Visit Toulouse in one day is a real challenge !
Because Toulouse has a rich past and history, my city has too many attractive places to visit – cf my post : Toulouse in France
But as I love my city, I want to make it loved ! So I know how to use imagination and tips !
In this post, I will give you my way to visit Toulouse as I visit it with my family and friends. With the two maps herebelow and my “one day in Toulouse itinerary”, I am sure you will enjoy my city with maximum pleasure !
How to visit Toulouse in one day ?
Usualy, I propose to my hosts a day trip in Toulouse to visit only the essentials of the city. What is perfect is to go everywhere on foot, to pass in the small streets and not miss some beautiful places.
It’s not possible to make guided tours of the various sites because, even if they are interesting, they would take too much time and would not allow to finish all the visits of my circuit…
Thus, for the great monuments : You go there, you visit quickly, you take some pictures and you continue to follow my circuit !
Toulouse in one day – the program of the day
Here are my two detailed itineraries one day to visit Toulouse on foot.
These two circuits each make a loop that starts from Capitol Square and returns to Capitol Square. Thus, we can provide a visit circuit in the morning and another circuit in the afternoon by taking a lunch break around Capitole Square.
Visit Toulouse in 1 day – My morning tour
Start with The Capitol and its beautiful square
From your hotel, take Metro Line A (Capitole stop).
This square is the emblem of Toulouse. This is where the people of Toulouse meet to celebrate their big events. On the floor of the square, you can admire the symbol of our region : the Occitan cross. Raymond Moretti, a contemporary artist, has designed it just like the 29 frescoes of the Arcades all around Capitol Square. Each painting tells about great event in the history of Toulouse and its region.
The Capitol Square is full of charm as it is surrounded by buildings with pink brick facades.
Why is this square so beautiful ? Because there is The Capitol : a splendid building of neoclassical architecture. You can quickly visit, inside the Capitol, the court Henri-IV and the superb paintings of the rooms Gervais, Henri-Martin and Illustres (on the 1st floor).
Continue with Basilica Saint-Sernin
Follow the tour taking the rue du Taur to go to the Basilica Saint-Sernin. While walking in the street, you will be able to see the church Notre-Dame-du-Taur.
You must turn on the right in the street of Périgord if you want to contemplate the chapel of the Carmelites.
Then, back in the Taur street to join and visit the Basilica Saint Sernin. This basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest Romanesque building in France. It is dedicated to Sernin (or Saturnin) who was the first bishop of Toulouse.
Walking in the old streets of Toulouse
To continue the itinerary on foot, you must take rue du Taur, rue de l’Esquile, then rue des Pénitents-Gris. On the right, in the College-de-Foix street then turn left on Deville Street. Continue along Lakanal Street, which leads directly to the Jacobins (the jewel of southern Gothic art).
Go visit the Jacobins
Composed of several buildings (church, cloister and convent), the Jacobins were built between the 13th and 14th century for members of the Dominican Order, the Dominicans. The relics of Saint Thomas Aquinas are preserved there.
And finish the morning tour at the hotel de Bernuy
Go back to Lakanal street, on your right, and admire the big « hôtel particulier » in Gambetta street : the Bernuy Hotel. It has been built in the early 16th century at the time of Pastel glory which made the wealth and fame of Toulouse !
It is now time to take a lunch break… So we must return to the Capitol Square !
Best restaurant in Toulouse – My advice
It is on the famous Place du Capitole that is located the café-restaurant Bibent. I advise you to go there not only for its french chef Christian CONSTANT but especially for its colorful neo-baroque interior decoration (classified as a historical monument). This restaurant is a place to eat but also a place to visit !
Visit Toulouse in 1 day – My afternoon tour
Assezat Hotel and the Bemberg Foundation
From Place du Capitole, take Gambetta street, follow Peyrolieres street, then Sainte Ursule street, rue de la Bourse and Jean Suau street.
Thus, you will pass by charming little, old streets of Toulouse to join the Hotel of Assezat. This beautiful 16th century monument is at the end of de l’Echarpe street. The Bemberg Foundation is a museum housed in Assezat Hotel and offers a small but beautiful collection of Impressionist paintings.
Place de la Trinité
This is one of my favorite places in Toulouse. To get there, you will have to continue on Merchant Street and go to Trinity Square. Look at the Cariatides house and its 19th century fountain.
Continue the tour by going to Des Tourneurs street, Rouaix square and Croix Baragnon street which leads to Saint Etienne Square.
If you are hungry, take a break to enjoy a pastry at Conté (in Croix Baragnon street)…
Saint Etienne Cathedral
With a mix of architectural styles, this incredible cathedral is made up of two principal Gothic styles : the massive and powerful Southern Gothic and the slender and luminous Northern Gothic.
And to finish going to Les Augustins
Take again the street of Metz to arrive at the Augustins. Here is the last essential site of my circuit: the museum of Augustins and its cloister. Originally, it was a convent, the Augustins, built between the fourteenth and fifteenth century. Today it is the museum of Fine Arts in Toulouse.
Return Capitol Square
From the street of Metz (rue de Metz), passing by the arts street (rue des arts) and on the left the appel treet (rue de la pomme), you will follow the rue du poids de l’huile to return to Capitol Square. And now, the loop is complete !
After this busy day, you are going to return to your hotel. And if you do not know where to stay, here is my selection of nice hotels in the center of Toulouse.
Best hotel in Toulouse ? My favorite
Hotel Le Grand Balcon
8-10 Rue Romiguieres, Toulouse
Very well located in the historic center of Toulouse (100 m from the Capitol), this 4-star hotel is beautifully decorated in the 1930s with a mix of tradition and modernity.
Its location allows to visit the center of the city but also all the other tourist places in Toulouse because it is nearby the metro.
In addition, the shopping streets and the big Galeries Lafayette are also at 5 minutes walk from the hotel.
Rooms are quiet and comfortable. Useful amenities are present : slippers, free minibar, nice coffee machine, and great macaron cakes. The breakfast is really good too !
Hôtel Mercure Toulouse Saint-Georges
His location is also very good. From this hotel, it is easy to visit Toulouse and its historic center (only 50 m from Place Wilson and 300 m from Capitole Square and only 100 meters from the metro station Jean-Jaures).
The hotel has been renovated and has a swimming pool which is very a good thing in summer !
Aslo, guests are invited to relax in the Saint-George’s bar and the hotel offers room service. There is also a 24-hour front desk and a laundry service.
You have one more day to visit Toulouse ?
Have a look at my article Two days in Toulouse : my itineraries