A fascinating city, Nîmes is bursting with history and culture, including the magnificent Arena and the striking Maison Carrée. Yet it is not just the Roman monuments that make it such an attractive city; it also has plenty of culinary delights and a great bar scene. We’ve selected the best nightspots to visit.
DJs at Le Victor Hugo Courtesy of Le Victor Hugo
Le Victor Hugo
Bar, Pub Grub, Spanish, French, American, Fast Food, $$$
Statues | Courtesy of Le Cheval Blanc
Right in between the grand Maison Carrée and the Arena, and opposite the beautiful Eglise St Paul, Le Victor Hugo is ideally located and a great place to spend an evening. During the day, it serves delicious food, and in the evening it transforms itself into a happening music joint, with a number of live acts and DJs gracing the stage.
Situated just a stone’s throw from the Arena, Wine Bar Le Cheval Blanc offers the opportunity to drink fine wines while enjoying an unparalleled view of one of the most iconic features of Nîmes. Its wine list is extensive, with more than 250 to choose from, and the choice of wines served by the glass are renewed regularly to give guests the occasion to sample many different vintages.
For a real Irish experience in the heart of this French city, O’Flaherty’s is a fun and authentic place to be. It has a lively, convivial atmosphere, and being full of regulars and visitors alike, it is a great way to get a taste of the local color. The extensive list of beers and whiskeys makes it one of the best destinations for hops and malt lovers in the city and for the more adventurous, there are several unusual “beer cocktails” to sample.
Bar, Bistro, Pub, French, Pub Grub, Mediterranean, Spanish, Fast Food, $$$
“Avoir la tchatche” in French means “to be a chatterbox”, and A La Tchatche earns its name well if one asks the bartenders about wine, thanks to their extremely extensive knowledge about each vintage’s origins that will both educate and satisfy patrons. This bar has also caught onto the trend sweeping France for bars with tapas that is as delectable as their drinks, including lovely cheese platters and meat selections from the region.
Just a few meters from the iconic Roman Maison Carrée, L’Instant T is a welcoming and friendly space that plays host to a number of cultural and musical events, including live folk and jazz acts, throughout the year. Its ethical ethos can be seen in its selection of drinks, including organic tea, coffee and wine, as well as around eighty craft and local beers from across the globe. Address & telephone number: 2, Rue Racine, Nîmes, France +33 (0)9 83 37 79 93
Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub, French, Mediterranean, European, Vegetarian, Fast Food, $$$
With outdoor seating offering stunning views of the Maison Carrée, the Carré Jazz is a superb location for both drinks and a meal. Its interior décor is almost equally pleasing to the eye, with striking beams and stonework that makes it a cosy and welcoming place to be. This bar boasts a good range of drinks, including a wide variety of wine and cocktails that are particularly good.
Nestled along one of the many little side streets that weave their way through this ancient city, Bar 421 is a hub for local party animals. While its décor is somewhat unassuming, the local, buzzing vibe of this place makes it one of the best spots to experience a real Nîmois night out.
Step past the modest exterior and into another world as you enter Le Zinc, a truly magical bar. The décor is very striking, apparently with the intent of evoking an old South American tobacco manufacturer. Its unusual long metal counter is the perfect spot for a drink and a chat with the friendly staff. The drinks including great beer on tap as well as very reasonably priced wine.
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Situated right in the heart of the city, just a couple of hundred meters from the Arena, Bistrot Le Pian welcomes patrons into a gorgeously decorated interior, with stonework and vaulted ceilings and a warm, convivial atmosphere. Their selection of wine and champagne is extremely impressive, listing more than five hundred bottles, along with more than eighty whiskeys. Address & telephone number: 20, Bis Rue Bourdaloue, Nîmes, France +33 (0)4 66 26 37 30
Bar de la Mairie
Bar, Brasserie, Pub Grub, French, Fast Food
Located on a quiet street just a few minutes’ walk from the Arena, the Bar de la Mairie is the perfect spot for an early evening drink. Possibly the oldest bar in the city, dating back at least to 1782, this little joint has been serving food and drink for over two centuries, without interruption.