Nimes, while a distinctly modern city, is a place stepped in two thousand years worth of history. This city along the French Riviera is home to some of the best preserved Roman buildings remaining today. As you explore ancient buildings, modern shopping districts, welcoming beaches, and more, you’ll be surrounded by history and the bright blue Mediterranean skies.
When planning to see the sights in Nimes, you could explore on foot or plan to travel by bus or taxi. With an extensive network of highways, an airport, and rail stations, it’s easy to add the city to your vacation plans, even if you have reservations in Paris, Lille, or Lyon hotels. These big cities connect to Nimes by high-speed rail and highway. Once have arrived, whether you want to visit museums, connect with the lost world of Rome, savor fine food, go shopping, or just explore one of the world’s great cities, you’ll find plenty of options to suit your fancy.
Several of the Nimes attractions are dedicated to art and culture. One of city’s treasures, Maison Carree, dates to Roman era. Known as the Square House in English, the exceptionally conserved building has been in constant use since it was built. Over the years, it’s served as a temple, Christian church, a museum, and various other incarnations; today, it’s one of the most complete examples of Roman architecture in the modern world. Visitors are welcome to tour this ancient landmark and can purchase combination tickets to other Nimes attractions—the Roman Amphitheater of Nimes and the Magne Tower. An audio tour is available English, French, and several other languages.
The Square House in Nimes, at one time, housed an art museum, which moved into its current accommodations in 1993. Carré d’Art, modeled after the Centre du Pompidiou in Paris, offers striking architecture and an inspiring collection of international art opposite from the ancient Roman building.
More options for things to do in Nimes include a long list of interesting museums. Le Musée des Cultures Taurines explains how the city adopted the Spanish tradition of bullfighting, while Le Musée du Vieux Nîmes shares the history of the city in a transformed mansion estate dating from the end of the seventeenth century. You can peek into the ancient past of Nimes with the Musée Archéologique and Le Museum d’Histoire Naturelle or gaze into the skies above at Le Planétarium.
Many of the Nimes hotels offer packages that combine overnight stays with meals and things do in Nimes. Many times, the prices can be less than paying as you go, plus you’ll have the benefit of having local insight from the people who know the Nimes attractions, restaurants, and hotels quite well. If you’d rather make a daytrip to the city, Saint Tropez hotels are another place to look.
The other cities of the Cote d’Azur are close as well. So when staying at Cannes hotels, Marseille to the east or Monte Carlo to the west, you can plan to spend time in the Roman-era city before returning to the sun and beaches of the Mediterranean only a short drive away. However you arrive in this vibrant city or however long you plan to stay, you’ll find an array of things to do in Nimes.
Did you know that every time you put on a pair of blue jeans, you’re experiencing the legacy of Nimes? Levi Strauss brought the versatile indigo cloth to America in the 1870s, using the French fabric to create the pants that soon would be in everybody’s closet.