City summary: Nîmes

Press release


Nîmes is flexing its ancient muscle. Not only is it celebrating its significant Roman remains and heritage through new museums, but it is doing so through building projects as architecturally audacious as those of the Romans. The self same Romans who planted the surrounding vineyards (some of the oldest in Europe), an inheritance the Nimois also use to great effect. This is hardly out of character for a city dedicated to high-profile festivals and other quality fabric-of-life challenges… especially the tough, twilled cloth that now and forever bears its name (see the fun fact below).

Fun Fact

The famous serge cloth used in jeans was originally from Nîmes: de (from) + Nîmes = denim.

Significant Site

Arène de Nîmes: the best-preserved Roman amphitheater in France, now used as a bull fighting and concert arena

Extraordinary Exhibit Musée des Beaux-Arts: a growing collection of fine European art from past centuries

Delectable Delights

  • brandade de Nîmes: a purée of salt cod with olive oil and a little milk

  • Costières de Nîmes wines: from vineyards that are some of the oldest in Europe

Legendary Local

Louis Perrier: the doctor who founded and owned the original Perrier water spa that still carries his name

Daring Development Opening in 2018: the Musée de la Romanité dedicated entirely to Roman civilization

Also in the Area

  • Pont du Gard: the towering (160 feet hight) remains of a 2,000-year-old, three-tiered Roman aqueduct

  • Arles: a city notable for its UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed Roman and Romanesque monuments and for its most famous resident – great Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh

  • Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Montmajour: a fortified Benedictine monastery, the oldest one in Provence, built between the 10th and 18th centuries

Access from Paris

  • by road: about 6 h 45 min (442 miles) via the A6 and A7 autoroute du Soleil

  • by train: about 3 hours by TGV from the Gare de Lyon

For more about what to see and do in and around Nîmes, including on the “On the Sunshine Route" itinerary, visit