Things to do in Montpellier when it rains

Looking for things to do when it rains in Montpellier? With kids in tow? Look no further. Here you’ll find a smattering of options for rainy days in Montpellier. While Autumn storms mean October normally has more rainfall than any other month, this is often concentrated in a handful of epic thunder and lightening shows. As such, December and January have more wet days than the Autumn. Here are a few options if you’re looking for something to do on those dreary overcast and drizzly days you came to Montpellier to get away from.


Gimme Shelter


Rainy days during school holidays growing up often meant one thing – a trip to the cinema. For expats in Montpellier seeking the shelter of cinema there are a few options. A personal favourite is Diagonal, a cinema just off the Comedie where almost all films are shown in their original language with French subtitles. For adults there is all the latest fare that leans towards the art house.


Kids are also well catered for, particularly during school holidays, with showings of classic and modern films. Entry for adults is €7 but and children under 13 will pay a little more than half that, depending on the showing. If you live in the area and plan to visit frequently we highly recommend buying a multi-visit card. These range from five to 15 films, with the cost per showing declining as the number of visits increases. A 15 visit pass works out at €4.20 a film and lasts two years. The same card can be used to pay for several people.


One Hour Photo


On the esplanade, just past the tourist office, is the Pavillione Populaire. The small building is on the right hand side as you come from the Comedie, setback from the main path. You’ll probably see photographs from the latest exhibition on placards before you come to the building itself. Each exhibition is based around a theme – Pittsburgh in the late 50s, for example – and while the quality is sometimes a little mixed, it’s always an enjoyable, thought-provoking way to while away an hour or so.


Even if you just do a brisk tour – merely pausing in front of photos and avoiding the video exhibitions – you can easily pass an hour out of the rain. As it’s just looking at photos and the occasional arty video it’s probably not the most thrilling place for kids but depending on their tastes their could easily be enough beauty and oddities to keep them amused. Even if you’re in doubt it’s worth a look as it’s free.


The Art of Getting By


Montpellier has several art galleries that are good places to visit on rainy days. The obvious one is the Musée Fabre, which makes some efforts to tailor it’s offering to kids rough use of interactive elements. Less obvious places include the deconsecrated church Sainte-Anne which is good for a quick visit and, on occasion, has featured interactive exhibits that kids loved. Other times however, it’s a much more hands off experience so it really depends what exhibit is there at the time.

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