Montpellier, one of the most enchanting cities in southern France, is conveniently well connected to Barcelona, Spain, making it easy to have a combined South-of-France/Catalonia vacation. You can get from Barcelona to Montpellier—located 211 miles (340 kilometers) away—using various forms of transport, including by train, car, rideshare, or bus. The train is the fastest and easiest way to get between the two destinations. Driving is another good option, allowing you to explore beautiful and scenic areas along the way.
|Train||3 hours||from $45||Quick trip|
|Car||3 hours, 30 minutes||211 miles (340 kilometers)||Exploring as you please|
|Rideshare||4 hours, 10 minutes||from $23||Relaxing ride|
|Bus||4 hours, 30 minutes||from $14||Saving money|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Barcelona
The bus (from $14) is the cheapest way to travel from Barcelona to Montpellier. There are various bus companies handling this route; FlixBus (every four hours), is the quickest, taking about four hours, 30 minutes. ALSA, which runs five times daily, is also on the faster side; the bus takes four hours, 45 minutes. Three other companies take more than five hours for the journey. Eurolines leaves three times a day, Estació d'autobusos Barcelona Nord goes twice a day, and Blablabus departs once daily. Buses leave from Barcelona Nord bus station to Montpellier. Contact the bus companies directly to reserve your spot and clarify schedules.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Barcelona
The roughly three-hour train is the quickest way to get between Barcelona and Montpellier. Renfe SNCF trains (from $45) leave four times a day from Barcelona Sants station to Montpellier Saint-Roch railway station. Renfe trains include free Wi-Fi, a dining cart, and comfortable seating. You can book train tickets online or at any Renfe station.
How Long Does It Take to Drive?
The 211-mile (340-kilometer) drive from Barcelona to Montpellier takes about three hours, 30 minutes, depending on traffic and the number of stops made. Passengers travel mainly on the AP-7 motorway in Spain and the A9 autoroute in France. Note the AP-7 is a toll road, which may increase your costs considerably. Unless traveling with a group and splitting costs, you'll probably find public transport cheaper. Ride-share services (from $23) can relieve you of any stress associated with being behind the wheel. BlaBlaCar, which makes the trip in about four hours, 10 minutes, leaves hourly for Montpellier.
When you get to Montpellier, you will have various options for parking, though it can be challenging to find spaces in the center of the city. You can choose from about 5,000 paid parking spaces at several lots (always open) in the city outskirts. These lots are linked to three tram lines that will take you into the city.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Montpellier?
The best time to visit Montpellier is between May and October when the temperatures are nice and there isn't much rain. Spring is also a lovely season as the weather warms up, ideal for enjoying activities and dining outside in the evenings. During that time, you can catch the local comedy festival, Printemps des Comédies, each June as well as the Montpellier Dance Festival. Typically the Internationales de la Guitare Festival takes place in September and October.
What's the Most Scenic Route to Montpellier?
Driving between Barcelona and Montpellier on Spain's AP-7 motorway and France's A9 autoroute is the most scenic route. You can make multiple stops and side trips, depending on your itinerary. There some popular stops en route, particularly in North Catalonia. Consider a break in Girona, a city famous for its medieval Jewish Quarter, as well as in Figueres, home to the Salvador Dali Theatre-Museum. You can also choose from many lovely side trips. One example is taking N-260 about 50 minutes from Figueres in Spain to Cerbère, the first coastal town you will hit in France, boasting beautiful ocean and mountain views. From Cerbère you will head inland to Perpignan on the A9, ending in Montpellier.
Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Montpellier?
Both Spain and France are in the Schengen Zone, which allows free travel between most European Union countries. Depending on what country you are from, your Spain visa is usually valid within the Schengen Zone. However, it is important to confirm with the Spanish embassy or consulate that issued your visa about whether you will need one for France. Also, you may not need to show your passport at the border, but the authorities may check—most likely if they are looking for criminals or clamping down on illegal immigration. You should always carry your passport when crossing international borders.
What Is There to Do in Montpellier?
Montpellier is a beautiful historic city with medieval streets. Visitors enjoy strolling to sidewalk cafés, bars, shops, and lovely squares as well as 17th and 18th-century mansions in the Old Town. The oval-shaped central square Place de la Comédie is another top pedestrian-friendly attraction, along with the Arc de Triomphe arch built in 1693. Musée Fabre de Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole is thought of as one of Europe's best fine arts museums. Wine tours, bars, and wine tasting are additional popular activities in the city. Tourists and locals also love the markets—both covered and indoors—where vendors offer regional foods, flowers, books, antiques, and more.