Montpellier Gay Travel
Montpellier gay travel tips on where to stay, nightlife, things to do and gay life in the south of France.
The Gay Travel Experience: Montpellier, France
Montpellier is a charming LGBT-friendly city in the south of France. It’s a must-visit if you’re traveling the coast.
Home to the largest student population in France, trendy Montpellier is filled with young residents. The majority of the people living here are actually not natives!
A wonderful local host quickly accepted my request. He welcomed me along with another German traveler into his home and showed us an authentic Montpellier experience. In this Montpellier gay guide, I’ll share all these experiences along with advice on where to stay and local nightlife.
Gay Montpellier: Where to Stay
Montpellier is relatively small, but the city center has quite a bustle.
I stayed a decent distance outside the city center, in Saint-Éloi. This area of town was peaceful and easy to get to with Montpellier’s fantastic public transport.
I recommend staying in a hotel nearby the Montpellier city center, but not directly in it. From my explorations, I would say that areas north of the city center are prettier, while areas to the south are more so under development.
Montpellier is a smaller city, so there is expectedly no gay neighborhood. Montpellier is France’s fastest-growing city and so there is a ton of buildings under construction in the south of the city. Maybe one day we will see a gay area!
Montpellier Gay Travel Experiences
Le Jardin des Plantes was one of my favorite things to do in Montpellier. It’s a free outdoor garden with a variety of plant species. They had a few flowers I had never seen before, a greenhouse with cacti, and plenty of seating to take in the peaceful surroundings.
While they don’t have an official website, the local site Montpellier-France local travel site has more information on the Jardin des Plants Botanical Garden, including how to get there, and hours.
Broc Café is right across the street from the garden. They serve burgers and other lunch food. The espresso was delicious too. The outdoor seating is great to take in some sun. They also have wi-fi available.
Visit La Promenade du Peyrou
La Promenade du Peyrou is the perfect spot for sightseeing and stellar views in Montpellier. It’s one of the best places to visit in the entire city.
Here you can take in wonderful vistas from the elevated promenade. There are plenty of areas to sit and enjoy a snack. Across the street is the beautiful Arc de Triomphe.
Continuing toward Place des Martyrs-de-la-Résistance from the Arc de Triomphe, you’ll pass dozens of high-end stores and coffee shops. I had a lovely afternoon window shopping and watching the locals here.
Koffee & Kitchen is without a doubt the best coffee shop in Montpellier. They have an entire second floor with a modern design, catering to students and professionals. With great coffee, cheap lunch food, and fast wi-fi, you can’t go wrong.
Montpellier is filled with students, and students love long evenings of drinking more than anyone. I followed suit with my local gay student host, exploring Montpellier’s nightlife, as well as a student house party.
My host Julien introduced me to his gay friends that were attending the University of Montpellier with him. Everyone was welcoming and accepting. I had a blast!
The Black Cat is a bar located close to the city center and has a large open seating area outside where you can drink all night long.
This bar is perfect for large groups because when you go to pay, you simply tell them a count of how many drinks you’ve had. It’s way easier than splitting a bill between a group.
Montpellier Gay Travel Tips
Trams and buses in Montpellier are excellent. They run until about midnight. Late at night, it will be hard to come by a street taxi, so plan ahead for how you will return home.
Don’t try to board a tram without a ticket. In multiple instances, I have seen officers board the tram checking to see if everyone has validated their ticket. It’s a cheap ticket, so just buy a few at once so you have them ready.
Although Montpellier is a coastal city, it’s not much of a beach town. It takes quite a bit of time to get to the beach via public transportation. I opted to stay in the city.
Traveling between cities in France is quite convenient by bus. I traveled all around the Mediterranean coast using FlixBus buses, which are almost always exactly on time, comfortable, civilized, and safe. They’re also pretty cheap.
France LGBT Rights
There is a small segment of the population that is fiercely opposed to LGBT rights, and they are quite outspoken. Although I did not witness any of this on my journey through southern France, you may feel it in larger cities. France has the job of protecting the LGBT people from any sort of harmful situations, however small.
France is one of the gay-friendliest countries in the world. France repealed old sodomy laws back during the French Revolution in the late 1700s. Today, same-sex couples can adopt children. Proudly, France was the first country in the world to declassify being transgender as a mental illness!