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About Nîmes

French Riviera, France

With a population of around 150,000, Nîmes has been a popular tourist destination on the French Riviera for many years, the major attraction being the amount of magnificent Roman architecture still remaining within the city’s limits. One of the most stunning features of the city is the amphitheatre situated in the centre, though the three tier ‘pont du Gard’ aqueduct which crosses the river Gard 20km outside the city is one of the most stunning roman structures in the South of France. Though on the French Riviera, Nîmes lies some 45km from the Mediterranean coast and 30km to the north-west of the Camargue, the largest river delta in Europe which is at times home to over 400 species of birds, as well as the world known Camarge bulls and horses.

A short history of Nîmes

There is evidence that there was some form of settlement in what is now known as Nîmes as far back as 4,000 years, though it was at the end of the first century BC that it became a flourishing Roman colony with the city believed to have a population of some 60,000 inhabitants at the time of Augustus, compared to over 140,000 today. The city remained under Roman rule until captured by the Visigoths at the end of the 4th century, which was then taken over by the Corolingian King, Pepin, at the end of the 7th century. Thereafter the city fell in to decline, suffered during the French Wars of Religion and did not begin to prosper again until the 17th century, further economic crisis during the time of the French Revolution, but recovering to become one of France’s more prosperous towns thereafter.

tourist attractions in Nîmes

As mentioned, remains of Roman architecture dominate the city and provide many of the main sights and buildings to explore. The MaisonCarrée is probably one of the best preserved Roman temples in the world, dating back to 19Bc, while the Roman amphitheatre is believed to date back to the first century. In medieval times the amphitheatre served as a place of safety with many homes created within the exterior walls which remained there until the times of Napoleon, while today it proves a popular venue both for concerts as well as bull-fighting. Though predominantly known for its ancient buildings, Nîmes has moved with the times, yet retaining a rich cultural heritage, with the inclusion of dramatic modern architecture, including the Norman Foster designed Carré d’Art built in 1986 and which is a museum of modern art , the Nemausus, a post-modern collection of residential houses designed by Jean Nouvel and KishoKurokawa’s hemicycle building which was constructed to reflect the amphitheatre.

festivals and events in Nîmes

Nîmes is also home to a bi-annual feria which is one of the most popular in the region. These ferias have a distinctly Spanish feel to them with music and dance included alongside bullfighting and bull runs. May is the time for the annual Roman Games, while there are garden night festivals of music and dance in the open air during June and July.Throughout July and August, every Thursday night sees the city come alive with music, stalls and markets in many of the city’s squares, the Festival of Nîmes also taking place between July and August with a series of concerts in the amphitheatre. In November in Nîmes there is the craft show Nîmagine, which comprises two hundred of the best artisans offering their works for sale.


Food plays a great part in French life and every region, if not every city has its own specialities. In Nîmes, aside from traditional Provençale dishes, there are three local specialities. The first is Brandade de Morue, which is a dish which has existed for over 250 years and which comprises de-salted salt cod poached in olive oil and milk and either served in a puff pastry or plain with vegetables. Then there is the Gardianne de Taureau, which basically comprises local bull's meat marinated in Costières de Nîmes red wine. Finally there is Agneau deNîmeswhich is local suckling lamb which should be no older than three months and which is prized for its pale colour meat.

recommended restaurants in Nîmes
Vincent Croizard 17 Rue des Chassaintes, 30000 Nîmes
Phone: +33 4 66 67 04 99
Ô Melgacense 3 Rue des Greffes 30000, Nîmes
Phone: +33-4 66 38 97 94
Skab 7 Rue de la République 30000 Nîmes
Phone: +33 4 66 21 94 30
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villa rentals in the Nîmes area
The Frogs House

Looking for an unforgettable experience in a typical French village, 15km from Nice and the French Riviera ? Come to enjoy our 7 cosy bedrooms with views to the sea and over the surrounding hills.

  • Villa Belmonte "Villa Belmont" is a brand new luxury villa in the beautiful old village of Biot in the South of France.
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