1. Saperlipopette Voila Enfantillages Children's Festival: This May event is devoted entirely to children and features entertaining theatre, artists, acrobats, jugglers, marionettists, musicians, clowns and dancers all for the little ones. The Children's Festival takes place at the Chateau d'O. Admission is roughly €1.50 and shows are at an additional cost.
2. Musee Fabre: Massively refurbished as recently as 2007, the Musee Fabre offers one of the best art collections in France. It includes works by local painter Francois Fabre (after which it was named) as well as Delacroix, Raphael, Jan van Steen and Veronese. The museum is open Tuesday - Sunday from 10am. Admission is approximately €5.
3. Montpellier Dance Festival: One of the best dance events in France, the Montpellier Dance Festival takes over nearly every venue in the city and includes performances by top notch troupes like the Ballet Atlantique, Ballet du Grand Theatre du Geneve and special events by some of the best choreographers in the world. The dance festival takes place for approximately two weeks from the end of June into July annually. Hours and admission varies.
4. Radio France and Montpellier Festival: This giant event is organized by Radio France and features a colossal variety of dance and music. Nearly 100 performances go off including plays, operas, symphonies and jazz concerts. And with a dedication to youth and vitality, the festival is bursting at the seams with action. The main venues are L'Opera Berlioz, L'Opera Comedie, La Cour des Ursulines, L'Espace Radio France and the Odysseum. Hours and admission varies.
5. Jardin des Plantes: A lovely garden was placed in Montpellier at the request of King Henry IV in 1593. It is the oldest, the most varied and beautiful in France. It includes a tropical greenhouse, an English garden and 19th century Orangerie among other things. You can often catch locals sunning on their break, tourists pursuing the sites and artists capturing the essence of the gardens daily. The Jardin des Plantes is open Tuesday - Sunday from 12am - 8pm (June 1 - September 30) and closes at 6pm October 1 - May 31.
6. Musee du Vieux Montpellier: This fascinating museum traces the history of the ancient southern France city from the Middle Ages onward. It includes furnishings, fashions and interior design from each century. There is also an additional museum located about the Museum of Old Montpellier, titled Musee Fougau that focuses on the region's folk history and language known as Occitan. Opening hours varies but admission is free.
7. Quartiers Libres Festival: Located in the pounding heart of Montpellier's cultural scene, the Quartiers Libres Festival brings out the best concerts, dance, exhibits and theatre of the year. The festival takes place in October. Hours vary. Admission is free.
8. Mediterranean Film Festival: Films from Portugal to the Black Sea are introduced and entered into the running of nearly €45,000 in prizes. The festival also aims at introducing many of these documentaries, experimental films, and shorts to mainstream European markets. The film festival takes place from October - November at various locations around Montpellier. Hours and admission varies.
9. Montpellier Wine Festival: In November and December, Place de la Comedie clears out its theatre audience and draws in nearly 40 wine produces and thousands of wine lovers from all over France. Of course there is the usual taste testing but the festival goes above and beyond with extras like a wine making course, book stands, other gastronomy samples and a third day blow out when nearby vineyards open up their secret cellars for even more tasting sessions. All proceeds benefit an AIDS charity. Hours vary. Admission is free.
10. Chateau du Flaugergues: This well groomed 17th century chateau provides a great place to amble the spacious gardens, enjoy a historic home and sample fine wine from the local vineyard. It has been handed down generation after generation in the Montpellier aristocrat family, the Flaugergues and also gives a great look at high society life in Montpellier through the years. The chateau is open daily except Sunday from 9:00am - 12:30pm and 2:30pm - 7:00pm. It is open for a handful of weekends in July and August from 2:30pm - 7pm.