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  1. France - French
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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Montpellier

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Montpellier and Perpignan each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close ones. Many vendors occupy the pavement on that occasion!

May 8: Victory Day (national holiday)

Commemorates the Allied victory in Europe that ended World War II on this day in 1945. Various ceremonies are held around town.

June 21: Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)

Also celebrated internationally as World Music Day, for this festival many free concerts featuring all types of music are held in the streets and at various venues across both Montpellier and Perpignan.

July 14: Bastille Day (national holiday)

This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution, and the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. In Montpellier and Perpignan, festivities similar to those in all other French cities are organised: parades, concerts and fireworks displays.

August 15: Assumption Day (national holiday)

This celebration, still very popular in Montpellier and Perpignan, is marked by the faithful with religious processions and ceremonies through the streets.

Third weekend in September: European Heritage Days (celebrated nationwide)

The aim of the European Heritage Days is to open up numerous sites and monuments, many of which are normally closed to the public. A great opportunity for a lovely stroll through either city to admire architectural treasures!

November 11: Remembrance Day (national holiday)

On this day, French citizens gather at war memorials to commemorate the signing of the 1918 Armistice officially bringing an end to the First World War.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

December 31: New Year's Eve (national event)

On the night of December 31st, the atmosphere is particularly festive on the streets of Montpellier, with families and friends celebrating the new year.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Montpellier

Montpellier and Perpignan enjoy a typically Mediterranean climate. In Montpellier, temperatures are almost always pleasant and mild. The city boasts one of the highest number of days of sunshine per year in France. Rainstorms can occasionally be violent, causing flash floods in the area of the city cut through by the river Verdanson. Perpignan has a similar climate: winters are mild and summers are hot and dry, although the tramontana sweeps through the city frequently during the summer, moderating temperatures somewhat.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 3/37 12/54 55/2.2 Not the best period to go
February 3/37 13/55 51/2.0 Not the best period to go
March 6/43 16/61 34/1.3 Not the best period to go
April 9/48 18/64 55/2.2 Not the best period to go
May 12/54 22/72 42/1.7 Good period to go Good period to go
June 16/61 26/79 27/1.1 Good period to go Good period to go
July 19/66 29/84 16/0.6 Good period to go Good period to go
August 19/66 29/84 34/1.3 Good period to go Good period to go
September 15/59 25/77 80/3.1 Good period to go Good period to go
October 12/54 20/68 96/3.8 Not the best period to go
November 7/45 15/59 66/2.6 Not the best period to go
December 4/39 12/54 67/2.6 Not the best period to go
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Perpignan and Montpellier International Airports

Montpellier Méditerranée Airport

The Montpellier Méditerranée Airport is located about 8 kilometres (5 miles) south-east of the city centre.
  • One terminal

Getting from the airport to Montpellier and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via the D66 and the D172.
    • There are four parking areas at the airport, for short, medium and long-term stays. From EUR 3.60 to EUR 6.10 for 1 hour, EUR 15 for 1 day.
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the arrivals hall.
  • By shuttle bus
    • Bus line 120 connects the airport with Place de l'Europe. The trip takes about 25 minutes and the fare is EUR 1.60 each way.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside the terminal. The trip to central Montpellier takes about 20-30 minutes and costs around EUR 30.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 67 20 85 00
  • Website: https://montpellier-airport.com/

Perpignan-Rivesaltes International Airport


The Perpignan-Rivesaltes International Airport serves the entire French administrative department of Pyrénées-Orientales. It is located about 5 kilometres (3 miles) north of Perpignan.
  • One terminal

Getting from the airport to Perpignan and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via the A9 motorway (La Catalane).
    • A parking facility with a total of 517 spaces is available (free for the first 15 minutes, EUR 3.60 for up to 1 hour, EUR 18 for 1 day, EUR 20 for 2 days and EUR 10 for each additional day).
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the arrivals hall.
  • By bus
    • Line 6 buses run every hour Monday to Saturday; 4 buses on Sunday and holidays. 30 minutes of travel time. A single ticket costs EUR 1.30.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside the terminal. The trip to central Perpignan costs around EUR 20.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +33 (0)4 68 52 60 70
  • Website: www.aeroport-perpignan.com/en

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GETTING AROUND Montpellier

Montpellier offers excellent public transport options. The city's buses and trams can get you almost anywhere, and run late into the evening. If your destination is not on the bus routes or tram lines, you can always take a taxi or walk. In fact, the city's entire historic centre, one of the largest in France, is a pedestrian zone.

