Nimeño II Statue outside Arènes de Nîmes, matador statue, coliseum

The perfect blend of Roman, Spanish and French influences can be found in the charming city of Nîmes in Southern France. It doesn’t take long to understand why the city is known as ‘French Rome’. In this Nimes destination guide, we show you the highlights of Nîmes including the Nimes arena, Musée de la Romanité, Maison Carree and Les Jardins de la Fontaine. When you visit France you must try the local food. We give you France travel advice on what to eat in Nîmes France, including decadent cakes and regional French cuisine. This France travel guide also includes tips on where to stay when visiting Nîmes and how to get to Nîmes France.

Short on time? Here are our Nîmes France top recommendations:

Highlights: explore the ancient Roman structure of Arènes de Nîmes, relax in the Jardin de La Fontaine and stroll down Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle.

Activities: book your Nîmes France Tours with Get Your Guide.

Accommodation: we use to find the best hotels.

Transport: TrainLine for trains and FlixBus for intercity buses.

Flights: find cheapest flights with cashback on WayAway.

Airport Lounge Access: start your holiday the right way with Priority Pass.

Travel Medical Insurance: SafetyWing Nomad Insurance is the ideal choice for long-term travellers and digital nomads.

What is Nîmes France famous for?

Nîmes is known as French Rome due to its rich history as a Roman colony, dating back over 2000 years. Indeed a number of important monuments from its time as part of the Roman Empire still remain in the city. These include the remarkably well preserved Arena of Nîmes, the Pont du Gard aqueduct as well as the beautiful temple Maison Carrée.

Why you should visit Nîmes France

Fontaine Pradier Nîmes France
Fontaine Pradier Nîmes France

Nîmes is the most Roman city outside of Italy. This former Roman colony is home to some remarkably well preserved buildings that date back to early Christian times. None is more impressive than the Arènes de Nîmes, which is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. It is a grand structure that is still in use for concerts and sporting events to this day. In particular, the stadium is used for bullfighting events. While bullfighting is typically thought of as a Spanish tradition, it also has a long history in southern France. Bull fights have been taking place in the Arènes de Nîmes since the 1800s.

The history of Nîmes is fascinating and can be discovered in many places throughout the city. Not only are there excellent audio guides which are available at historic buildings like Arènes de Nîmes and Tour Magne, but there’s also a wealth of information in the many museums throughout the city such as the Musée de la Romanité.

Nîmes is a stunningly beautiful city to visit. Along with the extraordinary Roman architecture, there are also many beautifully designed parks and public squares to enjoy. We were particularly impressed with its extensive network of canals, which are the lifeblood of the city. Nîmes truly is one of the most beautiful cities in France.

Be sure to sample some of the local cuisine when in Nîmes. The regional speciality petit pâté nîmois is a deliciously savoury treat which can be found in many butchers, cafes and markets throughout the city. Trying local wine and cheese is also a must. And don’t forget the delicious cakes from local patisseries as well as locally made hand crafted chocolate.

Nîmes Destination Guide: Know before you go

Basic info about Nîmes France

View of Nîmes from Tour Magne
View of Nîmes from Tour Magne

  • Language – French, although the regional language Occitan is still spoken by a small portion of the population. English is spoken to some extent, particularly in hotels and tourism businesses. However not everyone you meet will be able to speak English. We find that if you at least attempt to speak a bit of French, you will get a warmer reception than if you just assume everyone speaks English. In our experience, most people we’ve spoken to start speaking English as soon as they hear our feeble attempts at speaking French.
  • Currency – euro (EUR). This has been the official currency of France since 2002. Currency exchanges can be found in Nîmes and ATMs are widely available.
  • Population – 151,000 (2015)
  • Area – 162 km2
  • Department – Gard. Nîmes is the capital of this department.
  • Region – Occitanie (in the former Languedoc-Roussillon region).

