Return flights from Liverpool to Nimes can be be had for £45-£55, while returns from Luton can be had from as little as £30!
Airport to Centre
A shuttle bus runs from Nimes airport to the centre which takes around 25 minutes, the fare is €6 from the airport and for some reason €6.80 going back. The bus/ train station can be a little confusing in Nimes but the shuttle (Navette) departs from stops number 1 & 2. There is also a small information desk where you can find out the departure times, related to certain flights.
Our bus was scheduled to leave the station 1hr 40m before our flight departure time so its worth getting to the station 2 hours before your flight, at least.
We rented a great little apartment for £140 for 3 nights whilst in Nimes. A comfortable double bed, modern kitchen and bathroom, a sun trap of a terrace, air-con, settee and a large television. Our host Richard had a welcome bottle of wine in the fridge for us and his son met us at the bus stop to take us to the apartment. Richard also took the time out to tell us about the local attractions. Coffee, tea and shower gel was provided too – Amazing hosts.
The apartment was a short walk from the centre but its located up a steep hill and can be a bit of killer in 34 degree heat! Could be an issue if you have mobility issues.
Things to Do in Nimes
Nimes is full of history and is sometimes referred to as the ‘French Rome’ due to its impressive architecture. The Arena of Nimes is said to be the best preserved Roman ampitheatre, still holding concerts and bull fights today.
For €13 you can see the main three attractions in Nimes, with tickets bought on the door. This includes an audio tour of the arena, a short film inside the Maison Carrée and entry to the Tour Magne.
The Les Jardins de la Fontaine at the foot of Tour Magne is also one of the most beautiful parks I have visited, built on Roman ruins and made up of botanic gardens, statues and fountains, it’s definitely worth a an hour of your time.
Places to Eat
Eating out is a big deal in Nimes and you are not short of options. Moules Frite (Mussels and fries) across from the Arena set me back around €12.50, a Francesinha at a Portuguese cafe was around €13 and a two course meal in the old town was around €18.
For a cheap lunch, L’Amiral (across from the archaeological museum) is a good option as I paid €6 for a baguette filled with fries and 2 hot dogs, with a can of fanta.
Get used to eating lots of French Fries…
A visit to the market is a must, the food there is incredible and you will need to show some serious restraint if you don’t want to empty your wallet.
Bars/ Pubs/ Clubs
It’s safe to say there isn’t much of a nightlife in the centre of Nimes and it is very much about the ‘cafe culture’. There are plenty of places to sit out and have a beer/ glass of wine but you would struggle to have a late one!
Bar Joe is your destination if you want to watch the football and O’Flaherty’s is your standard Irish pub.
Beer prices tended to range between €4.50 and €5+, however, wine and beer at the supermarket is very cheap.
Nimes is a beautiful place and is a great choice for a weekend of sight seeing in the sun. The food is great as you would expect in France and the people are friendly, the beach is only 45 minutes away on the train and the nearby city of Avignon is also said to be worth a day trip.
A grasp of the French language would be very helpful as English is not widely spoken, our most difficult encounter was in McDonald’s, weirdly…. It’s definitely not a place for a drinking weekend, unless you want to spend a lot of money getting drunk in a very reserved atmosphere.
Nimes is a small city and can be seen in a day if you cram it in, if you choose to go for more than a weekend then it would be worth looking at things to do outside of the city in my opinion. Renting a car would be a good idea.