A Travel Price Comparison for France Montpellier vs. Lyon for Old Town, Families, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Montpellier or Lyon?

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 Lyon. 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 friendly, historic, and vibrant city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the beaches and shopping.

Lyon

Lyon is a beautiful, cultural, and quaint city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. As it offers a special and quaint atmosphere, visitors come from all over to experience this destination. Other popular activities here include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

How is Montpellier different from Lyon?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Montpellier or Lyon better for its Old Town?

Visitors enjoy the old town areas in both Montpellier and Lyon.

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.

Lyon offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. This impressive old town climbs from the river into Fourvière Hill. It's a Renaissance era district with beautiful buildings and plenty of character. You can spend days wandering the quaint streets and popping in the world class restaurants.


Is Montpellier or Lyon better for Shopping?

Shopping in a popular activity in both Lyon and Montpellier.

Browsing through shops is a popular activity in Montpellier. Head to Rue de la Loge for some of the city's best shopping.

Lyon is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. The city has many trendy markets, pedestrian shopping areas, and character-filled boutiques. From the charming shops in old town to the chic shopping streets, there are plenty of places to splurge around town.

Is Montpellier or Lyon better for Families?

Both Montpellier and Lyon are 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.

Lyon is a very kid-friendly city. The city has many kid-friendly museums including Musée des Confluences and the Cinema and Miniature Museum. There are also playgrounds, patisseries, and river cruises that you can enjoy as a family. Puppet shows are also fun, but do note that they're usually in French. While the restaurants are amazing for adults, it can be tricky to find a kid-friendly option with early opening hours that are convenient for little ones.

Is Montpellier or Lyon better for Couples?

Montpellier and Lyon both fun destinations for a couple.

Couples visit Montpellier frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Rich in history and beautiful architecture, this city offers a romantic setting for a great couple's getaway.

Lyon is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples can enjoy wandering the beautiful Old Town, taking a river cruise, and dining on some of the best food in France.

Is Montpellier or Lyon better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Montpellier and Lyon are comparable places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

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

Lyon is a great city to visit for backpackers. The city has several hostels and a number of activities that are fun for budget travelers and backpackers.


Is Montpellier or Lyon better for Students?

Montpellier and Lyon are comparable places to visit for students.

Montpellier is a very popular place to visit for students. 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.

Lyon is a great destination for students. It is a very livable city with many fun cultural activities for students. There are many different entertainment options during the day, and during the evening there are plenty of places to hang out.

Is Montpellier or Lyon better for Public Transit?

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Montpellier and Lyon.

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

Public transit in Lyon is top-notch. The city has a metro, trams, and buses, that make it easy to get around.

Is Montpellier or Lyon a more walkable city?

Montpellier and Lyon both are comparable 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.

Lyon is a very walkable city. The old town is particularly walkable, but the hills can make things a bit challenging. There are also a number of pedestrian streets around town.

Montpellier and Lyon: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere


Should I spend more time in Lyon or Montpellier?

How long in Montpellier or Lyon?

In either Montpellier or Lyon, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Lyon than Montpellier because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Montpellier is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Lyon is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Montpellier or Lyon? Ideal Length of Stay
    Montpellier 1-3 
    Lyon 2-5

One day in Montpellier or Lyon?

Visitors enjoy the shopping when visiting the destination of Montpellier. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. One day is usually enough time for a trip here.

Lyon is a historic city where you can fill many days. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire area has lots to do.


A weekend in Montpellier or Lyon?

Montpellier is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It's also a great beach destination, too. A weekend is often enough time to spend here. The entire area has lots to do.

Lyon is a authentic big city where you can fill many days. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend here 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 Lyon?

You'll find shopping around the bustling destination of Montpellier. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Lyon is a historic city where you can fill many days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Montpellier or Lyon?

The historic city of Montpellier offers shopping. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Lyon. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which city is cheaper, Lyon or Montpellier?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Montpellier is €84, while the average daily cost in Lyon is €100. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Montpellier and Lyon in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Montpellier 45
    Lyon 42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Montpellier 90
    Lyon 84

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Montpellier 21
    Lyon 14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Montpellier

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Montpellier:

  • Departure Transfer Montpellier to Montpellier Airport MPL by Private Vehicle: $26
  • Private Transfer: Montpellier Airport (MPL) to Montpellier: $62
  • Private Transfer: Montpellier to Montpellier Airport (MPL): $62
  • Montpellier Private Transfer from Montpellier city centre to Montpellier Airport: $84
  • Transfer Montpelier Airport to Nimes City or Nimes Airport: $224
  • Transfer Montpelier Airport to Avignon: $411

Typical Local Transportation prices in Lyon

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Lyon:


  • Funiculaire
    5.20
  • Hop-on Hop-off Tourist Bus
    19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lyon

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lyon:

  • Airport Lyon - private VIP transfer to Megève on Mercedes V-class: $649
  • Airport Lyon - private VIP transfer to Morzine on Mercedes V-class: $683
  • Airport Lyon - private VIP transfer to Tignes on Mercedes V-class: $683
  • Airport Lyon - private VIP transfer to Val-d Isere on Mercedes V-class: $702
  • Courchevel: Lyon Airport (LYS) Private Transfer: $728
  • Departure Private Transfer Lyon City to Lyon Airport LYS by Business Car: $66
  • Departure Private Transfer Lyon City to Lyon Airport LYS by Luxury Van: $87
  • Departure Private Transfers from Lyon City to Lyon Airport LYS in Business Car: $95
  • Departure Private Transfers from Lyon City to Lyon Airport LYS in Luxury Van: $103
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Grenoble-Isère Airport to Lyon City - One Way: $284
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport to Lyon City - One Way: $124
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Lyon-Bron Airport to Lyon City - One Way: $65

Is it cheaper to fly into Montpellier or Lyon?