Utilities in Nîmes France

Nîmes Tourist Office
Nîmes Tourist Office

  • Electricity – France uses Types C and E power plugs. The country operates on a 230v supply voltage at 50Hz. Power outages are not common in France.
  • Water – the tap water in Nîmes is safe to drink. In cafes and restaurants, you can ask for a “caraffe d’eau”, and the waiter will bring you a pitcher of water that is free and safe to drink.
  • Toilets – sit-down flushing toilets are the most common type of toilet in France. You can flush your toilet paper directly into the bin. Public toilets are common in France. Many public toilets are free to use, but some charge anywhere from 50 cents to 2 euros to use.
  • Telephone country code: +33

Where is Nîmes France?

Nîmes is the capital of the Gard department in the Occitanie region of southern France. The Occitanie region was formed in 2016 as an amalgamation of 2 former regions. The region that Nîmes lies in used to be known as the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

The closest major French cities to Nîmes are Avignon, Montpellier, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. Nîmes is half an hour by train from Avignon, less than 1 hour by train from Montpellier, one and a half hours by train from Aix-en-Provence and 2 hours by train from Marseille.

How to get to Nîmes France

Nîmes destination guide: Arriving by land

Nîmes France intercity land transport

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The main transport options for travelling overland to Nîmes France are:

  • Private vehicle
  • Private transport operator
  • Navette (Shuttle Bus) – this runs from Nîmes Airport to Nîmes bus station. The cost is 6.80 euro one way (price as at 2024). The journey time is approximately 20 minutes.
  • Train
  • Bus
  • Bike
TER Train from Nîmes to Avignon France
TER Train from Nîmes to Avignon France

Driving to Nîmes from within France

If you are driving to Nîmes from within France, here are the travel times and distances:

  • Avignon – 42 minutes (45km) with tolls or 47 minutes (46km) without tolls
  • Montpellier – 46 minutes (55km) with tolls or 1 hour 7 minutes (57km) without tolls
  • Aix-en-Provence – 1 hour 22 minutes (110km) with tolls or 1 hour 41 minutes (127km) without tolls
  • Marseille – 1 hour 27 minutes (122km) with tolls or 1 hours 31 minutes (117km) without tolls
  • Paris – 6 hours 20 minutes (713km) with tolls or 9 hours 36 minutes (723km) without tolls

Intercity trains to Nîmes France

Trains are a cheap and efficient way to get to Nîmes France. The main train station in Nîmes is Nîmes train station, also known as Nîmes (Centre). This station is located in the heart of Nîmes. There is also a secondary train station, Nîmes Pont-du-Gard train station, which is located 14km outside the city of Nîmes and solely services TGV high speed trains.

The following train brands service Nîmes:

  • TGV train – this is France’s intercity high speed rail service.
  • AVE train – this is Spain’s intercity high speed rail service. The AVE line which services Nîmes runs from Marseille France to Madrid Spain.
  • Intercités – this is a non-high speed rail service which operates on the ‘classic’ rail network in France
  • TER (Transport Express Régional) – the TER rail service is run by the regional councils of France

The French national railway company that operates these services is called SNCF.

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We recommend using the app and website TrainLine to book intercity train tickets in France. This is the app we used. We found it very easy to use with great functionality. Another great feature is that you can see days ahead to see what times of the day were the cheapest rates. The TrainLine app was much easier to use than the SNCF website and app, which we found really cumbersome and difficult to use.

Intercity buses to Nîmes France


A common way to get around France is by using intercity buses. These are a budget friendly alternative to trains, but are generally a slower option. Intercity bus companies operating in Nîmes France include FlixBus and Blablacar Bus. Popular bus destinations from Nîmes include:

  • Montpellier France – travel time half an hour. Tickets start from 3 euro one way.
  • Marseille France – travel time 1.5 hours. Tickets start from 6 euro one way.
  • Aix-en-Provence France – travel time 1.5-2.5 hours. Tickets start from 5 euro one way.
  • Paris France – travel time 9-13 hours. Tickets start from 20 euro one way.
  • Barcelona Spain – travel time 6-7 hours. Tickets start from 12 euro one way.

Nîmes destination guide: Arriving by air

The nearest airport to Nîmes France is Nîmes-Alès-Camargue-Cévennes (Airport code FNI). This international airport is 10km from the city.

