Top 21 Things To Do In Nimes, France

things to do in nimes france
| 8 min read

In the southern part of France, lies the city of Nimes that’s renowned for its rich Roman heritage and plenty of ancient ruins and historic buildings. But not only that, but it’s also home to excellent art museums, eateries, cathedrals, and town squares, which should give visitors much to see and do during their trip to Nimes. These include Nimes Cathedral that features stunning Gothic and Romanesque architecture, the Museum of Fine Arts of Nimes that houses amazing artworks and mosaics from different European countries, and the Roman Empire at Maison, which is a well-preserved building from a bygone era. Check out our comprehensive list of things to do in Nimes, France - and plan your upcoming trip accordingly!

1. Breathe in some fresh air in the luscious Garden of La Fontaine

Nimes jardin de la fontaine 14
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Chatsam used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’re a nature lover, a simple romantic, or someone that just needs a break from the rat race, then head over to the Garden of La Fontaine when in Nimes. After all, this is a gorgeous garden with a relaxing atmosphere, a ton of history, several fountains, and plenty of winding walking paths for you to transverse. The Temple of Diana lies near the entrance of the garden while the Magne Tower is at the far end, which requires a bit of walking to get there. A few other nearby attractions include Carré d'Art, Square Antonin, and Square de la Bouquerie.

Garden of La Fontaine

Address: 26 Quai de la Fontaine, 30000 Nimes, France

Website: Garden of La Fontaine

Opening hours: 7:30am - 6:30pm (daily)

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2. Explore the best-preserved temple façades at Maison Carrée (Square House)

Maison carrée (6)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user La-tête-ailleurs used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Who doesn’t love ancient Roman temples, right? And no, you won’t only find them in Italy, but in other parts of Europe such as Nimes. The Roman Empire at Maison Carrée dates back to 2 AD and is undoubtedly a magnificent and regal structure that’s still well-preserved. While it attempts to mimic the look of ancient Greek temples such as the Parthenon, yet due to its Vitruvian Tuscan-style architecture, there are significant differences in the carvings and dimensions to that of its original inspiration. Nevertheless, this temple went on to influence the likes of Thomas Jefferson, who was a self-taught architect and the third president of the United States of America.

Roman Empire at Maison Carrée

Address: Place de la Maison Carrée, 30000 Nimes, France

Website: Roman Empire at Maison Carrée

Opening hours: 10am - 4:30pm (daily)

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3. Discover the historically significant Temple of Diana

Temple de Diane Nîmes
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user P. De Praetere used under CC BY-SA 3.0

When you visit the Garden of La Fontaine, you’ll also have an opportunity to check out the Temple of Diana. But make sure not to miss it, since it’s surrounded by trees and it’s fairly small. You’ll notice that it’s partly in ruins and not well-preserved, but it’s still one of the more important landmarks in the region because it dates back to the time of the Romans. Furthermore, it’s one of the few ancient ruins where you can freely walk without any restrictions and having to pay an entrance fee.

Temple of Diana

Address: Quai Georges Clemenceau, 30000 Nimes, France

Opening hours: 12am - 12am (daily)

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4. Marvel at the Gothic architecture of Nîmes Cathedral

Le Temple or the Cathedral at Nimes - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Henk Monster used under CC BY 3.0

While there’s no shortage of stunning buildings in this vibrant city, you can’t go wrong with a stopover at Nimes Cathedral. What makes it so appealing is its interesting blend of Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles and houses an organ that dates backs to the 17th century. Many believe that the original structure of this cathedral was built on the same site as the Roman Temple of Augustus, which helps give it even greater historical significance.

