Montpellier Travel, France. Tourism. Graceful and easy-going, Montpellier is a stylish metropolis with elegant buildings, grand hôtels particuliers (private mansions), stately boulevards and shady backstreets, and gorgeous white-sand beaches on its doorstep. Unlike many southern towns, Montpellier has no Roman heritage. It was founded in the 10th century by the counts of Toulouse and later became a prosperous trading port as well as a scholarly centre Europe’s first medical school was established here in the 12th century. The population swelled in the 1960s when many French settlers left independent Algeria and relocated here, and it’s now France's fastest-growing city and one of its most multicultural. Students make up over a third of the population, giving it a spirited vibe. Montpellier is a cosmopolitan city that never fails to attract visitors, thanks to its vibrant atmosphere, popular tourist attractions, rich heritage and innovative architecture. Montpellier has a huge student population, amounting to a quarter of the total population of the city, all of which adds to its vitality. Montpellier's growing popularity as a holiday destination can also be explained by the wide variety of tourist attractions on offer. From historic mansions and religious buildings to horse-drawn carriage rides and family entertainment, there's plenty to keep the whole family amused.