Montbéliard travel guide

Cities and towns

About Montbéliard

Montbéliard in Franche Comté was once the property of the dukes of Württemberg, sitting in peaceful countryside on the Swiss border, and is the home of Peugeot cars.

Ruled by the dukes of Württemberg for more than 8 centuries, Montbéliard is still home to their medieval castle, the château des Ducs de Württemberg, which stands proudly on a rocky outcrop in the town centre. Brought under the ownership of this German family by the marriage of Henriette, Countess of Montbéliard to Eberhard IV, Count of Württemberg, the town soon became a German Protestant enclave in Catholic France. Montbéliard is probably most famous as the home of Peugeot, which has one of its main manufacturing plants in the town and its founder Armand Peugeot was born nearby. There is even the Peugeot Adventure Museum where you can discover the history of one of the world's first car manufacturers and visit a nearby restoration workshop where a team of specialists are restoring Peugeot's from days gone by. Inside the château you'll discover the castle museum with collections relating to natural history and archaeology, contemporary art, and, of course, the château itself with many portraits of the dukes and duchesses of Württemberg. Find out more about the history of the town with a visit to the Museum of Art and History in the Beurnier-Rossel mansion whose Grand Salon is an historical monument. It also holds a rare collection of L'Epee music boxes in the attic.

For those who like to get outdoors, there is much to do around Montbéliard. The Eurovelo 6 route passes through the town, past the pretty marina, travelling across Europe from the Atlantic coast to the Black Sea. There are other cycle routes and hiking trails including la coulée verte and the path of remembrance and peace. Visit the 84 acre base nautiques du pays de Montbéliard, a lake just 8km north of Montbéliard, which has a sandy beach that is popular with swimmers and opens from mid-June to September. It is also great for other water sports including windsurfing, water-skiing and sailing as well as having numerous routes for joggers, walkers and mountain-bikers. Relax in Montbéliard's beautiful parks and gardens, or take a picnic. The Pres-la-Rose garden even hosts concerts in the summer. Montbéliard caters well to children and was named a child-friendly city in 2009. It hosts festivals for them such as Festival des Mômes, which is dedicated to creativity, and the Citadédroi - a week of workshops, games and performances focused on educating about children's rights. The town also hosts several other festivals throughout the year including a carnival in April, the clown festival, Festival du Nez Rouge, hosted biannually in May and a medieval festival at the end of September. If you visit around Christmas time, be sure to visit the fantastic Christmas market and see the wonderful Christmas lights!

Wander the streets of Montbéliard to find boutiques, bakeries, clothes shops and more. Buy some traditional gifts such as the diari, a woman's cap designed to cover a bun that was symbol of Protestantism and often made from satin or dark velvet, or perhaps a souvenir made with the design of verquelure, a fabric of plaid hemp cloth, traditionally blue and white, that is synonymous with the town? The most famous food speciality from the area has to be the saucisse de Montbéliard, a sausage gently smoked over sawdust and seasoned with garlic and cumin that has been made here since the 14th century. The area is also famous for Montbéliarde cattle whose beef has AOC status and whose milk is used to make comté cheese. Other speciailities to try include Audicourt pie, or croque-rave, which is made with ham, mushrooms, chicken and raves salées (similar to sauerkraut), and toutché cake, that is made from brioche dough and can be sweet or savoury. Enjoy your meal with wines from the Jura region.

Why visit Montbéliard?

  • Château de Montbéliard
  • Peugeot Museum
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Festivals 

Overview

  • Country: France
  • Region: Franche Comté
  • Department: Doubs
  • Population: 26,000
  • Coordinates: 47.513259,6.797936

Coordinates shown are based on the WGS84 system, please check driving directions before departing.

Nearby attractions

A beautiful historic house near the town hall, the Beurnier-Rossel mansion houses the the Museum of Art and History in Montbéliard. Providing a snapshot of what life was like for the urban bourgeoisie in the 18th and 19th...

Located on an outcrop of rock, the Château de Montbéliard, also known as the Château des ducs de Württemberg, surveys the town of Montbéliard.

A small museum where you can learn all about the wines of the Jura, the Musée de la Vigne et du Vin has a particular focus on the unusual Vin Jaune.

Containing many of Pasteur's personal souvenirs such as family portraits and a picture of the shepherd who Pasteur famously saved using his anti-rabies treatment, Louis Pasteur's house sits on the beautiful bank sof the...

Places to visit nearby

Arbois in Franche Comté is the capital of the renowned Jura wines and is the perfect base for exploring the stunning natural environment of mountains, gorges, caves and waterfalls in the area.

Dole in Franche Comté is a pretty town with an historical centre that is set in the beautiful countryside of the Doubs valley.

Langres in Champagne Ardenne is a fortified town dating as far back as the 4th century.