Nîmes Cathedral

Address: 9 Rue Saint-Castor, 30000 Nimes, France

Website: Nîmes Cathedral

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11am - 6pm; Sat - Sun: 9am - 6pm (closed on Tue)

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5. Soothe your senses at the Church of St. Perpetua

Saint Perpetua and Felicitas church in Nimes 03
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Krzysztof Golik used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Once you’re done with your visit to Nimes Cathedral, you’ll probably want to check out other religious buildings in the vicinity. If that’s the case, then head over to the Church of St. Perpetua, which features an eclectic architectural style with an imposing bell tower and spire. Another thing that will draw your attention is the colorful and quirky merry-go-round that’s situated in front of the church, so be sure to bring the kids along.

Church of St. Perpetua

Address: Boulevard de Prague, 30000 Nimes, France

Website: Church of St. Perpetua

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 6pm; Sat: 10am - 12pm; Sun: 10am - 6pm

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6. Shop farm fresh at Les Halles

Dijon Covered Market (35)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Elekes Andor used under CC BY-SA 4.0

You’re bound to find good food at the many restaurants around Nimes, but nothing beats a well-prepared home meal. And to do that, you’ll want to source fresh and organic food and ingredients from the same place that’s trusted by the locals. So, head over to Less Halles, which is a market with multiple stalls where you’ll find the tastiest bread, cheese, croissants, macaroons, meats, oysters, and spices, to name a few. have a great time doing what you love to do!

Les Halles

Address: 5 rue des Halles, 30000 Nimes, France

Opening hours: 8am - 1:30pm (daily)

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7. Appreciate contemporary French art at the Museum of Fine Arts of Nîmes

Posted by Archaeology Travel on Wednesday, 2 October 2019

There’s no shortage of museums in this city, and one of the better ones is the Museum of Fine Arts of Nimes. It was originally designed by a renowned local architect, Max Raphel, and later renovated by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, making it a more appealing contemporary venue. Here, you’ll find notable Dutch, French, and Italian artworks and the stunning mosaic “The Wedding of Admetus" in the atrium of the museum. Drop by if you have a knack for art, especially European art.

Museum of Fine Arts of Nîmes

Address: Rue de la Cité Foulc, 30000 Nimes, France

Website: Museum of Fine Arts of Nîmes

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 3 USD

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8. Soak in the views of the Magne Tower

281 Tour Magne NIM 1008
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Culturespaces/C.R... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

As you make your way through the Garden of La Fontaine, you’ll eventually come across the Magne Tower that was built under orders from Emperor Augusts. It’s a somewhat creepy-looking building, given that it’s partly in ruins, leaving it diminished and dilapidated. Nevertheless, it’s an imposing 18-meter (59 feet) high watchtower built on Mount Cavalier, which overlooks the city and the best vantage point for enjoying glorious panoramic views.

Magne Tower

Address: Les Jardins de la Fontaine, Place Guillaume Apollinaire, 30000 Nimes, France

Opening hours: 9am - 7:45pm (daily)

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9. Spend a day filled with fun and frolic at Panda Park

20080831 paintball IMG 4096
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user VaGla used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Panda Park offers visitors an opportunity to get close and personal with nature due to the fun outdoor activities. Kids, especially, will have an awesome time with the tree climbing adventure and paintball, and all under adult supervision for that extra peace of mind. Furthermore, the park is very beautiful with plenty of greenery, but it isn’t very big, so it’s easy to get around without getting tired.

Panda Park

Address: 505 Chemin de Puech Vert, 30900 Nimes, France

Website: Panda Park

Opening hours: Sat: 10am - 5:30pm; Sun: 2am - 5:30pm (closed from Mon to Fri)

Price: 13 - 32 USD

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10. Browse through the ruins of Castellum Divisorium (The village of allotment)

Castellum divisorium of Nemausus, Nîmes (14791561460)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Carole Raddato used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Romans were famous for building impressive aqueducts, and these are often found near many ancient ruins. Castellum Divisorium is a good example, as it sits at the end of an aqueduct, and it has a basin tank and several drainage canals, which help facilitate the flow of water. There’s an elevated pavement area where visitors can view this structure in more detail, and admire the thought and craftsmanship that went into its creation.

