A Travel Price Comparison for France Montpellier vs. La Rochelle for Food, Old Town, Couples, and Attractions

Should you visit Montpellier or La Rochelle?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Montpellier and La Rochelle. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Montpellier

Montpellier is a bustling, beautiful, and friendly city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the beaches, shopping, and museums.

La Rochelle

La Rochelle is a relaxing, laid-back, and quaint coastal town. As this is a charming small town, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. Other popular activities here include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Montpellier and La Rochelle: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for students


Is there more to do in Montpellier or La Rochelle?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in La Rochelle than Montpellier. While Montpellier is larger than La Rochelle, La Rochelle has more sights and attractions for tourists. La Rochelle is more popular for its food, hiking, and small town charm, while Montpellier is known for its beaches, shopping, and impressive beauty. Montpellier is popular for its relaxed atmosphere, grand boulevards, and authentic personality. La Rochelle is popular for its medieval towers, maritime history, and beautiful setting. It is also home to The Old Port.

How is Montpellier different from La Rochelle?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between La Rochelle and Montpellier. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Montpellier or La Rochelle?

Montpellier
La Rochelle

For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Montpellier or La Rochelle.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Montpellier. With such a long history, the city has many landmarks and monuments. Also make sure you visit Musée Fabre and Saint-Pierre Cathedral.

La Rochelle offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Filled with history, the town itself is like a living museum. Within town there are many sights such as the Vieux Port, La Rochelle Aquarium, Musée d'Histoire Naturelle, and Musée du Nouveau Monde de La Rochelle.


Is the Food Better in Montpellier or La Rochelle? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Montpellier
La Rochelle

La Rochelle is an unbeatable place for its restaurant scene. Also, Montpellier is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Eat your way through La Rochelle, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. It may be small, but its filled with delicious cafes, bistros, and local restaurants. Seafood is the obvious choice in this coastal town and many visitors head to Vieux Port to eat, as many restaurants there offer waterfront views. If you want something a little less touristy, head to the St. Nicolas District, which was the town's former fishing district. Rue de la Fourche is also a charming road with many places to grab a bite or a drink. Or head to Rue St Jean-du-Perot, which is just off the old port.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Montpellier. The dishes are made with fresh ingredients produced in the agricultural areas just outside of town. The area is known for its seafood and fish stews.

Is Montpellier or La Rochelle Better for Nightlife?

Montpellier
La Rochelle

It's hard to distinguish whether Montpellier or La Rochelle has a better nightlife scene.

Montpellier has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The weather is mild, making for a nice evening out. The population is also young, so you can expect a lot of activity during the evenings, particularly in the area around Place Jean Jaurés. Make sure you enjoy local wine and champagne while you're in town.

If you're looking for night time activities La Rochelle has a few options to choose from. While it's known as a peaceful, seaside town, you'll still find wine bars, pubs, and even a club or two around town.

Is Montpellier or La Rochelle Better for Beaches?

Montpellier
La Rochelle

Montpellier is great for the beache. Also, La Rochelle is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal town for the beach.

Montpellier is considered a top beach destination. The coastline near Montpellier feels pristine and beautiful. You can also visit Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone to the southwest of town, which is a protected area.

Many people head to La Rochelle to enjoy the beach. There are three main beaches in town that each attract a crowd on warm summer days. Plage de la Concurrence, Plage Chef de Baie, and Plage des Minimes are the closest beaches to La Rochelle, and they are popular for sunbathing and water sports. They have a mix of sand, pebbles, and cliffside views that attract locals and tourists alike.


Is Montpellier or La Rochelle Better for its Old Town?

Montpellier
La Rochelle

Visitors enjoy the amazing old town areas in both Montpellier and La Rochelle.

With a famous historical old-town, Montpellier offers plenty to see. Known as L'Écusson the town's old town dates back to the Middle Ages. It is a pedestrian area that is filled with boutiques, restaurants, and churches.

The rich history of La Rochelle can be explored in its historical center. The old town is filled with wandering cobblestone streets, charming squares, and cafes that spill into the street.

Is Montpellier or La Rochelle Better for Hiking?

Montpellier
La Rochelle

La Rochelle is a good destination for its hiking experiences. However, Montpellier is not a hiking destination.

