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Montpellier is a city in the central south of France, about 750 kilometers south of Paris and only 170 kilometers from Marseille. It is the capital of Herault department and of the bigger Languedoc-Roussillon region. The city itself has just over 250,000 inhabitants while the greater metropolitan area has well over half a million people within its boundaries. It is located along the Lez river, about 10 kilometers inland from the Mediterranean coastline.
Montpellier is divided into 7 neighbourhoods. These are however subdivided into many sub-neighbourhoods. Only the main neighbourhoods are mentioned here:
Festival de Radio France et Montpellier - held in summer with mainly opera and music, focusing on classical genres and jazz music.
Montpellier, like much of the southern coastal area of France, has a typical Mediterranean climate with dry and warm summers (June - September) and generally mild but wetter winter months (December - March). Summer temperatures usually are around 28 °C to 32 °C but temperatures have been known to hit just over 40 °C during rare occasions. In winter, it's usually above zero, but occasional frost and even snow is not unheard off. May and September usually are good months to visit with agreeable weather and usually dry.
Montpellier Méditerranée Airport (international code: MPL) serves a number of flights. Several airlines only have seasonal or charter flights, while a number of airlines have permanent connections. Air France flies to Paris, Iberia to Madrid, Transavia to Amsterdam and there are lowcostairlines like Easyjet (London) and Ryanair (Bristol, London, Brussels, Frankfurt) that serve the city as well. There are even seasonal flights to Algeria and Tunisia. Domestic flights include Rennes, Figari and Ajaccio (both on Corsica), Nantes and Lyon.
French Railways connects Montepellier to the national railway network, including highspeed (TGV) trains to a number of bigger French cities.
Montpellier Tram network offers relatively new tram connections throughout the city, with the first line only being opened in 2000, the second in 2006 and the third will probably open around 2010.
|Hotel Majestic||4, rue du Cheval Blanc||Hotel||80|
|Hotel Prime||Parc Lapeyriere, Rue Robert Schumann 34130 Saint Jean de Vedas||Hotel||85|
|Le Lis Casa Blanca||55 Impasse des Neuf||Guesthouse||-|
|New Hotel Du Midi||22 Boulevard Victor Hugo||Hotel||-|
|Le Patio34||25 av Moulin de Tourtourel Laverune||Guesthouse||-|
|Hôtel Kalliste**||14, rue Boussairolles||Hotel||72|
|Hotel Balladins Superior||Route de Carnon Montpellier Airport||Hotel||77|
|Residence Hotel Le Milos||Chemin de la Pierre Bleue Castries||HOTEL||85|
|Le Clos des Olivettes||147, Rue des Olivettes Ste Croix de Quintillargues||Guesthouse||-|
|Amerique Hotel||7 avenue Frederic Fabrege Palavas les Flots||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel le Brasilia||9 bld Marechal Joffre Palavas les Flots||HOTEL||-|
France is one of the best connected countries in the world, with data speed for upload/download ranked among the top 5 in the world. Most hotels and hostels would have in-house facilities to provide free internet access. Many major cities also have initiatives put in place to provide free wi-fi connection in public spaces. Alternatively there are internet cafés available in most cities/towns at a reasonable rate. Some private businesses, such as local cafés (or even the Starbuck's chain), may also provide wi-fi connectivity - keep an eye out for the signs by the shop windows/doors. Also look for the @ symbol prominently displayed, which indicates internet availability. However, with most homes now wired for the internet, cyber cafés are increasingly hard to find, especially outside the major cities.
See also: International Telephone Calls
To dial an international number from France, the IDD is 00, followed by the country code that you wish to dial, the area code and the phone number.
To call France from abroad, start with the international direct dialing (IDD) code from the country you're in, followed by French country code 33, the area code (drop the first zero in front of the area code), and the phone number. French telephone numbers are rarely given without the area code. The telephone number, including the area code, is made up of 10 digits. They are written in a set of 5 pairs of digits (i.e. 01 xx xx xx xx xx).
In France, the area code designations are: 01 - Paris Area ("Région Ile-de-France"), 02 - northwest, 03 - northeast, 04 - southeast, 05 - southwest, 06 - mobile phone providers. From 2010 onwards, 07 will also be assigned to mobile phone providers in order to cater for the surging demands for mobile phones.
Emergency numbers are 15 (medical aid), 17 (police station) and 18 (fire/rescue). You can also use the European emergency number 112 (perhaps a better choice if you don't speak French). These calls are free and accessible from virtually any phone, including locked cellphones.
France uses the GSM standard of cellular phones (900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands) used in most of the world outside of the U.S. There are several companies (Orange, SFR, Free, Bouygues Télécom and some others MVNOs like Virgin Mobile) offering wireless service. The country is almost totally covered but you may have difficulties using your mobile phone in rural or mountainous areas. If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands. Then incoming calls and SMSes are free.
La Poste in France is also referred to as the PTT (short for postes, télégraphes et téléphones). The mailboxes are painted bright yellow and often there is a slot for local city mail and another slot for "outside mail". Normally there is a queue in the post office, but most of the post offices have the self service machine installed which is quite easy to operate. Nowadays many of the tabac and even some of the souvenir shops also sell postage stamps. Normally an overseas postcard costs almost as much as sending a letter. Mails sent in France also have a zip code. The first two numbers represent the administrative department (e.g. in Paris' case that would be 75).
Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Apart from the basic job of mailing letters, most of the post offices do some banking activities also and some even have photocopy machines and cyber cafes for internet access.
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