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Nimes

  • Capital of the Gard administrative area, the origins of Nīmes can be traced back more than twenty centuries. 
The city has certainly shown an ability to adapt to changing times, as what started as a Roman village was, by the 19th Century, an industrial town. Today, it has a population of over 100,000 inhabitants, and is proud of its ancient heritage while welcoming the future with open arms. 
Indeed, ...
    © Dimitri Surkov / 123RF
  • Maison Carrée is the only Roman temple in the world that has been entirely preserved. The 20-minute 3D film 'Héros de Nīmes', is shown on a giant screen here.
    © Dimitri Surkov / 123RF
  • The audioguide and gladiator arena at this monument help you get closer to the circus games that were held here in ancient times.
    © Dimitri Surkov / 123RF
  • This aqueduct bridge dates back to Roman times. It has three different levels, the highest of which is 7.4m tall.
    © Dimitri Surkov / 123RF
  • Bullfighting is a veritable institution in the city of Nīmes. Fights are regularly held in the city arena.
    © Dimitri Surkov / 123RF
  • At the centre of this formal garden is the city's founding water source. Many people like to come here on a beautiful sunny day.
    © Dimitri Surkov / 123RF
  • There are plenty of parks in Nīmes: Square des Courlis, Jardin Galilée, Domaine de la Bastide, and so on. They are all places to enjoy with family and friends.
    © Dimitri Surkov / 123RF
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination France

Capital of the Gard administrative area, the origins of Nīmes can be traced back more than twenty centuries.
The city has certainly shown an ability to adapt to changing times, as what started as a Roman village was, by the 19th Century, an industrial town. Today, it has a population of over 100,000 inhabitants, and is proud of its ancient heritage while welcoming the future with open arms.
Indeed, the biotechnology, IT and communication industries have all set up stall in 21st Century Nīmes, along with a host of contemporary buildings.

Nimes: what to do?

When visiting Nīmes, you should take a tour of the provincial market that is held every day. It is the perfect place to find local products made by local producers.

The not-to-be-missed monuments: the Arena of Nīmes, of course, but also the Maison Carrée (Square House), a temple that was built under Augustus, and the Tour Magne (Magne Tower) located at the summit of Mt. Cavalier, the highest point of the city. The Jardin de la Fontaine (Garden of the Fountain) and the Temple of Diana, located at the site of ancient baths and a sacred spring from the age of Antiquity, are also definitely worth visiting. It is the preferred place for strolls of the residents of Nīmes.

The Pont du Gard: a masterpiece of architecture from Antiquity, this Roman aqueduct is one of the most beautiful Roman constructions in the region. The ancient 3-level bridge has been so well preserved that it is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • The festive ambiance and conviviality.
  • The possibility of going on an excursion to admire the magnificent landscapes of the Camargue.
  • The disorder that reigns during the fair. Not recommended if you are in search of peace and quiet.
  • It can get very hot in summer.

Reminders

You should definitely participate in the Féria de Pentecōte (Pentecost Feria) and the Féria des Vendanges (Harvest Fest). Celebrated over several days, the bull is king and the festivities include many events in the streets as well as free shows and concerts late into the night. Go to the bodegas to discover the ambiance of Nīmes' ferias, with demonstrations of Sevillanas dances. Music and parties guaranteed!

To avoid

If bullfighting is your thing, you should definitely attend a bullfight. The love for bulls and bullfighting is an undeniable tradition for fans of this practice in the city of Nīmes. The bull is a truly worshipped animal.

Nimes: what to eat?

'Gardiane Camargue', a famous regional speciality, is made with bull meat from Camargue and is cooked in a marinade.

'Brandade de Nīmes' is an emulsion of salt cod, olive oil and milk.

Nimes: what to buy?

A bottle of fino, the perfect accompaniment for tapas. Fino is a variant of sherry, a sweet white wine that is produced in the region of Jerez in Andalusia. This dry and natural wine is enjoyed well-chilled in narrow, tulip-shaped glasses. Also, if you are a fan of the local apératifs, don't forget the traditional Pastis!

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