The city of Toulouse in the south of France is perfect for a 2-3 day city break! The so-called capital of the Occitan region represents a harmony between the city's vast 2000-year history and innovation. The city is known as the heart of Europe's aerospace industry. The esteem brought with this designation has also brought a continuous wave of tourists. They have discovered that a holiday in Toulouse means more than just aerospace and contemporary attractions, but also Gothic, Romanesque and ancient buildings and emblems.
- Travel cards
- Sights Toulouse + Activities
- Visit to Capitol square
- Saint-Etienne Cathedral(must see)
- Walk along the Garonne River
- Saint-Sernin Basilica of Toulouse
- Augustine Museum
- Saint-Raymond Museum and Museum of Old Toulouse
- Space Quote
- Aeroscopy Museum
- Jardin de Plantes and Museum of Natural History
- Paisance du Touch Zoo Park
- Garden Golf de Toulouse Téoula
Once you arrive in Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, you can take the tram (TRAM T2), bus 30 or taxi to the city centre. Train and bus tickets cost around €2, depending on the exact location you want to reach. If you have luggage and want to take a taxi, the average cost per journey is €30. If you have a bigger budget, you can rent a car from the airport website in advance, choosing from the 6 companies available (link at the end!), but bear in mind that you will also have to pay for parking at the airport. All stations, train, bus, tram, etc., will be extremely easy to find, however, since each will be marked by large signs.
Find comfortable accommodation in the city centre at affordable prices starting from 40 euro/night. If you are holidaying in Toulouse with family or friends, you can stay at Privilege Appart Hotel Saint Exupery where for 85 euro/night you get a whole studio. Unlike other big cities in Europe, accommodation in Toulouse is more affordable.
Once you arrive in Toulouse, in order to enjoy free public transport and discounts or even free admission to certain sights (such as a visit to the Saint-Sernin de Toulouse beacon which is free, but access to the crypts costs €2.50, but is free with Pass Tourisme), we recommend the tourist card Tourism Pass. Can be ordered online (link and at the end!) and its price varies according to the number of days it is valid: €18 for 24 hours, €28 for 48 hours, or €35 for 72 hours. Pass Tourisme offers free access to some sights and reduced price to others, and an added bonus is free public transport.
Toulouse culture map
As a secondary card, you can opt for the so-called Toulouse culture mapa card that will give you discounts at most of the city's tourist attractions, but not free (or free public transport). The card can be purchased from the Capitole or various cultural centres, is valid for a whole year and costs just €7 for adults over 25 (€5 for those under 25).
Weigh your options carefully and choose the deal that offers the best value for money.
Sights Toulouse + Activities
Take the opportunity to "feast your eyes" on the city's architecture that never fails to impress any tourist! Familiarise yourself, for a start, as far as possible with your surroundings. Try to discover nearby places, bus stops, etc., which will be useful during the next few days of actual exploration.
Historical centre is the perfect opportunity to soak up the city's unique atmosphere with the locals, to admire the buildings dating back to the 17th century and the cobbled streets that link them. The main attractions that bring tourists here from all over the world are the churches and cathedrals built in both Romanesque and Gothic styles and more. The landscape created by the variety of historical treasures is one not to be missed, and the tour below can be done on foot and will take you to the most important attractions.
Visit to Capitol square
Capitol square is the general area around the famous monument le Capitole, which can be found and visited also in the historic centre of the city, and the visit to the monument should not be a long one, about 1-2 hours. You can purchase all sorts of souvenirs from the daily mini-market organised there, and parts of the Capitol's interior can be visited, completely free of charge. The Salles des Illustres is a part of the iconic building that can't be missed, full of paintings that will give you a tour of Toulouse's history.
Saint-Etienne Cathedral(must see)
Toulouse Cathedral or Saint-Etienne Cathedral, as it is also known, is a Roman Catholic cathedral built in the 13th century in medieval style with a unique design. Stunning architecture that is definitely not worth missing!
Walk along the Garonne River
We recommend ending this historical adventure with a relaxing walk along the Garonne River - at night or at least in the evening! The most beautiful view of the river can be admired from near Place Saint-Pierre, and a walk along the water can take you to Pont Neuf, Toulouse's oldest bridge. In the evening, a dinner at one of the many bars and restaurants that are extremely close to the river, with the sound of the river flowing in the background, is sure to be a magical, unforgettable experience!
