Arènes de Nîmes, France

Monument to the bull-fighting tradition at the Arènes de Nîmes
Monument to the bull-fighting tradition at the Arènes de Nîmes


LOCATION The city of Nîmes is located in the south of France, 360 miles (580 km) south of Paris and 65 miles (105 km) west of Marseille



Jan: 45°F (7°C); Apr: 55°F (13°C); Jul: 73°F (23°C); Oct: 61°F (16°C)

This is the most complete surviving Roman amphitheater in the world. It still entertains the crowds today, regarded as one of the country’s best music venues as well as playing host to a season of bullfights. It is easy, on a balmy night, in this incredible atmosphere, to forget that the building is 2,000 years old.

Its 34 rows of seats are arranged in three tiers, originally socially graded – from the front seats reserved for dignitaries to the distant, high rows allocated to slaves. It’s no surprise that every sporting stadium built since then has been modeled on this ideal design.

Practical Information

Getting There Nîmes lies on France’s A4 autoroute. Its own airport is only served by UK budget airlines, but larger airports exist in Marseille and Montpellier. By rail, there are high-speed TGV links to Paris (3–4 hours), and frequent services to Marseille (1 hour) and other cities in the region.

When to Go The mild climate here makes it pleasant most of the year. Try to catch the Feria de Pentecôte, a 5-day event centered on the Arena in May.

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