When individuals take into consideration the South of France, most would image the gorgeous seashores and resort cities of the French Riviera. However do you know there’s a lot extra to this wonderful area? Specifically, the gorgeous metropolis of Toulouse, the capital of the South West area of France.

Toulouse is an intriguing mixture of previous and new, with a historic centre crammed with lovely structure courting again centuries, whereas additionally serving because the headquarters for European area examine and the multinational aerospace company Airbus.

10 Greatest Issues To Do in Toulouse France

That can assist you get your head round the very best locations to go to and issues to see within the ‘Pink Metropolis’, right here’s my final information to what to do in Toulouse France.

1. Take a Strolling Tour of Toulouse, the ‘Pink Metropolis’

Best things to do in Toulouse France

Whereas Toulouse is named La Ville Rose, ‘the pink metropolis’, I’d be extra inclined to name it ‘the coral metropolis’ – with the terracotta bricks of most of the buildings giving town an orange-pink glow which actually comes into its factor throughout golden hour (simply earlier than sundown). 

However whether or not it’s pink or coral, there’s no doubting that Toulouse is a ravishing metropolis, stuffed with vibrant facades, historic structure, quaint cobbled streets and spectacular courtyards, and subsequently one of the simplest ways to discover it must be by foot (although town does have an excellent metro system)

Exploring Toulouse by foot is easy sufficient, alone or as part of a guided tour. The principle good thing about taking an organised tour of Toulouse is that you just’ll additionally be capable to be taught loads of fascinating information concerning the metropolis and its historical past alongside the way in which. A courtyard tour with the Tourism Workplace may even make it simpler to search out and permit you entry to a number of of town’s lovely courtyards that are tucked away down alleyways that you just won’t in any other case stumble down or be capable to entry. I’ve bought extra particulars on this beneath.

Tips on how to do it: 

The easiest way to e book strolling excursions is thru the Toulouse Tourism Workplace based mostly within the Donjon du Capitole. Try a number of the guided-walking excursions right here.

Costs begin at €20 per individual.

Ought to I purchase a Toulouse metropolis card?

The Toulouse Tourism Move is a metropolis card which will get you free public transport, free entry to a number of points of interest and reductions on most of the prime issues to do in Toulouse. The cross prices €18 for 24 hours, €28 for 48 hours and €35 for 72 hours.

One key good thing about town card is which you could decide it up on the airport upon arrival and use it to get between Toulouse airport and town centre, which might in any other case price you €Eight a method.

The cross then additionally will get you free entry to the Pure Historical past Museum, Positive-Arts Museum, Up to date Artwork Museum and the Jacobins Convent, in addition to reductions on strolling excursions and river cruises, and cheaper entry to the Cité de l’Espace, Aeroscopia Museum and Let’s Go to Airbus (plus extra).

Should you’re spending a protracted weekend Toulouse, will probably be needing a return journey to the airport, and intend on visiting a number of of the primary points of interest on this listing, I’d say the Toulouse metropolis cross in undoubtedly value your cash.

Tips on how to do it:

You’ll be able to examine costs and full particulars of the Toulouse Metropolis Card right here.

2. Marvel at Place du Capitole

Best things to do in Toulouse France

Place du Capitole is the guts of the historic district of town and is certainly probably the most standard locations to go to in Toulouse. The massive sq. is engulfed by the long-lasting Capitole constructing and its majestic neo-classical facade, which homes metropolis corridor and Théâtre du Capitole.

Inside Place du Capitole, you’ll be able to wander across the sq. taking within the spectacular structure, stroll by the arcade admiring the art work by Raymond Moretti which illustrates town’s historical past, and take a tour of the buildings’ many historic rooms.

Best things to do in Toulouse France

Then when you’re executed, get pleasure from a drink or a chunk to eat at one of many many eating places on the sq., the vast majority of which have massive outside terraces excellent for having fun with the beautiful French solar and other people watching throughout the sq..

Tips on how to do it:

The Capitole’s historic rooms are open for excursions Monday to Friday 8:30am-7pm and Sundays 10am-7pm. Admission is free. You could find out extra right here.

