Our hotels in Nimes

Dubbed "la Rome française", Nîmes is home to an astonishing collection of some of the best-preserved ancient Roman monuments in Europe.
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Nimes

Things to do in Nîmes

Reaching the peak of its prosperity in the second century AD and then known as Nemausus, the city was an important outpost of the empire in Gaul, and a perfect stopping place on the Via Domitia that ran from Rome to Spain. But the modern capital of the southern French département of Gard is not merely a living museum. Today, the warren of streets in its delightful medieval old town buzzes with cafés, bars and boutiques, and the city's culinary attractions reflect its Spanish, Provençal and Camargue influences. Nîmes has a distinctly Mediterranean vibe, and as one of the warmest places in France, it's pleasant to visit any time of year Whether you're here to experience one of the exciting cultural festivals scattered throughout the calendar or you're looking to immerse yourself in the city's remarkable history, you'll find the ideal accommodation in Nîmes in our selection of Accor hotels.

Dining in Nîmes

We suggest beginning your sightseeing tour at the iconic landmark that dominates the city centre, the beautifully preserved Nîmes Roman Amphitheatre. Dating from the 1st century AD, it accommodated over 23,000 Gallo-Romans on 34 tiers of seats for animal and gladiator battles – you can venture below the grandstands to where the contestants awaited their fate, while from the top tier you have a great view over the rooftops to the 7 hills around Nîmes. The amphitheatre later became a fortress for the town's population during the Middle Ages, and today its arena is an event venue for bullfights, concerts and festivals. A few steps from the Nîmes tourism office and directly facing the arena in bold contemporary contrast, the Musée de la Romanité stands clad in undulating layers of translucent glass that evoke the ancient mosaics forming the core of its collection. Inside, cutting-edge interactive displays take you on an engrossing journey through Nîmes' history from the 7th century BC via the Roman era to the Middle Ages. Head to the museum's restaurant for an eye-catching perspective on the amphitheatre. One of the best activities in Nîmes is simply to stroll through the narrow streets of the medieval city centre. Make sure to pop into a few of the idyllic courtyards concealed by the ornate façades of the numerous "hôtels" – not accommodations but rather private mansions dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries – such as the Hôtel de l'Académie, Hôtel Meynier de Salinelles or Hôtel de Rozel. Sitting at the centre of its elegant namesake square is the dazzling-white, 2,000-year-old Maison Carrée. Nîmes' Roman temple owes its remarkable state of conservation to its continuous use down the years as stables, a church and government archives. When the sun's at the right angle, the temple's slender columns are reflected in the contemporary glass façade of the Carré d'Art Nîmes, designed by Norman Foster and housing a media library and modern art collection with a particular focus on southern French movements including Nouveau Réalisme and Figuration Libre. Close by, the Jardins de la Fontaine are a luxuriant oasis laid out in the 18th century on the site of an ancient spring, a blend of formal gardens and Mediterranean park embellished with water features and statuary. While you're there, pay a visit to the ancient Temple of Diana, a romantic ruin about which very little is known – one thing is certain though: its mosaics and the rooms partly carved into the rock make it one of the most bewitching places in Nîmes. Follow the paths through the park to the hilltop Tour Magne Nîmes, erected on the site of an older Gallic tower during the reign of Emperor Augustus (27 BC–14 AD) and visible all over the city. Climb the 140 steps to the top for magnificent views of Nîmes. There's no better excuse for an excursion from your hotel into the rugged Garrigue scrubland around Nîmes than a visit to the Pont du Gard, a spectacular three-tiered aqueduct majestically spanning the Gardon River around 25 kilometres north-east of Nîmes. Built from yellow limestone in the 1st century AD and standing around 50 metres above the river, it was originally part of a 50-kilometre construction to supply water to the ancient city of Nemausus. Reflected in the waters of the Gardon late in the day, its elegant golden arches are a magical sight. Models, reconstructions and multimedia displays at the nearby museum reveal more about this remarkable structure.

The Best Hotels in Nîmes

Wondering where to eat in Nîmes? To have a drink, share tapas or enjoy a gourmet meal in the best restaurants in Nîmes, all you have to do is stroll through the streets of the historic centre, between the mansions, squares and fountains. The areas near the arena and the Maison Carrée are teeming with wine bars, cafés and restaurants. Among the local specialities that pop up on the best restaurant menus are brandade de Morue de Nîmes (poached cod beaten with olive oil into a purée and served with truffle shavings) and gardiane de taureau (a stew of Camargue bull marinated in local red wine and bay leaves). Wash them down with a red, white or rosé Costières de Nîmes, and a Perrier mineral water, which is sourced at Vergèze, just outside the city. Prefer to put together your own feast? Head to the bustling 1880s Les Halles covered market, where artisan stalls are overflowing with green Picholine olives and tapenade olive paste, creamy goat's-milk Pélardon des Cévennes cheese, petit pâté Nîmois – tiny pies with veal and pork stuffing as well as almond-flavoured caladon and croquant Villaret biscuits.

When to Visit Nîmes

No matter whether you're visiting for pleasure, business or a mixture of both, Accor offers you a selection of the best places to stay in Nîmes. Spending a romantic weekend and want to be right in the magical heart of the city? Our bright, elegant 4-star hotel with a stylish French restaurant is just steps from the amphitheatre, and also features spaces for meetings and coworking. Our two modern hotels near Nîmes train station are also both just a short walk from the old town. If you want to be near the motorway, but still within easy reach of all Nîmes attractions, we offer several affordable, contemporary hotels near Nîmes, including two hotels with pools and bed-and-breakfast packages, ideal for a holiday with your family.

Getting to Nîmes

With a pleasant climate and a full festival calendar, Nîmes is a year-round destination. A few of the major draws are the Festival Flamenco at Nîmes Theatre in January; Feria at Pentecost and again in September, with bullfights, dance performances and street parades; the Festival de Nîmes with big-name international music acts performing against the magical backdrop of Nîmes Amphitheatre in June and July; and Nîmes Métropole Jazz Festival in September–October.

Nîmes is around 7 hours' drive from Paris via the A6 and A7 autoroutes, and a little under 3 hours from Lyon. The LGV Méditerranée fast train connects Paris and Nîmes in around 3 hours. Nîmes Alès Camargue Cévennes Airport, about 25 minutes' drive from the centre, serves budget airline flights from the UK, Europe and north Africa. The nearest major international airport is Marseille Provence Airport.