Often referred to as “the French Rome,” Nîmes, located between Montpellier and Avignon, is celebrated for its surfeit of extraordinary, ancient landmarks. Whether you’re staying in town or visiting on a day trip from a nearby hub, one day is enough time to see its monuments and soak up its culture. Here’s your Nîmes itinerary.
Morning: A Culinary Introduction
Nîmes may be packed with world-class monuments, but you don’t want to explore on an empty stomach. Enjoy a gentle and delicious introduction to the millennia-old city when you begin your day with a food-themed walking tour. Immerse yourself in the city’s ineffable atmosphere as you explore on foot and drop by local markets and artisanal food shops. Be sure to sample a number of local cheeses, plus croquants —Nîmes’ answer to biscotti, which have been made here for centuries.
Afternoon: When in Rom(an France)
Outside of Italy, Nîmes boasts one of the heaviest concentrations of ancient Roman monuments in the world. Once suitably refreshed, visit several of its major attractions. The striking Arena of Nîmes, built in AD 100, is still stunningly preserved today, while the Maison Carrée features one of the most remarkable Roman temple facades still in existence. If time allows, you can even venture just beyond city limits to the Pont du Gard: a colossal Roman aqueduct that dates to the first century AD and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Evening: A Sunset Stroll
As the day winds down, book an evening walking tour to discover Nîmes by sunset. Learn more about the city’s wealth of history, and venture to tucked-away corners that many visitors overlook. Once you’ve fully explored the city’s charms, head to a bistro and treat yourself to an indulgent meal. Nîmes brandade—salt cod poached in milk—is a local speciality and worth seeking out during your daylong adventure.