Saint-Sernin Basilica of Toulouse
Explore medieval or architecturally stunning buildings and make your holiday in France a memorable one! Saint-Sernin Basilica of Toulouse dates back to the 11th century and is built in Romanesque style. The tall tower, grand gates and secret crypts captivate tourists every year. Admission to the Basilica is free, but the cost of entering the crypts is €2.50 per person. Depending on when you visit Toulouse, there may be a special exhibition at the basilica, often of religious art, but sometimes there are even mini-concerts. Tourists can also take a tour of the parish in summer. Check the official website of the monument in advance to know what pleasant surprises to expect, link at the end of the article!
You can discover the secrets of the Middle Ages in Augustine Museum. Here you can admire impressive sculptures and paintings for only 5 euros per person (reduced with Toulouse culture and completely free with Pass Tourisme!). You should know that the museum is closed on Tuesdays, but from Wednesday to Monday, it is open from 10am until 6pm (extended hours until 9pm on Wednesdays!).
Saint-Raymond Museum and Museum of Old Toulouse
Other places where you can discover important artefacts and paintings are Saint-Raymond Museum, open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Old Toulouse Museum which is open Monday to Saturday only from 2pm to 6pm, so you should leave it until last if you want to visit it.. Both museums have an entrance fee of €5, reduced with Toulouse culture or free for the Museum of Old Toulouse with Pass Tourisme.
You can fill the whole day with visits to historically significant sites in Toulouse, and the visits themselves are relatively short, which will also allow for lunch/rest breaks. Depending on the exact location of your accommodation, the route may vary, but you should be able to visit at least one, two museums and the Saint-Sernin de Toulouse Basilica (hint: the Saint-Raymond Museum is just a crossroads away!).
You must visit the famous Space Quote. In this park you will find interactive exhibits about space travel and the universe. A rocket, a satellite and a spaceship are here, all life-size. It's a great place even for the little ones! You can start your day admiring the stars in the Astronomical Observatory, or you can end it this way, as you prefer. It is not in the city centre, but you can get there by bus at a cost of €1.70/ticket. Admission to the park is €24, but it's one of the only places of its kind in Europe. It's generally open between 10 and 5/6 in the evening, but we recommend you check their official website in advance for times, since there are days off on national or local holidays you should be aware of.
For astronaut enthusiasts and beyond, another recommendation is Aeroscopy Museum. From aviation relics, aviation history to distinguished specimens, it's a truly worthwhile place to visit. The ticket price is €13, with a €3 discount if you have a Pass Tourisme. In addition, the framework also gives you 10% discounts on any purchase in the museum shop. The museum opens most often at 9:30am, but sometimes has extended hours until 7pm. So you can "cut" your day in half with these unique visits.
Jardin de Plantes and Museum of Natural History
Discover many impressive plant species in Plant Garden (orar - 8:00–20:00). Fresh air, impressive tall shrubs and tranquillity - everything you could want from this holiday in France.
And while you're here, you can also visit Toulouse Museum, i.e. Museum of Natural History, located in the gardens. Access to the gardens is free, and the price of a ticket to the museum starts at 5 euros per person (also free if you have a Pass Tourisme card, however. (10:00-18:00 entrance to the museum).
Paisance du Touch Zoo Park
Another relaxing and pleasant place especially for the little ones is Plaisance du Touch Zoo Park (timetable - 9:30-19:30) with African safari theme. Tickets are €20 for adults and €10 for children aged 2-10.
Garden Golf de Toulouse Téoula
Close to the Zoo, you can also visit Garden Golf de Toulouse Téoula for a round of golf between 8am and 7pm for around 20 euros.
It wouldn't be a complete holiday in Toulouse if you didn't taste the typical French dishes! Cassoulet is one of the city's most popular dishes, most often prepared with beans and duck or sausage. And Toulouse sausages are worth tasting as they are prepared through a well thought-out process. Other delights you must try to fully understand the city's culinary culture are goose foie gras, pecan pie and Gascon black pork.
Toulouse is a city you can visit in 2-3 days. The mix of old and new is taken to a whole new level here thanks to medieval buildings that compete with contemporary architecture in the eyes of tourists.