Nîmes Things to Do

  • Amphithéâtre (Nimes, France)
    Amphithéâtre (Nimes, France)
    by Redang
  • Maisin Carree
    Maisin Carree
    by Dabs
  • Things to Do
    by Dabs

Most Recent Things to Do in Nîmes

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    Pont du Gard

    by Dabs Updated Aug 27, 2013

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    Located very close to Nimes is the Pont du Gard, an aqueduct built by the Romans. It's the singularly most impressive Roman sight in this area of southern France, the 18€ parking fee seems a bit steep but it covers up to 5 people (not that there was anyone counting the number of people in your car). If you come in on foot or bicycle there is no charge but it's quite a distance to walk if you don't use their lot.

    You can walk along the lower level of the bridge but not the top level, climbing up to the top level really wasn't worth the effort. For a nice picture of the bridge, we walked over the bridge and then down to the river level. You can swim in the area after the bridge, we also saw people kayaking and canoeing so there are obviously rental places along the river.

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    Pont du Gard

    by antistar Updated Jun 6, 2013

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    Pont du Gard

    Not strictly in Nimes, but accessible from it, this impressive Roman construction is the only remaining three tier Roman aqueduct in the world. Buses to the Pont du Gard run regularly from behind the train station in Nimes, take about an hour, and cost about 10 euros for a return ticket. It's a local bus, not a tour, so you'll need to organise your visit yourself. The bus drops you a short walk away from the aqueduct, and it isn't terribly well sign-posted, so you will probably have to ask the bus driver, or the locals, for some help.

    The curious thing about this aqueduct is how it appears on the five euro note. The new European currency was meant to depict typical European architecture, but wasn't mean to depict any specific building. This was because they didn't want to show any favouritism to any one nation or city. Someone obviously had the bright idea of showing an Roman aqueduct, a structure found across Europe and symbolic of a shared history. The only problem is the model they decided to draw had three tiers, and as I mentioned earlier, the only one of these in existence is in Nimes.

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    Tour Magne

    by Dabs Updated Mar 13, 2013

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    The 3rd attraction on our pass was the Tour Magne (Great Tower) which involved a bit of a climb through the garden and up the hill. And of course since it's a tower, another 100 or so steps to get to the top. The area at the top of the tower isn't very large, we were sandwiched in between two groups of school kids, once the 2nd group arrived, we headed back down. I didn't notice it going up, but going down, the staircase is not enclosed like it is in most towers so you can see all the way down from the top step so it's not a good choice for those with extreme fear of heights.

    The Great Tower is part of the old city walls, the only tower left standing from the ancient city walls built by Augustus. It was built on the highest point of the city and offers a great view over the city of Nimes

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    Maison Carree

    by Dabs Updated Mar 13, 2013

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    Maisin Carree

    I don't know that this is a must see attraction but it was included on our pass and it was a nice break from the heat. The interior of the building holds a small theater where you watch a 3D movie about the heroes of Nimes.

    The building itself is of interest though, it is an extremely well preserved Roman temple built in the 1st century AD

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    Arenee

    by Dabs Written Jun 3, 2012

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    The Arenee is the must see attraction in Nimes, check the website to make sure it is open during your visit as it is closed quite a few days during the year for special events like the Feria. The visit is done by audioguide and the commentary is very well done, especially the special sections on gladiators. I was surprised to learn that, contrary to Hollywood movies, that there isn't always a fight to the death, the gladiators are highly trained and an investment to their owner so 90% of the time both combatants survived to fight another day.

    Like the other arenas and theaters that we visited, the arena here was constructed so that the classes never mixed, there were several different seating areas including one for slaves, prostitutes and foreigners.

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    le pont du gard . A world heritage site

    by didier06 Written Mar 27, 2012
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    A masterpiece of the antique architecture.This Roman aqueduct bridge crosses the gard river, it's a part of a long aqueduct (50kms) that runs between Uzes and Nimes, built on 3 levels, the pont is 274 meters long.
    Added in 1985 on the unesco's list of world heritage site, the aera around the site is pedestrian and today it's one of France top tourist attractions.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

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    Amphitheatre

    by antistar Updated Mar 26, 2012

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    Arenes

    Dramatically located, bang in the centre of this busy city, the incredibly well preserved Roman amphitheatre is literally unmissable. The building is still functioning as an actual venue, and holds regular concerts, but even without a performance, the views from the top are breathtaking and well worth the entrance fee. Be careful, however, if you decide to be brave, or foolish, and walk around the outer rim of the amphitheatre, as there is nothing to stop you from falling off and down into the street below!

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    Wine Tasting

    by Blizzle Written Mar 15, 2012

    South of Nimes, around 25 minutes, is Saint Hilaire D'ozilhan and the Garance wineries. http://www.rougegarance.com/

    Also, in Bourdic is the Chambrier Fils. http://www.chabrier.fr/ElementsSousRubrique.aspx?SITE=CHABRI1&RUB=180

    Both offer delicious wines of many varieties. Both wineries also speak English, not the best, but English none the less.

    I also recommended seeing the Gardon gorges, which is easily accessible when driving back to Nimes from Bourdic.

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    The Tour Magne Is At The Highest Point in Nimes

    by hquittner Written Apr 27, 2011
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    Adjacent to the Jardin de la Fontaine, to the north, is a hill which is topped with a Roman Tower, the Tour Magne, of 16 BC, older than the ramparts. From the top of the hill is a broad view around Nimes.

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    See the Temple of Diana

    by hquittner Written Apr 25, 2011
    Wall  of Temple of Diana
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    Immediately to the left of the Jardin de la Fontaine area, are the remains of the Temple of Diana which was thought to have been a library. It has two corridors and a nave and today is open to the sky.

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    Visit the Jardin de la Fontaine

    by hquittner Updated Apr 25, 2011
    Approaching the Jardin
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    A fine set of gardens is set in the southwest part of the center of Nimes. These gardens are in the area where a spring still comes up but is no longer the water source of ancient Nimes. In the 18C the chief engineer of Louis XV, one Jacque Mareschal, created this oasis of gardens and water.

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    Go Through Les Arenes

    by hquittner Written Apr 23, 2011
    Outside the Arenes
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    The Arenes required little to restore it to modern use in the early 19C. With a modern covering, much of it can be used all-year for concerts and other performances. For corridas during festivals it seats about 24,000. After the Roman period it survived first as a fortress and then as a slum with 220 houses until it was cleaned out after the Revolution. It is a smooth mass of stone. Recently they have added items to its interior that enhance its history.

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    Look At the Outside Details of the Maison Carree

    by hquittner Written Apr 21, 2011
    Corinthian Capital
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    There are fine details beneath the roof of the Maison Carree to study. Look at the Corinthian capitals and the fine frieze that surrounds the roof. Under the eaves are a set of lion heads. The under surface of the roof is detailed with several different patterns of leaves and petals. Insode the cella are staues and other art objects.

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    The Maison Carree

    by hquittner Updated Apr 21, 2011
    Front View
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    The Maison Carree was probably built by Agrippa to honor his sons in the 1C BC and it has been in continuous use ever since. The name was given to it in the 16C. In the 18C it was copied for use by Thomas Jefferson in the construction of the Virginia State Capitol. It has an intact cella which has been used as a museum since 1916. It has 30 fluted columns with Corinthian capitals and stands on top of a stylobate and a flight of stairs.

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    Standing on Pont du Gard

    by Toshioohsako Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    You walk up the first level of Pont du Gard (the second level is closed for public), you will see the beautiful Gardon River,
    the peaceful and nature pastoral landscape. Some people are canoeing on Gardon River.

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Nîmes Things to Do

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