La Rochelle offers some nice hiking trails. There are many coastal walks just outside of town that take you along the scenic coastline. It's beautiful to stroll through the countryside and pass through many quaint villages.

Montpellier is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Montpellier or La Rochelle?

Montpellier
La Rochelle

Montpellier is great for its shopping opportunities. Also, La Rochelle is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal town for its shopping areas.

Montpellier is well-known for its shopping. Head to Rue de la Loge for some of the city's best shopping.

Many visitors go to La Rochelle to go shopping. The old town is filled with boutique shops as well as some name brands. Another fun place to visit is Les Halles, which is an indoor market with fresh produce, seafood, and many local cheeses.


Is Montpellier or La Rochelle Better for Families?

Montpellier
La Rochelle

Both Montpellier and La Rochelle are good family-friendly destinations.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Montpellier. Popular activities for kids include taking a ride on the carousel in the Comedie, visiting the playground - Jardin Champs de Mars, and visiting the botanical garden - Jardin des Plantes.

La Rochelle offers lots of family activities. It's a coastal town with a port that you can explore. There's also an aquarium and many great seafood restaurants. A nice day trip is to go to l'Ile de Ré, which has nice beaches, some with playgrounds.

Is Montpellier or La Rochelle Better for Couples?

Montpellier
La Rochelle

La Rochelle is an unbeatable place for couples. Also, Montpellier is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

La Rochelle is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. This beautiful coastal town is seeped in history. There are beautiful squares, romantic parks, and cobblestone streets that you can wander down. It's also nice to take a coastal walk before grabbing dinner at a local seafood restaurant.

Montpellier is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. Rich in history and beautiful architecture, this city offers a romantic setting for a great couple's getaway.

Is Montpellier or La Rochelle Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Montpellier
La Rochelle

Montpellier is great for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, La Rochelle is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal town for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Montpellier. With a young population and a number of hostels to choose from, Montpellier attracts its share of backpackers.

La Rochelle is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There aren't a ton of hostels in the area, but there are just enough that you should be able to find a place to stay.


Is Montpellier or La Rochelle Better for Students?

Montpellier
La Rochelle

Montpellier is very popular for its student-friendly activities. Also, La Rochelle is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal town for students.

Many students frequent Montpellier. Montpellier is a popular university town that is home to many trendy university students. It's also where you'll find the youngest population of any city in France.

La Rochelle is a good city to visit for students. It's a touristy city with a lot for students to see and do, but the atmosphere is generally quiet and peaceful.

Is Montpellier or La Rochelle Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Montpellier
La Rochelle

Montpellier is great for times when you don't have a car. Also, La Rochelle is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal town for its public transit.

Public transit in Montpellier can get you to some places easily. There are a number of options for getting around town including the tramway, bus, and tourist train.

La Rochelle has a few public transit options. Public transit around town is operated by Yeló, and mostly consists of buses.

Is Montpellier or La Rochelle a more walkable city?

Montpellier
La Rochelle

Montpellier and La Rochelle both are superb when exploring on foot.

Montpellier is a very walkable destination. Many of the sights and attractions are easily accessible on foot and can be enjoyed as part of a self-guided walking tour.

La Rochelle is very walkable. It's filled with meandering cobblestone streets that are best explored on foot. Most places around town can be explored on foot.


For even more information, also check out Is Montpellier Worth Visiting? and Is La Rochelle Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in La Rochelle or Montpellier?

How long in Montpellier or La Rochelle?

It's fun to spend time in either Montpellier or La Rochelle. Generally, people tend to spend more time in La Rochelle due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Montpellier, and 2-4 days is enough time in La Rochelle.

Couples should spend more time in La Rochelle than Montpellier. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in La Rochelle that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Montpellier than La Rochelle if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Montpellier.


  • How many days in Montpellier or La Rochelle? Ideal Length of Stay
    Montpellier 1-3 
    La Rochelle 2-4

One day in Montpellier or La Rochelle?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the beautiful city of Montpellier. It's also a great beach destination, too. One day should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

La Rochelle is a small town with plenty to do. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Most people visit for the food. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A weekend in Montpellier or La Rochelle?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the beautiful destination of Montpellier. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

La Rochelle might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. This coastal town offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Montpellier or La Rochelle?

The beautiful city of Montpellier offers shopping and museums. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Because La Rochelle is a small town, it's easy to explore in a short amount of time. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.


