Congratulations to all those who will be TAPIFing in Nîmes this coming year! You have secured a wonderful placement, so don’t be too disappointed if you were holding out for Montpellier, which is only 22 minutes away by train (yes, 22. Yes, I counted). Prepare to replace your image of France as la Tour Eiffel with an image of a 2,000 year old arena- which you will get to visit for free because you will be a resident of Nîmes. If you arrive before September 21st, you will get to experience the party fever that is the féria. If you studied or lived in the north of France, you will have your heart stolen by the south. Wanderlusting assistants will have access to a well-connected train station for traveling and a cheap bus line as well as two nearby airports. If you’re one of the assistants who was placed in a small town, those who were placed in Jonquières-Saint-Vincent and Alès often live in Nîmes. There are buses which serve both areas and the commute isn’t too bad.
Now that you know where you’re going to be living, the first thing you probably want to know is, well, WHERE you’re going to be living. For help on finding housing, check out this post, this post, and also this post by Dana of The Great Big World: As Told by Dana.
Now, Nîmes doesn’t have a great reputation when it comes to safety. It’s not Marseille, but you still have to be careful. I personally never had any major problems, but one assistant did. You need to take this into consideration when looking for housing. For your benefit, I have included a map. Areas surrounded by purple are generally safe and areas beyond points marked by black x’s are areas to avoid living in. As a general rule of thumb, try to visit the area first, especially if it’s in a place that I didn’t mark as being especially good or bad. Public transportation stops around 8PM, so if you’re considering living further out, you may want to invest in a bike for safety as well as transportation. Please feel free to ask me any questions about areas or finding housing in the comments section!
Where you want to live:
- As close to the center as possible. This is generally the safest area as well as the area with the most to do.
- The northern quadrant between the Quai de la fontaine, Jean Jaurès, the Boulevard Victor Hugo, the Rue de la République, and the Rue du Cirque Romain (except I don’t know much about the Rue du mail). This is where I lived.
- The area directly surrounding the Rue Cité Foulc, just not past the Boulevard Sergent Triaire.
- Areas I marked off in purple.
Where you might want to avoid living:
- North and east of Saint Baudile gets sketchy really quick. Once you go far enough north towards the new university campus, it gets nicer, but you don’t want to be walking there alone at night.
- Along the Rue de Beaucaire.
- South of Jean Jaurès.
- East and southeast of the train station and generally behind the train station, except for directly behind it which is actually pretty nice.
- Beyond areas marked by x’s. (The area beyond Saint Baudile varies greatly, so be careful and ask around)
- The ZUP (zone urbaine prioritaire which has higher crime rates).
- The ville active
- Too far from the center, unless you have a bike or have friends you can walk home with at night. If you go up the hills beyond the jardin de la fontaine, it can be picturesque, but this area is also known to be prone to burglaries.
AND GET EXCITED TO LIVE IN THIS PLACE!!