Nimesis one of those towns where you should never judge the book by the cover. The outskirts of the town are frankly not attractive, with bleak concrete buildings made worse by the poor road layout and traffic jams during rush hour. Break through that outer shell into the middle though and you can see why this town is so popular, with the locals and with tourists as well.
With a real throwback to its roman routes, the town still houses some of the best preserved historical buildings in France, and thanks to its rivalry with local forward thinking town Montpellier down the road, it’s also now home to some stunning modern buildings as well.
You may have heard of the town ofNimesfor other reasons though, and it’s biggest claim to fame is being the town Levi Strauss turned to when he needed a hard wearing material for the first pair of jeans he sold.Nimeswas where he came and he found serge deNimes, known around the world today simply as ‘denim’.
Getting toNimesis actually pretty simple, and the town has its own airport, known asNimesairport which is about 6 miles outside the city. The easiest way to get into the town is to hire a car, and you can fly into the airport using RyanAir from Stansted, East Midlands and Luton airports in theUK.
AsNimesis inFrance, it also has its fair share of fantastic railway links, and the TGV runs straight fromParisin three hours 8 times a day. You can hire cars from both the train station and the airport, or book them online at car hire, save money and pick them up at those venues anyway.
What to do when you hire a car in Nimes
As a town with Roman traditions and heritage, its also home to a 24,000 seat amphitheatre, built nearly 2000 years ago. Dating back to 100AD, the stunning venue has been well looked after and you can still see the passages and exits which were designed to stop those sitting in the posh seats from having to walk near those less well off.
If you go when there is an event on you can buy tickets from the northern gates, and enjoy a show or sporting event at the venue.
Home to a number of different historical artefacts, the museum focuses on the towns Roman years and you can even see tombs from before the Romans invaded. As part of the ticket price you can also venture into the Natural History Museum in the same building where they have a stunning range of stuffed animals to view.
A stunning 30m high tower still just about exists, although it is now crumbling. It was built as one of the towers in the ramparts around the city and you can still climb the 140 steps designed to symbolise the power of the Romans and viewNimesfrom a panoramic position.