Perpignan is a relatively compact city and most sights are within walking distance of each other. If desired, the city also has an efficient network of bus routes covering the entire metropolitan area.

Montpellier by bus

Montpellier has 36 bus routes covering the whole metropolitan area. One bus runs at night every day: the Amigo, which runs a circuit connecting destinations in the city centre with the night clubs and dance spots on the outskirts (on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.) One ticket costs EUR 1.60.

Montpellier by tram

With four lines serving the entire city, trams are an efficient way of getting around Montpellier. A single ticket costs EUR 1.60.

Montpellier by bicycle

Bicycles are an ideal solution for exploring Montpellier, which offers more than 137 kilometres (85 miles) of cycling paths. Bike lanes have even been set up on some of the city's sidewalks. Vélomagg, the city's public bike-sharing system, has 51 stations distributed throughout the city, along the routes taken by the buses and trams. The rental fee is just EUR 0.50 per hour.

Montpellier by taxi

Taxis are another option for getting around Montpellier. Expect to pay between EUR 10 and EUR 15 for a trip within the city centre.

Perpignan by bus

Buses are the most convenient mode of transport to travel both shorter and longer distances in the city and the surrounding area. The routes operated by Compagnie de Transports Perpignan Méditerranée (CTPM) serve all districts within the city as well as nearby towns. A single ticket costs EUR 1.20.

Perpignan by taxi

Taxis are a useful option for getting around Perpignan. A short ride in the city centre costs about EUR 10.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Montpellier or Perpignan, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Montpellier Tourist Office

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Perpignan Tourist Office

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Further information available online for visitors to France

The official website maintained by Atout France, the French tourism development agency, provides a wealth of information on Perpignan and Montpellier.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in France is the Euro (EUR).

£ 1 = € 1.09

€ 1 = £ 0.92

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. The cities of Montpellier and Perpignan count several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to France. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

There are no specific food safety risks. French government authorities promote good hygiene practices and put in place strengthened control procedures for sites especially frequented by tourists during the summer months.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Perpignan and Montpellier.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for France

As a general rule, a visa is required to enter France. Foreign nationals in the two categories listed below are not required to carry a visa for stays of 90 days or less:

  • Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss Confederation
  • Citizens or nationals of several other countries.

For stays of more than 90 days, a long-stay visa is required. Travellers from all other countries must be in possession of a visa, regardless of the length of their stay. Visa applications must be submitted to the nearest French Embassy or French Consulate in the country of permanent residence well in advance of departure. For further information, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.diplomatie.gouv.fr

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Useful addresses

Directory of foreign embassies and consulates in France

Contact information for the embassies and consulates of your country is accessible in the directory of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/le-ministere-et-son-reseau/annuaires-des-ambassades-et-consulats-etrangers-en-france

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Montpellier and Perpignan, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Montpellier or Perpignan a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour (morning)

Good evening: Bonsoir

Goodbye: Au revoir

Yes: Oui

No: Non

No, thank you: Non, merci

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup

Please: S'il vous plaît

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas

Could you repeat ?: Pouvez-vous répéter ?

What time is it ?: Quelle heure est-il ?

Sorry: Pardon
Excuse me: Excusez-moi

Airport: Aéroport

Train station: Gare

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hôtel

Hospital: Hôpital

Bank: Banque

Telephone: Téléphone

I'm (…): Je suis (…)

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…)

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ?

Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ?

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ?

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ?

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…)

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Good to know

+33
+ phone number (without 0)
1 : 00
of time difference with
London
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March

End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

Banks
Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (some branches stay open until 6 p.m.)
Government Offices
Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In Perpignan and Marseille, like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table. But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.

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