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How to stay financially afloat on your Erasmus year?

#1 Financing your year abroad

If you are a student, you may already be an expert on saving money and stretching your loan. However, the Erasmus lifestyle can be a financial challenge to anyone, regardless of how economical they are with their euros.
 

#2 Financial help

If you are moving abroad as part of the Erasmus program, it is likely that you will be eligible for a grant that normally comes in biannual installments alongside your maintenance and tuition fee loans. Ask your home university for more information.
If you are renting accommodation in France, you may be entitled to the CAF, a monthly allowance offered by the French government from which you could receive up to €200. The financial benefits are really advantageous: you pay your rent less. It allows you to put this money for your free time. If you don’t have any CAF account, you just have to go on the website. In this case, on the homepage, you need to ask a “Demande de prestation” and follow the process to create you an account and to obtain your child benefit claimant.
 

#3 Banking

Euros that you withdraw before you leave for your year abroad will disappear quickly as you start to enjoy your new social life. The change in currency may give you the impression that you are on holiday, and before you know it, you will have to take out more cash. Most banks not only charge you for each withdrawal when you are abroad, but they may also charge you a currency conversion rate each time that you make a transaction in euros.
In order to avoid this, it is advisable to open a bank account as soon as possible and transfer money into it. Create a bank account can take 5 minutes if you do it online, on a bank website. Follow the link to know French banks. However, you need to program and give them some papers especially valid identity papers. You need to have the legal capacity as being over the age of majority, justify your place of residence and deliver them your signature.
 

#4 Phone plan

If you want to contact your new friends in order to meet up, a phone or a French SIM card will be essential if you don’t have a telephone package with an international option. However, if you’re part of the European Union, in many cases, it exists telephone package: with these ones you can use your phone everywhere in Europe without paying more. You can always subscribe to french telephone packages with telephone operators with very good prices.
 

#5 Get a job

Trouver un jobThis may not be an option if you are going to be an intern on your year abroad, but if you are a student or a language assistant, you will find that you have a lot of free time which could be partially filled by a part-time job. There are many English/Irish/Scottish bars in France and they are constantly looking for Anglophone servers. This is a great way to meet new people and practice your French language skills.
If you would like something more specific, create a profile on jobetudiant.net and see what positions are available. The site often posts adverts for babysitting, leaflet distribution and paid work for one-off events.

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Insurance system in France

Before coming to France, you have to be prepared to subscribe to two obligatory things: housing insurance and civil liability insurance. You can find here a definition of these two services and a guide to subscribing without having too much trouble!
An insurance is a service you pay for, usually with contributions, which offers you protection from a possible risk. The first thing you need to know is that usually, the housing assurance and the civil liability insurance are often linked. When you subscribe to one, you generally have the other one automatically.
 

#1 Housing insurance

The housing insurance, as its name suggests, really focuses on accommodations though. It protects you from almost everything that can happen in a flat or a house: fire, natural catastrophes (flood, lightning, tornado…), water damage, robbery etc. That is why owners always ask their tenant to have a housing insurance, so as the expenses will be covered by the insurance company. It guarantees against rental risks and allows the owner to protect himself if you make a damage to his property.
To get its insurance, you have to be informed of all documents you need to have. With Chez Nestor, you don’t have to do anything, the housing insurance is included.
 
Assurances

#2 Civil liability insurance

The civil liability insurance functions pretty much the same, except that it aims at repairing any harm that could be done to you or to others. It includes the protection of people, animals, build, belongings… It will also cover you if you are responsible for any damage or injury. This document is asked in many cases. In the case of an internship, a civil liability insurance certificate is always asked. Also, schools or universities asked it automatically at the time of the subscription. However, if you are in a fixed term contract or a permanent contract, you will be covered by professional civil liability insurance of the company. If you are an entrepreneur, a business owner, or an unsalaried worker, just know that the simple civil liability insurance won’t be enough. You have to subscribe to a professional civil liability insurance to be protected.
 

