Toulouse, the capital of the Midi-Pyrénées region, is one of the cities that attract visitors by its charm, its young atmosphere and its perfect balance of modern city full of history. Its streets have witnessed, among other events, life and customs of Cathars, as well as anti-fascist resistance fighters. Very little time separates you from one of the most beautiful cities in France with the high-speed trains Renfe-SNCF en Coopération. Come and discover hidden places and spots!
Toulouse, also known as the Pink City due to its unique architecture made of pinkish terracotta bricks, is the fourth most populated city in France and one of the most important student centers. At present it is one of the leaders of R+D and aeronautics and hosts the headquarters of the multinational company Airbus.
The offer on culture, architecture and cuisine is large and diverse and suits any visitor. For this reason we want to present you ten plans you cannot miss on your next visit to the Pink City. You’ll love them!
1. A VISIT TO THE MOST EMBLEMATIC BUILDINGS
The Convent of the Jacobins - Toulouse
The capital of the Haute-Garonne has over 2.000 years of history. Many civilizations have settled in the region for centuries: from the Celts to the Cathars, through the Romans and the Visigoths. A clear example of this strong influence is present in the narrow streets in the center. The truth is that a visit to Toulouse may only be considered complete if, at least, the following architectural gems are visited:
•The Basilica of Saint-Sernin is the second oldest Romanesque church of France and is characterized by its majesty and its construction from local brick of the time. For many years it was a place of pilgrimage and it is now listed as UNESCO World Heritage.
•The Convent of the Jacobins, dating from the thirteenth century, is a former monastery located in the historic center of the city. It is also built with red bricks and is characterized by its cloister and its mural paintings. With no doubt, a must visit.
•The Cathedral Saint-Etienne is the main religious worship building of the city. The period of its construction is unknown, but first data about the cathedral were collected in the eleventh century. It is characterized by its construction and by being the only church in the region that still has its original stained glass windows.
2. A CULTURAL ROUTE
If you want to know about the history of the city you cannot miss the Museum
Saint Raymond. It is an archeological museum that displays over 1.000 pieces of Celtic and Roman times. Ideal to visit with the family and perfect to know how these civilizations that marked our history lived.
Another must-see museum is the
Musée des Augustins, named after the convent in which it is located. It is an art museum which displays paintings and sculptures dating from the early Christian era to the twentieth century. Its rooms contain works of painters and sculptors as recognized as Delacroix, Rodin, Rubens and Tournier.
Another museum you should visit is Les Abattoirs, a museum of contemporary art and center of artistic experimentation, which has both temporary and permanent exhibitions. Other museums to take into consideration are the Museum Labit, which exhibits a large collection of Asian art; and the Museum Paul Dupuy, which offers a large collection of jewelry, ceramics, textiles, furniture and clocks.
3. A QUIET WALK AMIDST NATURE
Japanese garden- Toulouse
It is always a good plan to stroll around gardens and parks, but it is even more so when good weather approaches. It is not difficult to walk around Toulouse and run into green areas.
There are four gardens you need to visit: the Jardin du Grand Rond; the Jardin Pièrre Goudouli; the Jardin Japonais, where you will feel in the middle of an oriental park; and the Jardin Raymond VI. The latter is the most recent and it is not unusual to find lots of students lying on the grass when the spring season begin.
4. A GASTRONOMIC ROUTE
it is well known that southern France is characterized by its rich cuisine. Travelling to Toulouse worth it, to taste its typical amazing dishes. Its cuisine goes far beyond wine and cheese (which are also real good). You cannot miss the Cassoulet, Toulouse sausage, or the breast duck. You are going to love them!
5. THE TERRACES OF THE BEST SQUARES
Place du Capitole - ©DominiqueViet
After one morning walking around the city, it is time to sit down and relax with a glass of local wine and a plate of cheese. Toulouse has a large number of squares, some very popular and other in hidden corners, you cannot miss. Is there something better than sitting on a terrace in the sun?
There are six squares you need to include in your route: the Place Dupuy, the Place Roger Salengro, the Place de la Trinité, the Place St Georges, the Place Saint-Pierre and the Place Saint Etienne.
6. A REST IN THE DAURADE
The Daurade is a neighborhood in the center, bathed by the river Garonne. Its green areas and its promenade along the river make it the ideal place to visit with the family. It is a meeting point for neighbors that gives off a warm and friendly atmosphere. Relax and stroll without looking at the watch, and cross the Garonne over any of its bridges.
7. A WALK ALONG THE CANALS
Canal - Toulouse
It is true that the best way to discover Toulouse and its hidden places is on foot. However, renting a bike or walking along the canals is a great choice to see the city from a different perspective.
the Canal de Brienne, the Canal du Midi and the Garona River and stop at the most emblematic spots. Rent a bike is very easy: the ‘Vélo Toulouse’ is a public bicycle service that rents bikes per hours.
8. A DAY AT RUGBY
Rugby is deeply ingrained in Toulouse as football is in Spain. If you are traveling to the Pink City and you have the opportunity to see in action the Stade Toulosain, its main team, you are going to have fun for sure. Experience a different afternoon and feel like a real Toulousain supporter.
9. A VISIT TO THE ‘CITÉ DE L’ESPACE’:
Le parc de la Cite de l'espace-M.HUYNH
The ‘Cité de l’Espace’, or city of the space, is one of those centers showing that Toulouse is the European epicenter of aeronautics. It is a thematic center where you can find everything related to the technology that allowed the human to reach the space and everything related to space developments. The center offers many activities and has an IMAX 3D and two planetariums.
It is one of those places where time goes by without realizing, and where both children and adults have fun. Besides, it is well connected, as there is a bus line that connects the city with the ‘Cité de l’Espace’ all day long.
10. THE AIRBUS CITY
The Company Airbus has its headquarters in Toulouse. Aircraft lovers (and curious) have the chance to visit its factory located in the French city, but previous reservation for the tour is needed at least 48 hours in advance. The visit includes a tour around the facility and shows the construction process of a commercial aircraft. There is the possibility to visit the famous Concorde nº1 for just 4€ more.