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Things to do in Toulouse

Things to do in  Toulouse

Welcome to Toulouse

The coral-colored hue of Toulouse’s Old Quarter give the city its nickname—“La Ville Rose” (The Rose City)—but beyond the medieval facades, France’s fourth-largest city is a cultural powerhouse and leader in innovation. A major player in the European aerospace industry and a buzzing university city, Toulouse always has its finger firmly on the pulse. City sightseeing as varied as you’d expect—cruising the Garonne River, diving into bustling food markets, visiting an international Space center, and partying into the early hours are just some of the top things to do in Toulouse.

Top 15 attractions in Toulouse

St. Sernin Basilica (Basilique Saint-Sernin)

Saint-Sernin Basilica is an outstanding building in the heart of Toulouse and is notable for being the largest Romanesque building in Europe. For centuries it has welcomed pilgrims walking along the Camino de Santiago, or Way of Saint James.More


Albi is a beautiful town roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers from Toulouse whose history is linked to the Crusades against the Cathar heretics. Here you can explore an episcopal town listed as World Heritage by UNESCO and visit Albi Cathedral (Basilique Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d’Albi, a unique, imposing church. The Palais de la Berbie displays the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.More

Place du Capitole

Place du Capitole is the main square in Toulouse and home to the impressive Capitole building, a neoclassical masterpiece that serves as the city hall. The square is a huge pedestrianized open space in the heart of Toulouse flanked by sidewalk cafes.More

Carcassonne Castle (Cité de Carcassonne)

As the former seat of the Counts of Carcassonne, Carcassonne Citadel (Cité de Carcassonne) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of France’s most visited historic landmarks. Perched on a hilltop above the River Aude, the walled citadel is crowned by the Château Comtal.More

Lastours Castles (Châteaux de Lastours)

Although now in ruins, Lastours Castles (Châteaux de Lastours played a major role in the defense of the area during the height of Catharism in the 13th century. The main castle is called Cabaret, and is surrounded by three smaller fortresses. The ruins of a Romanesque church also sit on the site.More

Pont Neuf

The Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Toulouse. Spanning the river Garonne, the bridge has been part of the city fabric for over 400 years and is a lasting testament to 16th-century engineering.More

Toulouse Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Etienne)

Toulouse Cathedral, or Cathedrale St-Etienne as it is also known, is an interesting city cathedral with a unique design. With its mixture of architectural styles and lopsided appearance, it presents quite a change from the classic imposing grandeur of French cathedrals.More

Museum of Augustins (Musée des Augustins)

The Museum of Augustins, also known as Musée des Beaux-Arts de Toulouse, is one of the oldest museums in France and holds a large collection of both classic and modern art. Its Gothic interior and 14th-century cloisters form a marvelous backdrop for artworks by French masters and other well-known European artists.More


Appropriately situated just north of the Toulouse Airport and near the Airbus Factory, the aviation museum Aeroscopia features a wide variety of aviation-related exhibits. Here visitors of all ages can learn about everything from airplane design to air traffic control in a fun and interactive environment.More

Canal du Midi

France’s longest and oldest canal, the Canal du Midi is both a feat of civil engineering and a popular sightseeing destination in the southern Occitanie region. Built by engineer Pierre-Paul Riquet in the late 17th century, the 150-mile (240-kilometer) waterway connects the Mediterranean with the Atlantic Ocean via the Garonne Canal.More

Toulouse-Lautrec Museum (Musée Toulouse-Lautrec)

Situated inside the Palais de la Berbie, the astounding Toulouse-Lautrec Museum (Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, showcases hundreds of works by artist Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa, who was born in the area. Here you'll find over 1,000 artworks credited to the Albi artist along with a temporary exhibition space and an auditorium.More

Space City (Cite de l'Espace)

The Space City (Cite de l'Espace) lets you realize your dreams of visiting space without having to undergo years of astronaut training. Here, you can explore inside a space station or space rocket; try on a space suit; and experience the sensation of walking on the moon.More

Les Abattoirs Museum

Les Abattoirs is Toulouse’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Housed in a former slaughterhouse, it’s a must visit for fans of contemporary art. The museum collection is made up of 4,000 works including pieces by Picasso and Dali and temporary exhibitions featuring contemporary artists such as Franz Gertsch, Dado, and Daniel Spoerri.More

Garonne River

Flowing down from the Spanish Pyrenees all the way to France’s Atlantic coast, the Garonne is the most important river of southwestern France. Passing through two major cities—Toulouse and Bordeaux—the Garonne also runs into the Gironde estuary, the largest of its kind in Europe.More

Basilica of Our Lady of the Daurade (Notre-Dame de la Daurade)

The neoclassical facade and pediments of the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Daurade are an impressive sight on the riverfront promenade in Toulouse. There’s been a church on this site for over 1,500 years, and there’s plenty of history and intrigue to explore here.More
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People Also Ask

Is Toulouse worth visiting?

France’s “pink city,” named after its distinctive brick, is worth visiting. Toulouse is France’s fourth largest city, with world-class museums and galleries, including the Fondation Bemberg for sculptures. There’s a natural history museum, Romanesque churches, Gothic basilicas, and a 13th-century university. It’s also home to France’s best rugby team.

What is Toulouse known for?

The “pink city” of Toulouse is famous for its building color, originating from bricks made with local clay. Its history is long. The university was built in 1229, but the city likely originates from the eighth century BC. It’s been a stop on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage for centuries.

What is there to do in Toulouse in 2 days?

Start at Place du Capitole—the heart of Toulouse and see city hall’s elaborately painted walls. In the afternoon, hit the markets to sample delicacies from Languedoc Roussillon. On day two, visit the Museum of Augustins for its art, and step back in time at Jacobins Church, built in 1230.

What is there to do in Toulouse at night?

There’s plenty to do in Toulouse at night. Its large student population is reflected in the nightlife and bars, ranging from clubs to pubs to jazz bars. Fat Cat speakeasy is particularly good. Even walking around the city after dark is fun. The bridge, Pont Neuf, is beautifully illuminated.

Is Toulouse close to Paris?

Absolutely not, Toulouse is on the other side of the country from Paris. Even on high-speed trains (TGV), it takes four-plus hours. It’s closer to the Spanish border (75 miles or 120 kilometers) than to Paris. As a result, Toulouse sees more sunshine and higher temperatures than Paris.

Where do you hang out in Toulouse?

The best place is on the banks of its canals or rivers. Canal du Midi runs through Toulouse, an engineering feat that links Toulouse to the Mediterranean. Also flowing through the city is the Garonne River. Grab a picnic and sit by the banks or head to a waterside restaurant.


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