3. Discover Toulouse’s Courtyards

Best things to do in Toulouse France
The Bemberg Basis

A distinguishing attribute of Toulouse must be it’s many historic Mansion Homes and their courtyards. The vast majority of the Mansion Homes had been constructed within the 16th Century by wealthy retailers and parliamentary nobles as a logo of their standing and wealth – a specific signifier of wealth is the tall (however considerably ineffective) turrets you’ll spot within the nook of most of the courtyards. 

Many of the Mansion Homes are nonetheless non-public houses to this present day, whereas others are residence to personal establishments akin to faculties or galleries. Nevertheless, lots of their spectacular courtyards are open to the general public to come back in and admire.

Best things to do in Toulouse France

Tips on how to do it:

Among the courtyards in Toulouse you need to put in your listing to get began:

Hôtel d’Assézat – A phenomenal instance of Renaissance structure of Languedoc, Hôtel d’Assézat was commissioned by service provider Pierre d’Assézat within the 16th Century. The constructing is now residence to the Bemberg Basis (see extra in Museums beneath). From April to October, you’ll be able to get pleasure from tea within the courtyard.

Hôtel Dahus – One other courtyard actually value a go to to admire the ornate carvings adorning the Mansion’s facade and doorways.

Hôtel de Bernuy – One of many earliest examples of Renaissance structure of this period and with one of many tallest towers within the metropolis, Hôtel de Bernuy is now residence to Pierre de Fermat faculty. The Mansion Home’s two spectacular courtyards are solely accessible on a tour with the tourism workplace.

4. Discover the ‘Palm Tree’ at Couvent de Jacobins

Best things to do in Toulouse France

Couvent de Jacobins is a Roman Catholic church and a ravishing instance of Southern Gothic structure within the centre of Toulouse. The slender columns holding up the roof of the church are particularly iconic, with one column – generally known as ‘the Palm Tree’ – supporting 22 ribs of the vaulted roof, a formidable architectural feat on the time.

The church’s massive cloisters are additionally undoubtedly value a go to, with its lengthy galleries dealing with into the well-kept backyard within the centre. In the course of the summer season months, there are even chairs within the cloisters for sitting and having fun with the solar whereas taking a break from exploring the busy metropolis outdoors.

Tips on how to do it:

To enter the church museum, the chapels and the cloisters, tickets will be bought inside for a charge of €4 (or free with town cross). The church museum is interactive with tablets and a family-friendly path. You could find out extra right here.

5. Take a Toulouse Meals Tour

Best things to do in Toulouse France

You undoubtedly can’t go to Toulouse, or anyplace else in France for that matter, with out gorging on as a lot scrumptious French meals as potential; pastries, cheese, cured meats. And an effective way to search out a number of the greatest meals in Toulouse is to take a guided meals tour.

Style of Toulouse is the primary English language meals tour in Toulouse, run by the beautiful Jessica who’s initially from the US however now lives within the French metropolis. Jess will not be solely an authorized French Wine Scholar however she additionally was once a cheesemonger, each contributing to her wonderful data and keenness for French meals and wine. She arrange the corporate 2 years in the past.

With Style of Toulouse, you’ll be able to select from three choices; a tour of Marché Victor Hugo, a chocolate and pastry tour, and cheese and wine tasting.

Best things to do in Toulouse France

Throughout my time in Toulouse I took half within the Marché Victor Hugo tour, being an enormous fan of visiting an area meals market. Jess guided us by the massive and historic market, making stops at a number of of her favorite stalls to choose up samples for us to try to the place she then talked the small group by fascinating information concerning the meals and the merchants themselves.

The tour cumulated at a wine stand the place we gathered round a country wine-barrel desk and loved an extra feast of contemporary baguette, a number of several types of cheese, Fois Gras, cured meats, artisan sweets and native wine. 

Best things to do in Toulouse France

A Style of Toulouse meals tour is certainly top-of-the-line issues to do in Toulouse and was one of many highlights of my time within the metropolis.

Tips on how to do it:

Not all excursions run on daily basis so plan this one prematurely. You could find extra together with tour dates on the Style of Toulouse web site right here.

6. Go Purchasing within the Trend Capital

Best things to do in Toulouse France

Toulouse is a metropolis which is all the time on the slicing fringe of trend, being the birthplace of many well-known manufacturers together with The Kooples, Le Comptoir des Cotonniers, Marchland Draper, 7Ropes and Marx Deloche jewelry. There may be additionally a big design scene, with many up-and-coming trend and craft designers making a reputation for themselves within the Pink Metropolis.

