If you are unsure whether you should visit Toulouse or Montpellier in this post I will try to highlight all you can do in both places.
I will also share my budget for a couple based on my experience and how much I spent when I visited but keep in mind that I stayed in a Hostel and you can plan accordingly.
Toulouse, also known as “La Ville Rose” (The Pink City), is famous for its stunning architecture built with pinkish terracotta bricks.
It is a vibrant city with a rich history and a lively cultural scene. Toulouse is home to several prestigious universities and research centers, making it a hub for science and technology. Visitors can explore its historic city center, visit the iconic Basilica of Saint-Sernin, and enjoy the picturesque Canal du Midi.
On the other hand, Montpellier is a dynamic city known for its youthful energy and Mediterranean vibe. It is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe and has a large student population, which contributes to its lively nightlife and vibrant atmosphere.
Montpellier boasts a charming old town with narrow medieval streets, elegant mansions, and a beautiful central square called Place de la Comédie. The city is also close to stunning beaches and the picturesque region of Provence.
I will first start with a comparison of both the places based on certain parameters and later you can find some highlights about the city and what you can do in both places.
Should you visit Toulouse or Montpellier ?
Location and Accessibility: Which City is Easier to Reach?
When it comes to accessibility, both Toulouse and Montpellier have their advantages. Toulouse has an international airport with direct flights from major European cities as well as connections from other parts of the world.
The city also has a well-connected train station that makes it easy to reach from other parts of France.
Montpellier also has an international airport with regular flights from various European destinations.
Additionally, it benefits from being located on major highways which makes it easily accessible by car or bus.
Climate and Weather: Comparing Toulouse and Montpellier
One important factor to consider when planning your trip is the climate and weather conditions in each city.
Toulouse enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. The city experiences relatively low rainfall throughout the year but can get quite hot during the summer months.
Montpellier also has a Mediterranean climate but tends to be slightly warmer than Toulouse due to its proximity to the coast. Summers can be scorching hot while winters remain mild with occasional rainfall.
Food And Drink: Which City Offers The Best Culinary Experience?
When it comes to food and drink experiences in France, both Toulouse and Montpellier offer their unique delights. Toulouse is famous for its local specialty dish called Cassoulet – a hearty stew made with white beans, and various meats such as duck or sausage, and flavored with herbs.
Montpellier also has its culinary treasures including seafood dishes inspired by its coastal location. Freshly caught fish grilled to perfection or bouillabaisse – a traditional Provençal fish stew – are just some examples of what you can expect when dining in this vibrant city.
Nightlife And Entertainment: Comparing Toulouse And Montpellier
If you’re looking for vibrant nightlife options during your trip to France, both Toulouse and Montpellier have plenty to offer. In Toulouse, the lively streets of Place Saint-Pierre and Rue de la Colombette are lined with bars, clubs, and music venues that cater to all tastes.
Montpellier also boasts a vibrant nightlife scene with its numerous bars and clubs. The historic center of the city comes alive at night with locals and tourists alike enjoying live music performances or dancing the night away in trendy clubs.
Shopping: Where To Find The Best Deals And Souvenirs
For those who enjoy shopping, both Toulouse and Montpellier offer a wide range of options. Toulouse is known for its bustling markets where you can find fresh produce, local delicacies, and unique crafts. The Victor Hugo Market is particularly popular among locals for its wide selection of regional products.
In Montpellier, you’ll find a mix of high-end boutiques as well as charming independent shops. Rue de l’Ancien Courrier is a must-visit street for fashion enthusiasts looking for unique pieces from local designers.
Accommodation: Choosing Between Toulouse And Montpellier
When it comes to accommodation options in both cities, there is something to suit every budget and preference. In Toulouse, you’ll find everything from luxury hotels located in historic buildings to cozy bed-and-breakfasts tucked away in charming neighborhoods.
Montpellier offers a similar range of accommodations including boutique hotels that exude charm and character. For those on a tighter budget or looking for more flexibility during their stay, there are also plenty of vacation rentals available throughout the city.
In order to compare the stay cost in between two cities I went to Booking.com and tried to find something around 3 months later.
