Bathed in the southern sun and rocked by the gentle Pyrenean breezes, Toulouse is a pleasant blend of heritage, traditions and joie de vivre. Student city par excellence, its atmosphere is young and relaxed, its cafes are crowded and its streets always lively. What to do in Toulouse? There are of course the essentials, but also other sites, less known to tourists. Here is our selection!
1. Visit Toulouse Cathedral
Located near the Jardin du Grand Rond , Saint-Étienne Cathedral presents two different architectural styles, Romanesque and Gothic, its construction extending between the 13th and 17th centuries. Over the years, parts have been destroyed and then rebuilt, and it is even more visible inside where a section seems almost abandoned while the west wing and the high altar are rather gleaming.
2. Stroll around the Prairie des Filters
“La Prairie”, as the people of Toulouse call it, is the ideal place to laze in the afternoon while enjoying superb views of the Garonne. Formerly a runway, it was a rugby training ground and then a vegetable garden during the war before becoming one of the busiest gardens in the city.
3. Follow the Canal du Midi by bike
The Canal du Midi, which runs for more than 200 km between Toulouse and the Mediterranean, was designed in the 17th century to allow ships to cross without passing through the Iberian Peninsula where pirates often stayed. Nowadays, it is bordered by plane trees and inhabited by many barges. You can organize your own hike or participate in those offered by the Tourist Office.
4. Visit the Toulouse Museum
This natural history museum was the first in Europe to open a gallery on prehistoric times and its collection is impressive. The visit takes place through five themes: planet Earth, living beings, the notion of time, Man and the Future.
Access: every day except Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. / 5-7 € – The permanent exhibition is free every 1st Sunday of the month.
5. Admire the sky from the Jolimont Observatory
Open to the public every Friday evening from 9 p.m., the observatory is located at the top of Jolimont hill. Access is open and free and certain conferences are sometimes commented on by professional astronomers. In addition to these evenings, various events are regularly organized, do not hesitate to consult the agenda of the site.
6. Discover the Palmier des Jacobins
This palm tree, the pride of the people of Toulouse, is in fact a giant pillar located inside the church of the Jacobins. This architectural feat is already impressive, but the addition of a mirror on the ground gives the impression of being suspended in the air, or of falling into the depths of the place, it is very astonishing.
7. Stroll through the stalls of a farmers market
In Toulouse the four best markets are those of Arnaud Bernard, les Carmes, St Aubin and St Cyprien. Most of them take place on a daily basis, but feel free to check the calendar online .
8. Jardin des Plantes
This park is located near the Toulouse Museum and many animals roam free: turtles, roosters, chickens, ducks and swans. Hopefully one of the peacocks might even come and court you while you are lying in the grass!
9. Getting lost in the Carmelite quarter
Surely the nicest district of the city with that of the Antique dealers. Together, they make all the charm of Toulouse. Stroll through the narrow streets and admire the Toulouse houses with their bright red bricks. This is a rather chic area, known for its luxury boutiques and jewelry stores, but you will also find many art galleries and antique shops that are worth a visit.
10. Take a walk on the Place du Capitole
Of course! The Capitole is to Toulouse what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, it is impossible to miss it, although it does not by itself sum up all the essence of the city. You’ll find plenty of cafes and restaurants here, but for a cheap option, it’s best to venture into the adjacent streets. It is possible to visit the Salle des illustres inside the Capitol where there is an impressive collection of 19th century paintings.
What are your favorite places to visit Toulouse? Share them in a comment below!
Name – Julien Chbib
Bio- Julien is the founder of Julius Homes His interest in hiking, skiing, and adventure holidays made him bring together the choicest accommodations around the globe to make holidays relaxing and comfortable.