The Planetarium Galilee is situated in the south of Montpellier and is accessible via the tram network. There is an English commentary to listen to along with the tour and kids will enjoy the star gazing and different exhibition rooms. Reasonably priced, too, it makes a great excursion if the weather isn’t in your favour, or when some ‘organised fun’ is needed.
Every major city seems to have a ‘Little Train’ and they really come into their own when tired little legs are involved. From February to October, hop on at Place de la Comédie and see all the major sights of Montpellier’s historic centre with an audio guide in 8 different languages.
Jardin des Plantes
Open every afternoon, Jardin des Plantes is a fantastic place to visit with kids when the sun is high in the sky and you need a pause from city exploring. It is a historic botanical garden with over 2500 plant species, and it is right in the heart of the city and free to enter, making it the perfect place to relax.
Jardin des Plantes, Boulevard Henri IV, Montpellier, France, +33 434 433 620
Montpellier Zoological Park
The Montpellier Zoological Park will be any animal-loving kid’s highlight with over 500 animals to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at. The zoo itself has a great design and isn’t too overcrowded. From big cats to reptiles, there’s a large variety of animals for the kids to observe and chances to learn about them. The zoological park is located in the north of the city but very easy to get to either on foot or via the tram. Entry is free for children under 6 and low for everyone else too.
If you want to plan a walk around Montpellier but you’re keen to know where you will be able to find places to play and take a break nearby, then you’re in luck. The city has some excellent playgrounds where you can escape the hustle and bustle. One such place is the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle which is a gorgeously leafy area of the city next to the tourist information centre.
Aquarium Mare Nostrum
Montpellier’s aquarium is ace. It has a wide collection of hands-on, high-tech exhibits that will keep the little ones entertained for hours. A popular ride is the 3D ocean simulator, but, of course, there are also plenty of colourful fish, sharks, penguins and more to see as well.
If Montpellier is having a bad weather day then we’re grateful for places like Mad Monkey; a fun activity centre that features a climbing wall and is very geared up for kids. The centre is a little out of town, so ideal if you have a car for your stay. They also organise climbing activities in nearby woodland and rocky areas.
Mad Monkey, 2929 Avenue Etienne Méhul, Montpellier, France, +33 467 424 955
Porte du Peyrou
The Porte du Peyrou is Montpellier’s very own Arc de Triomphe and well worth a visit with the kids as you can climb to the top for incredible views over the city. Visit the Tourist Office for information on the guided tour. You can wander the through the gardens behind the Porte du Peyrou and you’ll come to the Saint-Clément Aqueduct (pictured below) which offers great views to the east of Montpellier. There are just enough impressive big buildings and landmarks to point out to the little ones to keep them engaged.
This is a fantastic eatery for the little ones. Pirate themed, and convincingly so, Pirates Paradise feels like a splash of Disneyland in the south of France. Geared up for kids’ meals, the prices are reasonable and, once again, it is easily accessible by public transport.
Beach and Coastline
Only about 13km away from the hustle and bustle of Montpellier is the Mediterranean Sea in all its sparkling glory. Once you’ve seen the city’s sights, pack a bag and head to one of the beaches along this stretch of coast. Carnon plage is the closest beach to Montpellier and one of the most accessible by public transport. If you are happy to travel a little further, then beach gems such as Espiguette really show off the Mediterranean in the right, sun-drenched light.