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Home Base: Nîmes or Avignon?

Hi, everyone! I hope you're doing well!

I'm planning a trip from Barcelona to the Provence Region in the early October. The thing is: I don't know which city to choose as a home base. I've always thought of Avignon as the ideal HB, specially because it connects to TGV trains and apparently is a more centered location... However after spending some time in the region, I'd be heading to Marseille as I'll continue the trip up to Rome.

The main sites I'd like to visit are in Nîmes or at a relatively easy access from the city:

  • The Maison Caree
  • The Arena
  • The Pont du Gard

I would like to see Avignon for it's Papal Palace, but that's about as much as I've planned to see in the city.

So, considering all of the above, which home base would you recommend? Nîmes or Avignon?

Posted by
8507 posts

Nîmes is on TGV line. The Arena and Maison Carrée are in the middle of the city, as is the excellent new Roman museum. Pont du Gard is a bus ride away. You could also visit Arles, Aigues Mortes, and Uzès while in the area. Avignon is easily accessible by train from Nîmes, either TGV or local train. It seems that you are interested in Roman structures, so you might want to continue on north of Avignon to Orange to see the Roman theater. Given your interests: Nîmes.

TGV and Intercity trains require advance purchase and have reserved seats. Local trains function like busses. No reservations and you can buy your ticket anytime.

Posted by
2057 posts

The locations you mention are in Languedoc, not Provence. Avignon is ideal as a hub for Provence, which is another direction. You want to stay in Nîmes and I would be sure to include a visit to Uzès, particularly for the market.

From Nîmes, you can take the train to Avignon for the day or the train to the old walled city of Aigues Mortes and the beach at le Gros du Roi.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks a lot, Bets!

I was leaning towards choosing Nîmes as my home base specially because of the Roman monuments easily available. As I was researching, there is a stop from the Renfe/Sncf on Nîmes, which indicated a possible integration with TGV trains (I guess I just needed to be sure). 😋

Also, knowing that a train ride can take me up to and back from Avignon, I can plan a day of sightseeing.

Thanks again!
Hope you have a great day,

Posted by
3 posts

Hello, Tocard!

Thanks for the reply!

I’ve heard of Uzès and my itinerary will possibly include it.

As for my Languedoc/Provence mix up, since I was first inspired to visit these places after seeing Rick’s Provence Episode, I thought it would be ok to consider the places I’m willing to see as part of the region. I’ll improve my researches 😊🔎

Hope you have a great day!

Posted by
8507 posts

No problem at all. In fact, linguistically the part of Languedoc where you will be is considered Provencal. It blends. But, the Rhone is the official dividing line.