Béziers is a town in Languedoc in the south-east of France. It is perfectly situated for excursions into the Haut Languedoc, a rugged and untamed mountainous region of picturesque stone villages and cascading mountain streams. Best know for its wine and bullfighting.
Bypass the ring of shopping centres and hypermarkets that surrounds Béziers and instead make a beeline for the streets around the theatre. This charming area of the Old Town is a jumble of patisseries, boulangeries and boutiques – don’t miss the covered market at the Place Pierre Sémard, which is open every morning of the week except for Mondays. For a more concentrated selection of high-street shops and designer stores, wander down to the recently opened Polygone shopping centre (3 Carrefour de l'Hours) near the station. This shiny glass structure is a temple to the gods of retail, hosting everything from a bowling alley and theatre to upmarket fashion boutiques.
Food & Drink
The best restaurants in Béziers combine the French passion for fine cuisine with plenty of Spanish flare. Michelin-starred Octopus (12 rue Boieldieu) is the star in the city’s culinary crown – serving seasonal dishes based around fresh fish and seafood, it has become famous across the region for its creative concoctions. Modern and minimalist L’Ambassade (22 boulevard de Verdun) has the definite makings of a gastronomic gem, combining beautifully presented dishes with classy service and a decent wine list. La Maison de Petit Pierre (22 avenue Pierre Verdier) serves up scrumptious tapas on its patio against the fitting backdrop of the bullfighting arenas.
Fête Médiévale des Caritats à Béziers
This lively, medieval-themed festival takes over the centre of Béziers for a weekend of family-friendly fun. Visitors can watch jousting, archery and arm-to-arm combat, shop in the medieval market, attend medieval craft workshops, and take part in a costumed parade up the Allées.
Locks Festival on the Canal du Midi
The 17th-century Canal du Midi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the series of locks that punctuate the canal at Fonsérannes, near Béziers, make the perfect backdrop for an annual celebration of art and culture. Expect presentations, exhibitions and talks, as well as several tastings and food displays.
Described as a ‘major rendezvous of contemporary Occitan culture’, this festival celebrates the identity of the region with five days of live music. The event attracts international artists as well as a large number of local bands.
Feria de Béziers
Quite simply the biggest event in the Béziers calendar, this huge bullfighting extravaganza attracts more than a million visitors. It runs over five days and features parties, street music and dancing as well as a number of bullfights.
Marché de Noël
Focused around the Allées Paul Riquet, this classic Christmas fair showcases the wares of local craftspeople and producers. A packed programme of children’s activities makes it a great family day out.
Béziers specialises in comfortable, mid-range accommodation designed with visiting professionals in mind. Mercure Béziers (33 avenue Saint Saens) is the only four-star hotel in the city centre, and its position next to the convention centre makes it a honey trap for well-to-do business travellers. A more modest but still centrally located option is Appart’City Béziers (9 rue d’Alembert), a selection of stylish studios and apartments with their own kitchenettes. The funky design of the Ibis Budget Béziers Centre (3 rue Racine) makes it an attractive choice for budget travellers, but if you’re prepared to head outside the city then stunning Château de Raissac (Route de Murviel) has a selection of homely period-style rooms to suit all budgets.