Travel Guide to Toulouse, France: What is There to See and Do
Toulouse, located in the Occitanie region of France, is a vibrant and historic city with plenty of attractions to offer travelers. With a rich history dating back to the Roman Empire, Toulouse has diverse architecture, unique museums, and stunning gardens. Below are some of the top things to see and do in Toulouse:
1. Visit the Basilica of Saint-Sernin
The Basilica of Saint-Sernin is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most significant pilgrim destinations in Europe. This Romanesque church was built in the 11th century and is one of the best-preserved churches of the period in France. Inside the church, visitors can see medieval art, a beautiful organ, and a crypt.
2. Explore the Musée des Augustins
The Musée des Augustins is a former Augustinian monastery, now a museum that showcases an impressive collection of fine art from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Visitors can view works by artists such as Rubens, Delacroix, and Ingres. The museum is also home to the largest collection of Romanesque sculpture in France.
3. Stroll Through the Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is a beautiful garden near the city center. This 7-hectare park has a wide range of flora, a rose garden, a tranquil pond, and a bird sanctuary. It is a perfect place for an afternoon walk or picnic.
4. Take a Canal Ride
Toulouse is known as “La Ville Rose” because of the pink brick buildings that line its streets. One of the best ways to see the city’s unique architecture is by taking a canal tour on the Canal du Midi. Visitors can admire the city from a different perspective, pass under historic bridges, and spot wildlife along the canal.
5. Discover the Cité de l’Espace
The Cité de l’Espace is an innovative space museum that offers an exciting and immersive experience to visitors. Here you can learn about the history of space exploration and see real spacecraft, such as the Soyuz spacecraft and a moon rock. Its planetarium offers an opportunity to explore space in a unique way.
6. Visit the Place du Capitole
The Place du Capitole is the central square of Toulouse and is a great place to start exploring the city. This expansive plaza is home to the city hall, the Théâtre du Capitole, and several boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. The square is also bustling with street performers and is always lively and vibrant.
7. Try Some Traditional Food
Toulouse is famous for its rich cuisine, such as cassoulet, a hearty stew made with white beans, duck, and pork sausage, and foie gras, a luxury delicacy. Visitors can try these traditional dishes at one of the many local restaurants and cafes around the city. Don’t forget to pair it with a glass of local wine from the region, such as Gaillac or Fronton.
Toulouse is a vibrant and dynamic city with plenty of attractions to explore. Whether you are interested in history, architecture, or food, Toulouse offers something for everyone. These must-see sights and activities are just the beginning of what this beautiful city has to offer, so start planning your trip today!