Prior to this trip, Toulouse wasn’t a place I had any interest in visiting. Not because I had heard bad things about it, but because I hadn’t heard anything about it. After spending the last couple of days exploring the city, I’m hoping to put Toulouse on your radar. I think Toulouse is often overlooked because of the more well-known cities in France like Paris and Nice. However, Toulouse is the perfect city to visit if you’re looking to get a real feel for the French culture, without an overwhelming amount of tourists.
My mom and I spent about a day and a half in Toulouse and completely fell in love with the city. We had just come from Monaco where we spent a week on a yacht exploring Nice, Saint Tropez, and a few places in between. While these were two very different trips, I’d venture to say that we enjoyed exploring Toulouse just as much as we enjoyed the luxurious living we experienced the previous week. If you’re making your way to France anytime soon, I highly suggest stopping in Toulouse. If you get that chance, here is a complete guide of where you should stay, what to visit, and where to eat while you’re there!
Where should you stay in Toulouse?
We stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Toulouse City Center and I can’t recommend it enough. If that’s full or not your style, anywhere in or near the city center would be the ideal location. Everywhere you’ll want to see is easily accessible by bike and you’ll be surrounded by great restaurants, shopping, and activities.
Where to go and how to get there:
Like I said before, everywhere you’ll want to see is easily accessible by bike. There are bike rentals throughout the town so you shouldn’t have a problem locating one!
Capitol/City Center: If you chose to stay in the City center, this should be your first stop! It is located in the main square, but make sure to double check that it will be open when you want to go!
Canal du Midi: This is the furthest from the main square, so we chose to start here and work our way back. This is the canal that runs throughout the entire city and is definitely worth a visit.
Basilica of St. Sernin
Pont Neuf: A 16th century bridge where you can get a good look of the city. This is where I took one of my favorite pictures of the city
Notre-Dame de la Daurade
Fondation Bemberg Museum: I’m really not a huge museum person, but we decided to stop in here anyway and I’m so happy we did. This museum is filled with really interesting pieces of artwork and I actually found myself enjoying walking through it (kind of a shock if you know me).
Saint Stephens Cathedral and Jardin des Plantes: My mom and I ran out of steam before we were able to visit these two places, but it is definitely doable to finish your day off by seeing these two sites. If you make it there or have been to either of these spots, let me know how they are!
Where should you eat in Toulouse?
Bellini: In our 48 hours in Toulouse, we ate here three times. Partly because it was four feet from our hotel and partly because it was just that good.
Home Sweet Café: If you are in Toulouse on a weekend, this is an absolute must for brunch lovers. Definitely the best breakfast I’ve had in quite some time.
Amorino: The line out the door might have you questioning if this is really worth it…trust me, it is. And they make your ice cream cone in the shape of a flower which is obviously a bonus!
Also while in Toulouse:
Bought more clothes than I have room for in my suitcase, paid a homeless man to unlock my bike lock because I was apparently too dense to figure it out, nearly got hit by a car multiple times while riding my bike, and convinced my mom change her flight so she could come to Munich with me!
I hope this guide can help you plan your next trip to France and hopefully encourages you to visit the lesser known parts of the country! Have you already been to Toulouse? Do you have anything to add to this guide? Let me know in the comments!
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