Where is Toulouse in France ?
Capital of the Occitanie region, Toulouse is located in the south-west of France.
Its geographic advantage is its proximity to Spain and the Pyrenees Mountains, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The city is near a lot of small medieval fortified villages. Also its proximity to Spain gives to Toulouse a festive atmosphere and lively nightlife.
In Toulouse, the weather is nice, we have the sun most of the year. On average account 99 rainy days for Toulouse against 124 in Bordeaux…
South of France best places – Toulouse ?
Global Capital of Aeronautics, Toulouse “the Pink City” its second name, has many attractions for tourists from around the world :
- A beautiful cultural heritage and history that is told in its architecture (red brick terracotta) and its monuments listed by Unesco (the Basilica of Saint Sernin, the Canal du Midi) ;
- An important gastronomic value with his cassoulet, Toulouse sausages, foie gras … and its pretty food markets ;
- Aeronautical and space know-how (visits of AIRBUS and The city of Space) ;
- All around Toulouse, there are a lot of small medieval fortified villages to visit (Cordes, Puycelsi, Castres, Lautrec, Lauzerte…) ;
- A real festive atmosphere and nightlife. There is a sympatic atmosphere in the streets of Toulouse at night, typical of the cities of southern France. There are people on the streets, on coffee terraces and in restaurants where you can eat tapas or gourmet meals. It also has many discos, clubs and cabarets.
Best places to see in Toulouse France – My selection
- The “Salle des Illustres” into the Capitole (1st floor of the Hôtel de Ville);
- The Raymond Moretti’s paintings at the ceilings of the arches surrounding the Capitol Square. They tell the story and the great events of the city of Toulouse.
- The Saint Sernin Basilica, masterpiece of Romanesque art, listed among the world’s jewels at UNESCO ;
- The Jacobins, 13th century convent of southern Gothic style with its church where are preserved the relics of St. Thomas Aquinas ;
- The Saint Etienne Cathedral whose construction spread over 5 centuries. It includes several architectural styles and beautiful original windows.
- A City Sightseeing Tour of Toulouse by Segway : A funny visit in the streets of Toulouse aboard a Segway. For more informations
- Drink a glass at the mythical “Le Bibent” classified by national monuments (on Capitol Square) ;
- The masterpiece of the classical Renaissance : the Hôtel d’Assezat and its small museum of Impressionist paintings ;
- A boat trip on the Garonne or on the Canal du Midi (classified at Unesco) ;
- AIRBUS guided tour to learn a little more about Toulouse’s aeronautical know-how ;
- A trip to space in the 4-hectare park : The Cité de l’Espace. A giant IMAX screen, a planetarium, a life-size replica of the Ariane 5 rocket, the Soyuz spacecraft and the ERS2 satellite are waiting for you …
- Museums, exhibitions …
Restaurants in Toulouse – my favorite
Anges et démons
1, rue Perchepinte 31000 Toulouse
An excellent table in a beautiful setting in the center of Toulouse (in the heart of Saint Etienne and Carmelites districts).
Fine and elaborate dishes, cozy atmosphere, beautiful setting (walls with Toulouse briquette and vaulted basement) and interesting price !
(2 Toques in GAULT&MILLAU notation 2018 and Certificate of Excellence Tripadvisor !)
46 Rue des couteliers 31000 Toulouse
This “gourmet” restaurant has an exceptional setting inside the historical Hotel of the Court of Consuls.
Its large room is superb with period fireplace and large paintings.
Very fine food, wide selection of well selected wines, impeccable service …
What is bad ? Its price is high in the evening. But if you go for lunch, a very good menu is proposed for 39 Euros only !
Best hotel in Toulouse
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.
All rooms are soundproofed and include a flat-screen TV, a minibar, a Nespresso coffee machine and a seating area !
Its location allows to visit the historic center 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 Grand Balcon Hotel
The 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
Its main advantage : its location! It is perfect for visiting Toulouse and its historic center (only 50 m from Place Wilson and 300 m from the Capitole).
Only 100 meters from the metro station Jean-Jaurès, access to all the other sites of interest in Toulouse is also easy and fast.
The hotel has been recently renovated and has a swimming pool which is very apreciated in summer!
Rooms at the Toulouse Saint-Georges are equipped with satellite TV and a private bathroom. All the rooms are serviced by an elevator.
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.
Reasons why Toulouse is one of South of France best places
As a couple, with family or friends, Toulouse can interest all lovers of art, history, science and gastronomy.
Nature lovers will not be disappointed either. Indeed, the Canal du Midi invites to walk or bike. In the Pyrenees (1h30 from Toulouse) you can enjoy skiing or hiking in the mountains and also beaches are waiting for you in 1h30 of road…
So, don’t wait and come to visit Toulouse ! If you have only one day to visit Toulouse, look at my post : One day in Toulouse : my itinerary