I have visited Toulouse many times and at different times of the year. The season that I like the most is autumn because of its climate, smell and color that the city acquires, however any time is good to visit Toulouse since its climate is very pleasant and does not get to have extreme temperatures.
Toulouse is located in the south of France; It is the fourth most populous city in France and the third university student city.
The people are very gentle and the students give the pink city a lot of vitality, as it is also known, for the color of its old buildings built with caravista bricks.
Today I will be your tour guide in the historic center of this beautiful city crossed by the Garonne River.
Basilica of San Sernín
This Romanesque church is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (code 868-045) and is one of the most visited sites in Toulouse. Dating from the 11th century and its internal architectural details are wonderful. Admission is free but to access the underground crypt a small payment is made. This basilica is part of the goods inscribed on the road to Santiago de Francia.
Notre-Dame du Taur
It is located on Taur Street, very close to the Basilica of San Sernín and on the way to the Capitol Square. The church was built in the 14th century and is closely linked with the martyr of San Sernín. This historical monument is located in a very narrow street (Taur street) and is also recognized for its great bell tower and its beautiful facade.
Notre-Dame La Dalbade
It is located in the Carmes district very close to Plaza Carmes. Its Gothic architecture building dates from the 15th century. Its bell tower collapsed in 1926 and was the highest arrow in the city with 91 meters. The church has a beautiful Renaissance facade and eardrum. Inside there are many works of art, so I suggest you visit this church.
Saint Étienne Cathedral
This monument is really an architectural wonder. It is built in two different periods: Romanesque style in the nave area and Gothic style in the choir area.
Looking at this building without knowing its history can astonish and baffle travelers because this is the result of a juxtaposition of unfinished styles and buildings dating from the eleventh to the seventeenth century (and even to the twentieth century on its north facade).
The stained glass windows of this cathedral are the originals. Stresses its magnificent Rosette, its Organ and the sculpture of La Piedad by Gervais Drouet (1648).
Detail of The Piety
The Inscription of this sculpture says: All of you who pass by this way consider and see if there is a similar pain and mine.
Possibly I should have started here.
The city hall of Toulouse (Headquarters of the Municipal Power) is located in this building. It has a courtyard of Henry IV and a large square of the same name. In the surroundings there are commercial stores and hotels that are in an excellent location.
Walking from here on La Fayette Street you can reach the Tourist Office and Wilson Square. I suggest that you dress the Tourist Office to acquire a small map of the city. There are also very nice souvenirs such as t-shirts, key chains, perfumes with the aroma of the region, etc.
I did the whole journey walking but there is the possibility of renting bicycles and using the bike lanes.
Toulouse has about 15 museums. All of great importance and for different purposes. On this tour I will only mention some of them.
It is a museum of fine arts located in the historic center of Toulouse. The beauty of the works that are exhibited in this old Convent is as relevant as the aesthetics of the gardens, columns and floors.
Gothic sculptures (gargoyles) are also very striking and are located on the way to the cloister.
George Labit Museum
It is a museum that exhibits Asian art and Egyptian antiquities. Its name comes from a collector named George Labit who lived in Toulouse in the palace that today is the museum. In his travels, for several years, he acquired many objects of art, some three centuries old, and which are part of the exotic collection that this museum has.
Château L´Eau Gallery
It is a building that is passing the New Bridge very close to the Hotel D´Assezat. It dates from 1823 and is currently an important Photo Gallery. For any photographer who is visiting Toulouse this would be a mandatory place to visit.
Assezat Hotel and Bemberg Foundation
This work is signed by Nicolas Bachelier, the most important Tolosan architect of the Renaissance period, who was also the author of the bell tower of Notre-Dame de La Dalbade and the New Bridge.
The Bemberg Foundation works in this wonderful place (the name comes from the millionaire collector Georges Bemberg). Here are exposed more than 1000 works and objects of art from different times and European styles. I particularly value the impressionist art collection but there is something for everyone.
I leave here the museum tour. I consider all very interesting but I would like to mention other spaces in this publication. However, I cannot fail to mention the Natural History Museum and the Aeroscopy Museum.
Traveling to Japan can be very expensive but if you are in Toulouse you can visit this wonderful Garden and you will feel some airs of this Asian country. It is a small park but very well maintained. It was created in 1981 by former Mayor Pierre Baudis and can be seen as a replica of Japanese gardens designed between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries.
You can find in this place of harmony all the characteristic elements of a Japanese Garden: minerals, plant world, water and decorative objects typical of Japan.
Capitol Square, Wilson Square (which I have already reviewed) and Salengro Square which is a very cozy and romantic place to take a short break located between Puits-Clos, San Pantaleón and La Barutte streets.
In Toulouse you can find outdoor cinema functions in the spaces of the cinematheque. In addition, this city has a great Latin American Film Festival and The Italian Film Meetings in Toulouse. There are other festivals but these are the ones I like the most.
In the vicinity of the Lombard Pier and its surrounding streets you can find restaurants, bars and nightclubs to enjoy a Tolosana night. However, also if they have a vehicle they can move to other more modern spaces of the city to have more youthful dance and music halls.
In the photo I show the New Bridge. In the background La Daurade and the Lombard promenade.
What to eat and where?
Toulouse has all the options. There are restaurants of French food (of course), Spanish, Italian, Moroccan food, fast food franchises, etc. What I am going to suggest is that you make a reservation in a boat and enjoy the typical Toulouse dish: cassoulet. As it is a dish with character: white beans, duck, pork and sausages, cooked over very low heat, the first dish can consist of fois gras with red wine from the region or Bordeaux.
Markets for cooking in the accommodation
If the budget is only enough to eat in the room. In Toulouse there is an excellent municipal market with good prices.
On the Boulevard de Strasbourg from the Plaza de Juana de Arco and the street of La Concordia (approximately) there is a group of merchants of vegetables and fruits that are always very fresh. Every day of the week except Mondays you can find this economic alternative in the street.
If you want you can also buy flowers on that same Boulevard, here is a small sample.
We have finished the tour through the historic area of the romantic city of Toulouse (Midi-Pyrenees). I hope you enjoyed. A toast!
I am born in Caracas - Venezuela but I confess that I would have loved to be born in Toulouse. That city is fantastic !! So I am caraqueña of birth and heart-Toulousain
All photographs are my property and captured on different trips; except for the google map Google Map Toulouse.