This was historically a Roman city, with baths and temple remains in the Jardin de La Fontaine. It is the capital of the Department du Gard. Other than the Roman ruins, Nimes is popular for its enchanting old town, its tree lined streets and magnificent public gardens where locals gather to play petanque and unwind. It is a small city and easy to explore on foot with lots of lovely cafes, restaurants, shops and weekly markets to explore.
Some of the most notable attractions include Pont du Gard, an impressive Roman aqueduct and Maison Carre, built in 19 B.C. and one of the most well preserved Roman temples in the world – so much so, this is where the original Gladiator movie was filmed. There is a museum and bookshop here for you to peruse. Carre d’Art, opposite the temple, houses a good collection of contemporary art and Les Arenes is considered the world’s most undamaged and intact amphitheatre. It can seat approximately 20,000 spectators and is still used for concerts, sporting events, historic re-enactments and bull fighting. Relax in the exquisite Jardins de la Fontaine, established in 1750 and known as France’s very first public garden, with its enchanting tree lined avenues and Canal de la Fontaine which flows through it.
You could visit the Camargue with its famous pink flamingos and exciting birdlife or the beautiful white sandy beaches are only 45 minutes’ drive from the city. Uzes is a charming little town around 30 minutes away and dates back to the Roman times. There are lovely little shops to explore and cafes to sit back in and people-watch, not to mention historical sites, museums and Roman ruins.
Nimes airport is located about 9km from the city centre and there is also a high speed train station, should you be travelling by rail.