Toulouse Travel Guide

Written by on January 13, 2014 in Midi-Pyrénées

toulouse travel guide

Toulouse is in the Midi-Pyrénées region, Haute-Garonne department . The area has incredibly diverse landscapes from the Pyrénées Mountains all the way to the green valleys of the Dordogne. It encompasses the richness of Gascony to the dramatic Gorges du Tarn. It has 33 UNESCO world heritage sites including the Canal du Midi and the St. Jacques de Compostelle trails along with the Saint-Sernin Basilica in Toulouse.

Toulouse is a dynamic city and the fourth largest in France. The cultural life, history and gastronomy are three of the biggest draws for visitors and probably one of the best-known products in the area is the sausage which carries the city’s name.

Toulouse Travel Guide: Getting to Toulouse

By plane: The nearest airport is Toulouse-Blagnac, 8km west of Toulouse. Flights from Paris take around 30 minutes and there are connections to major European cities.

Toulouse city centre is easily reached by the airport shuttle bus service (20-45 minutes depending on traffic conditions) or by taxi (taxi rank outside the arrivals hall) or by hire car from one of the many vehicle hire companies represented at the airport. You can also fly to airports in Beziers and Carcassonne and take a train into Toulouse.

By train: From Paris the journey time is between 5 and 7.5 hours to Matabiau station in the centre.  SNCF trains operate to major towns and cities in France. Check the SNCF website for time trains and destinations.

Public Transport in Toulouse

There is a metro (underground train) service, trams and good bus service as you’d expect in a city of this size.

The old town is best seen on foot and there is a free shuttle bus that operates round the historic centre daily (except Sunday), wave and flag a bus down if you want to hop on! You can also rent bikes from the city bike stations called 253VeloToulouse.

Top things to see and do in Toulouse

Capitole –  a massive, ornate building, an imposing and palatial town hall and theatre with a beautiful facade facing onto the grand Place du Capitole, one of the great squares in Europe where there is often a market.

Cité de l’Espace, Europe’s best space museum.  The sight of the 150ft-high life-size version of the Ariane 5 rocket is an indication of what this very modern centre is all about. A constellation of exhibits include a full-size model of the Russian satellite Sputnik launched in 1957, a big chunk of Moon rock and genuine sections of the Russian Mir craft and the Space Station. You can even take a test ride in a Gyroscope (tip: don’t try it if you’ve just eaten!). www.cite-espace. com
Discover the fascinating world of Airbus and the world’s largest airliner
Basilique Saint Sernin – 11th Century church, partly restored by the famous French architect Viollet-le-Duc, very impressive and a great place to enjoy a concert in the summer season.
La Maison de la Violette – a violet-coloured canal barge dedicated to all things violet, eccentric, pretty and unique.
Hôtel d’Assézat – Very appealing and splendid example of Rennaissance architecture which houses an idiosyncratic collection of art and a very nice café.
Pont-Neuf – or the New Bridge, in fact the only old bridge across the Garonne river; built between 1544 and 1626
Les Jacobins monastery Church, Thomas Aquinas’ relics are held here.
Les Augustins – once a monastery church, now an art museum with works by Rubens, Delacroix and Corot.

Toulouse Tourist Office

More on Toulouse:
Toulouse – the pink city with shades of blue
The Towers of Toulouse
Weekend in Toulouse
Violet festival, gastronomy and fabulous architecture of Toulouse

Related Articles

Pastry class with a master chef in the Gers

If you have a sweet tooth and a yearning for learning how to make the most amazing French cakes – this pastry class with a master chef in Gers is perfect for you! Close to Auch, the capital of the Gers department, the little village of Vic-Fezenac has a surprise. On the outskirts, in his […]

Continue Reading

How to spend one day in Toulouse

Capital of the newly-reconfigured Occitanie region, la Ville Rose as Toulouse is affectionately called after the colour of its brickwork really needs far more time than one day. But if that’s all you have, here’s how to spend one day in Toulouse by a local. You’ll find it wont be enough though, and you’ll definitely […]

Continue Reading

Vegetarian restaurants in Toulouse

Our four-year-old daughter announced one teatime that she didn’t want to eat baby animals anymore as she looked sadly at a half-eaten lamb chop, it was the start of a journey for all of us.  She has been a committed vegetarian ever since, only once wavering over a bacon sandwich but ultimately the baby animals […]

Continue Reading

The Halle de la Machine in Toulouse

When I was a kid I was entranced by stories of mythical beasts. My favourite tale was of a Minotaur who roamed a labyrinth on the Greek island of Crete. Small me believed that Minotaurs, a species which had the head and tail of a bull and the body of a man, really lived, much […]

Continue Reading

Where to eat out near Millau Viaduct Aveyron

Close to the awesome Millau Viaduct, and providing a surreal backdrop),is the ancient town of Millau. It’s home to a rich history and beautiful architecture, Roman pottery and fine leather glove making. It’s a pretty town and also a good place to stop off to enjoy a leisurely bite to eat and enjoy the stunning […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.