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Experience in Montpellier, France by Sahara

What is your perspective of the city of Montpellier for living? Do you recommend it? How would you describe the city?

After five years in Montpellier and especially after having lived in cities like Paris, Nice, Cannes and Aix en Provence, I consider Montpellier to be the one where it´s best to live in. The weather is pleasant and there are numerous festivities. Lively winters and summers spent along the river banks in a region that possesses an amazing wilderness. Watch out for the rainy season around October.

How is the student atmosphere in Montpellier?

There is something for every taste. From the party people to the geeks, it's easy to end up having a crazy night even when you were only looking to have a single beer at a local terrace. Good concerts are constantly taking place as well as cultural events. For the students : do not miss the MamaSound if you want to be up-to-date of what is going on in town. Another not-to-miss event, the environment week, organized every year by l'Ouvre-Tête.

How much does it cost to live in Montpellier?

Life in Montpellier can adapt to all budgets, but specifically for students, there are several go-to places. At Ptit Quart d'Heure, the Bucket will cost you one euro. Le Clandestin welcomes you in the neighborhood of l'Ecusson, away from crowds on a more intimate and cozy note at very affordable prices. For a more funky vibe, le Scarabée offers a wide and inexpensive selection of shots. You can go and play your own music and drink good beer for a festive Happy Hour. The not to be missed 5 euro Mojito from Al-Andalus and its 7 euro liter. At a more restrictive price for the small budgets : the Fitzpatrick is an Irish pub that is great for its choice of beer (they serve Kilkenny) and its massive wood decor. Besides the mentioned spots, there are many other pleasant places that make you want to stay, or at least make a detour...

Is it hard to find accommodation in Montpellier? What would you advice?

Consistently under construction, the city offers more and more housing opportunities. Apartment-sharing is students´ favorite option. Very easy to find but even easier to create, this way you can also choose your preferred tones for your new home. The city is overloaded with real estate agencies so do not hesitate to skim the ads and agencies.

How is the food in the city? What are your favorite dishes?

There are the organic basket systems in the universities, stores that specialize in products from other places and the Tielles cétoses are delicious. The cuisine remains Mediterranean. Other than that, nothing in particular.

What places do you recommend to see in Montpellier?

The waterfalls of Devil´s Bridge in the summer. The Lake of Salagou and all the spots that you can find in the canyons of the Hérault to have barbecues among friends. On the city side, have some appetizers under the sun at the Peyrou, there is always a crowd to play music with. On Thursday, the dances at the plaza allow for encounters and moments of sharing.

And to eat in Montpellier? Can you tell us your favorite spots?

If you avoid the traps of chain restaurants, the are very good restaurants which remain "cheap". My number one would be the Villa 29 near the arches, the owner is very kind and the food is excellent in portions that aren´t quite humanly... manageable. I recommend the hamburger trio or the plate with the baked camembert. On second place I would say chez Cisco in the Beaux-Arts neighborhood with its wood fire cuisine and seasonal vegetables at even more affordable prices and exquisite flavors. The half rabbit is perfect!

What spots do you recommend for going out in Montpellier?

In downtown, there are very few nightclubs but students gather at the Rockstore in its two halls, one is for the concerts (careful with the security guards, they are often very... cliché bouncers). I prefer the Panama for its upstairs hall of music Dancehall (the guards do their jobs in an efficient manner and with not so much zeal). And finally, l'Antirouille for its concerts at low prices with a top vibe and good music.

What advice would you like to give future Erasmus students at Montpellier?

After having tried several types of housing... the "student" accommodation that isn't managed by the Crous turns out to be a huge scam financially speaking. The student studios are very expensive, so go for apartment-sharing or accommodation in the suburbs if you don't have housing by the Crous.

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If you know Montpellier as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Montpellier! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.

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