Are you planning to visit or stay in the “French Rome”? In the Occitania region of Southern France, discover the best areas to stay in Nîmes!
Located between the lower Rhône valley and the Languedoc plain, between the Mediterranean sea and the Cévennes mountains, the city of Nîmes is the capital of the Gard department and is one of the most visited cities in the south of France. Blessed with a breathtaking historical and cultural heritage dating back to Roman times, Nîmes is home to important remains of the Roman empire. With a population of 150,672 inhabitants and 266,175 people throughout the metropolitan area which extends over 161.85 km², Nîmes attracts many visitors who come to enjoy its ideal climate, its ancient remains – the arena, the Maison Carrée (Square House), the Tour Magne (“Great Tower”), the sanctuary of the Fountain -, as well as its numerous ferias and its festivals. Throughout its history, Nîmes underwent an array of cultural influences: not only Roman influence but also from the regions of Camargue, Cévennes, Languedoc, as well as Spain. A Protestant stronghold during the religious wars of the 17th and 18th centuries, Nîmes is also known for its important textile production (denim itself was first produced in Nîmes under the name “serge de Nîmes”).
Staying in Nîmes, the “French Rome,” can be relatively expensive if you go there in summer and depending on the neighborhood. Find out where to stay in Nîmes and the things to do in the city.
The city center
Nicknamed “L’Ecusson” (“the Crest”), the city center is Nîmes’ historic district and one of the city’s most prominent area. The birthplace of the famous writer Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897), it houses most of the historical monuments visited by millions of tourists every year: the arenas, the Maison carrée, the Augustus Gate, the Clock Tower. Dotted with small friendly bars and restaurants and a myriad of other small shops, the city center’s narrow winding streets exude a peaceful and authentic atmosphere. Don’t miss a visit to the Museum of Old Nîmes, the brand new Museée de la Romanité, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Arena (of course), the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Castor, and end your day with a stroll along the Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle. The city center is a convenient and beautiful area to stay in Nîmes, but it is also highly frequented by tourists. The city center is an ideal area to stay in NÎmes if you want to do and see everything on foot.
A small district located to the west of L’Ecusson, La Placette is Nîmes’ working-class quarter, with a strong Protestant and Gypsy identity. Here, locals live to the sounds of flamenco and devote themselves to their passions: petanque and bullfighting. As you wander through the alleys of the neighborhood, you feel like you are in a different world: a small authentic village nestled in the heart of the city where everyone knows each other. If you are looking to escape the bustling and touristy heart of the city’s historic center, La Placette is a calm and in Nîmes.
To the west of the city extends the Cadereau, crossed by Avenue Jean Jaurès and the Quai de la Fontaine. This is a residential area adjacent to the city center, enjoying direct proximity to the Jardins de la Fontaine (the Fountain Gardens) – home to the Roman Baths – and the Magne Tower. Packed with bars, restaurants, and shops of all kinds, Cadereau exudes a shopping-friendly and festive atmosphere.
The district of Feuchères-Triangle forms an imaginary “V” south of L’Ecusson, hence its name. It is home to the SNCF train station: an ideal drop-off point for tourists. Crossed by Boulevard Talabot and Avenue Feuchères, Feuchères-Triangle is an ideal place to stay in Nîmes. Situated only a stone’s throw from the city center, you can take advantage of everything it has to offer: city strolls, relaxing breaks on the terrace of a café, and shopping sessions… This quarter will cater to all your needs, especially if you have a train to catch early in the morning, without the necessity to use public transport.
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