Place aux Herbes is one communal outside café in summer. Place du Marché beneath the huge palm tree that flops its fronds over the centre is equally bustling.

Le Ciel de Nîmes ( % 04 66 36 71 70; weekday menus €15, other menus €26, mains around €17; S 10am-6pm Tue-Sun yr-round, plus 8-10.30pm Fri & Sat May-Sep) Up high on the rooftop terrace of the Carré d'Art, protected from the sun by a shade-imparting metallic covering, here is the perfect place for a relaxing drink, lording it over the hubbub in the square below and Maison Carrée beyond. It's also a more than decent place to eat.

Grand Café de la Bourse (blvd des Arènes) Sit on the terrace or inside this vast, flamboyant café, right opposite Les Arènes. It's a great spot for a quick coffee or a sundowner (and it does terrific breakfasts).

La Bodeguita (place d'Assas; S 6pm-late Mon-Sat) With a Spanish click of the heels, La Bodeguita, attached to the Royal Hôtel, is a popular venue for the local intelligentsia. On summer evenings there's often live music, ranging from jazz to flamenco.

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