What to see and do in Toulouse? Visit l'Occitane rose!

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Valery Aloyants


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Capital of the Occitanie region, Toulouse is a student metropolis renowned for its relaxed lifestyle and festivities. Its southern character is very assertive, but we do not just take the time to live and have fun in the pink city. Toulouse is a cutting-edge city that is changing the scientific world, thanks to its aeronautical companies which are always one plane ahead. As a couple or as a family, whatever your age, the city of Toulouse offers a wide choice of possible explorations. Here are 10 essential visits to do in Toulouse!

Visit Old Toulouse

The tour begins in the middle of the pink brick buildings and the squares of Old Toulouse. Saint Sernin Basilica, the conventual complex of the Jacobins and the chapel of the Carmelites are the religious symbols of the city. The imposing mansions - Toulouse is the city with the most XNUMXth century mansions - are its bourgeois counterpart. Moreover, to learn more about the history of the city, the museum of Old Toulouse is a veritable mine of information.

Saint-Sernin Basilica

Taste the local gastronomic specialties

Wondering what to do in Toulouse? Shopping lovers, the purchases we make most often in Toulouse are those of local gastronomic products. The famous Toulouse sausage is found everywhere as an essential component of the “masterpiece” of regional cuisine: cassoulet!
Close to Périgord, foie gras is also featured in the markets and restaurants of Toulouse. If the cuisine is not strictly speaking "light", the breweries in the city are excellent and having lunch there is always a pleasure.

Toulouse cassoulet

Settle in a cafe

As the third student city in France, Toulouse offers quality nightlife and culture. Why not go and have a drink? the terraces of the cafes in the Capitole, Wilson and Saint-Georges squares are very popular with Toulouse residents. Between a romantic atmosphere on the banks of the Garonne or that of "third half" in the supporters' bars of the Stade Toulousain, there are plenty of options for going out until late at night.

Have a coffee on the Place du Capitole

Take a walk on the Canal du Midi

Why not extend your visit to Toulouse with a walk along the Canal du Midi? It is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and constitutes a waterway between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. The Canal du Midi is now mainly used for river tourism. Navigating it aboard a rental boat or a restaurant boat allows you to discover the region from a new perspective. Passing the locks in particular, an always surprising visit, allows you to admire buildings that are several centuries old and whose architecture has nothing to deny that of famous buildings.

The Canal du Midi

Put down your suitcases near the Capitol

Toulouse is above all famous for its Place du Capitole, a true nerve center of Toulouse life. Here, it is the very heart of the pink city that beats! In this case, why not put your luggage there, and immediately set off to explore the historic districts of the city? There are several inexpensive hotels in this area, although depending on the time of year rooms are scarce. The Internet, however, makes it possible to find good deals, hotels that have free rooms left at the last minute.

Place du Capitole, in the heart of Toulouse

Enjoy the southern atmosphere of the markets

Toulouse is a city in the south with all the conviviality and the art of living that goes with it. So if you are looking for what to do in Toulouse to enjoy this typical southern atmosphere, your best bet is to stroll through its markets. You can walk around at the heart of the weekly markets full blast. You can also opt for the covered markets such as the famous ones at Les Carmes or Victor Hugo. Food stalls alongside restaurants that come alive at lunchtime. The Victor Hugo market regularly organizes nocturnes with musical groups. A real institution in the pink city! 

The Victor Hugo covered market

Stroll on the banks of the Garonne

You have certainly already seen this typical shot of Toulouse with the Dôme de la Grave, the Hôtel-Dieu and the river that crosses the city. This point of view is taken from the banks of the Garonne where it is good to stroll whatever the hour. At nightfall, it's one of the city's most romantic spots when the sunset sets the sky ablaze.. In fine weather, the Daurade docks or the Filter Prairie are very popular places to relax or meet up with friends.

Along the Garonne

Explore the space world

For science enthusiasts, Toulouse is synonymous with space and aviation.  The pink city is not only one of the capitals of Occitania, but it is the European capital of aeronautics. Toulouse always has its head in the stars, but its space-time universe is never at a standstill. On the contrary, it is constantly changing. What to do in Toulouse with children eager for experiences? Visit the Aeroscopia museum, the Airbus assembly plants, or the famous Cité de l'Espace.

The City of Space

Discover the Slaughterhouses

Toulouse is not dynamic only in the aeronautical field. It is also culturally so. Les Abattoirs is a concrete example of this and is an intriguing visit to Toulouse. The site of the former slaughterhouses, a XNUMXth century building, was rehabilitated twenty years ago in a huge museum of modern and contemporary art that shines throughout the region. In particular, you can discover an emblematic work by Picasso.

the slaughterhouses

Relax in the Jardin des Plantes

Are you staying with children and you don't know what to do in Toulouse? A visit to the Jardin des Plantes is a must. The city's true green lung, this former botanical garden is open daily for free access. Crossed by a river, relaxation is guaranteed near its small waterfalls and its pond. Children let off steam like crazy thanks to the play areas and rides available. This is the ultimate family walk in the heart of Toulouse!

Garden plants

Useful information

Want to go to Toulouse? To make your stay a success, we provide you with practical information and tips:

  • When to go? Check out Toulouse's weather forecast for the year.
  • Discount card : The “Toulouse en liberté” city-card allows you to take advantage of reductions and advantages on hotels, restaurants, museums or tours. It is on sale at the tourist office.
  • Getting to Toulouse: Toulouse airport is located on the outskirts of the city. To reach the city center, there is a bus or taxi service.
  • Getting around Toulouse: the pink city is mainly explored on foot. The center concentrates the majority of visits, but metro lines or a bus network allow you to reach more remote areas.

The essentials of Toulouse… and after?

The bright city of Toulouse should give you desires of discovery through the region. By keeping a drop-off point in the Toulouse region, you can roam the surroundings to prolong its sweetness of life. You can also continue with Montpellier, the other equally welcoming metropolis in Occitania. So, are you ready to let yourself be carried away by the accents of the southwest?

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