The Best Things to Do For Free in Nîmes

Nîmes, France
Nîmes, France | © Spiterman / Flickr

Visitors to the historic city of Nîmes in the South of France don’t have to spend their euros to get a feel for the city and its history, or to soak up the atmosphere and sample the delights of the local life. Happily, there are lots of sites that cost nothing at all. Read on for our top choices.

1. Jardins de la Fontaine

Botanical Garden, Ruins, Park

© jordan andrade / Flickr

A real highlight in Nimes, Jardins de la Fontaine is a sprawling 17th-century park designed by King Louis XV, who wished to showcase the many Roman ruins and ancient remains in a tranquil, natural setting. The park features plane trees, archways and staircases interwoven with sculptures and grassy corners. The perfect place to escape the South of France heat and to explore some historic former buildings at your own leisure.

2. Maison Carrée

Archaeological site, Ruins

© Karoly Lorentey / Flickr

Maison Carrée is quite something when you approach it. This temple holds the title of having one of the best-preserved façades from the age of the Roman Empire. And it looks it, too. Up close you can see some erosion but it’s generally in an incredible state, with the decorative tops of the columns still holding their own. Visitors can enter the small space to visit the back of the temple, but the real treat is seeing it from a distance.

3. Les Halles


© reginaspics / Pixabay

Cities across France will often have a covered marketplace at its heart. Locals come in the morning to buy their bread for the day, stock up on olive oil or ham, and purchase a special cut of beef for the weekend meal. Produce is seasonal and regional, if not from just a few minutes away. Les Halles in Nimes is just such a place and whatever time of year you’re visiting, make sure to wander its aisles, treat yourself at a café, and get a sense of authentic local life.

5. Tour Magne


© Joshua Morley / Flickr

Tour Magne is actually a pre-Roman building, which was developed under the rule of the first Roman emperor, Augustus. It stands at the highest point of Nimes at Mont Cavalier, dominating the land beneath. There’s a fee to climb the tour, which for most of the year is actually quite busy. For the free option, wind your way up the roads to the tour and enjoy it from the outside with the incredible views.

6. Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle


© / WikiCommons

Covering over ​​three hectares of the city center, the sprawling and leafy Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle is an historic and much-loved part of the city. Dating back to the 16th century, the esplanade was initially designed as a point where the artillery guns could be exercised. In the 19th century, it was made into the pretty pedestrianised space similar to today. At its center is the Pradier fountain.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article