#3 How to get your insurance

Be careful! Before starting the process to get your insurance, check that you don’t already have one. Most of the time, it is included in the multiple-line habitation insurance. You can have one without knowing it.
To obtain these insurances, you have to ask them to insurance companies. It is possible to get its insurance in two different ways: in place, in going directly into the company, or online. Nowadays, all insurance companies offer an online version.
Otherwise, it is advised to be informed before, or to asks advice to insurers by calling them if you don’t want to move. It’s important to get the right insurance.
Some insurance companies are destined for foreign students or foreign young workers working in France. In this case, you need to be under 40 and to stay in France for 1 to 12 months. Notice that the contract is renewable. To get more information on its specific insurance, don’t hesitate.
 
Before coming to France, or even young French people, before choosing your Chez Nestor, don’t forget insurances! And no worries, you have nothing to do with your housing insurance, it is already included in.

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Bank holiday alert : Assumption, August 15th

Discover what this event refer to with Chez Nestor! Not to be confused with L’Ascension, the Assumption is another Christian celebration in the French calendar, and so, another occasion to have a public holiday!
 
 

Origins

The assumption refers to the elevation of Mary into the sky after her death. The story differs according to the different narrators but the Assumption is celebrated for the death, the resurrection, the entry in Heaven, and the coronation of the Virgin Mary. The 1st mention of the assumption can be found in the 6th century. It was rumoured that Mary’s corpse didn’t suffer the consequences of death, her body remains pure. She died surrounded by the apostles, and Jesus brought her body and her spirit in Heaven. Her entry at God’s side, according to pope Pie XII, is an evidence because Mary is victorious of the sin and the death. She hadn’t committed the original mistake.
Saint-Mary-15-Aout
 
 
The assumption is celebrated on August 15 since 1637. Louis XIII wanted to have an heir, so he asked his subjects to make a procession every August 15 in honour of Mary. As his son was born a year after this decision, the procession was considered successful. Louis XIII considered Mary the protector and the patron saint of France. August 15 became a very important day in France. As the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was recognized in the 19th century, religious people and believers all around the world asked that the Assumption was recognized as well. The celebration was officially proclaimed in 1950.
To celebrate this day, a torch’s procession is given every year on the evening or the evening before around churches or chapels. The majority of festivities takes place in Lourdes, where in 1858, a woman named Bernadette claimed to have seen a vision of Mary appear in a cave.  Since that date, Lourdes is the destination of many pilgrims who travel there for the 15th of August every year.  The cave’s spring water is rumoured to have healing powers, as it is the site on which Mary was supposedly spotted.
 

Today in France

 
In France, August 15 is considered as a public holiday, and you can see processions all around the hexagon, usually accompanied by festivities or fireworks… In Paris, they usually bring on a boat on the Seine a silver statue of Mary, kept in Notre-Dame most of the time.
 
paris-15-Aout
 
 
This year, August 15 fall on a Wednesday, so for people who work during this period, you will have a day off during the week to enjoy the sun. If you were thinking that you will miss Dax parties, this public holiday is perfect. The Dax’s Feria takes part from the 11th to the 15th of August. It leaves you the opportunity to wear white and red clothes to enjoy the happiness along streets and to assist to corridas and a race from the Lands.
To enjoy a rock moment, the following week-end suggest a festival on west coast another time. Let’s meet in Brittany, especially in Saint Malo, for a rock festival ! The Route du Rock”, which takes part from the 16th to the 19th August, is a festival of rock which welcomes many artists. This year, you will meet Phoenix, Etienne Daho, Charlotte Gainsbourg (the daughter of the famous french singer Serge Gainsbourg!) and many other artists.

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Trains in France

Your year abroad is to work or study but also to discover France and maybe, some European countries. You will have to be acquainted with French trains if you want to travel. So here are some tips to have nice trips in France with a small budget !
 

How does it work?

France has only one train network which is the SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer). There are two main types of train: TGV (Trains à Grande Vitesse) and TER (Train Express Régionaux). The latter is mainly for little journeys as they are slower than TGVs which are more adapted to long-distance destination. However, for TERs, you don’t have to buy your ticket in advance because there are no assigned seats. At contrary to TGVs where you can even choose to be next to a window or next to a place if you’re travelling with friends and want to be next to them !
You can buy your tickets directly at train stations or on the SNCF website. Keep in mind that the earlier you take your tickets, the cheaper they’ll be (even if sometimes, SNCF makes reduction for last-minute journeys) ! It is hard to give you a range of price because depending on the desired period, the frequency of the train, and other criteria, a ticket can cost you from almost nothing to 150€ and even more sometimes.
If you really have a small budget, you can take a Ouigo. This a new SNCF service and it offers tickets that can cost 10€ only! However, they only link big cities like Paris, Lyon or Marseille, and deposits, most of the time, in station farest from the downtown.

