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.
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.
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!
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.
'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.
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!