Other nearby airports include:

  • Montpellier Airport (Airport code MPL). This airport is 42km away.
  • Avignon Airport (Airport code AVN). This airport is 45km away.
  • Marseille Airport (Airport code MRS). This is 82km away.
  • Béziers Airport (Airport code BZR). This is 109km away.
  • Toulon/Hyeres Airport (Airport code TLN. This airport is 149km away.

The national airline of France is Air France.

Entrance to Hall B at Toulouse Airport, People in masks with luggage
Toulouse Airport France

Nîmes destination guide: Arriving by boat

The city of Nîmes is not on the ocean, nor does it have any rivers running through it. It is however less than an hour drive from both the Mediterranean Sea and the Rhône River.

Cruise Critic

Nîmes destination guide: How to get around Nîmes France

Walking in Nîmes France

Man in red jacket and jeans walking dog at Jardin de La Fontaine Nîmes France
Man Walking Dog at Jardin de La Fontaine Nîmes France

By far the easiest and cheapest way to get around Nîmes is to walk. Nîmes is a very walkable city. It is also very scenic, so walking is a very pleasant way to get around.

Local buses in Nîmes France

Local buses service Nîmes. The Central Bus Station is located right behind the Central Train Station.

Trams in Nîmes France

Trams service Nîmes.

Métro trains (subway or underground) in Nîmes France

Nîmes does not have a metro train system. There are however 2 train stations which connect Nîmes to other cities and towns in France – Nîmes (Centre) train station and Nîmes Pont-du-Gard train station.

Vehicle hire in Nîmes France

A wide variety of vehicles can be rented in Nîmes France. This includes:

  • Bicycles – The historic Pont-du-Gard aqueduct is a 30km cycle from Nîmes and is a great destination to visit when in the area. There are self-service bike share services available in the city from companies such as ouibike. Alternatively you can hire a bike from a bike hire shop such as VéloTango or Cycles Passieu.
  • Electric scooters
  • Motorcycles
  • Cars
  • SUVs
  • Campervans

The French drive on the right side of the road.

Navettes (shuttles) in Nîmes France

Navettes make short repetitive journeys between two destinations. Common journeys include going between the airport and the city centre. These journeys can be booked on demand for a fixed price. There is a navette from Nîmes Airport to the Nîmes bus station. The cost is 6.80 euro one way (price as at 2024). The journey time is approximately 20 minutes.

Taxis in France

Taxis are common in France. Fares are regulated and are usually metered. The exception to this will be standard journeys such as airport trips. In this case the fare will be a fixed price. However in general your fare will include the following costs:

  • The pickup fee or minimum fee – this is charged as soon as you get into the vehicle
  • There may also be an additional fee for extra people or heavy luggage
  • A reservation fee – this will be higher if you book in advance compared to if you want a taxi immediately
  • Price per kilometre – this price can vary depending on the time of day
  • Price per hour – this is a price that gets charged when the taxi is stuck in heavy traffic. The price also varies depending on the time of day

Ride-share services in France

There are many rideshare services operating in France. These include Uber, Lyft, InDriver and Carpool.

Nîmes France destination guide: Is Nîmes France worth visiting?

Nîmes is a must-visit city. It has a unique character that reflects its French, Roman and Spanish influences. Its Roman ruins are also stunning examples of ancient engineering and preservation. Additionally, Nîmes has beautiful parks and open spaces, a relaxed atmosphere and a great food scene.

Nîmes destination guide: How long to spend in Nîmes France

Nîmes is a great place to come for a weekend. You can explore most of the major sites in the city in a day. We spent 5 days in Nîmes and enjoyed taking time to enjoy the various activities available in this beautiful city.

Nîmes destination guide: What to do in Nîmes France

View from the rooftop of Musée de la Romanité Nîmes France, Arènes de Nîmes
View from the rooftop of Musée de la Romanité

Nîmes is a beautiful French city with many activities on offer. It has a range of great free activities as well as paid activities.

Nîmes destination guide: Free things to do in Nîmes France

There are enough free activities in Nîmes France to keep you entertained for a weekend or even a leisurely week:

For more details, see our Nimes travel guide on the 10 Best Free Things To Do in Nimes France.