Trains
© Droits réservés – Wikipédia Commons

What about the trains?

Most of French trains are built on the same model : they have two floors and they make a distinction between 1st class and 2nd class. There is no big difference between the two. the color of seats is different and you have a little more space in 1st class, in addition to powerpoints and lamps. There is usually a café-bar in every TGV where you can buy drinks or food that you can either consume there or take back to your seat. There are some trains that only travel at night: they have bunks so you can sleep during the whole journey!
 

More information

If you have bought your ticket on the SNCF website, you can print it. If you have a smartphone, you can download the SNCF app, buy a ticket with it and you will have it directly on your phone. If you have the paper version, don’t forget to validate your ticket, otherwise you may get a fine !
You do not have a limited number of luggage but be careful, because the spaces dedicated to suitcases are usually small and therefore, there is not always enough room for everybody’s luggage. Don’t forget to cast a glance at them ! We never know !
If you are worried about not knowing when you have to get out of the train because of your French skills, you can relax because most of TGVs are making their announcement in French and in English!
 
If you are still looking for a flatshare, Chez Nestor is the specialist in furnished and equipped flatshares! You will find it in five major French cities: Lyon, Paris, Lille, Montpellier, and Toulouse.
 
CFA Show me the rooms
 

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The Atlantic and the Mediterranean just a stone's throw from Toulouse!

Want to escape? Beach? Exoticism? A relaxing holiday by the sea sipping a delicious cocktail always makes you dream… But they are not always within reach!
If you live in Toulouse whether for your studies, an internship, a job or anything else, you are lucky! Of course only with the city you know it well… Its festive and welcoming atmosphere surrounded by pink bricks give it an incomparable charm! The soft accent of the south west, the Garonne, the terraces… In short we love it! Even more when you’re in a flatshare in the city centre thanks to Chez Nestor!
If you live there for a long time, you will also want to escape for a weekend or a few days. Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place!
Toulouse is ideally placed to take a few days off. You have, in addition, the opportunity to have the choice: Mediterranean Sea or Atlantic Ocean.
 
We’ll tell you a little bit more!
 

The Mediterranean Sea only 2 hours away!

 
You really want to be warm, to put your towel on the beach and to have the sea only a few meters away? Well, it’s possible!
Toulouse is about 2h drive (car or transport) from several cities in the South, so about 2h drive from the Mediterranean !
Rendez-vous in Narbonne, better known thanks to Narbonne beach “Narbonne plage”, to bury your feet in the fine sand, travel miles on a beach that never ends, play snowshoes, volleyball, or just for a swim!

Narbonne plage
A part of Narbonne’s beach!

 
You only have 1h30 by car and 1h45 by transport!
 
If you’ve been there before, these three cities….

  • Vias: 2h by car and 2h30 by transport,
  • Agde: 2h10 by car and 2h15 by transport,
  • Sète: 2h20 by car and 2h10 by transport,

…are also there to comfort you! A few kilometres away from Narbonne, these seaside resorts remain very accessible to escape for a few days.
 

The accessible Atlantic Ocean!

 
You have more mind surfing and diving in the waves? No worries, the Atlantic Ocean will satisfy you!
Get there in advance! It takes at least 3 hours to get to the West Coast. But the scenery is splendid. A typical Basque architecture, beaches as far as the eye can see, and especially big waves that can be a real spectacle!
A “cool” atmosphere, no headache! The weather may not always be good but the good mood is!
To do so, go to :

  • Biarritz: 3h10 by car and 4h30 by transport,
  • Hossegor: 3h05 by car and 4h30 by transport,
  • and also all the small towns in their surroundings…

 

Hossegor
Waves of Hossegor!

 
Even if the journey is a little longer, you won’t be disappointed!
In short, living in Toulouse for a while is the best! Going on a little trip to the seaside or to the ocean is largely feasible, and it does the greatest good!
Thanks to Toulouse, you can discover all the wonders that our wonderful country offers…and especially the South west !
Do not hesitate any more and come to Toulouse for a little while ! Chez Nestor is here to find you the perfect room in Toulouse.
 
