Between the illustrious Place de la Comédie and the triumphal arch in Le Peyrou, the old districts of Montpellier have retained their narrow, winding roads, a remnant of the city's medieval plan. Since the 17th and 18th centuries, they have been lined with exquisite stately townhouses that hide their main façades and their remarkable staircases within their courtyards.
Set atop a hill that pedestrians today would hardly notice, the Écusson neighbourhood is the true heart of the old town, with its pink rooftops spread around the fortified cathedral. The yellow-tinted cut stone shines through the bright streets and the hidden squares, and against the façades of the grand townhouses built on former merchants’ quarters. Here, the locals meet up to have a drink on terraces, go shopping, or enjoy the cultural sites. The pedestrianised, historic centre of Montpellier is truly a place where joie-de-vivre reigns supreme!