The city of Toulouse is located in the South of France in the mid-Pyrenees quite close to the Spanish boarder and although it is not on either the Mediterranean or Atlantic coasts it is on the River Garonne. Toulouse is also referred to as La Ville Rose or the pink city because of the large number of buildings constructed using red bricks. Being both quaint and modern it is a perfect travel destination if you want to immerse yourself in true French culture.
Getting to Toulouse
You can reach Toulouse by air by flying to Toulouse-Blagnac International Airport which is about 8km from Toulouse and there is a Fly Bus connecting the airport to the city. If you arrive by rail it will be to Matabiau SNCF station which is in the center of Toulouse. If you are planning to reach Toulouse by car there are motorways connecting it to the major capitals in the region and beyond. Once in Toulouse there is an underground system, free shuttle buses, good roads for driving and even “Cycloville” bicycle taxis!
Where to stay in Toulouse
While in Toulouse there are several vacation accommodation options ranging from cheap hostels a few minutes out of town; mid-price range hotels; luxury hotels (Crowne Plaza, Grand Hotel de L’Opera) and even a campground. You can also consider renting a vacation apartment or staying in a B&B.
Things to see and do in Toulouse
Toulouse is a perfect city for walking or cycling and discovering by yourself and there are also many walking tours on offer. Explore the banks of the Garonne River with its quays, bridges and even beaches. The Canal du Midi is the oldest canal in Europe and an UNESCO site it was constructed in the 17th century to join the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean. At Bassin de L’Embouchure 3 canals meet in Toulouse. Toulouse is also home to several stunning churches, Saint-Sernin Basilica is the largest Romantique style building in the western world and the destination for Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle pilgrimages there is also the rose colored Capitole a grand town hall and theatre. Toulouse also has a large number of world class museums with works in all genres. The Les Abattoirs Modern Art Museum has many unusual art genres and even work by Picasso. Toulouse has a very contemporary side to it as well with IMAX theatres, a zoo, “Space City” (with a planetarium and mock control room), nightclubs and bars.
Consider getting the Toulouse City Pass which costs 10€ and gets you discounts in 250 places and including restaurants, hotels, transport and tourist attractions.