Sometimes the best way to pick a place for a drink is just to wander around the little streets here in Montpellier and see where looks like it has a good atmosphere. You can risk falling into a tourist trap this way (I would steer clear of the bars in Place de la Comédie for example), but equally you can find some really nice spots for a drink, especially outside on the café terraces where it’s warm enough to sit most of the year. My host family recommended the Place Jean Jaurès to me, where a lot of students head in the evenings. There are loads of bars around here, most of which are reasonably priced, so it’s always pretty lively and gets fuller and fuller as you head towards the weekend. I also love the bars around the Eglise saint Roch; it’s maybe my favourite place in Montpellier, pretty and calm during the day, and then always with a good atmosphere at night, with groups of people sitting in front of the church or playing live music.
Nice cocktails, good music and a fun vibe makes Cubanito’s a student favourite here in Montpellier. Earlier in the night, Cubanito’s is more of a bar, but as it gets a bit later people start to move to the dance floor. The Erasmus groups also organise karaoke nights here from time to time, which are always a lot of fun and give you the opportunity to meet other international students outside of ILA French language school. Expect to hear a lot of ABBA and Queen these nights however!
This is known as the ‘cheap wine bar’ amongst students from ILA. And, it lives up to its name – a glass is under 2 euros, not bad for those on a student budget! Most of the seating is outside, and it’s always full of students taking advantage of the cheap wine and free crisps. They also have card games and Uno inside the bar, which are great for bigger groups of people.
As the name suggests, this is an English pub. It has that classic cosy vibe, and is perfect for when it starts to get a bit colder here in Montpellier. I’d recommend the pub quiz, which takes place every Tuesday at 9pm, as the pub is always full and everyone is in good spirits. The questions are read out in both French and English, so it’s even an opportunity to learn French outside of your French courses.
The Australian bar
This is a classic spot for people from ILA French language school. The Australian, actually called café Oz, is maybe the best club in Montpellier. It’s in Antigone, which can seem far when you’re in the centre of town, but it’s only a few minutes with the tram 1. Whereas some of the other clubs are only lively at the weekend, the Australian is bound to be full pretty much any day of the week. A lot of people from ILA go on Mondays, but make sure that you’re still on form for your French classes the next morning!
The staff are super lovely here, and the wine and beers are not too expensive either. I ordered a glass of red wine and it came in a goblet which looked like it came straight out of Harry Potter. At the back, there is a heated garden area, perfect for when it starts to get colder. Although it’s an Irish bar, it’s still quite popular with locals, so meeting people here is a good opportunity to practise your French!