 
Credits photo : 
Interhome
La tournée des bons coins

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Top 5 unusual parks in Lyon where you can enjoy yourself!

With the sun and the beautiful blue sky over Lyon, we only want one thing: to get out of our flatshare and walk around the city! And there is nothing better than to rest in a park to escape and spend a good time in a quiet environment. So here we are with this Top 5 of the unusual parks in Lyon where you can spend a good time in a friendly atmosphere! Enjoy your reading!
 

Top 5 of unusual parks in Lyon where to spend a good time!

#1- Le Jardin des Chartreux

 
We start with Le Jardin des Chartreux, which overlooks the banks of the Saône on the slopes of the Croix Rousse neighbourhood. A very neat garden, pleasant lawns, and one of the most romantic views make this one of the most charming parks in Lyon.
Ideal for picnics and evenings with friends, this garden enjoys an amazing view over Lyon: from Part-Dieu to the whole of the Presqu’Île, part of the Old city and the quays of Saône, the Fourvière hill… from here you can admire Lyon like never before, day or night!
 

#2- Le Jardin du Rosaire

 
Le Jardin du Rosaire occupies part of the slopes on the east side of the hill of Fourvière, just below the basilica. Accessible from Vieux Lyon, this garden makes it easy to reach Fourvière in no time, so if you have the proper motivation to walk up to Fourvière, this garden is a must! Here you can admire a wide variety of different plants, each marked on the ground by a plate. Thanks to its elevated position on Vieux Lyon, this hidden garden gives you magnificent views all along your ascent to the basilica. Discover all the hidden benches in it where you can sit in the shade and admire the city!
 

#3- Le Jardin des Curiosités

CURIOSITES-park-lyon
Jardin des curiosités – Image credit: Flickr Laurent Guerry

We stay around Fourvière to discover another garden hidden in Lyon. This place is well hidden, a place where you don’t randomly end up! But the trip is worth the effort. Located in St Jus, this small garden occupies an area of over 6000 m². We are once again high up above the city, so here you get another different view of the city. From the Jardin des Curiosités, you are taken directly onto the rooftops of Lyon with an exceptional view over Confluence.
 

#4- Parc des Hauteurs

 
Once the ascent to Fourvière is over, all you have to do is stop in the Parc des Hauteurs. This place is even registered with the world heritage of Unesco of Lyon and it possesses a part of the mystery, which completes its charm. If you are looking for a little walk in the woods while staying a few steps from downtown, this is where you should come! Take the Quatres Vents footbridge overlooking the gardens and lose yourself in the paths of this park!
 

#5- The Rosa Mir Garden

Rosa-mir-parc-lyon
© spot-web.fr

 
We enter here a totally unusual place, one of the most hidden in Lyon. Located at Croix-Rousse (the district doesn’t stop delivering astonishing surprises!), this garden is ready to surprise you with its originality. Hidden in a courtyard inside the main street of the Croix-Rousse, it was entirely designed by Jules Senis and dedicated to his mother, Rosa Mir. As early as 1958, Jules Senis accumulated stones and pebbles to entirely decorate this inner courtyard and transform it into a true work of art! Learn more here
 
Here we are at the end of this Top 5 of the most unusual parks in Lyon! What are you waiting for? Which one are you going to visit first?
 

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Practical guide: public transport in Paris!

You just moved to Paris and you’re like a little Indian in the Big City like in the movie?
This is all normal! The French capital is the largest city in France. With its 20 districts, its surface largely exceeds 100km2! So yes, it’s easy to get lost…
Moving from one end of the city to the other is not done in 5 minutes and it is often inevitable to take public transport. Sometimes too far on foot or by bike, and the car… you’ll never get there on time!
These public transports are under the RATP : “Régie autonome des transports parisiens”. In order to estimate your itinerary, their site will be very useful to you! It is possible to find all schedules, plans, etc. Very useful to know which bus/metro/tramway/RER to take and to estimate the time it will take you.
 

But we will tell you a little more about these famous Parisian transports:
What kind are they? How do tickets work?