Temple de Diane Nîmes France
Temple de Diane Nîmes France

On the 1st Sunday of every month entry to Nîmes museums is free. This includes:

  • Musée du Vieux Nîmes – entry fee is 5 euro for adults on other days (as at 2024)
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nîmes – entry fee is 5 euro for adults on other days (as at 2024)
  • Carré d’Art – free entry to the permanent collection and reduced fee for the temporary collection on Sundays. Entry fee is 8 euro for the exhibition and collection on other days (as at 2024)

Nîmes destination guide: Paid activities in Nîmes France

Musée de la Romanité Nîmes France
Musée de la Romanité Nîmes France

A number of attractions in Nîmes France charge an entry fee:

  • Arènes de Nîmes – entry fee is 10 euro for adults (as at 2024)
  • Musée de la Romanité – entry fee is 9 euro for adults (as at 2024)
  • Maison Carrée – entry fee is 6 euro for adults (as at 2024)
  • Tour Magne – entry fee is 3.50 euro for adults (as at 2024)

You can get combined tickets with Arènes de Nîmes, Tour Magne and Maison Carrée for 13 euro (as at 2024).

Weather in Nîmes France

Nîmes enjoys a warm temperate climate. Its climate is heavily influenced by the nearby Mediterranean area. It has cold winters, with average temperature range between 3°C and 10°C in the coldest month of January. Summers last from June to September and are hot and sunny, with the average temperature range between 19°C and 30°C in the hottest month of July. It is a windy city and experiences frequent and sometimes powerful winds. Snow is rare but not unheard of in Nîmes. The month with the most rainfall is October with 8.1 days of rain on average and the driest month is July with an average of 3.1 rainy days.

Carré d'Art - Musée d'art contemporain de Nîmes France
Carré d’Art – Musée d’art contemporain de Nîmes France

Best time to visit Nîmes France

Nîmes is a remarkable city that is enjoyable at any time of year. However with its beautiful parks, squares and boulevards, Nîmes is particularly enjoyable during the warmer weather months of April to October. Nîmes is also home to a number of popular events and festivals which are certainly worth attending. The Feria de Nîmes is a festival which centres around Spanish-style bullfighting and is held twice a year – during Pentecost as well as in September. Another worthwhile festival to consider is the Festival de Nîmes – a music festival where major acts perform in the Arènes de Nîmes. This festival is held over summer.

Internet and mobile phones in France

Since June 15th, 2017, Roam Like at Home (RLAT) rules came into force for European Union countries. As such, people with European Union mobile numbers are no longer charged temporary mobile roaming fees if they travel within the European Union. This means that if you have a European Union mobile number, you can use that number anywhere within the European Union and you will be charged for calls, texts and data in the same way as if you were in your home country. There are limits to this in order to prevent abuse of these rules.

The main internet and phone companies in France include Orange, SFR, LeFrenchMobile, Bouygues Telecom, Lebara, Lycamobile and Free.

5G has been in France since November 2020. However 2G is expected to continue in France until 2030.

Cell phone SIM cards can be bought in many places throughout France. These include phone stores, some supermarkets, newspaper kiosks as well as online.

How much to budget for Nîmes France?

Maison Carrée Nîmes France, Roman architecture in France
Maison Carrée Nîmes France

Is Nîmes expensive?

Nîmes is a relatively inexpensive place to visit in France. Accommodation costs are quite reasonable and it is cheap to get around the city by walking, cycling or taking public transport. Furthermore there are plenty of free or cheap activities to enjoy such as visiting gardens and cathedrals as well as simply strolling around the city admiring the sights.

Nîmes destination guide: Daily spend for a couple travelling in Nîmes France

As a rough guide, we recommend the following budgets for a couple:

  • Low-budget daily spend – 100 euro per day for a couple will get you hostel accommodation, self catering and bakery meals, walking throughout the city and free or cheap activities such as relaxing in the parks and squares around the city.
  • Mid-range daily spend – 300 euro per day for a couple will get you mid-range accommodation, walking or hiring a bike to get around the city, dining at reasonably priced cafes and restaurants and some paid activities such as entry to the coliseum.
  • Luxury spend – 1000 euro per day for a couple will get you a premium experience in France, staying at luxury hotels, travelling by private transport, doing a range paid activities and eating at high end restaurants.

