Nimes travel guide

Nimes in France

After Montpellier, Nîmes is the second largest city, in terms of population, in the Languedoc Roussillon region, and the capital of the department of Gard. The city is well known around the world thanks to its Roman culture and monuments, such as the Roman Arena, the Square House, the Temple of Diana and the Magne Tower. Nîmes is also known for its textiles. The textile Denim (which comes from the French words "de Nîmes", meaning "of Nimes"), used today for the production of jeans clothes, originally comes from this region.

Museums and monuments to visit

  • The Roman Arena (French: Les arènes de Nîmes), built during the first of second century AC, is possibly the best-preserved  in the world.
  • The Temple of Diana (French: Temple de Diane and Occitan: Temple de la Fònt), a Roman monument found in the centre of a sanctuary dedicated to Augustus. Despite its name, the Temple of Diana is probably not a temple, while its initial function and name are still ambiguous. However, the monument is well preserved and worth-visiting.
  • The Square House (French: Maison Carrée), a small Roman temple built in the end of the first century BC, in honour of the sons of Agrippa
  • The Magne Tower or Great Tower (French: Tour Magne), built at the top of Mont Cavallier for strategic purposes, is the only remnant of the Augustan fortifications

Events to attend

  • Les Jeudis de Nîmes takes place every Thursday during the months of July and August. It is a night market with live music, such as flamenco and others.
  • La Féria de Pentecôte is the biggest event of the year. During five days, the centre of the city is closed to traffic and everybody is invited to drink a glass of sangria or pastis, to dance, to eat gardiane de taureau or paella and to listen to fanfares in the narrow streets, Bodegas (these are special places to party open only during the Férias), bars and restaurants of the city. The bull-fight fans can also attend numerous corridas and Camargue's traditional events, such as Abrivado, Encierro and Course Camarguaise, during which no bulls are harmed.
  • La Féria des Vendanges, during the third weekend of September since 1978, is a smaller version of the Féria de Pentecôte. Usually, it is mostly the locals of Nîmes and the region around it  that attend this event, giving it a nice and cosy atmosphere.

Food and drinks to taste

  • La Brandade de Nîmes, a local dish made with salt cod
  • La Gardianne de Taureau, a stew made with bull
  • La Fougasse, a salty or sweet specialty bread
  • Les Croquants de Villaret, sweet biscuits
  • Le Pelardon, soft and creamy or hard goats' cheese, coming from the Cévennes region
  • Les Gariguettes, early strawberries (mid-march)
  • The excellent and well-known local wines, Costière de Nîmes and Côtes du Rhône

Activities

Map of Nimes with accommodations

The blue markers shows the location of various accommodations in Nimes. The letter in the marker describes the accommodation types: H for Hotel, A for Apartment, R for Resort, B for Bed & Breakfast and O for Other (e.g. pension, villa). Click on the blue marker for more information on the accommodation.