A week in Montpellier or La Rochelle?

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Montpellier. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people come for the beaches. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Since La Rochelle is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people visit for the food. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in France, The Best 2-Week Tours in France, The Best River Cruises in France, and The Best Bicycle Tours in France.


Which place is cheaper, La Rochelle or Montpellier?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Montpellier is €118, while the average daily cost in La Rochelle is €114. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Montpellier and La Rochelle in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Montpellier 69
    La Rochelle 67
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Montpellier 138
    La Rochelle 134
Compare Hotels in Montpellier and La Rochelle

Looking for a hotel in Montpellier or La Rochelle? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Montpellier


Hotels in La Rochelle


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Montpellier Hotel Prices and La Rochelle Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Montpellier 26
    La Rochelle 17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Montpellier

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Montpellier:

  • Private Transfer from Sète Cruise Port to Marseille city hotels: $131
  • Transfer from Sète Port to Marseille Provence Airport MRS: $131
  • Arrival Transfer Montpellier Airport MPL to Cap d'Agde by Private Vehicle: $117
  • Montpellier Private Transfer from Montpellier city centre to Montpellier Airport: $74
  • Montpellier–Méditerranée Airport Transfer: $64
  • Departure Transfer Montpellier to Montpellier Airport MPL by Private Vehicle: $33
  • Arrival Transfer Montpellier Airport MPL to Montpellier City by Private Vehicle: $33

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Rochelle

Also for La Rochelle, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer from La Rochelle Cruise Port to Nantes Hotels: $88
  • Private Transfer from La Rochelle Port to Nantes Airport (NTE): $88

Is it cheaper to fly into Montpellier or La Rochelle?

Prices for flights to both La Rochelle and Montpellier change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Montpellier 31
    La Rochelle 34

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Montpellier

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Montpellier.

  • Guided Food Tour With Local Snacks and Wine: $91
  • Montpellier Food Tour: $93
  • From Pic Saint-Loup Wine and Food Tour: $102
  • Cooking workshop: $106
  • Private cooking class with specialized chefs Montpellier: $108
  • Fusion Food Cooking Class: $428

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Montpellier 12
    La Rochelle 13

Tours and Activities in Montpellier

Here are a few actual costs in Montpellier for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • CityTour and Photo Portraits Souvenirs in Montpellier: $38
  • Euric's Bow Quest Experience in Montpellier: $5.66
  • From Camargue and Salt Marshes Guided Tour: $84
  • From Half-Day Vineyard & Pic Saint-Loup Tour: $80
  • From Wine and Olive Tour: $75
  • Highlights of Sète : history, food and wine experience: $175
  • Legendary Montpellier, flexible legends and storytelling tour: $16
  • Montpellier - Private Historic Walking tour: $428
  • Montpellier Highlights Quest Experience: $5.66
  • Montpellier Private Guided Walking Tour: $308
  • Montpellier Private Walking Tour With A Professional Guide: $270
  • Montpellier Wine and Oyster Tour: $91

Tours and Activities in La Rochelle

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for La Rochelle.

  • La Rochelle : Discovery Stroll and Reading Walking Tour: $2.13
  • Gems of The Port Quest Experience: $5.56
  • Gems of the Port Quest Experience: $5.66
  • Entry Ticket to the 3 Towers: $12
  • La Rochelle Towers Entrance Ticket: $12
  • Les Minimes and Bay Boat Tour: $19
  • Guided tour of La Rochelle The splendor of merchants in the 18th century: $22
  • Planet Exotica entrance ticket: $23
  • Coastline Sailing Cruise: $28
  • La Rochelle : Catamaran Experience (2h00): $31
  • 2-Hour Sunset Sailing Cruise: $33
  • Catamaran Cruise: $33

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Montpellier 15
    La Rochelle 16

Sample the Local Flavors in Montpellier

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Montpellier:

  • Half day Camargue wine tour: fortified city and rosé wines: $80
  • The Châteaux of Grès de Montpellier & Wine Tasting: $80
  • Small group half day Camargue and rosé wine tour from Montpellier: $82
  • Small-Group Half-Day Châteaux of Montpellier Wine Tour: $84
  • Small-Group Half-Day Languedoc Pic Saint-Loup Wine Tour from Montpellier: $84
  • Wine tour in Pic Saint-Loup area: $142
  • Half-Day Wine Tour with Lunch: $155
  • Montpellier : half day wine tour in Camargue: $160
  • Private Half-Day Languedoc Wine Tour from Sète: $241
  • Sète: Private Half–Day Wine Tour: $353


When comparing the travel costs between Montpellier and La Rochelle, we can see that Montpellier is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Montpellier Expensive? and Is La Rochelle Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Montpellier or La Rochelle?

