The Glory of the Roman Empire
With arguably the most impressive Roman heritage outside Rome, Nîmes is truly a sight to behold. Its most awe-inspiring structure is the virtually intact Roman amphitheater. The gladiators are long gone, but a matador statue outside gives an idea of its current use, which is most celebrated during the annual Feria.
Another amazing Roman monument is the Maison Carrée, a colonnaded temple. The Temple of Diana is less well preserved, but still maintains some of its arched roof and interior details. The peaceful, surrounding Fontaine Gardens cover the grounds of the former Roman baths and still contain elegant water features.
Speaking of water, the incredible Pont du Gard is a triple-arched Roman aqueduct crossing a river northeast of Nîmes. Other Roman remains include the Tour Magne, and 2 gates that allowed access through the city walls.
The Nîmes Archaeological Museum in the former Jesuit college provides background to this history and also houses the Warrior of Grezan, a pre-Roman statue. Another museum houses a fine arts collection, and the simple cathedral is also worth visiting.
In addition to plenty of restaurants and bars, Nîmes has a good range of accommodations. Booking.com’s options include luxury hotels by Parc Expo Nimes, and cheap apartments near the train station, all easily accessible from Nîmes-Alès-Camargue-Cévennes Airport.