In Toulouse I was able to get accomodation with reviews of 8+ starting from 53 € and 2.9 KM from city center for a couple. There were also apartments available in the city center for 78 € onwards.
For Montpellier I noticed that we have less option for the same date, so I only got one Double Room Hotel by the name Eklo Montpellier which was for 58€ for couple but then the rest of them where 95€ or above.
So I would say Toulouse is cheaper compared to Montpellier based on Hotels to stay.
You can run your own camparison on our Hotel Comparison Page.
Transportation: Getting Around Toulouse And Montpellier
Both Toulouse and Montpellier have efficient public transportation systems that make it easy to get around the cities.
In Toulouse, you can rely on an extensive network of buses and trams that connect all major attractions within the city center as well as surrounding areas.
Montpellier also has an excellent tram system that covers most parts of the city making it convenient for travelers to explore.
Additionally, both cities offer bike-sharing programs which are a great way to get around and experience the local culture.
Cost Of Living: Which City Is More Affordable?
When it comes to the cost of living, Toulouse tends to be slightly more affordable compared to Montpellier.
Prices for food, housing, and other expenses are generally lower in Toulouse, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers.
Because the rent prices in Montpellier are around 7.6% higher than in Toulouse.
However, it’s worth noting that both cities offer a range of options when it comes to dining out or shopping, catering to different budgets.
It’s always a good idea to research and compare prices before your trip so you can plan accordingly.
Safety And Security: Comparing Toulouse And Montpellier
Montpellier and Toulouse are compared in terms of crime index and safety scale. Here are the key points:
- Montpellier has a higher crime index compared to Toulouse.
- Safety walking alone during the day is moderate in Montpellier and high in Toulouse.
- Safety walking alone at night is low in both cities.
Education And Work Opportunities: Which City Is Better For Students And Professionals?
Both Toulouse and Montpellier have renowned universities that attract students from all over the world.
Toulouse is home to several prestigious institutions including the University of Toulouse-Jean Jaurès which offers a wide range of academic programs across various disciplines.
Montpellier is also known for its excellent educational opportunities with institutions such as the University of Montpellier ranking among the top in France.
The city also has a thriving job market with opportunities in sectors such as technology, healthcare, and tourism.
Now I am done with the Comparison of the two places, So are you interested in visiting any of the two cities. Then you can read further and find out what you can do there.
If you just ask me about visiting Toulouse, I would say it is worth visiting. Because it has the perfect blend of everything, However, if you want to explore things on a budget then you might want to explore Montpellier more on this you can find further below.
Attractions and Landmarks in Toulouse France
Toulouse offers a variety of attractions and landmarks worth exploring. The iconic Basilica of Saint-Sernin is a must-visit, known for its impressive Romanesque architecture.
The Capitole de Toulouse, with its beautiful facade and grand interiors, is another significant landmark that showcases the city’s rich history.
- Basilique Saint-Sernin: This Romanesque basilica is one of the largest remaining Romanesque churches in Europe. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular pilgrimage destination.
- Place du Capitole: Located in the heart of the city, this square is home to the Capitole de Toulouse, which houses the city hall and a theater. The square is surrounded by elegant buildings and is a great place to relax and people-watch.
- Pont Neuf: As one of the oldest bridges in Toulouse, Pont Neuf offers stunning views of the Garonne River. It is a popular spot for strolling, especially during sunset.
- Cité de l’Espace: This space-themed park and museum is perfect for science enthusiasts. It features interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and even a full-scale model of the Ariane 5 rocket.
- Musée des Augustins: Housed in a former Augustinian monastery, this museum showcases a vast collection of fine art from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. It includes works by renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Delacroix, and Toulouse-Lautrec.
- Canal du Midi: This UNESCO World Heritage site is a 240-kilometer-long canal that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea. Taking a boat ride or cycling along its banks is a popular activity for visitors.
- Hôtel d’Assézat: This Renaissance mansion is now home to the Bemberg Foundation, which houses an impressive collection of European art. The building itself is a masterpiece with its ornate facade and courtyard.
- Jardin des Plantes: Toulouse’s botanical garden is a peaceful oasis in the city center. It features a wide variety of plant species, including a rose garden, a Japanese garden, and a collection of exotic trees.
