39 Best Places And Things To Do in Nîmes, France

Nîmes, located in the southern part of France, is a city known for its rich history and impressive Roman ruins. With its captivating architecture, lively atmosphere, and cultural heritage, Nîmes offers a range of wonderful places to visit and things to do. Here are some of the best attractions and activities to enjoy in the city:

1. Les Arènes de Nîmes (Nîmes Arena)

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One of the most iconic Roman amphitheaters in the world, Les Arènes de Nîmes is a must-visit. Dating back to the 1st century AD, this well-preserved arena hosts various events, including bullfights, concerts, and historical reenactments.

2. Maison Carrée

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This remarkably preserved Roman temple is a true gem of Nîmes. With its stunning Corinthian columns and detailed reliefs, Maison Carrée showcases the architectural grandeur of ancient Rome. Today, it serves as a museum, offering insights into the city’s history.

3. Jardins de la Fontaine (Gardens of the Fountain)

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Take a leisurely stroll through these picturesque gardens, located at the site of the original Roman sacred spring. Adorned with beautiful statues, water features, and lush greenery, the Jardins de la Fontaine is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city.

4. Pont du Gard

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A short distance from Nîmes, you’ll find the Pont du Gard, an impressive Roman aqueduct that spans the Gardon River. This UNESCO World Heritage site is not only a marvel of engineering but also offers stunning natural surroundings, perfect for picnicking and swimming.

5. Musée de la Romanité (Museum of Romanity)

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Immerse yourself in Nîmes’ Roman past at this modern museum. Through its extensive collection of artifacts and interactive exhibits, the Musée de la Romanité provides an engaging exploration of the city’s ancient history.

6. Place aux Herbes

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Head to the city center and visit this bustling square, where you’ll find a vibrant market selling local produce, handicrafts, and flowers. Enjoy the lively atmosphere, indulge in some delicious regional delicacies, and soak up the authentic French ambiance.

7. Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain (Contemporary Art Museum)

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Art enthusiasts should not miss this contemporary art museum, designed by renowned architect Norman Foster. Carré d’Art features a diverse collection of contemporary artworks and offers panoramic views of the city from its rooftop terrace.

8. Les Halles de Nîmes

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Food lovers will delight in the vibrant atmosphere of Les Halles, the city’s lively indoor market. Sample local delicacies, pick up fresh produce, and mingle with locals as you explore the stalls filled with delectable goods.

9. Caves of Les Demoiselles

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For those seeking adventure, a trip to the Caves of Les Demoiselles is highly recommended. Located just outside Nîmes, these extraordinary limestone caves feature stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations, offering a mesmerizing underground experience.

10. La Tour Magne (Magne Tower)

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Venture up to the top of La Tour Magne, the highest remaining tower of the original Roman fortifications. From its vantage point, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Nîmes and the surrounding countryside. The climb to the top is well worth it for the breathtaking vistas.

11. Nîmes Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Castor de Nîmes)

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Explore the stunning Nîmes Cathedral, an impressive blend of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Admire the intricate stained glass windows, ornate altar, and serene atmosphere within this spiritual haven.

12. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nîmes (Museum of Fine Arts)

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Art lovers should not miss the Musée des Beaux-Arts, home to an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from various periods. The museum showcases works by renowned artists such as Monet, Picasso, and Rodin.

13. Pénitents Chapel (Chapelle des Pénitents)

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Step inside this Baroque-style chapel, known for its exquisite interior adorned with intricate woodwork and frescoes. The Pénitents Chapel is a hidden gem that provides a glimpse into the city’s religious and artistic heritage.

14. Parc Georges Besse

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Escape the urban bustle and unwind in this serene park, named after a former mayor of Nîmes. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, have a picnic, or simply relax in the peaceful surroundings. The park also features a playground and a small pond, making it ideal for families.

15. Musée du Vieux Nîmes (Museum of Old Nîmes)

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Dive into the city’s history at the Musée du Vieux Nîmes, which displays artifacts, photographs, and documents that chronicle the development of Nîmes over the centuries. Gain a deeper understanding of the city’s heritage and evolution.

16. Wine Tasting in the Vineyards

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Nîmes is located in the heart of the Languedoc wine region, known for its excellent wines. Take a short trip outside the city to explore the vineyards, visit wineries, and indulge in wine tastings. Discover the unique flavors and terroir of the local wines.

17. Camargue Nature Reserve

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Just a short drive from Nîmes lies the Camargue Nature Reserve, a stunning natural wonderland. Embark on a guided tour or rent a bike to explore this vast wetland area teeming with wildlife. Keep an eye out for flamingos, wild horses, and an array of bird species in their natural habitat.

18. Les Quais de la Fontaine

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Stroll along the picturesque Quais de la Fontaine, a promenade that follows the course of the original Roman aqueduct. Lined with trees, charming cafés, and small boutiques, this tranquil pathway offers a delightful walk with lovely views.

19. Musée de la Chemiserie et de l’Élégance Masculine (Museum of Men’s Shirts and Elegance)

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Delve into the world of fashion at this unique museum dedicated to men’s shirts and elegant attire. Discover the history of shirtmaking, marvel at the craftsmanship, and learn about the evolution of men’s fashion.

20.Nîmes Plage (Nîmes Beach)

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Cool off from the summer heat at Nîmes Plage, a recreational area with a large swimming pool complex, waterslides, and various sports facilities. It’s a great spot for families to relax, have fun, and enjoy some outdoor activities.