Nîmes destination guide: Accommodation in Nîmes France

Balcony view from Twenty Campus Nîmes France
Balcony view from Twenty Campus Nîmes

There is a good range of accommodation to suit most budgets in Nîmes France. Airbnb operates in Nîmes.

Where to stay in Nîmes France?

We recommend the following accommodation in Nîmes France:

  • Best hostel in Nîmes France – Vertigo Nimes is a great choice for travellers who want to stay close to Nîmes train station. The rooms are cozy, roomy and spotless, with en-suite showers and toilets for convenience. The rooftop terrace offers stunning views of the city, and the staff are helpful and welcoming.
  • Best bed & breakfast in Nîmes France – Antichambre offers a truly special experience. The rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated, the host is fantastic and the incredible breakfasts are a highlight.
  • Best 4 star hotel in Nîmes France – Margaret – Hôtel Chouleur offers a charming stay in a historic villa that has been tastefully restored. Located in the heart of Nîmes, it is ideal for exploring the city’s attractions. However, guests should be aware that the hotel does not have its own parking facilities or elevators.
  • Best luxury 5 star hotel in Nîmes France – Jardins Secrets is a calm oasis in the middle of the city. It provides an opulent setting for your holiday with magnificent gardens and a historic building that exudes old world charm. The staff are kind, attentive and unobtrusive. However the breakfasts are average and overpriced.
  • Best value furnished apartment in Nîmes France – we stayed at Twenty’s Business Flats Nîmes Trigone. This accommodation exceeded our expectations. It was perfectly located just minutes away from Nimes train station. The room was fairly new and had a well functioning kitchenette. The bed was comfortable and the bathroom well appointed. You even got your own balcony overlooking the square below. The wifi was super fast. There were also free breakfasts on weekdays.

How much is accommodation in Nîmes France?

For short-term accommodation, a general price per night is as follows:

  • Budget accommodation – 30-35 euro for dorm accommodation
  • Mid-range accommodation – 35-150 euro for a private room
  • Luxury accommodation – 200-300 euro a night for a luxury hotel
  • Rental property – 50-450 euro a night for a fully furnished 3-5 bedroom home

Nîmes destination guide: Food in Nîmes France

Outdoor dining at Place d'Assas Nîmes France, French cafe
Outdoor dining at Place d’Assas Nîmes France

Nîmes has a good selection of cafes and restaurants on offer as well as high quality patisseries and chocolateries and charming local butchers and bakers.

How much does food cost in Nîmes France?

Our price guide for your food budget in Nîmes France is as follows (prices as at 2022):

  • Restaurant meal – 15-20 for a main dish
  • Bakery food – 1-2 euro for a croissant or baguette, 5 euro for a sandwich
  • Glass of wine – 4-6 euro
  • Coffee – 3-4 euro

Regional dishes and specialities in Nîmes France

  • Brandade de morue nîmoise
  • Gardiane de taureau
  • Petit pâté nîmois
  • Pélardon cheese
  • Croquant Villaret
  • Picholine olives
Petit Pâté Nîmois from La Cave Du Boucher, French pastry
Petit Pâté Nîmois from La Cave Du Boucher

Cheap Eats in Nîmes France

  • Boulangeries (French bakeries) are a great place to get cheap and delicious food. Baguettes are typically around 1 euro. Croissants and pain au chocolat are around 1 euro. Other common food that can be found in boulangeries include quiches, pastries, sandwiches and pizzas.
  • Crêpes are a great cheap eat option in France. They are made fresh to order and are a delicious local food. Expect to pay 1-5 euro per crêpe, depending on the filling.
Black Forest Cake from Pâtisserie ôgato Nîmes France, cake from French patisserie
Black Forest Cake from Pâtisserie ôgato

Fine dining in Nîmes France

Nîmes is home to a number of Michelin Guide restaurants.

