A quick guide to living in…Gambetta

Gambetta is few peoples’ first choice when looking for accommodation in Montpellier. But if you’re willing to look beyond the buildings’ weathered façades there’s a lot to like about the area. Rent is cheaper than the centre, local shops cost less, and you’re just a few minute walk from the old town. Plus, with the arrival of the third and fourth tram lines it’s now better connected to the rest of the city and, some say, on the verge of gentrification. Whether this is a good thing is another matter.

 

Gambetta and neighbouring Figuerolles extend to the south-west of the centre of Montpellier. Architecturally the district is keeping in with the old town but a bit more spaced out and, to be honest, less attractive. Busy main roads such as Cours Gambetta run through the district and some of the buildings carry the grime of years of car fumes. This is all superficial though and inside the apartments are quite similar to the old town. Many flats in the area are recently renovated and as such can be better furnished than in the centre of Montpellier.

 

You also have easy access to cheaper, more diverse groceries. Most shops in the old centre sell similar vegetables and herbs but Gambetta, with its strong North African influence, is a little more interesting. If you’ve a craving for spices then Gambetta’s your best bet. There are also many decent halal butchers selling meat at a fraction of the price that’s charged in more central shops and markets. Homeware and toiletries are also very competitively priced.

 

As well as being well located for going into Montpellier for a night out, the area also has some decent bars of its own, such as Pleine Lune which lies between Gambetta and Figuerolles. The bar has nightly live music, spanning reggae, soul, and a host of other genres, as well as a terrace.

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