Montpellier is home to over 250,000 people (excluding the wider metropolitan area, with double that number), with a significant population of expatriates, and boasts a historically large Spanish population in particular. The city has long been associated with a diverse population; in the 1960s, its numbers were greatly boosted by migration from North African countries, such as Algeria. The city itself is built upon a 'naked hill', with the French term 'mont pelé' allegedly the inspiration for Montpellier's moniker. Montpellier is divided into seven neighborhoods: Montpellier-centre, Croix-d'Argent, Les Cévennes, Mosson, Hôpitaux-Facultés, Port-Marianne and Prés d'Arènes.
As with many historic European cities, much of Montpellier's allure can be found in its 'old town'. Those of a religious disposition may want to pay homage at Saint Pierre Cathedral, while those who appreciate architecture will appreciate the 17th–19th century buildings situated along Rue Foch and the Place de la Comédie. Further along, you'll find the Porte du Peyrou, a triumphal arch built over a century before its more famous cousin in Paris.
Expats moving to Montpellier will find a city with a Mediterranean climate, meaning that summers are warm and dry, with the months June to September being particularly hot. The city experiences moderate winters, in line with the rest of southern France, making it an ideal location for expats and tourists from more northerly European nations. The average high temperature in summer is around 29°C, with spring seeing the mercury hit a more pleasant 18–22°C. Rainfall outside of the autumn and winter months is relatively rare, with October being the wettest month.
Various visas for entry to the country are available, depending on where the visitor is from and how long they intend to stay. Those from EEA Member States or Switzerland do not require a visa, and their stay in the country is not limited to a particular amount of time, as per European Union regulations.
Citizens of countries outside of the above areas will be required to obtain a Schengen visa, which covers short stays of under 90 days. Schengen visas allow for holders to travel freely across civilized Schengen areas of Europe,. Those who wish to live and work in France will need to apply for a long-stay visa. Further information can be found in our guide on Moving to France, or on the France Diplomatie website.