 

Public transport in Paris

 

#1 The Paris metro

The appearance of the first line dates from 1900, there are today 16 of which two automated (Line 1 and 14).
Attention! There are 16 lines but the numbers range from 1 to 14, no need to look for the 15 and 16. Number 3 has a 3a, and number 7 has a 7bis. Each metro line is distinguished by its colour.
This adds up to a total of 300 stations, which are veritable labyrinths: several subway lines, several exits, and long corridors endlessly! You can stay 5 to 10 minutes in a station to change lanes, or just to get out.
To avoid making mistakes and staying there for an hour, pay close attention to ALL the signs posted, follow your number and line colour, and especially be careful to check if it goes in the direction you want (check out the maps beforehand, on the RATP website or on those posted, there are some everywhere!).
Despite this Chinese puzzle, you will find many shops. And above all, some stations would be almost to visit due to their architecture or their paintings!
 

metro bastille
Paintings in the station Bastille!

 
The waiting time in rush hour is about 1 minute, in off-peak hour 5 minutes, and less than 10 minutes in the evening! It is the most recommended means of transport in Paris.
The metro is almost entirely underground.
Small plus: most of the time, the telephone network is available!
 

#2 The Paris RER

Meaning the Ile de France Regional Express Network, the RER is a train that allows passengers to travel around Paris and its region. Its particularity is its dual management: one part is managed by RATP, another by SNCF.
It is especially useful to visit the surroundings of Paris to take a breath of fresh air outside the city!
Founded in 1961, it has 5 lines from A to E with 249 stops: almost as many as the metro for 3 times fewer lines! Each one is also distinguished by its colour.
For most metro stations, it is also possible to take the RER.
During rush hour, it takes about 5 minutes to wait, and 10 to 15 minutes in off-peak time.
The network is underground but it is sometimes possible, outside the city, to see it coming out the end of its nose!
And the mobile network is also available for most of the time!
 

#3 Parisian buses and trams

bus paris (1)
First appeared in 1828, there are 353 bus lines in 2018. It was only a few years later, in 1855, that tramways appeared, with 10 lines today.
With the buses it is possible to move from one point to another in the city, as well as in the Paris suburbs. They stand out with their colours: white and turquoise. Each line has its own number, and it is indicated, on the front or on the side of the bus, its direction. As for the trams, they are only in the outskirts of the city or in the suburbs. Once again each line has its own color, and it is also indicated its direction.
They’re all outside. The waiting time varies according to each line. To establish an average, it takes about 10 minutes to wait for the bus, and 15 minutes for the tramway.
 

Tickets for transport

There are obviously many different subscriptions and tickets in Paris. To find them all, do not hesitate to visit this RATP website.
We have made a selection for you, the most relevant:
 

#1 Tickets 

T+ Tickets: valid for 1 trip only. However you can use it for all means of transport in Paris. You have to count 1,90€.
Mobilis: 1 ticket to use unlimited during the day! Rates vary by area. For the complete formula, it is necessary to count 17,80€.
Weekend day passes for youth: if your friends come to you for a weekend, the youth weekend ticket is perfect! You must be under 26 years old and they allow you to travel unlimited all weekend from 4.10€. The price varies according to the areas you choose.
 

#2 Subscriptions 

Navigo Packages Month and Week: if you come to Paris for only a few weeks or months, it is advisable to choose this package to take by the month or week. It allows you to travel unlimited in Paris for a week or for a month (to renew every week/month). Rates vary depending on the number of zones you choose. For all zones, 22.80€/week and 75.30€/month are required.
Imagine R package: student under 26? You stay in Paris all year round? He’s the one for you. Valid for one year, it allows you to travel unlimited anywhere in Paris for 342€/year!
Navigo Annual Package: Are you over 26 years old? You stay in Paris all year round? Its rates vary according to the areas you choose. For all the zones, it is necessary to count 827,20€/year or 75,20€/month.
 
Go to the RATP ticket offices or automatic machines to pick them up!
 
For your stay in Paris, you now know how to get around with public transport! And if you’re leaving in a Chez Nestor flatshare, you will obviously be in the downtown so you don’t have to take all areas.
 
Don’t forget to download the RATP application to get real-time information on traffic, breakdowns, strikes and schedules!

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Enjoy Lille with a tiny budget!

If you don’t have many financial means but you’re dying to go out and discover your surroundings ? Don’t get depressed! Lille offers lots of free activities or activities to do on a small budget.Find here 3 good deals in Lille to do without touching your wallet!
 

