Nimes, a city in the Occitanie region of southern France, was an important outpost of the Roman Empire. It’s known for well-preserved Roman monuments such as the Arena of Nîmes, a double-tiered circa-70 A.D. amphitheater still in use for concerts and bullfights. Both the Pont du Gard tri-level aqueduct and the Maison Carrée white limestone Roman temple are around 2,000 years old.
What to See and Do
Jardins de la Fontaine
These Grand 18th Century Gardens were built around the water source where ancient Nimes was founded. Around the gardens you will find a variety of historic structures that show what life was like during the 18th Century and what events occurred. This beautiful site was the first Public Garden in Europe. Stretching out over 15 Hectares, there are a number of things to see and learn. With Roman Temples, nymphaeum, and old ruins, taking a trip here would be a day well spent.
Musee des Beaux-Arts
This is the second-largest fine arts museum in Languedoc-Roussillon (South Coast of France). It is a repository for French, Italian, Flemish and Dutch paintings from the 1500s to the 1800s. This museum was founded in 1821, where it was first kept in the Maison Caree. In 1907, the museum moved to the specially-built hall where it still stands now. Admission here is free, so if you find you have the time to go then it’s definitely worth the visit.
Take a Walking Tour
Spend the day on a private tour following the ancient trail of the Romans. If you struggle to find places to go or you would rather follow a fully organised plan of places to visit, I would recommend these sorts of tours. The reason being is because the tour guide will be an expert in their field, can give you lots of historic details about the different sites & answer any questions you may have about the City. You can visit a range of places, such as the Pont du Gard aqueduct, the well-preserved roman remains, the Maison Carree, and a private tour of the Provence’s Roman Landmarks. These Tours also tend to include pick-up and drop-off services from your place of accommodation.
If you book a few months in advance, you can purchase return flights from Skyscanner for as little as £22 for a week’s stay in Nimes. Booking for next month is a little more expensive as return flights start at £26. It is always best to try and have a little bit of flexibility when you’re deciding on holidays as prices will fluctuate at different times of the month and year.
Nimes hostels are a little more expensive than some of the other countries we’ve mentioned on BeBi Travel, lowest price starting at £29.67 per night. Hostels are a great way to meet other travellers when on your trip. If sharing rooms with someone unfamiliar isn’t your kind of thing, I would recommend looking for a private room option instead. Click here to find the best deals on local hostels and more information on rooms and amenities.
Settle into a cosy hotel during your stay in Nimes. You can grab yourself a beautiful double bedroom with an en-suite bathroom for as little as £52 for 2 nights. Perfectly located, with free WiFi and an easy express check-in/out services. There a variety of places you can go to look for affordable hotels, but if you’re not too concerned with price and are more focused on being close to Landmarks and Amenities then a great place to look is Expedia. They offer a range of Search services for flights, hotels, car hire and more, as well as being able to find and provide you with the best packages and deals in the location of your choice.
Nimes is not short of any traditional restaurants. With a variety of dishes being served all over the city, there is no missing out on a great French meal. For example, you can visit Bistrot Le Republique, located near the well-known roman amphitheatre.
There are many methods of transport in Nimes, such as Train, Bike rental, trams and taxis. The bus and Train station are found next to each other. Easily located just South-West of the centre of Nimes.
Places like Jardin de la Fontaine are a great way to spend your days when on a budget. You can spend as long as you want there. Chill by the waters or take a stroll through the trees. There are many places in Nimes you can visit for little or no cost.
Take a visit to one of Nimes food markets and try cooking yourself some beautiful French Cuisine. Le Halles de Nimes is one of the most popular markets in Nimes. On their website you can find a bunch of information on the history of the market, the stalls they have, and they even provide great French recipes to try with the ingredients you buy when you’re there. The Halls of Nimes are open 7am-1pm every day.
You can join walking tours while in Nimes, which average around £30 per person. This is a great idea if you’re interested in meeting people from all walks of life. Furthermore you can be part of a group / timed tour. However, I recently come across a great app, that will plan a route for you in your chosen city, and gives you the chance to take your own self-guided tour at your own pace.
This app is called GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities. It provides you with purchase or subscription options for as little as $1.99. The app also works offline, meaning you don’t need to waste any data or worry about any extra charges you may have by using the app abroad.
Are you feeling the French spirit, maybe you want to brush up on your french before you head over there? Read our various articles for France, and check out how you can get to Limoges for less than a fancy meal!