Last Updated on 01/05/2021 by secretmoona
Last year, I visited Béziers on a day trip as part of a solo trip to Occitanie. I had always wanted to explore this ancient city. I have a liking for old architecture so Béziers was a place I desired to visit. With nearly 3,000 years of history, Béziers is rich culturally.
Béziers is situated in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France. It’s a perfect weekend destination with direct flights departing from the UK and the rest of France. Each street in this old town (one of the most ancient) tells a story. Béziers charms with its multiple sides: a peaceful town with a medieval feel: perfect for travellers looking for hidden gems. It might be too short to enjoy this ancient city in just one day, however, it is enough to visit the highlights. Let’s get started with the best things to do and see in Béziers in one day.
Stroll the Canal du Midi
The Canal du Midi which links Toulouse to the Méditerranée via Béziers is a remarkable work by Paul Riquet (a native of Béziers). Achieved in 1681, the river is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It can be explored on foot, by bike or boat. Having explored a bit of the canal in Toulouse, I understand why people are so in love with it and why each year thousands of people cruise the canal. It offers stunning scenery along the length of the banks. Lots of companies offer both hire boats or hotel barges so you can discover the region while peacefully navigating the waters. For a list of the cruise companies, check out Beziers Tourism.
If you are feeling active, take a hire bike and follow the trails along the canal and peruse on your own pace. Relax Bike Tours & Rentals and Urban Bike City Tour both offer guided or self-guided tours.
Get a view of Beziers from Cathedral St Nazaire de Beziers
You can’t miss Cathedral St-Nazaire, it’s seen from nearly everywhere in Béziers. The cathedral offers one of the best views of the city. From its square, you can look at the stunning countryside. And from the terrace, you can admire the town and the bridges across the river.
The cathedral was constructed in a gothic style in the fourteenth century. It’s located in the old medieval town and overlooks the Orb River.
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Take a walk around town
Béziers dates back to the pre-Roman times and as such, has numerous religious buildings, historical monuments such as a Roman Arena. As the old town is small, it is possible to take it on foot. The city has lots of narrow streets which make it perfect for a wander around. Don’t hesitate to follow your instinct and explore streets that look interesting. You will be bound to find something extraordinary. Throughout the years, Beziers has maintained a rich cultural heritage due to the fact that it was able to welcome different cultures, from Roman influences to northern African. It’s interesting to see how the city managed to mix the old part with the new. Stroll along the meandering streets of the old town, however, for entertainment, head over to Allee Paul Riquet, a big pedestrian lined with restaurants, cafes and shops.
Admire the old bridge
As you walk down from the cathedral and the narrow street, you reach the old bridge “Vieux Pont”. This bridge built back in the twelfth century in a Romanesque structure is one of the landmarks of Béziers. Today, to preserve it, the authorities have made it bike and pedestrian only. The other side of the old bridge leads you to the newest part of the town. During the summer or hot days, you can see people enjoying canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding from it.
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See the “9 Locks of Fonseranes”
The locks of Fonseranes are a series of 8 locks and 9 basins allowing boats to navigate at different hight. This technique was invented in the 17th century and still impresses people. It’s the third most visited sights in the region after Pont du Gard and Cité de Carcassonne.
Rest at the Poets Plateau
Located towards the end of Paul Riquet alley and opposite the train station is a well-designed garden called Poets Plateau or “PLateau des Poètes”. This typical French garden is surrounded by trees, has a lake, fountains and lovely flowers. It’s a nice place to relax before heading back to the train station or simply to enjoy a picnic.
Other things to do in Béziers
Experience Wine Tours and Tastings
When people think of wine production in France, they usually think of Bordeaux. But Languedoc-Roussillon actually produces more wine than Bordeaux. So if you are a wine lover, it would be a shame to visit Béziers without taking a wine tour.
Visit the Musée des Beaux Arts
Bézier’s Musée des Beaux Arts was founded in 1989 and is housed in Hotel Fayet, an old hotel. It houses an impressive collection of paintings from the 19th century including Delacroix. You will also find sculptures from European artists.
Attend the Beziers Feria
Béziers is busiest in August when the town holds the Feria, a festival based on Spain’s corrida. The town then takes on a festive atmosphere for four days as the streets are lined with food carts, pop up souvenir shops and live music.
When to visit Béziers?
Béziers is best visited during spring or autumn as there are fewer tourists and the weather milder. The city is relatively quiet before the mass start coming from June to August to coincide with the many festivals held in town. The busiest period is in August when the crowds descend for the famous Feria.
How to get to Béziers?
Getting to Béziers couldn’t be simpler with a good bus, train and motorway networks. The Béziers-Cap d’Agde airport is located only 15 minutes away from the city so easy to get to. The airport also offers shuttles and taxi services. Check out Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Béziers.
Getting around Béziers is pretty easy. You can either walk or hire a bike. Alternatively, you can rent a car and explore further from Béziers. The Mediterranean sea is less than 30 minutes away.
Where to eat in Béziers?
Béziers has many good places to eat. For lunch, try L’Opéra Bar. For something a bit lighter, you can opt for Cafe des Arts or Cafe Comedia in Allée Paul Riquet. Most cafes in that street serve Spanish-style tapas. If you are tight on a budget like I was, buy some cheese, baguette and salad and enjoy a picnic.
Where to stay in Béziers?
Although I only stayed in Béziers just for the day, the city would be an ideal destination for a long trip. If you are staying longer, you can stay in the city centre or in the surroundings. From Airbnb styled apartments to hotels through hotel barges, you will be able to find the best accommodation for your trip. See Booking.com selection here.
The charming town of Béziers is well worth a visit. Whether you are a nature lover, an architecture buff or into discovering lesser-known towns, Béziers will appeal to all.
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