, we also recommend that you visit the Jardin des Plantes de Montpellier. The city’s botanic garden is the oldest in France (founded in 1593!). There are steps, but it also has a number of flat, accessible paths. It is a wonderfully peaceful space.
See some great art
Montpellier has always been popular with artists, and it is no surprise. This light-filled Mediterranean city is a truly inspirational place. Even if you’re not tempted to pick up a paintbrush yourself, this a great place to enjoy some world-class art. We recommend starting your art tour at the fabulous Musée Fabre. It is completely accessible to those of us who use a mobility scooter.
It has a fascinating collection of the very best in French painting and sculpture. The building itself is beautiful too. We particularly love how the curators have created a number of themed trails for visitors. So, if you want to go and see all of the paintings in the museum featuring flowers or fruits, monsters or even nudes, you can!
Browse the street markets
Montpellier (and in fact France in general) is perfect for those of us who love to browse a good local market. The region surrounding Montpellier creates some wonderful produce, and many of the local farmers head into the city to sell their wares. Tuesdays and Saturdays are the main market days. We suggest you take your time to try some of the local cheeses at the market by the Saint Clement aqueduct.
Of course, this is an outdoor street market, so our recommendation comes with the usual caveats about kerbs and cobbles. You will find however that despite being an historic city, Montpellier’s pedestrianized streets are generally accessible to scooter users.
If the weather isn’t so good, then there is also the covered market in the town centre, as well as many others. But with 260-plus days of sun a year however, the weather is almost always good in Montpellier!
Head to the beach!
Did we mention it’s always sunny in Montpellier? The weather here really is generally lovely all year around. And so, one of the best recommendations we have is simply to head to the beach.
It is possible to take one of the city’s accessible trams all the way to many of the nearby beaches. But there is also another alternative if you want a mini-adventure.
There is a flat, accessible cycle path that goes all the way from the historic centre of Montpellier to the beaches at Palavas. The journey is very scenic, and it is a great way to avoid the crowds and the traffic.
Did you know?
Montpellier truly is a stylish city: the livery for its trams was conjured up by French designer Christian Lacroix, no less!
Getting to Montpellier
The easiest way to get to Montpellier from the UK is to fly. There are regular flights from Bristol, Luton and London Gatwick airports. As usual, let your airline know at least 48 hours before you fly if you need any help during the flight and at the airport.
Montpellier airport itself has a special assistance service. The team will help you through the airport and there is an adapted airport shuttle that will take you into town too. The journey takes around 15 minutes and is only €1.60.
When it comes to getting around Montpellier itself, the situation is good for those of us with limited mobility. The pedestrianized areas are generally flat, and the trams are all accessible too. For a detailed guide to the city’s tram network, check out the official site here.
Travelling with scooters
The great news for those of you travelling abroad is that Quingo Scooters are all approved for air travel by IATA so you won’t have any problems taking them on the plane. That said, it is always well worth getting in touch directly with any train, bus and airlines you want to use just to double check their rules on scooters before you go. For more handy tips on travelling with your scooter by air, take a look at our page here.
Share your accessible getaways abroad with us
Do you have any accessible getaways abroad recommendations? In Europe or perhaps further afield? If you do, we’d love to hear from you, so drop us a line and we’ll feature them.
About Quingo Scooters
The Quingo Scooter range features six models to suit your needs and budget. New models are now available from just £22/week on our new contract hire scheme which includes all servicing and maintenance, Insurance, Roadside Recovery, Call Outs and Consumables including Batteries and Tyres. For more information on this or the latest Quingo Scooter range, please visit our website. Alternatively, if you have any Service questions you can always contact us or call customer services on 01582 430 900.
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