Attractions and Landmarks in Montpellier
Montpellier boasts several notable attractions and landmarks. The Place de la Comédie is a central square that serves as a hub of activity, surrounded by cafes, shops, and the impressive Opera House. The Montpellier Cathedral, with its intricate details and stunning stained glass windows, is also worth a visit.
- Place de la Comédie: This is the main in Montpellier and is often referred to as “l’oeuf” (the egg) due to its oval shape. It is a lively area with cafes, shops, and street performers.
- Montpellier Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Montpellier): This impressive Gothic cathedral dates back to the 14th century and is known for its beautiful stained glass windows.
- Porte du Peyrou: This triumphal arch was built in the 17th century to celebrate Louis XIV’s victory over the Fronde rebellion. It offers a great view of the city.
- Jardin des Plantes: This botanical garden is one of the oldest in France and features a wide variety of plants and trees. It’s a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city.
- Musée Fabre: This art museum is named after François-Xavier Fabre, a Montpellier-born painter. It houses a vast collection of European art, including works by Delacroix, Courbet, and Van Dyck.
- Promenade du Peyrou: This promenade offers a panoramic view of Montpellier and features a statue of Louis XIV on horseback. It’s a popular spot for leisurely walks.
- Antigone District: Designed by the architect Ricardo Bofill, this district is characterized by its neoclassical architecture and wide boulevards. It’s a modern area with shops, restaurants, and residential buildings.
- Le Corum: This modern cultural and conference center is located near the Place de la Comédie. It hosts various events, including concerts, plays, and conferences.
Conclusion: Which City Should You Choose?
Having personally experienced both cities, I can say that both Toulouse and Montpellier have their own unique charms. If you are interested in exploring a city with a rich historical background and vibrant nightlife, Toulouse may be the perfect choice for you.
On the other hand, if you prefer a city with medieval charm, picturesque streets, and a diverse culinary scene, Montpellier would be an excellent option. Ultimately, the decision should be based on your personal preferences and interests.
FAQs : Toulouse or Montpellier
What are Toulouse and Montpellier?
Toulouse and Montpellier are two cities located in the south of France. Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France and is known for its aerospace industry, while Montpellier is a smaller city known for its historic architecture and vibrant cultural scene.
How do I get to Toulouse and Montpellier?
You can get to Toulouse and Montpellier by plane, train, or car. Both cities have airports with connections to major European cities, and there are high-speed train connections from Paris and other major French cities. You can also drive to Toulouse or Montpellier from other parts of France or neighboring countries.
What are the main attractions in Toulouse?
Toulouse is known for its historic architecture, including the Basilica of Saint-Sernin and the Capitole de Toulouse. The city is also home to the Cité de l’Espace, a space museum and theme park, and the Airbus factory tour. Other popular attractions include the Garonne River and the Canal du Midi.
What are the main attractions in Montpellier?
Montpellier is known for its historic architecture, including the Place de la Comédie and the Saint-Pierre Cathedral. The city is also home to several museums, including the Musée Fabre and the Musée Atger. Other popular attractions include the Jardin des Plantes and the Montpellier Zoo.
Which city is better for food?
Both Toulouse and Montpellier are known for their cuisine. Toulouse is famous for its cassoulet, a hearty stew made with white beans and meat, while Montpellier is known for its seafood and Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Ultimately, the choice between the two cities for food will depend on personal preference.
Which city is better for nightlife?
Both Toulouse and Montpellier have vibrant nightlife scenes. Toulouse is known for its bars and clubs in the Saint-Pierre neighborhood, while Montpellier has a lively student scene and is home to several music venues and nightclubs. Ultimately, the choice between the two cities for nightlife will depend on personal preference.
Which city is more expensive to visit?
Both Toulouse and Montpellier can be expensive to visit, especially during peak tourist season. However, Toulouse is generally considered to be slightly more expensive than Montpellier, particularly when it comes to accommodation and dining.
Which city is better for families?
Both Toulouse and Montpellier have plenty of family-friendly attractions, including museums, parks, and theme parks. Toulouse may be a better choice for families interested in aerospace and science, while Montpellier may be a better choice for families interested in history and culture.