Montpellier has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of La Rochelle. When comparing the sizes of Montpellier and La Rochelle, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Montpellier or La Rochelle?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Montpellier or La Rochelle in the Summer?

Both La Rochelle and Montpellier during the summer are popular places to visit. The beaches and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Montpellier this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to La Rochelle for the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Montpellier is generally a little warmer than La Rochelle. Daily temperatures in Montpellier average around 23°C (73°F), and La Rochelle fluctuates around 20°C (67°F).

In La Rochelle, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Montpellier. In the summer, Montpellier often gets more sunshine than La Rochelle. Montpellier gets 351 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while La Rochelle receives 267 hours of full sun.

Montpellier usually gets less rain in July than La Rochelle. Montpellier gets 20 mm (0.8 in) of rain, while La Rochelle receives 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Montpellier 23°C (73°F) 
    La Rochelle 20°C (67°F)

Should I visit Montpellier or La Rochelle in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Montpellier and La Rochelle. Many travelers come to Montpellier for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, many visitors come to La Rochelle in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the small town atmosphere.

Montpellier is around the same temperature as La Rochelle in the autumn. The daily temperature in Montpellier averages around 15°C (60°F) in October, and La Rochelle fluctuates around 15°C (59°F).

Montpellier usually receives more sunshine than La Rochelle during autumn. Montpellier gets 187 hours of sunny skies, while La Rochelle receives 141 hours of full sun in the autumn.

Montpellier gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Montpellier usually receives more rain than La Rochelle. Montpellier gets 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain, while La Rochelle receives 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Montpellier 15°C (60°F) 
    La Rochelle 15°C (59°F)

Should I visit Montpellier or La Rochelle in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Montpellier as well as La Rochelle. Many visitors come to Montpellier in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, most visitors come to La Rochelle for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

In the winter, Montpellier is around the same temperature as La Rochelle. Typically, the winter temperatures in Montpellier in January average around 7°C (44°F), and La Rochelle averages at about 7°C (44°F).

In the winter, Montpellier often gets more sunshine than La Rochelle. Montpellier gets 147 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while La Rochelle receives 72 hours of full sun.

Montpellier usually gets less rain in January than La Rochelle. Montpellier gets 72 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while La Rochelle receives 81 mm (3.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Montpellier 7°C (44°F) 
    La Rochelle 7°C (44°F)

Should I visit Montpellier or La Rochelle in the Spring?

Both La Rochelle and Montpellier are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Montpellier for the beaches and the natural beauty during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to La Rochelle because of the beaches and the small town charm.

In April, Montpellier is generally a little warmer than La Rochelle. Daily temperatures in Montpellier average around 13°C (55°F), and La Rochelle fluctuates around 11°C (52°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Montpellier. Montpellier usually receives more sunshine than La Rochelle during spring. Montpellier gets 230 hours of sunny skies, while La Rochelle receives 187 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Montpellier usually receives more rain than La Rochelle. Montpellier gets 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while La Rochelle receives 47 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Montpellier 13°C (55°F) 
    La Rochelle 11°C (52°F)

Typical Weather for La Rochelle and Montpellier

Montpellier La Rochelle
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 7°C (44°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 7°C (44°F) 81 mm (3.2 in)
Feb 8°C (46°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 7°C (45°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)
Mar 10°C (50°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 9°C (48°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 11°C (52°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
May 16°C (61°F) 52 mm (2 in) 14°C (58°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Jun 20°C (68°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 17°C (63°F) 44 mm (1.7 in)
Jul 23°C (73°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 20°C (67°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Aug 22°C (72°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 20°C (67°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Sep 19°C (67°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Oct 15°C (60°F) 110 mm (4.3 in) 15°C (59°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Nov 10°C (51°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 10°C (51°F) 84 mm (3.3 in)
Dec 7°C (45°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 7°C (45°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)