A southern town between the Cévennes and Camargue, Provence and the Languedoc, festive and secretive, rooted in 2000 years of history and forward-looking, Nîmes is unique. With its Roman arena and the Maison Carrée—a majestic Roman temple that has just been restored—it offers so much for visitors between its contemporary architecture, the discreet splendour of its private mansions, and the grandeur of the Jardins de la Fontaine laid out in the eighteenth century on a Roman site.
In addition to the fine monuments inherited from the Romans, the old town also has its own treasures. The historic centre of Nîmes has relics from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, while also boasts elements of the classical period and the haughty designs of the nineteenth century when the industry prospered in the city. Today, the city looks to the future thanks to audacious town-planning and architectural developments entrusted to today's greatest names.
The Tourist Office in Nîmes has a rich and varied all-year-round programme of guided visits and themed visits, with one geared especially towards children, and they host an extremely popular treasure hunt in the summer for all ages.
The Roman Pass is offered for individuals and is available throughout the year except during the Feria periods. The pass includes a short stay based on 2 days/1 night or 3 days/2 nights with a hotel room and breakfast, tickets to access the monuments and museums in Nîmes, a pass to enter the Pont du Gard and the museum spaces there, an audio-guide for visiting the city and an oil lamp as a present to really take you back in time. As an optional extra, you can choose to go to dinner at a restaurant in Nîmes serving local cuisine.
The traditional Ferias (the 'Féria de Pentecôte' on the days running up to and including Whit Monday and the 'Féria des Vendanges' in the third week of September), with their festivities and bullfights, attract more than a million people every year. In the summer, the Jeudis de Nîmes (Thursdays in Nîmes) boast evening markets and music in the streets of the old town. And then there are the Nuits des Jardins (Garden Nights) where concerts are held in the magnificent setting of the Jardins de la Fontaine, and the Festival de Nîmes concerts that take place in the Roman amphitheatre. The city also hosts the Grands Jeux Romains (Grand Roman Games) when Nîmes lives like the Romans, as well as the much-loved Flamenco Festival, the film festival 'Un réalisateur dans la ville, and the 'Festival de la Biographie'.
The covered market ('Les Halles') in the centre of Nîmes boasts abundant local aromas and flavours.What could be better than a meal of Picholine olives paired with an aperitif and followed by brandade de morue (a traditional preparation of creamed salt cod), tapenade, carpet shells or 'petit pâtés nîmois' (small pies)? Or, try the 'Gardianne de taureau' (a beef stew) or Nîmes lamb, then finish the meal with 'Pélardons' (goat cheeses from the Cévennes) and 'croquants Villaret' (traditional biscuits). This delectable meal can be accompanied by Costières de Nîmes wines or Perrier water (the spring is just a few kilometres from Nîmes).
Office de Tourisme et des Congrès de Nîmes
6, rue Auguste
F-30020 NÎMES Cedex 1
Tel: 00 33 (0)4 66 58 38 00
Fax: 00 33 (0)4 66 58 38 01