#1 Discover the heritage

History enthusiasts will be happy: the history of Lille begins more than XX century ago. Do not miss the opportunity to discover a prestigious wealth in terms of architecture and historical monuments! If you need more information than a simple walk with your nose in the sky, knock on the Tourist Office’s door to find out about new itineraries and city tours.
Lille hides a multitude of unusual monuments… have you ever heard of the “Monument aux Pigeons Voyageurs” (travelling pigeons!) located at Avenue Mathias Delobel, 15 ? Lille can be proud to have there the only monument in France dedicated to these animals! 😉
monument pigeon voyageur
Or the Coilliot House (rue de Fleurus, 14), built in 1898 by the famous Hector Guimard, the architect of the Paris metro.
 

#2 Visit the zoo of Lille

panda roux
A red panda in Lille zoo!

A ray of sunshine? Want to enjoy a nature walk without going too far? The zoo of Lille is a real must of the city. Located only 10 minutes from the city centre (on foot!), the Lille zoo covers an area of 3 hectares.
Here you can discover more than 110 animal species from the five continents, nearly 400 animals to admire!
Everyone loves the little red pandas that welcome you at the entrance of the park… 🙂
Don’t miss the opportunity to admire the latest birdcage called “Sous les tropiques”, opened in 2017. This 750 m² facility houses a plethora of birds and mammals from South America!
 

#3 Take a tour in the markets of Lille

Everyone knows, good deals are made at the market! Almost every day, a different market comes to life in a corner of the town… How many markets do you know?
The largest market in Lille is hold in Wazemmes (Place de la Nouvelle Aventure). Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday more than 400 traders mingle in this colourful and lively square!
The most famous for its quality is the one in Old-Lille (Place du Concert). On Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, don’t miss the opportunity to taste the best local and organic products in Lille! If you are looking for exotic products (oriental; Asian or even Russian!), this is the right address.
If you are looking for a small secret market, we recommend the Books market at the Vieille Bourse. Only the city’s experts know the location of the Vieille Bourse inner courtyard! Every afternoon from Tuesday to Sunday, come and find the best books, comics, posters, vinyls…
 
Need a flatshare in Lille? Chez Nestor offers completely renovated rooms located in the most central areas of the city! View our offers on our website. And make the most out of your stay in Lille!

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20 free activities you can’t miss in Montpellier!

Being a student in Montpellier is no walk in the park. How to find the perfect balance between a tight budget and the strong desire to go out and have fun? When you and your flatmates wonder about what to do today with no money, Chez Nestor is here to help you out with a list of 20 free activities you can’t miss in Montpellier! So, don’t stay inside, lazy-bones! Montpellier holds plenty of surprises…
Today we sell dreams with our 20 free activities you can do for free in Montpellier! If you’re a big spender, it is probably time to find cheaper (or even free) activities to spend your afternoons and evenings with friends and flatmates!
There’s so much to see and do in Montpellier that you won’t be disappointed! Trust us…
 

#1- Discover Montpellier’s music scene

Yes! You can find free concerts you can attend with your flatmates! Montpellier boasts loads of live music bars where you can have a great time.

  • Jazz and Funky ? Easy: goto La Pleine Lune and attend free concerts every week!
  • Are you more a Rock’n’Roll guy? Stop by the Up Down. Located in the heart of the Ecusson, this bar offers Belgian beers and live concerts. On stage, small names from the local scene and big international bands go wild and perform unforgettable shows!
  • Reggae? We can satisfy all tastes! Come to the Taverne du Perroquet to enjoy your favorite sound (especially on weekends!)
  • Fans of Folk or French song? On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, don’t miss the concerts at the Irish Tavern!

 

#2- Take a stroll in the city

Yeah, walking around doesn’t cost you anything! Even if you think you have already visited everything, we are sure that Montpellier can still surprise you!

  • Explore the Ecusson medieval streets which are a must in the city.
  • Visit the Jardin des Plantes where you can rest on the grass and read a good book.
Jardin-des-plantes
© Montpellier.fr
  • Enjoy a breathtaking view over the city on the Toit de Corum.
  • Take a stroll along the Canal du Verdanson and admire the incredible street art scattered throughout the area.

