ToulouseCopyright: thieury / Shutterstock.com
ToulouseTinted in pink and lightened up by the Southern sun, Toulouse is a charming and lively city that often gets overlooked by tourists in favour of other French destinations. However, those who do visit will be treated to an enchanting experience. Toulouse boasts a rich history, modern vibrancy, and stunning architecture. The city is also an aerospace hub and takes pride in its strong culinary tradition. Its lush parks provide a peaceful escape while the Garonne River serves as a picturesque background for a delightful night stroll.
The CityToulouse, also known as the "Pink City" for its red-brick buildings that subtly change colour throughout the day, is one of France’s most exciting provincial cities. Once a city that inspired the medieval poets of courtly love, it has now become a trailblazer in technology and aerospace development. Despite its modern advancements, Toulouse retains a distinctly old-fashioned French soul, with its regional cuisine, traditional markets, and cosy cafes interspersed with antique shops and second-hand bookstalls. This historical city, which is over 2,000 years old, showcases the brick and tile architecture typical of the Midi-Pyrenees region's cities, villages, and farms. However, with a thriving and energetic student population, Toulouse is far from being stuck in a time warp. The city offers a cosmopolitan experience with a plethora of bars, trendy shops, cafés, and nightclubs.
Do & See
Young, family-friendly, and with lots of cultural activities, Toulouse never gets boring. As France's fourth largest city, there is no shortage of things to see and do, and taking a leisurely stroll along the Garonne and Canal du Midi is an excellent way to spend the day. Boasting a rich history spanning over 2,000 years, Toulouse is a haven for architecture and museum enthusiasts. However, for the more adventurous traveller, there are also plenty of options. Rent a bike and embark on the scenic 40km journey from Toulouse to Port Lauragais on the south bank or venture out of the city to explore one of the region's stunning parks.
Toulouse boasts a vibrant and exciting food scene with quality offerings to satisfy every type of foodie and any budget. Don't leave without trying some of the local specialities like the delectable cassoulet and the renowned Toulouse sausage. One of the best places to enjoy a delicious yet affordable lunch is the covered market at Place Victor Hugo, where several restaurants perch above the marketplace, serving up tasty meals made from the freshest local produce, straight off the stalls below.
In buzzing Toulouse, taking a break between visits and shopping sessions is a pleasant necessity. Whether you like luxurious cafes with Chef-made French pastries or relaxed and trendy coffee shops, Toulouse has all your sweet-tooth needs covered.
Bars & Nightlife
You will never stay thirsty long while walking the streets of Toulouse at night. From pubs to clubs, cocktail bars and concert halls, you can drink, dance, and sing all around town. Toulouse's nightlife scene provides enough diversity to entice everyone and enough originality to catch even the most seasoned night revellers off guard.
If you were not yet convinced, here is another area in which Toulouse excels and never disappoints: shopping. From traditional French farmers' markets to hipster and trendy boutiques, as well as a variety of antique and high-quality second-hand shops, you may find yourself unable to resist the temptation to indulge in some retail therapy. You might even consider leaving your wallet behind as the only way to escape this irresistible decadence.