Tips on how to do it:

For the most important chain trend manufacturers, stick with Rues d’Alsace-Lorraine and Saint-Rome within the centre of town. For these with extra refined style in garments, head to Rues des Arts, Boulbonne and Croix-Baragnon, in addition to Place Victor-Hugo or Place Sainte-Georges for the most important names in Haute Couture. Whereas Place de la Bourse, Rues Cujas, Sainte-Ursule and Peyrolières are the spots to search out a number of the most lovely classic and second-hand shops in the entire of France.

And if garments aren’t your factor, head to Sainte-Étienne’s cathedral quarter for vintage sellers and second-hand retailers.

Best things to do in Toulouse France

Spending the weekend in Toulouse?

Should you’re visiting Toulouse for the weekend, an necessary factor to notice is that most of the retailers and eating places are shut on Sundays. There may be nonetheless lots to do in and across the metropolis, but when there’s any explicit retailers or eating places you’d like to go to, be sure to analysis opening days and occasions first.

7. Go to the Museums in Toulouse

Best things to do in Toulouse France

There are a selection of museums in Toulouse undoubtedly value visiting, particularly for artwork lovers as town has a number of spectacular positive artwork and fashionable artwork institutions.

Tips on how to do it:

These are a number of of the very best museums in Toulouse:

Les Abattoirs – Situated in a former abattoir (therefore the title), the Toulouse Museum of Trendy and Up to date Artwork holds 1000’s of works from the Second World Struggle proper up till the fashionable day. There are common exhibitions on, together with a Picasso exhibition after I visited. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday 12-6pm, whereas on Thursday evenings there are particular occasions and concert events for adults from 6pm.

The Bemberg basis – Situated within the lovely mansion home, Hôtel d’Assézat, the Bemberg Basis is an artwork gallery which offers a panorama of Western artwork from the tip of the Center Ages to the 20th Century.

Muséum de Toulouse– Toulouse’s Nationwide Historical past Museum showcases the mysteries of the Earth and its interplay with mankind, with 5 fundamental exhibitions; ‘Earth’, ‘The residing’, ‘Life in time’, ‘The wants of man’ and ‘What life, tomorrow?’ With greater than 2.5 million gadgets, it’s the largest nationwide historical past museum in France outdoors of Paris.

8. Stroll on the moon at Cité de l’espace

Best things to do in Toulouse France

Cité de l’espace is Toulouse’s area exploration themed park on the jap fringe of town. The massive 9-acre park is residence to full-size fashions of the Ariane 5 rocket (a whopping 180ft tall), the Mir House Station and Soyuz modules, in addition to quite a few different fascinating exhibitions about area and the human conquest of area.

The park is likely one of the most interactive I’ve ever been to and nice enjoyable for each kids and adults (it’s actually not only for children). You’ll be able to sit inside a mock-up management room to assist launch a rocket and place a satellite tv for pc into area, climb inside a compact spacecraft launch module and discover the within of the reproduction of the Mir House Station.

There are additionally many interactive talks and reveals all through the exhibitions which individuals of all ages are welcome to participate in, and the park has two planetariums exhibiting movies all through the day.

Best things to do in Toulouse France

Cité de l’espace’s exhibition all concerning the moon and the Apollo missions is especially nice enjoyable. The usage of a particular swimsuit can assist you expertise what it might really feel prefer to stroll on the moon. Don’t be afraid to set free your interior baby and go wild bouncing round on the makeshift moon floor.

Tips on how to do it:

There’s a lot to do at this interactive museum {that a} go to can simply take up a complete day. Tickets will be purchased prematurely on-line or on the entrance on the day. The museum is on the outskirts of town and will be reached by public transport (Bus linéo 1 or Bus 37) or a 15-minute taxi.

9. Go to the Airbus HQ

Things to do in toulouse Airbus
(c) Manascopia

One thing that I didn’t know till visiting Toulouse is that town is residence to the Airbus headquarters (JL Lagardère Airbus manufacturing unit). And what’s even cooler is which you could take a tour of the working manufacturing unit and its on-site museum.