 

#3- Visit Museums and exhibitions

Once again, all tastes are on the program. Montpellier has a remarkable art scene!  

  • The FRAC Occitane proposes more than 1200 works of art open to everyone !
  • The Pierresvives mediathèque with its atypical design hides rare treasures inside.
  • The Galerie Saint-Ravy brings emerging artists and young talents to the world!
  • La Panachée brings together the most contemporary works of art in Montpellier.

 

#4- Do outdoor sports

Outdoor sports are the passion of many young people in Montpellier. No need to touch your wallet, just enjoy the air and why not, get back in shape!  

  • Jog in the woods of MontMaur and on your way, say hello to the animals at the Lunaret Zoo!
  • Enjoy the sun in the Garrigues area.
  • Improve your training with the free sessions of the Montpellier Athletic Running Club (MARC)
  • Run to Carnon Beach (for the more sporty and motivated among you!)

 

#5- Visit historical monuments

For architecture and design enthusiasts, a simple stroll through the city can be a real adventure! Look up to the sky and admire the incredible ancient buildings in Montpellier.

  • Visit Saint-Pierre Cathedral and while you’re at it, come and see the Faculty of Medicine, which is the oldest still in operation in France!
  • Discover all the hidden details of the Place de la Comédie and its opera.
  • Climb to the Peyrou Water Tower and enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire city.
peyrou-montpellier
You can’t miss this one!
  • Finally, enter the Tour des Pins and the Tour de la Babotte, the oldest remains of the city of Montpellier!

Here we are at the end of this list of 20 free activities to do in Montpellier! Enjoy the city with your roommates and follow our tips for an unforgettable experience!
 

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Why is May 8th a public holiday in France?

If you are working in France in May, you will probably have the chance to discover the several public holidays of this month. The first one to come, May 8, is not the simplest to explain. Let us explain it easily for you. You do like history, don’t you? 🙂
 

Origins

8 Mai 1945
In 1945, Germany was not in a good place for winning the war. On the 30th of April, Hitler killed himself, and at the beginning of May, the Soviet Army was in a total control of Berlin. Hitler’s successor, Dönitz, tried to negotiate with the Allies to get back most of his troops and to keep a kind of control over Eastern countries. However, he was obliged to surrender and to sign an agreement in Reims on the 7th of May. You may think: why are we not celebrating on May 7 then? Well, the story is not over. Stalin was furious that the agreement was not signed in the city that he had invaded, he wanted the German to surrender to take place in Berlin, to prove the Soviet power. His wish was granted and another signature happened in Berlin on May 8 if we are considering the French hour, and on May 9 if we are considering the Russian one. That is why the German surrender is celebrated on May 9 in Russia, and on May 8 in France. The cessation of hostilities was supposed to take place on May 8, at 11p.m. though. In spite of this signature, the war didn’t really end until Japanese capitulation on September 2.
 

Evolution and traditions

 
verdun-ceremonie-commemorative-du-8-mai-1945
Things seem pretty settled now right? Well, not at all. On the 20th of March 1953, May 8 was considered as a public holiday as a commemoration. But in 1975, the French president, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, decided to remove this official commemoration and to transform it as “la journée de l’Europe”, as he was trying to improve French relationships with Germany. The day was considered as a public holiday again in 1981, at the request of François Mitterrand.
Every May 8, there is a tradition similar to the tradition of November 11: the French president goes through French troops, he leaves a spray of flowers in front of the statue of the Général De Gaulle, and he revives the flame of the unknown soldier’s grave.
May 8 is also commemorated in Algeria but not quite for the same reasons. On the 8th of May 1945, as Algeria was a French colony, they also had a demonstration to celebrate the end of the war, but they also take advantage of this event to remind French people that they wanted to be independent. These rebellions caused thousands of death, and Algerian people now remember this date as a “rehearsal of their victorious insurrection of 1954”.
 
Now you know everything about this date! And it is even better when it falls on Mondays or Fridays! 😉
 
Photo credits : 
Ouest-france
L’Est Républicain

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Social Headquarters :
15-17 Rue Jean Bourgey, 69100 Villeurbanne
Phone :
+33 (0) 972 323 102
Mail :
hello[@]chez-nestor.com
Website :
www.chez-nestor.com
Schedules : 
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm

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