Prices for flights to both Lyon 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 25
    Lyon 33

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Montpellier

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

  • Montpellier countryside dinner with local food & wine: $81
  • Vintage private wine and food tour from Montpellier: $180

Typical Food prices in Lyon

Some typical examples of dining costs in Lyon are as follows:


  • Pastry
    1.70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lyon

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

  • Lyon Old Town Walking Guided Food Tour: $68
  • Lyon 2.5-Hour Dinner Cruise: $72
  • Lyon Old Town Half-Day Walking Food Tour with Local Specialties Tasting & Lunch: $93
  • Lyon Old Town Five Tasting Stops Walking Food Tour with Lunch: $108
  • Lyon Quais Saint Antoine Private Gastronomic Food Tour: $111
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Lyon: $137
  • Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse Food Tour: $217
  • Food tour in Lyon: $258
  • Secret Food Tours Lyon w/ Private Tour Option: $296
  • Lyon Food Tour: $880
  • Lyon Food Tour: $880

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Montpellier 9.71
    Lyon 16

Tours and Activities in Montpellier

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

  • Private Montpellier Ghost Tour: Haunted City Center Exploration Game: $4.96
  • Noilly Prat Vermouth Cellar Tour and Tastings in Marseillan: $22
  • Montpellier Self-Guided Walking Tour with Qula City Trails: $36
  • Vermouth and Gastronomy Tasting Tour in Marseillan: $39
  • Montpelier Discovery : Big Historic Tour - 1h30: $50
  • Segway Tour of the Old and New Montpellier: $62
  • the winetour from montpellier to pic saint loup: $68
  • Small-Group Half-Day Languedoc Wine and Olive Tour from Montpellier: $73
  • Taste of Montpellier Food and Sighseeing Tour: $81
  • Small-Group Half-Day Languedoc Wine and Oyster Tour from Montpellier: $86
  • Pic Saint Loup Winetour & food: $100
  • Private day tour to Sète and Bouzigues : culture, food & wine: $111

Typical Entertainment prices in Lyon

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Lyon are as follows:


  • Lunch for 2
    45

Tours and Activities in Lyon

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Lyon are as follows:

  • Vieux Lyon Cultural & Historical Walking Guided Tour (English): $3.82
  • Lyon City Historic Neighborhoods Guided Walking Tour (English): $3.82
  • Haunted Lyon City Exploration Game & Tour: $5.66
  • Private Lyon Ghost Tour: Haunted City Center Exploration Game: $8.70
  • Lyon Croix-Rousse City Tram Tour with Audio Guide: $11
  • Lyon Museum of Cinema Miniature Admission Ticket: $12
  • 1 or 2-Hour Pedicab tour of Lyon: $31
  • 2-Hour Highlights E-Bike Tour: $34
  • Lyon Small-Group Guided Electric Bike Tour with a Local Guide: $37
  • Lyon Like a Local Customized Private Guided Tour: $38
  • Lyon Highlights & Secrets Walking Guided Tour (small group) including Funicular: $41
  • 2-Hour Day or Night Pedicab Tour: $41

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Montpellier 12
    Lyon 19

Sample the Local Flavors in Montpellier

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

  • Hike to the top of "Pic Saint Loup" and a wine tasting: $68
  • Small-Group Half-Day Languedoc Pic Saint-Loup Wine Tour from Montpellier: $81
  • Small-Group Half-Day Châteaux of Montpellier Wine Tour: $81
  • Private tour: Exclusive Wine Tour in Languedoc from Montpellier: $336

Typical Alcohol prices in Lyon

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Lyon from other travelers:


  • Drinks for 2
    6.80
  • Bottle of Wine
    15

Sample the Local Flavors in Lyon

Also in Lyon, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Northern Rhône Valley Cheese & Wine Tasting Half Day Tour from Lyon: $111
  • Lyon Old Town Food & Wine Tasting Tour including a Bouchon Lyonnais: $112
  • The Original Syrah Wine Tour - Afternoon - Small Group Tour from Lyon: $114
  • The Original Syrah Wine Tour - Morning - Small Group Tours from Lyon: $114
  • Beaujolais Gourmet Wine Tour with Tastings from Lyon: $123
  • Macon & Beaujolais Wine Tour - Full Day - Small Group Tour from Lyon: $147
  • Cotes du Rhone Wine Tour - Full Day - Small Group Tour from Lyon: $153
  • Northern Rhône Valley Day Tour with Wine Tasting from Lyon: $160
  • Burgundy South of Region Small Group Day Tour with Local Wine Tasting from Lyon: $160
  • Beaujolais Region Vineyard Day Tour with Wine Tasting from Lyon: $160
  • Côte-Rôtie & Vienne Region Roman History with Wine Tasting from Lyon: $243
  • Rhône Valley Terroir Private Tour with Local Cheese & Wine Tasting from Lyon: $280


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Montpellier and Lyon, we can see that Lyon is more expensive. And not only is Montpellier much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Montpellier would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Montpellier and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Lyon would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Lyon than you might in Montpellier.

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Montpellier vs. Lyon Travel Comparison

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