The principle manufacturing unit tour features a go to to the A380 and A350XWB manufacturing strains, in addition to the within of an actual A400M. The tour begins within the new Aeroscopia Museum which solely opened in 2015 and is housed in a big hangar close to the Airbus A380 services. The museum options over 25 restored planes, together with two examples of the well-known Concorde.

Tips on how to do it:

Excursions of the Airbus manufacturing unit in Toulouse should be booked prematurely on-line or by cellphone. Every of the 4 customer tour circuits final 1h30 (excluding time on the museum).

10. Seize a Glass of Wine on the World’s Greatest Wine Bar

Best things to do in Toulouse France

For the earlier two years, No.5 Wine Bar within the centre of Toulouse has been voted the very best wine bar on this planet. The unassuming little bar is simple to overlook when strolling previous, and inside has a easy appeal to it, with uncovered brick partitions lined with bottles.

No.5 has over 500 wines from internationally and makes use of the revolutionary Enomatic idea, with wine dispenser machines which you’ll pour samples from utilizing a pre-paid card.

Best things to do in Toulouse France

The bar additionally has one of many oldest and rarest bottles of wine on this planet sat proudly on show in a glass cupboard. Should you’ve bought €10,000 to spare, you’ll be able to even pattern a small glass.

Tips on how to do it:

You’ll be able to’t make advance bookings to go to for wine and tapas so it’s greatest to only flip up when the bar opens at 6pm. The restaurant has two sittings, 7pm and 9:30pm, and bookings are obligatory

Greatest Eating places in Toulouse

Best things to do in Toulouse France

Two be sincere, you could possibly spend an entire weekend in Toulouse focusing simply on the meals. Right here’s my listing of strategies for the place to eat in Toulouse:

Aux Pieds Sous La Desk – A stunning little restaurant within the north of town which is especially standard with locals, serving a continually altering menu of contemporary, seasonal dishes. The meat bourguignon with vegetable crisps was top-of-the-line issues I ate throughout my journey to Toulouse, whereas the French toast dessert was a table-wide hit. However don’t really feel obliged to solely order conventional French dishes, Aux Pieds Sous La Desk can also be recognized for its scrumptious fish and chips.

Best things to do in Toulouse France

Ma Biche Sur Le Toit – As one in all Toulouse’s hottest eating places, Ma Biche Sur Le Toit is a lot greater than it’s meals (which can also be incredible FYI) – it’s a complete evening out. Situated on the sixth ground of purchasing centre Galeries Lafayette, the restaurant’s extraordinarily stylish and lavish inside is surrounded by a big outside terrace with beautiful views out throughout town. On Friday and Saturday nights from 9pm, dancers make their approach across the restaurant when you eat.

Best things to do in Toulouse France

Le Bibent – Situated centrally on Place du Capitole, Michelin-starred restaurant La Bibent is legendary for being the placement the place three Serbian college students plotted the assassination which triggered WW1. The room’s regal 19th-century inside with excessive ceilings and gold-coated furnishings has been not too long ago restored and is now a shiny and delightful spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The menu is crammed with native delicacies, together with one in all Toulouse’s most outstanding native dishes, cassoulet (slow-cooked casserole with numerous meat and white beans). 

Greatest Motels in Toulouse France

Best things to do in Toulouse France

The place to remain in Toulouse

Lodge Innes by Completely satisfied Tradition – Lodge Innes is a part of the Greatest Western chain, but has the texture of an elegant boutique resort. The fashionable interiors, from the foyer and breakfast space to every of the en-suite bedrooms, are all solely furnished by Habitat and are certain to present you critical decor-envy. The resort can also be conveniently situated on a quiet road just some minutes’ stroll from the busy metropolis centre.

Grand Lodge de l’Opera – A phenomenal boutique 4* resort proper on Place de Capitole, Grand Lodge de l’Opera is reverse the well-known Theatre du Capitole. In addition to it’s unbeatable location, the resort has an on-site spa and two massive eating places. 

That’s my information to the very best issues to do in Toulouse France. Let me know within the feedback beneath when you have any questions or different suggestions for issues to do in Toulouse.

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Emily visited Toulouse on behalf of Indiana Jo and courtesy of Go to Toulouse.

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