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What to see in Montpellier The pedestrianised place de la Comedie or rather Place de L'ouef (Egg Square) as the locals call it thanks to its oval shape, is the beating heart of the city and a popular meeting point. You can’t miss Café Riche in the square, it’s an institution and is owned by the same family who own the very popular La Grande Brasserie a few doors along. Locals meet at Café Riche for a Perrier tranche (Perrier water with a slice of lemon) or Perrier menthe (Perrier with a shot of mint, very refreshing!). Perrier water is from a source located between Montpellier and Nimes so everyone drinks it here like… well, water! This big, vibrant café is also popular for afternoon tea, coffee and aperitifs and is the perfect people watching perch. There’s also lots of street entertainment with musicians, magicians and dancers, it’s not organised, just spontaneous and much loved by the locals and visitors. Musée Fabre This huge museum hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions and regular exhibit swaps with the Louvre in Paris. It was founded in 1828 by the artist François- Xavier Fabre in what was his home and gallery. Since then it has grown and three buildings now house eclectic collection that span decades of art from 14th century religious masterpieces to the enormous and brooding art of Pierre Soulages, one of France’s greatest living artists. There are some fabulous and important works here including a Delacroix painting which inspired Monet, who called him the “Father of Impressionism”. There are paintings by Courbet, the bad boy artist of the mid-1800s, who loved to do self-portraits and why not, he was a handsome man! The collection is chronological and there are some 800 works of art so you can easily spend a half day browsing this huge museum, by the way it’s very cool inside on a hot day!
Marvellous marché The Marchés Les Arceaux is one of the best street markets I’ve ever been to. It's located under the arches of the gigantic aqueduct behind the famous landmark water tower (from which you can get magnificent views of Montpellier). Lots of people think the aqueduct is Roman, it isn’t, and neither is the Arc de Triomphe in front of it. It might seem that’s there’s a bit of a Roman feeling to this town but in fact they were never there. there is all manner of fabulous food and produce here. Most people miss this market – don’t, it’s wonderful! There’s also a covered market, Les Halles, in the old town, where you can buy fresh produce and sit at a table outside and enjoy your feast straight away! Marche des Arceaux is in the Peyroux district, a little way west of the old town and easily walkable though you can hop on the brilliant tram service if you prefer. In the summer months stalls groan under the weight of fresh fruit, huge cherries, melons and strawberries. Old ladies with baskets and old men with plastic bags wander along eyeing the produce, occasionally reaching out to taste before they buy. The smell of lavender and cheese, just baked bread, warm fruit and slowly roasting chickens is nothing short of drool-worthy. The stalls are shaded by plane trees and
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