2 star Michelin restaurants in Nîmes France (2024)
  • Duende
1 star Michelin restaurants in Nîmes France (2024)
  • Skab
  • Rouge
  • Jérôme Nutile
Michelin Plate restaurants in Nîmes France (2024)
  • La Table du 2
  • Le Lisita
  • Menna
  • La Pie qui Couette
  • Aux Plaisirs des Halles
  • Vincent Croizard
  • Le Bistr’AU – Le Mas de Boudan

Nîmes France culture

France national holidays

  • New Year’s Day – 1 January
  • Good Friday – the Friday before Easter Sunday, typically in March or April. This is only observed in Alsace and Moselle.
  • Easter Monday – the Monday after Easter Sunday, typically in March or April.
  • Labor Day – 1 May
  • Victory Day – 8 May
  • Ascension Day – this is celebrated 40 days after Easter
  • Whit Sunday – this is the Christian holiday of Pentecost. It is celebrated 50 days after Easter, typically in May or June
  • Whit Monday – it is the day after Whit Sunday, typically in May or June
  • Bastille Day – 14 July
  • Assumption Day – 15 August
  • All Saints Day – 1 November
  • Armistice Day – 11 November
  • Christmas Day – 25 December
  • St Stephen’s Day – 26 December. This is only observed in Alsace and Moselle.
Arènes de Nîmes - Inside the coliseum
Arènes de Nîmes – Inside the coliseum

National symbols of France

  • France flag – a tricolour flag featuring three vertical bands coloured blue, white and red from left to right.
  • France coat of arms – this features a lictor’s fasces (a bundle of wooden rods with an axe protruding from the top). This symbol rests on branches of laurel and oak. There is also a ribbon with the national motto “Liberté, égalité, fraternité”. The lictor’s fasces represents magisterial power, law and governance. The oak is the national tree of France and symbolises strength and endurance. The laurel is a symbol of triumph.
  • National flower – fleur-de-lis (also known as the lily flower)
  • National bird – Gallic rooster

France pastimes

  • National dish – Pot-au-Feu
  • Popular drinks – Pastis, wine
  • National sport – football
  • Religion – 41% Catholic, 40% non-religious (as at 2019)

Famous people from Nîmes France

  • Noteworthy people born in Nîmes France – writer Alphonse Daudet, real-life inspiration for the Count of Monte Cristo Pierre Picaud, journalist Ernest Daudet, painter Claude Viallat, diplomat Paul Révoil, politician Henri Yrissou, engineer Émile Cheysson
  • Sports stars from Nîmes France – volleyball player Nicolas Rossard, Olympic gymnasts Coralie Chacon and Ludivine Furnon, Olympic medallist swimmer Yannick Agnel, footballer Manuel Amoros, fencer Georges Dillon-Kavanagh, Olympic gold medallist rower Adrien Hardy, paralympic athlete Orianne Lopez, Olympic athlete Chantal Réga, Olympic swimmer Laurie Thomassin
Tour Magne Nîmes France
Tour Magne Nîmes France

Is Nîmes France Safe?

France travel guide: Safety in France

We travelled through France for two months and found the country to be extremely safe. As with any country, there are good areas and bad areas. Watch out for pickpockets particularly in Paris, Marseilles, Nice, Lyon, Cannes as well as Strasbourg. Also, make sure no-one is watching whenever you are entering pin codes and never lose sight of your credit card when making a purchase.

Palais de Justice Nîmes France
Palais de Justice Nîmes France

General safety considerations in France

Other general safety considerations for travel in France:

  • Drinking water – The tap water is safe to drink in Nîmes.
  • Mosquitoes – the tiger mosquito has been present in France since 2004. This type of mosquito spreads diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikunguya.
  • Road safety – French motorways are the safest in continental Europe. However the National and Departmental roads are much less safe. Additionally, roads are the leading cause of violent death in the country. Take care on the roads in France.
  • Water safety – If you visit any of the lakes or waterways near Nîmes take care when swimming as currents and waves may be stronger than you expect.
  • Sun safety – Exposure to the sun can have adverse short-term and long-term effects on the skin, eyes and immune system. Sun protection such as sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses is very important to ensure you don’t get burnt.

As with any destination, take all of your normal safety precautions.

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