Is Montpellier Safe? The Ultimate Safety Guide for 2024

While I’ve been an expat in France for over six years, my first trip to this magnificent country was in 2012.

Since then, I’ve traveled to the most incredible places. One city that captured my heart was Montpellier, so much so that I visited more than once.

I loved wandering Montpellier’s historic center – Écusson, browsing Les Halles Castellane, and touring the Musée Fabre.

But, as the second largest city in the Occitanie region, the question of safety always comes to mind.

So, is Montpellier safe?

In this post, I’ll share with you the ultimate safety guide to Montpellier. I’ll cover crime rates, tips on how to stay safe, and what to watch out for.

Is Montpellier Safe to Visit? In this safety guide I'll cover everything you need to know so you can plan an incredible trip.
Is Montpellier, France Safe?

Is Montpellier Safe?

To answer your question – Yes, Montpellier is safe!

I visited crowded attractions, used the tram, and walked around early in the morning and late at night. And I never felt unsafe during any of my trips to Montpellier.

The locals were friendly, and the atmosphere was relaxed, like most cities in southern France.

But, like any destination, there are certain precautions you’ll want to keep in mind.

This is the the carousel in Place de la Comédie in Place de la Comédie. There are people on it, but it's stopped. The lights are also on. It's adjacent to a tall building. There are two people walking to the left of it.
Place de la Comédie

The biggest problem is petty theft like pickpocketing and bag snatching, especially in busy areas like Place de la Comédie.

But, even then, Montpellier is an underrated destination, so the crowds were nothing like I experienced in Paris.

According to Numbeo, Montpellier’s crime index is moderately high at 62 out of 100, with 100 being the most dangerous.

If you compare that to the safety in Lille or Strasbourg, that’s much higher. But I would argue that it’s based on reputation rather than reality.

I’ve traveled all over France, and I would say the overall feeling of safety is similar to Lyon.

I kept my valuables close to me and didn’t carry large amounts of cash, and I didn’t have any problems.

Safety Tips for Montpellier

Now, I’ll go over the safety measures you can take to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Montpellier.

1. Getting Around Montpellier Safely

This is a photo of two trams parked at the Observatoire tram station in Montpellier. There are people walking raound and getting on and off each tram.
Observatoire Tram Station

Montpellier has a great public transportation system, with a reliable tram and bus network.

If you’re in town for three days, you’ll likely take the bus or tram at least once.

I, personally, used the tramway the most.

But, before I did, I familiarized myself with the stations prone to pickpockets, like Gare Saint-Roch, Comédie, and Place de l’Europe.

I also put all my valuables (phone, wallet, and camera) in my bag, so they were out of sight before I boarded. But that’s something I do in every city I visit, even in Strasbourg where I live.

I’ve also lived in big cities like Paris, so I know how to avoid pickpockets and the precautions to take.

If you’re not used to public transport, I recommend staying vigilant until you feel comfortable.

I also explored Montpellier on foot. It’s the best way to visit the historic center – Écusson.

There are so many hidden streets like Rue des Gagne Petit and Rue des Étuves that I would have missed if I had used only public transport.

I even walked from Place de la Comédie to Promenade du Peyrou to watch the sunrise and had no problems.

2. Beware of Petty Theft

This is a photo of my passport. I always keep a hard copy and a digital copy with me wherever I travel.
Digital Photo of My Documents

Petty theft including pickpockets and bag snatching is the most common form of crime in Montpellier.

Based on my experience, here’s what you can do to protect yourself:

✓ Be aware of your surroundings. Prime locations for pickpockets are Place de la Comédie, Esplanade de l’Europe, and the Montpellier Saint-Roch train station.

✓ Opt for a rear-access backpack. My go-to is the Wandrd Prvke 21L. I’ve had it for five years and it’s the most secure backpack I’ve ever used. It has a rolltop and a rear zipper, making it impossible for anyone to get into my bag (at least without me noticing).

✓ Don’t flash valuable items. I make it a point to keep my phone tucked away in my pocket. And, if I get lost, I stop in a café or store to check Google Maps.

✓ Digitize essential documents. I store electronic versions of all my important documents on the cloud. If they get lost or stolen, I know I have a copy that I can access from anywhere.

✓ Keep original and digital receipts for valuable items. I keep both physical and digital copies of receipts for expensive items. It simplifies the process of filing insurance claims.

3. Respect Local Customs

This is an outdoor terrace in Montpellier. People are sitting at tables talking quietly to each other.
Speak Quietly at Restaurants

As with any place I visit, I learn about the local customs and culture beforehand, so I am respectful and avoid offending anyone.

