4 Must-Sees of Béziers

Looking for a cute, small town in the south France? Béziers is a great option for a 1-2 night getaway. In the Most Ancient European Towns network, Béziers’ city center  enchants visitors with magical views from up on a hill. And don’t miss the trickling fountains! Here are our 4 Must-Sees of Béziers. (Keep an eye out for our HOT TIPS, as well!)

4 Must-Sees of Béziers

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1. Old town and Fountains

If you’re looking for a quiet and tranquil place, Béziers has gotcha covered. The city is over 2000 years old, but was entirely burned down to the ground, with its 20,000 citizens killed, during the Fourth Crusade in 1209. The city had to slowly build itself back up, reaching its prime in the 19th Century with the wine industry (and currently, wine tourism). In the 1820s, the entire city underwent a major renovation, creating the Old Town and surrounding areas that we see today. There are small boutiques with colorful clothing and woven purses, dozens of fountains topped with elegant nymphs or beautiful women, and miles upon miles of narrow cobblestone walkways. Most old towns are for shopping and afternoon entertainment, but Béziers’ old town is also for living, as many of the locals own apartments in the city center or possibly above their own small shops.

There isn’t a lot of wild nightlife, as this peaceful city offers has parks and recreational areas for children, oodles of restaurants and many small beautiful churches. In the main square, giggling children jump about in the splash fountains as their parents munch on pain-au-chocolate nearby. This is a wonderful city with much to explore. Béziers’ fountains are a lovely addition to this adorable town, as you find a fountain on at least every other block. There are small pathways and many beautiful sculptures all around, but especially leading to the cathedral.

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2. Saint-Nazareth Cathedral

The Saint-Nazareth Cathedral, a magnificently large Roman Catholic Church, was rebuilt in the 13th century after the destruction during the Middle Ages. Creepy gargoyles line this mighty building, quite the juxtaposition to the beautiful stained glass windows inside. The Saint-Nazareth’s architecture isn’t the only thing to admire in this part of town, however. The view off the side of the cliff is breathtaking, you can see for miles!

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3. Theater district

Béziers’ theater district is a long street packed with tents for tasty goodies and colorful souvenirs, perhaps similar to a small-town version of La Rambla in Barcelona. Shiny objects and tiny trinkets are sold for a quarter of their normal price, this street brings together the entire town with numerous restaurants and cafés to sit and relax. The shop windows are lovely with everything from trendy clothes to candy and wacky objects, such as giant purple dog statue, which I found simply hilarious. The Théâtre Municipal itself is quite small, seating only 500 people, but it is has a packed season, active from October-May and loved by locals and tourists alike.

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4. Féria de Béziers

For five hot August days, serene Béziers becomes packed with bull fighting fans as the Féria de Béziers begins. With a different theme each day, this lively event is a major contributor to the city’s economy. A colorful festival, the Féria attracts over a million people from all over the world, holding different events each day in the 13,100 seat arena on the east side of town. Built in 1905 by Fernand Castelbon de Beauxhostes, this modern structure holds concerts and guided tours when not hosting festival events. There is a second arena, but now in ruins and not well preserved. (See HOT TIP #2)

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HOT TIP #1

Take a taxi up the hill to old town, especially if you’re a woman. I’ll walk pretty much anywhere, but this is a whole different situation – 1km of deserted roads full of leering men and smoky restaurants with closed windows.The only thing you’ll miss is the Plateau des Poètes (pictured above) ,a park and community garden directly across from the train station, which is lovely. I’d recommend checking it out right before getting in a cab. Once you reach old town city center, the creepiness factor goes from 10 to 0. And bonus! If you take a cab or the bus, you don’t have to walk up a super steep hill, either! Win-win.

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HOT TIP #2

Skip the Roman remains of the old amphitheater (walled off, currently looks like a construction site dumping ground), and head over to Le Pont Vieux instead! Ancient and fragile, tourists love this beautiful old bridge that crosses over the River Orb. It is next to lush greenery, and sits very low to the river, as how many bridges were built during medieval times. You can find this ancient attraction down at the bottom of the hill, far below old town and the cathedral. It takes time, patience and great map-following to find it. Keep this in mind when planning your trip, as this magical experience should not be missed.

If you are looking for Roman remains in the south of France, make sure to pop by Arles, Nîmes and Narbonne.

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HOT TIP #3

Get your souvenirs in old town, because there are literally none at or around the train station – no supermarkets either. So if you have a long train ride, make sure to grab some food with your souvenirs up by the old town theater where there are supermarkets, souvenir stands and tobacco shops with postcards, magnets and keychains.

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Have you been to Béziers? What was your favorite part? Share below! Don’t forget to follow me!

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