Montpellier is a Mediterranean city, which means that you can spend your evening (from aperitif till the morning comes) in the streets. Every bar, pub and restaurant has some tables just outside the door, and in the end you don't even know in which bar you're having a drink!
Just walk around and look for the place that suits you the best!
Cafe Joseph: The best bar in the world
This is by far my favorite bar in the entire world!
There is a huge area in front of the bar full of chairs and tables and tents where you can sit at day or night and watch people and have a drink. In the colder months there are heaters and in the warmer months there are fans. The bar is unique because it was built in old wine cellars. The owner of the bar did an amazing job incorporating the natural architecture of the vaulted ceilings into the club atmosphere with different colored lights accenting the vaulted stone ceilings.
This is really a wine and cocktail bar; although they do serve beer. (however, wine is cheaper and more effective anywhere you go in france)
They have their own dj who plays techno.
If you're posh enough, when you first walk in the door go straight to the stairs in front of you surrounded in glass. This will take you to a somewhat secret 2nd bar on the 2nd floor called L'etage. If you're not posh enough, you'll know, and probably be stopped by the doorman. You cannot bring any drinks from downstairs, upstairs. Upstairs drinks are more expensive but the atmosphere is worth it. There are several mod leather white couches and chairs. 2 rooms. There's a fireplace. Everything is white. There are huge windows that open up in the summer to the Place Jean-Jaures. and a beautiful tree in front of one of the windows that has beautiful flowers on it. This is where the more wealthy of Montpellier drink. You'll probably run into local celebraties here... Can anyone say "the rugby team"??
Dress Code: No sneakers!! Nice Jeans , Nice shirt, Nice shoes. For the 2nd floor (L'etage) I would recommend for girls: a little black dress, skirt or black pants, along with the appropriate accessories. Men: dress pants, or expensive looking jeans, good shirt, dress shoes. No coat or tie required.
You dont need to dress up if you're sitting outside.
See the pictures I attached for examples!
- Study Abroad
IDEM: Afterhours club
It's a student after hours club. So there'll only be young people... except for the random drunk old guy scamming on young chicks. This is the only other afterhours club/bar to go to in downtown Montpellier. Usually college students. It's a jungle theme downstairs so when you walk in, you feel like you're in a rainforest.... with loud music and booze.. upstairs is usually techno with a fog machine. There's also a sand pit upstairs... so if you feel like chilling, sit in the tikki hut and burry your feet in the sand. Downstairs there's a 70's style glass brick light up floor. hahaha it's probably worth the time just go dance one song on it.
The drinks are pretty cheap here.
Girls, dont feel bad about slapping or shoving away unwanted advances.
Dress Code: nice jeans nice shirt nice shoes. there's a coat check for 2 euro.
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Le Rockstore: Le Rockstore
This is really the only "real" club in downtown Montpellier. It's open until 4am 'ish. when you first walk in it looks just like a dirty biker bar, but then if you go through the 2 sets of double black doors, it opens up into a huge room with a stage. Everything is painted black. There are 3 bars in this section- one on each side of the entrance and then one further back on the left side of the stage. You can also go up the stairs on the left when you first walk in and there is another bar with a pool table, seating , and then a back dance room.
It's hard to describe the type of people that go here. It's a really wide variety. There are a lot of students and rockers. It's kind of dirty rocker vibe. There are shows that go on here so check ahead to see what type of music they're playing that night. If there's no show and you're a chick who wants to have fun and be left alone, climb up on stage and dance. The men will most likely leave you alone... and if they don't , just push/punch/ or kick them and they'll get the point.
It's a good place to be drunk. If you're not sure if you're drunk enough to go, look at the 2nd picture I have listed. That should pretty much clear up any questions you have.
Dress Code: I dont think there is a dress code... but there's a lot of dreadlocks!
- Study Abroad
I'm probably spelling that name wrong.
Another good place to go if you're planning on getting drunk. It's loud and crowded. You'll definately meet someone . It looks like it's just a hole in the wall, but once you go down the steps you'll see it's actually quite popular. If you're ever in the bar when it's not completely packed, you'll see that it's a nautical theme and it's supposed to ressemble a bar on a ship or something... but trust me, you're not going to see anything if you go on a weekend.