21. Attend a Bullfight

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Bullfighting is deeply rooted in the culture of Nîmes. If you’re interested in experiencing this traditional spectacle, check the schedule at Les Arènes de Nîmes. However, please note that bullfighting is a controversial activity, and it’s important to consider the ethical implications before attending.

22.Feast on Provençal Cuisine

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Nîmes is located in the heart of the Provence region, renowned for its delectable cuisine. Indulge in regional specialties such as ratatouille, bouillabaisse (fish stew), and tapenade (olive spread). Pair your meal with a glass of local wine for an authentic culinary experience.

23.Festival de Nîmes

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If you happen to visit Nîmes during the summer, don’t miss the Festival de Nîmes, a renowned music festival that attracts top international artists. From rock and pop to jazz and classical performances, the festival offers a diverse range of musical genres in the magnificent setting of Les Arènes.

24. Outdoor Activities in the Cévennes

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Just north of Nîmes, the Cévennes National Park beckons with its pristine natural landscapes. Engage in outdoor pursuits like hiking, cycling, and canoeing, and explore the breathtaking gorges, dense forests, and picturesque villages that characterize this mountainous region.

25. Explore the Vineyards of Costières de Nîmes

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Discover the wines of the Costières de Nîmes appellation by embarking on a wine tour through the local vineyards. Learn about the winemaking process, sample a variety of wines, and savor the flavors of this esteemed wine-growing region.

26. Musée de la Soie (Silk Museum)

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Delve into the fascinating history of silk production in Nîmes at the Musée de la Soie. Learn about the intricate process of silk-making, admire beautiful silk garments, and discover the city’s connection to this luxurious fabric.

27. Les Grands Jeux Romains (The Great Roman Games)

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Experience a grand spectacle that brings ancient Rome to life through reenactments of gladiator fights, chariot races, and historical processions. Les Grands Jeux Romains, held in Nîmes annually, is an immersive event that allows you to witness the city’s Roman heritage in a vibrant and thrilling manner.

28. Nîmes Street Art Tour

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Discover the vibrant street art scene of Nîmes by taking a street art tour. Explore the city’s alleys and neighborhoods to admire colorful murals, graffiti, and urban installations created by local and international artists. It’s a unique way to appreciate the creativity and urban expression that enriches Nîmes’ cultural landscape.

29. La Maison de la Figurine (House of Miniatures)

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Step into a world of intricate craftsmanship at La Maison de la Figurine, a museum dedicated to miniature art. Admire the incredibly detailed miniatures, including dollhouses, dioramas, and figurines that depict various scenes from history and everyday life.

30. Les Calades

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Wander through the charming narrow streets of Les Calades, an old neighborhood in Nîmes characterized by its cobblestone alleys and picturesque buildings. Explore the hidden corners, browse through small boutiques, and appreciate the authentic atmosphere of this historic quarter.

31. Les Compagnons de Maguelone

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Experience the thrill of medieval combat and knightly skills at Les Compagnons de Maguelone. This historical reenactment group offers shows and demonstrations that showcase the martial arts, weaponry, and chivalry of the Middle Ages. It’s an exciting and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

32. Les Terrasses du Peyrou

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Take a leisurely walk to Les Terrasses du Peyrou, a beautiful park located on a hill overlooking the city. Enjoy panoramic views of Nîmes, including the iconic Tour Magne and the rooftops of the Old Town. It’s a perfect spot to relax, have a picnic, or simply soak in the breathtaking vistas.

33. Les Courses Camarguaises

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Experience the exhilarating Camarguaises races, a traditional form of bullfighting unique to the Camargue region. Unlike traditional bullfights, the focus is on the agility and bravery of the participants who try to snatch a ribbon tied between the bull’s horns. Witness the thrilling displays of skill and bravery in a festive atmosphere.

34. Les Jardins de la Manade

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Discover the rural charm of the Camargue at Les Jardins de la Manade, a traditional ranch. Take a guided tour to learn about Camargue’s cowboy culture, watch demonstrations of horsemanship, and even ride horses or visit the local bull herds. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the region’s rich heritage.

35. Musée du Bonbon Haribo (Haribo Candy Museum)

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Indulge your sweet tooth at the Musée du Bonbon Haribo, dedicated to the famous French candy brand. Learn about the history of Haribo, see a collection of vintage candy packaging, and enjoy interactive exhibits. Of course, there’s a chance to sample some delicious treats too!

36. Les Estivales de Nîmes

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If you’re visiting Nîmes during the summer months, don’t miss Les Estivales, a lively and vibrant summer festival. Held every Thursday evening, it features live music, street performances, local food and wine tastings, and a bustling night market. Join the locals in this festive celebration of summer.

37. Paddleboarding in the Gardon River

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Experience the natural beauty of the region from a different perspective by going paddleboarding on the Gardon River. Glide along the calm waters, surrounded by the stunning landscape of cliffs, trees, and the Pont du Gard in the distance. It’s a tranquil and unique way to enjoy the outdoors.

38. Les Journées Romaines (Roman Days)

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Step back in time during Les Journées Romaines, a weekend dedicated to Roman culture and history. Witness historical reenactments, Roman soldier demonstrations, chariot races, and gladiator battles in the heart of the city. Immerse yourself in the world of ancient Rome and gain a deeper appreciation for Nîmes’ Roman heritage.

39. Les Cévennes Steam Train

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Embark on a scenic journey through the picturesque landscapes of the Cévennes on the historic steam train, Train à Vapeur des Cévennes. Travel through charming villages, lush forests, and scenic valleys as you enjoy the nostalgia of steam locomotion. It’s a nostalgic and memorable experience for train enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.