How to Travel From Paris to Montpellier

 Taylor McIntyre / © TripSavvy

To get from Paris to Montpellier, the capital of the southern French region of Languedoc-Rousillon, now part of the Occitanie region, you'll need to travel a distance of 465 miles (748 kilometers). The two cities are essentially on opposite sides of the country. To put that into perspective for Americans, Paris is about as far away from Montpellier as New York City is to Columbus, Ohio.

You have a few options if you don't want to waste any time getting to Montpellier, such as flying or taking the high-speed train. However, if you would like to take your time and see a bit of the French countryside, famously full of some of the world's best vineyards, a road trip between Paris and Montpellier will make for a nice long adventure. However, if you just need to save money on travel costs, the bus is the best option for budget travelers.

How to Travel From Paris to Montpellier
  Time Cost Best For
Train 3 hours from $53 Fast and convenient
Bus 10 hours from $22 Budget travel
Flight 1 hour, 15 minutes from $54 Fastest route
Car 7 hours 465 miles (748 kilometers) A road trip through France

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Paris to Montpellier?

At their lowest rates, bus tickets from Paris to Montpellier can be found for $23 with a budget bus line like FlixBus or BlaBlaBus. Prices can rise sometimes, but usually never go higher than $75 for a one-way ticket. The fastest buses can make the trip in about 10 hours, but it could take as long as 14 depending on whether or not you need to make a stop or transfer on the way. If you'd rather spend this long journey sleeping, consider taking the night bus to Montpellier, which leaves just after midnight from Paris and arrives in the afternoon.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Paris to Montpellier?

On a non-stop flight, you can reach Montpellier from Paris in about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Air France is the only airline that services this direct route with multiple flights that leave throughout the day. Tickets start at $56 one-way, but are likely to be higher during peak travel times.

How Long Does It Take to Drive?

The 465-mile (748-kilometer) drive to Montpellier crosses almost the entire length of France and takes about 7 hours, not accounting for traffic or any stops you make along the way. From Paris, you'll travel south along the A10, A71, and A75 until you begin to see signs for Montpellier. Since it's such a long trip, you might take the opportunity to detour and explore one of the famous French wine regions like the Rhone Valley.

How Long Is the Train Ride?

France's high-speed TGV trains, which stands for trains a grand vitesse, are incredibly fast and can travel between Paris and Montpellier in as little over 3 hours. Leaving from Paris Gare de Lyon and arriving in Montpellier Gare Sant-Roch, trains leave two to four times per day. You'll get the best price on train tickets if you book early online on a booking website like Rail Europe, but you'll need to be able to commit to a departure time. If you do need more flexibility, you can book your ticket at the station, but you run the risk of the route being sold out.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Montpellier?

Anytime between spring and early fall is a great time to take a trip to this city near the Mediterranean. Weather is pleasant throughout the summer, but Montpellier tends to be particularly busy in July and August when the majority of vacationers descend on France's sunny south. In the spring, however, you can enjoy a variety of festivals throughout the year, such as the athletic Festikite kite surfing competition or the Live Architecture Festival, a series of contemporary art pop-ups. In wintertime, however, you may catch the city lit up in colorful projections during the Enlightened City show, which usually ushers in the Christmas season in Montpellier and is followed by the opening of the Christmas market.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?

From the seaside Montpellier Airport, the city center is about 5 miles (8 kilometers) away. It's a short cab ride, but you can also take the airport shuttle bus, called Navette Aéroport, which costs about $2, runs once every two hours, and takes about 15 minutes. Or, you could take the 120 train line, which runs between Place d'el Europe Tramway Station and the airport.

What Is There to Do in Montpellier?

Montpellier is an exciting, historic city and important for its university, founded in the 13th century. There's a lovely old town to wander around, with old streets full of cafés, bars, and restaurants. There are museums, including the famous Musée Fabre which has an enormous collection and is known mainly for its 17th to 19th century European paintings. Montpellier is also a central point for visits to the surrounding villages and countryside. 

Lying between Avignon and Arles in the Camargue and Beziers and Perpignan to the south, Montpellier makes a perfect jumping off spot for sightseeing in this popular area. You can take in the beaches that run down the Mediterranean coast, including the most famous naturist site in Europe at Cap d'Agde or drive into the hinterland to see cities like Carcassone in the romantic and tragic Cathar country.

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