In Montpellier, the easiest thing you can do to show respect is to greet people with a simple “Bonjour” (hello) or “Bonsoir” (good evening).

Helpful Tip: Whether you’re dining at a restaurant or shopping at a local market, saying hello goes a long way.

Then, if you come from a culture that speaks louder, like me, speak softly and avoid raising your voice, especially in restaurants.

In France, meals are a time for people to gather and enjoy each other’s company. So, if you’re dining out, don’t speak louder than the table next to you. If you do, you’ll likely get a few stares from locals.

4. Avoid Certain Areas at Night

This is Quai de Verdanson. It's a long tunnel with a small canal full of water running down the center. On either side there are tall concrete walls covered in graffiti and urban art.
Quai de Verdanson

Like in any city, certain areas are known to be less safe at night.

I found most neighborhoods in Montpellier to be safe at night. I walked alone in areas like Place de la Comédie, Promenade du Peyrou, and Esplanade de l’Europe and encountered no issues.

The only area I felt unsafe was Quai de Verdanson. It’s a long (mostly) underground tunnel known for graffiti. While you can view sections of it from the street, I wanted to check it out up close.

I entered near the tram stop Les Aubes and turned around after about one mile (1.6 kilometers). Some sections were completely dark, and sketchy people lurked in the shadows.

I also visited other sections during the day and still felt unsafe.

Instead, I recommend following the quay from the streets above it. There are several spots where you can have a bird’s eye view. It’s much safer than walking through the tunnel.

5. Stay Hydrated

This is a photo of Promenade du Peyrou on a hot summer day. I took this photo early in the morning before the temperatures got too hot.
Promenade du Peyrou in Summer

Montpellier can get hot in the summer. In July and August, temperatures can reach up to 28 degrees Celsius (83 degrees Fahrenheit).

While that doesn’t seem hot, if you walk around all day sightseeing, it’s easy to get dehydrated.

My first visit to Montpellier was in August, and I always had two liters of water with me. Even then, I had to stop and buy a bottle of Powerade on some days.

Helpful Tip: If the forecast predicts high temperatures, I recommend waking up early before the afternoon heat hits.

Safest Areas to Stay in Montpellier

This is Place Michel Rocard in Port Marianne Neighborhood in Montpellier. There are bushes surrounding the Bassin jacques Cœur and in the center there is a fountain. Then, in the distance, there are tall modern buildings.
Port Marianne

If you’re going to visit Montpellier, you’ll find there are plenty of great neighborhoods.

Below I’ve complied a list of the safest areas to stay:

✓ Écusson – This is Montpellier’s historic center, and it’s one of the safest areas in town. There are always people around. Plus, it’s close to everything.

✓ Antigone – This is where I stayed on my second visit to Montpellier. It’s a modern district that’s well-connected by public transportation. There are also lots of restaurants and hotels, making it a convenient area to stay in.

✓ Beaux-Arts – This is Montpellier’s artsy district. It’s further from the city center, but still easily accessible by public transportation.

✓ Port Marianne – This is where I stayed on my first visit to Montpellier. It’s a modern neighborhood that has everything you’ll need. It’s far from the center, but there are several tram stations nearby.

Important Emergency Information

The first thing I do when I visit a new city is save the emergency numbers on my phone.

Here is a list of the ones you’ll need in Montpellier:

✓ European emergency number: 112

✓ Ambulance service: 15

✓ Fire service: 18

✓ Police: 17

✓ Police station in Montpellier: +33 4 67 34 88 30

✓ Gendarme station: +33 4 67 99 45 70

The closest US Embassy to Montpellier is in Paris. The phone number is +33 (0)1 43 12 22 22.

But, if you have any concerns before or during your visit, I recommend checking the US Government Travel Advisory website.

Conclusion: Is Montpellier Safe?

Montpellier is generally a safe city for tourists and residents alike. But, like any destination, it’s always important to stay aware of your surroundings and take precautions.

The crime rate is moderately high, but I didn’t feel in danger during my visits.

Now that you know Montpellier is a safe place to visit, it’s time to plan your trip.

Why not start by booking your plane ticket and reserving your hotel?

Read More Articles About France

I hope you enjoyed my post and found it helpful. Here are some other articles that I think you might find interesting.

Jen Ciesielski
Jen Ciesielski

Jen Ciesielski is the creator of Dabbling in Jet Lag. She has lived abroad for over ten years, traveled to more than 50 countries, and speaks French and English fluently. Her areas of expertise include moving abroad, learning languages, and travel planning. Originally from the United States, she now lives in France, where she has been for more than six years. She has also traveled extensively around the country. She shares her experiences as an expat living in France and helps thousands of people plan their trips every month.

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