When you walk in the door, expect to get swept into something by the sheer mass of people around you. I think the last time I was there I got swept into some giant ring of people dancing a french folk dance to something... dont really remember, not sober. As I mentioned before, this is not a place to hang out sober because you're bound to get annoyed by the noise and crowd.
Their specialty is rum. So drink some. If you're "special" enough to go into their VIP room, dont feel that special. It's just a back room lined in wood with benches; enjoy the free booze though, but dont be surprised if one of the owners tries to grope you.
Dress Code: nice jeans. nice top. no sneakers.
Ive had some guy friends have a hard time getting in. No idea why.
- Study Abroad
This bar is located downtown right off La Comedie. The crowd is usually younger 18-22. The first floor is a bar and the 2nd floor is for dancing. It's probably the place to go if you want to get smashed and not give a *** who sees you do whatever it is you do when you're smashed. If that's the case, order a Giraffe. It's a long tube full of like 7 pints of beer or something. Share it with your friends and save some money. The bar is loud, it's always packed. Hold on to the railings when going down the stairs because it's pitch black except for the strobe light .. and strobe lights + lots of people+ alcohol= falling.
***Ok I cant figure out for the life of me how to get my pix off of webshots. So here's a link of my favorite bartender at L'oxymore http://travel.webshots.com/photo/1477067244066667310Ymsjvn ***
Dress Code: As in anywhere in france, don't look like a slob. Nice jeans, nice top, nice shoes. Cute girls can get in wearing a bag. Guys, on the other hand, are not getting in wearing sneakers.
- Study Abroad
Place de la Comedie: Students everywhere!
All the action, and being a university town theres plenty of it, centres around Place de la Comedie, the large square in the centre, with the usual mix of drinking places, including your inevitable Irish bars, and even a "London Bar" selling that swill London Pride, but my best memories were on match day when the whole town was apparently barred from serving beer because of the threat from the marauding english hooooligan, but we went upto the Mosson part of the city near the ground early and found the dingiest bar I think I've ever been in in some backstreet suburb where we drank copious amounts of cheap french lager all day - the bogs had juat a hole in th floor & no doors, and they served the most revolting sausages - could have been straight from the hole in toilet - but we had a great time and ended up nearer kick off in the Supporters Bar underneath the Stadium. No relooction of how the hell we got in there.
Apollo Cafe: Salsa again !
Great design and good dance floor. It's just a pity it's not bigger ! But anyway, we couldn't dance too much that night : Julie twisted her ankle on the first evening in Havana night, Alain couldn't move his arm because of a tendinitis, Pascal had an ingrown nail and I had a sea urchin in the foot (it's still there by the way ;-) So Stephane and Thierry were the only one who could dance properly !! But we couldn't resist the temptation and did our very best to enjoy the dance as much as we could ;-)
Havana Night: Salsa of course !
We were lucky enough to win invitations for a special salsa party when we arrived in Montpellier. I thank the staff of the website www.salsa-loco.com for that ;-), we had a great time dancing salsa and watching the teachers's shows. Great atmosphere and good dancers there !
O'Carolans: Another Irish pub...
There is a nice pub called O'Carolans that we went to one evening, watching Spurs on the TV. It had a nice atmosphere, was cheaper than the bars in Aix, and was well decorated. They hold a quiz night every Sunday, too.
Place de la Comedie: Place de la Comedie
As I mentioned before, it's a buzzing place where one is surely going to find a bar/restaurant to suit him/her! It's a great place to get to know people! Street entertainers especially in the summer time sets the mood right for anyone who wants to go out and have a good time.
So many young people means a...
So many young people means a lot of options where nightlife is concerned.
Bars are open till late and there are a few megaclubs out of the town area like la Nitro known in France for its techno music.
In the center, Le Rockstore is really cool with a stage and concerts and good music.
La Villa Rouge!!!: La Villa Rouge!!!
Although this is a gay club, it's an atmosphere that everyone can enjoy. Jump right in and feel the grooves, just steer clear of the dark hallways! ;)
Dress Code: Wear something you feel sexy in and can move around in. Comfy shoes are a must to dance til 5.
Australian café: Just as we're used to it
It's what you expect, and sometimes that's alright.
Going out is difficult in Montpellier, the best is to have a car, or to be willing to pay for a taxi.
Dress Code: None
- School Holidays
It should be near the...
It should be near the shoppingstreets in the centre of town, but I didn't really explore it. But I do know that you can go and see nice operas in the evening in the operahouse (l'opera).
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