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If you already know why you're visiting this ancient Southern city, go straight to our Guru's list of properties. Otherwise here are some good reasons to visit, and some of the best places to stay in Nîmes to enjoy them.
You might have heard about Nîmes' magnificent Roman aqueduct, but did you know that Nîmes is where denim comes from? They call it serge de Nîmes.
Hopefully that fact has piqued your interest in this city a bit more?
Nîmes is not just a treasure trove of wonderfully preserved Roman buildings, it's also close to both the Mediterranean and Provence. And despite the age of its beautiful architecture it's still vibrant.
Nîmes sprung up as a Roman city during the construction of the road between Rome and Spain. And here they built all their mod. cons., including baths, temples and a 20,000 seat amphitheatre. An amphitheatre so well preserved it was used as the main setting for the film Gladiator. It might seem strange that it sits right in the centre of town, but the architecture around it is so charming that it doesn't seem out of place.
The other great Roman relic in town is the Maison Carré, a Roman temple dedicated to Emperor Augustus. It's in amazing condition considering it was built in the fourth or fifth century BC.
The aqueduct - Pont du Gard - is 12 miles out of town, but in excellent condition. It was engineered to bring water from the beautiful town of Uzès into the Castellum in Nîmes. And its arches span an incredible 275metres - raised 49metres from the river below. And it was built in the first century AD.
More Highlights (including the denim)
If the comment about denim is still fascinating you, then head to the Musée du Vieux Nîmes, where they have an exhibition devoted to the city's best known export.
Carré d'Art is Nîmes' contemporary art gallery. Just opposite the Maison Carré, it provides a beautiful modern building mirror. If you grab a table at one of the local cafes you can appreciate if from the outside as well as the art inside.
If you love a market, Nîmes won't disappoint. Les Halls, the central food market, might not be an inspiring building - it's the only modern structure along a charming 19th Century boulevard - but you won't be disappointed by the life, colour and smells once you get inside.
The Hotel Guru's selection of the best places to stay in Nimes will enable you to get the most out this fantastic city whether you stay in the centre of town or at one of our suggestions just outside.
- If you want to be central you can't beat Hotel La Maison de Sophie. Art Deco in style this townhouse B&B has furniture dating from the same period, and large rooms full of character.
- The Jardins Secrets offers a little haven amid the busy centre. It's a gorgeous 18th century coaching inn with lovely bedrooms, outdoor pool and spa, yet just minutes from the city's highlights.
- For real foodies one of the best places to stay in Nîmes is L'Enclos des Lauriers Roses. It's out of town, set amongst the vineyards and orchards or Provence. The surrounding space - and the family suites also make it ideal for families or larger groups.
For Rustic Chic
- Just 25km from the centre of Nimes the Domaine des Clos is a good choice for families or individuals looking for the best of both worlds: explore the region and relax in the perfect holiday environment. It has self catering options and is certainly one of the best places to stay in Nimes for those wanting to stay in the country but be in reach of city based activities.
Still not sure? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay in Nîmes, or feel free to call or email one of our gurus for advice. Alternatively check out our full list of recommendations in Provence or the Languedoc Roussillon.
Best Hotels in Nîmes
L'Enclos des Lauriers Roses 23 rooms from $91Cabrières, Provence
Fabulous country hotel in the middle of vineyards, fruit orchards and olive trees. Excellent accommodation for families and groups. Airy and bright bedrooms, four swimming pools, great restaurant and wine list.Swimming Pool - Outdoor Pool with Great ViewsLocal markets - Good for local colour.Views - Great views from hotelGreat walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Sawdays
Marquis de la Baume 34 rooms from $97Nîmes
Charming 17th century townhouse. Elegant rooms have large french windows, padded bedheads and opulent fabric drapes. Interiors have original stone staircases and charming plant-filled courtyard. Walking distance to the main sites. Romantic and lovely.Romantic Break - Enjoy an apertif in the ambient courtyard, take a wine tasting trip or just stroll through the beautiful historic cityGreat walks - To the old centre of Nîmes, dotted with magnificent 16th, 17th and 18th century private mansionsLocal markets - Dozens of markets during a week, of fruit, food and antiquesSights nearby - 10-minute walk from the Coloseum and the Magne Tower
Domaine des Clos 9 rooms from $120Beaucaire, Provence
Fabulous rustic farmhouse B&B with a selection of rooms, family suites, and self-catering apartments. Wooden beams, oak floors, fireplaces, terraces, lavender-scented gardens and a swimming pool. A picturesque countryside retreat for families, groups or couples, and at great value.Swimming Pool - Large outdoor poolLocal markets - Good for local colour.Cooking classes - Check for timings.Recommended by - Sawdays
Jardins Secrets 14 rooms from $162Nîmes (Cote d'Azur)
Amazing Baroque-Rococco style in this gorgeous 18th century coaching Inn. Rich drapes, fresh linen and soft lighting. Totally spoiling with it's own spa and outdoor pool surrounded by palms, orange and olive trees. Relax by the fire in the Napoleon 111 bar. An oasis of calm in this historic city.Sights nearby - Pont Du Gard within 11 miles. UNESCO site.Restrictions on children - Children must be over the age of 10.SpaSwimming Pool - Indoor/outdoorRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Mas de Boudan 4 rooms from $143Nîmes
A fabulous restaurant with four contemporary rooms attached. Dine on Chef Jérôme Nutile's stunning menu showcasing the finest "haute couture" cuisine in an atmospheric converted farmhouse. Chic rooms are warm yet modern in style. Located just 3km from Nimes. A true foodies destination.Families - Housing a fabulous restaurant which has been accredited a Michelin Star.Sights nearby - Visit the impressive Nimes Cathedral and the restored Roman temple, Maion Carree.Romantic - Good for couples.
Hôtel La Maison de Sophie 5 rooms from $217Nîmes, Provence
Art deco townhouse B&B with bags of character. Elegant bedrooms with Persian carpets, chandeliers and tiled floors. Step out to the fragrant jasmine filled gardens complete with swimming pool and bougainvilleas. Well situated in a quiet part of town yet close to most of the sites. A popular choice.Total relaxation - A rare slice of tranquilty in this hectic city, relax in the jasmine infused garden and take a dip in the pool.Sights nearby - Short walk brings you to the Nîmes Arena, this splendid monument is the best preserved amphitheatre of the Roman era.Full of characterRomantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Frommers, Fodors