Castellum Divisorium

Address: 16 Rue de la Lampeze 14, 30000 Nimes, France

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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11. Explore the artifacts of the medieval period at Musee from Romanite

Musée de la Romanité - Vue d'ensemble
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Elizabeth de Port... used under CC BY 2.5

With over 5,000 artifacts dating back 2,500 years, the Musee from Romanite serves as the perfect venue to showcase the impact of the Roman Empire in this region. And, while the artifact may be ancient, the museum is the complete opposite, meaning that it’s a modern building with 65 multimedia devices that help visitors explore this rich heritage in great detail. Interestingly, it’s situated across from Les Arenes, which is a Roman amphitheater that dates back two millennia.

Musee from Romanite

Address: 16 Boulevard des Arènes, 30900 Nimes, France

Website: Musee from Romanite

Opening hours: Mon - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Tue)

Price: 5 - 14 USD

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12. Get thrilled at the fascinating Musee Archeologique

Musée Archéologique de Nîmes2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Millevache used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you have an interest in the Gallo-Roman heritage and prehistoric period of Nimes, then head over to the Musee Archeologique. A few of the impressive exhibitions at the museum include the statue of Neptune, the colorful Gall-Roman mosaics, jewelry, pottery, stone carvings, and metalwork. Furthermore, the exhibitions are efficiently laid out and well-lit, making it easy for visitors to view them without feeling constrained.

Musee Archeologique

Address: 16 Boulevard des Arènes, 30900 Nimes, France

Opening hours: Mon - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Tue)

Price: 9 USD

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13. Go stargazing at the Planetarium

1 vermont night stargazing panorama 2009
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user chensiyuan used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Our galaxy is a wonderful and mysterious place, and there’s no better place to take it all in than at a planetarium. Fortunately, Nimes has such a venue that allows both adults and children to gaze at the stars while sitting on the planetarium’s comfortable seats. But it doesn’t end there, entrance is free, and visitors can watch interesting videos about our solar system, and the knowledgeable volunteers will answer all their questions about the universe.


Address: Avenue Peladan, 30000 Nimes, France

Opening hours: Wed: 10am - 4pm; Sat - Sun: 3pm - 4pm (closed on Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri)

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14. Swing by the UNESCO listed Pont du Gard bridge

Pont Du Gard
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Wolfgang Staudt used under CC BY 2.0

Without a doubt, one of the most impressive structures in Nimes is Pont du Gard. It’s a stunning aqueduct that was built by the Romans and dates back to the first century AD. What makes it so monumental and an engineering feat is its ability to route water over a range of 50 kilometers (31 miles). This allowed the Romans to send water to their colony, Nemausus, in an efficient manner.

Pont du Gard

Address: 400 Route du Pont du Gard, 30210 Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France

Website: Pont du Gard

Price: 8 - 11 USD

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15. Remember the French Wars of Religion at Place aux Herbes

Nîmes,Ecusson,rue des Lombards,place aux Herbes,angle1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Finoskov used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Even though Nimes seems so idyllic with its stunning architecture, rich history, and relaxed French lifestyle, it does have a dark past that may surprise some. During the 16th century, the Catholic and Protestant communities in this area went to war with devastating results. Today, it’s a peaceful square that serves as a market for the locals and visitors. On Wednesday and Thursday, you’ll find a variety of stalls selling products such as bread, cheese, fish, knives, leather goods, and olives, to name a few.

Place aux Herbes

Address: 30700, Uzes, France

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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16. Stroll across the Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle

Nîmes,esplanade Charles De Gaulle,fontaine Pradier4
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Finoskov used under CC BY-SA 4.0

There are several attractive and peaceful squares in Nimes, and the Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle is one of them. When you arrive here, you’ll immediately notice the expertly carved Pradier Fountain, which is the focal point of the area. Also, there are several coffee shops, hotels, and shops nearby, so you’ll have other things to do when you decide to leave the square. Plan your trip well.

Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle

Address: Esplanade Charles de Gaulle, 6 Boulevard des Arenes, 30000 Nimes, France

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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17. Awaken the history buff in you at the Roman Gates

Nîmes - Porte d'Auguste - 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Romainbehar used under CC0

It seems like everywhere you turn in Nimes, you’ll come across impressive artifacts and buildings left behind by the Romans. The Roman Gates or the La Porte Auguste, as it’s better known locally, features two arches, and it’s fenced off. It sits beside a quiet street, giving us plenty of excellent photo opportunities but also reminding us of a bygone and glorious era.

Roman Gates

Address: 25B Boulevard Amiral Courbet, 30000 Nimes, France

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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18. Satisfy your foodie soul at La Dolcezza

Posted by La Dolcezza on Friday, 30 November 2018

After all that sightseeing, you’ll want to take a break and enjoy a tasty ice-cream, especially if you’re visiting Nimes during the summer. The good news is that there’s an excellent gelateria in the area that specializes in ice-creams and sorbets, and boasts a cozy atmosphere. We recommend their delicious Lavazza Coffee, Nutella Crepe, and Pistachio Ice-Cream, which are all bound to satisfy your taste buds. There’s outdoor seating, so you can enjoy these delicacies while watching the world go by.

La Dolcezza

Address: 19 Place du Marché, 30000 Nimes, France

Website: La Dolcezza

Opening hours: Sun - Fri: 11am - 6pm; Sat: 11am - 10pm (closed on Mon)

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19. Sip on some great cocktails at Bar Le Victor Hugo

Posted by Le Victor Hugo on Saturday, 28 December 2019

During the evenings, you’ll want to head out and enjoy some comfort food, loud music, and delicious cocktails. A popular venue in Nimes that provides all these is the Bar Le Victor Hugo that also hosts comedy nights and other special events. They serve Americans-style Burgers, Chicken Brochettes and Fries, and Mojitos. Furthermore, there’s outdoor seating so that you enjoy your meal and drinks under the night sky.

Bar Le Victor Hugo

Address: 36 Boulevard Victor Hugo, 30000 Nimes, France

Website: Bar Le Victor Hugo

Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 7am - 1am; Thu - Sat: 7am - 2am; Sun: 5pm - 1am

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20. Take a breezy stroll to Gabriel Square

7 Place Gabriel Peri in Nimes
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Krzysztof Golik used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Gabriel Square lies beside the stunning Place Gabriel Peri and Eglise Saint Baudile, which is a neo-Gothic church dating back to the 19th century. It’s a quiet square with several eateries and shops nearby, making it a good meeting spot, but also a good starting point to explore the city. Other notable landmarks such as La Porte Auguste and pair of imposing circular towers are all a stone’s throw away.

Gabriel Square

Address: 30000 Nimes, France

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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21. Spend a relaxing evening at Assas Square

Nîmes - Place d'Assas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Przemysław Sakrajda used under CC BY-SA 3.0

When arriving at Assas Square, you’ll notice two beautifully crafted statues of a male and female deity, which represent the origins and force of Nimes, respectively. These two statues look especially striking at night when they’re lit up, so be sure to head there during the evening. Another reason why you want to be here during the evening is for all the trendy bars and restaurants surrounding the square.

Assas Square

Address: 30900 Nimes, France

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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A city with a rich history and stunning architecture

Without a doubt, the Romans left their mark on Nimes as there’s plenty of ancient artifacts, landmarks, and ruins that remind us of their activities in this part of the world. And then, there are many beautiful cathedrals featuring amazing Gothic and Romanesque architecture that also leave a lasting impression on visitors. Finally, there are many good museums that showcase the city’s rich history but also breakthroughs in the contemporary art world.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Demos, a freelance writer, boasts an entrepreneurial background that informs his diverse writing portfolio. His articles span across various topics, encompassing travel, business, technology,...Read more

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