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Europe > France > Occitanie > Gard > Nîmes
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La Maison Carrée

Nîmes is a city with a population of around 137,000 in the département of Gard in the south of France. It has a stunning Roman Coliseum that is second only to Rome's. There are a few other fine Roman relics and Diana's Palace.

Understand

  • 1 Office de Tourisme et des Congrès, 6 rue Auguste, +33 4 66 58 38 00. July and August: Monday to Friday: 9.00 to 19.30, Saturday: 9.00 to 19.00, Sundays and public holidays: 10.00 to 18.00; April to September: Monday to Saturday: 9.00 to 19.00, Sundays and public holidays: 10.00 to 18.00; October to March: Monday to Friday: 9.00 to 18.30, Saturday: 10.00 to 18.00, Sundays and public holidays: 10.00 to 17.00. The Office de Tourisme prints a "Bienvenue" booklet (in English) each year, which isn't available off the shelf, unless you specifically ask for it. It contains lists of Hotels, Camp Sites, Restaurants and bars. They also print a Travel Guide with descriptions of the sights to see in Nimes. There is also an information point at the Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle.

Get in

By train

TER (regional train) services by SNCF to Avignon, Arles and Montpellier. TGV services to Montpellier, Paris, Valence, Lyon, Lille and Spain.

  • 2 Gare de Nîmes (train station), 1, Boulevard Sergent Triaire.

By bus

Edgard operates buses to Nîmes from Arles (route C30) and the Pont du Gard (route C21). A one-way ticket costs 1,50€ per person.

  • 3 Gare Routière (bus station), Rue Sainte Felicite,.

By plane

Nîmes-Garons Airportis located around 20km from the city centre. Ryanair operates regular flights to Nîmes from London (Luton) and Liverpool in England and Brussels (Charleroi) in Belgium. Prices for a one-way flight start from 8€ per person (including tax). In the summer, Iberia also operates flights to Nîmes from Palma de Mallorca on Saturdays. A shuttle bus [1] runs between the airport and Nîmes city centre (5€ per person for a one-way ticket).

By car

You can access Nîmes via Autoroute A9 or A54.

Get around

The main sights are all within comfortable walking distance of each other.

See

Les Arènes
  • 1 Cathédrale Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Castor de Nîmes.
  • 2 Les Arènes (Roman Amphitheatre), Place des Arènes, +33 4-66-76-77. 9 am - 12.30 pm and 2 pm - 6 pm. a well preserved Roman arena that hosts bull fighting festivals in September. It was built 100 AD to seat 24,000 spectators It currently seats 10,000 when full and is an amazing site.
  • 3 Maison Carré. It is a very well preserved first century Roman temple that would make Nîmes worth a visit even if there were nothing else to look at or enjoy in the city. It currently shows a 3D film of heroes of Nîmes.
  • 4 Jardin de la Fontaine. in summer open till 10 pm, out of season until a sunset. home of Nîmes' other important Roman monuments, beautiful statues, and temple of Diane, which is to the left through the main entrance. free.
  • 5 Tour Magne (N end of Jardin de la Fontaine).
  • 6 Porte d'Auguste. Once was the main entrance to the city
  • 7 Castellum. A former reservoir at the end of the 50km aqueduct.

Culturespaces operates the Arenes de Nîmes, Maison Carrée and the Tour Magne and offers a combined ticket.

Museums

  • 8 Musée du vieux Nîmes, 04 66 36 00 64.
  • 9 Musée archéologique, Blvd 13 Amiral Courbet, +33 4 66 76 74 80. Columns, mosaics, sculptures, etc.
  • 10 Musée des Beaux-arts, rue de la cité Foulc 20-22, +33 4 66 28 18 32. Flemish, Italian, French works as well as Roman Mosaics.

Do

Buy

Eat

The local speciality is the "brandade", chopped cod mixed with mashed potatoes, milk, garlic and olive oil. It can be tasted in many restaurants. You can also try the "Gardiane de taureau", a ragout with bull meat and vegetables. As an appetizer, have toasted bread with "Tapenade", an olive puree made with olives, olive oil and garlic.

  • 1 L'Ancien Théâtre, 4 Rue Racine, +33 4 66 21 30 75. is a very nice gastronomic restaurant, that serves fine, local, fresh food for a very affordable price. A menu will cost up to 32€, including starter, main course, cheese and dessert.

Drink

Late night bars along Ave Victor Hugo. Lulu is a popular gay bar at 10 Rue Curaterie, open Tuesday till Saturday from 11 pm.

Sleep

A beautiful and expensive hotel is The Imperator.

The FUAJ youth hostel [2] has very friendly and informative local staff.

The Holiday Inn [3], Mercure [4], Ibis [5], Kyriad [6], Nimotel [7], Balladins [8] and the Hotel Formule 1 [9] are all located in the retail park Parc Hotelier Ville Active, about 30 minutes' walk from the town centre (and over the main road from Carrefour hypermarket).

Go next

  • 1 Le Pont du Gard. If you haven't had your fill of Roman constructions, this impressive aqueduct is 25km up the A9 from Nimes and clearly signposted from the motorway. In Roman times the aqueduct carried water destined for Nimes.
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