Things to see and do in Toulouse in a day
Hey there! A trip to Toulouse sounds absolutely fantastic!! This is a city which has a lot of things, to interest every kind of traveler. It's a city rich in history, which boasts of fantastic restaurants and shopping centers at the same time.
Interestingly, Toulouse is also called the 'pink city', because many of its historical buildings are built with pink bricks, unique to the area. Sounds cool, right?
I sure am going to have a lot of fun, charting out the best places for you to see!
Toulouse (Source: Alfred Essa)
There are a lot of things one can do in Toulouse, but since you are going to be spending just a day in the city, I have listed a few that simply shouldn't be given a miss. I have also made sure that these places cover a bit of everything, from adventure to local sight seeing to a slice of history for the buffs. You can pick and choose the one's that interest you the most.
The heart of Toulouse, this is probably the biggest attraction in town. The city hall is known for its robust impressive architecture. Formerly, this was the head office of the old town magistrates but today houses the Capitole Theatre and the Town Hall today. Admission here is free.
Here's something I found about the Capitole during my research.
Le Capitole. This is the site of the original Town Hall, built in 1759. You can tour the historic building, and see busts of famous people of Toulouse, and gorgeous 19th and 20th century paintings. Don't forget to look up; the ceilings are painted, as well. Outdoors, the cobbled streets lead to a large main square that is a gathering place for tourists and natives alike. Here you can sample cassoulet, for which Toulouse is famous, and shop is quaint little boutiques.
(Source: Top 10 things to do in toulouse, france)
Le Capitole (Source: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra)
Toulouse is a major aerospace center in Europe and La Cité de l'Espace is a testimony of the same. So if you are a science, air or space fanatic, this is the place for you. Here you can wander through the park, watch the exhibitions and interactive displays and then head for the Planetarium, which is the highlight here.
Here' s review I found during my research, which actually lists down some attractions and they do sound really interesting!!
We saw the stellar ambition of Cite de l'Espace, Europe's best space museum, from afar. Rising out of the Toulouse suburbs is the 150ft-high life-size version of the Ariane 5 rocket.
Among a constellation of exhibits are 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.
There are enough intelligent displays and hands-on exhibitions to fill a day. But a minute is long enough in the gyroscope, in which you are hurled upside-down and back-to-front for the 360-degree spin-dryer treatment.
Then sit back and gaze at the universe in the state-of-the-art planetarium.
(Source: Mail Online)
Toulouse is a city with a lot of museums, but because of time constrains, I am suggesting the Musée des Augustins. It is a beautiful 14th century monastery that was turned into a museum after the French Revolution.
Here's an informative review that I found.
In my opinion this is the best museum in Toulouse. The works of art are presented in the sumptuous setting of the church and the chapter houses of the old Augustins convent.
Open every day: 10 - 18 h, on Wednesday 21 h. Closed 1 May.
(Source: Toulouse - Things to Do - VirtualTourist)
(Source: Bogdan Migulski)
The St. Sernin Basilica is the largest Romanesque church in Europe. The beauty and size of this ancient church is said to leave all travelers in awe.
Here's some background about the place, that might help spark interest in the place.
This is the largest remaining Romanesque church in the world. It takes its name from Saint Saturnin, a Christian martyr, who was tied to a bull and dragged to his death in 250 AD. In 402 his remains, previously kept in the du Taur church, were moved here and a small church, Saint-Exupere, was built around them. Work on the present basilica started around 1080. It is worth visiting for the exterior brickwork, the two crypts, the tympanum over the main door depicting Christ's ascension, and the 800 sculpted column heads. Admission is free. Guided tours cost EUR7 for adults; EUR5.9 children.
(Source: TripWiser: Trips and Road Trips)
Basilique Saint Sernin (Source: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra)
One of the best maintained Chateau's in the area, Chateau Bellevue is known for its lush green gardens. There are trees that are hundreds of years old, which make for a great stop over in the afternoon. Though it is a school now, a visit is a must to see the gardens.
Built at the top of a vast terraced park, the best-preserved chateau in Toulouse is now home to the Lycee Bellevue (a school for 15 to 18 year olds). Dating from the turn of the 19th century, the rectangular facade of this building contains row after row of arched windows: an impressive sight from the park entrance. The well-kept gardens have wide tree-lined avenues, and large lawns adorned with unusual concrete statues. The park crosses the Route de Narbonne; on the other side, there are a few sports' facilities belonging to the school, as well as beautiful hundred-year-old trees. Admission: free
(Source: Chateau Bellevue, MyTravelGuide.com)
Château de Bellevue (Source: jean-louis Zimmermann)
Though Toulouse is a big city, its center is quite small, so you can walk to the most popular and delightful sites in the inner city quite easily. Toulouse also has a very efficient metro system that runs all day and most of the major sites are connected by metro stations. Personally, I think cycling is the best option, as the city is very cycle friendly and its an adventure in itself too!!
Here's a small listing of all the available transport for you to get in and around the place.
Toulouse public transport is exceptionally efficient. A useful free shuttle bus circles the historic centre of the city throughout the day from Monday to Saturday. Day and week passes are available for public transport. You can buy a carnet of 10 tickets. Validate tickets before boarding Toulouse public transport. Toulouse en Liberte pass offers discounts for museums, attractions and tours.
Most of the main Toulouse sights are in the historic heart of the city: a relatively compact area. Walking is the best way to enjoy the city's beautiful architecture. The city has a relaxed spacious feel. Toulouse also has an exceptional amount of parks. Popular Toulouse walks include the banks of the Canal du Midi.
Cycling is very popular in Toulouse. The city is particularly cycle friendly. Toulouse has over 100 miles of cycle lanes. The tourist office provides maps of cycle lanes and cycle tours of the city. Toulouse provides extremely cheap bicycle hire. Look out for bicycle points at the Capitole and the bus station. The company that runs Toulouse public transport also rent out bicycles.
Toulouse metro is one of the most efficient in France. The metro is a fast and convenient way around the city. The city centre sights are especially well-served by metro stations. Toulouse metro runs from 05:00 until midnight (01.00 on Friday and Saturday night). Line A runs southwest-north east and the new Line B runs north-south.
A useful free shuttle bus circles the historic centre of the city throughout the day from Monday to Saturday. Around 60 Toulouse bus routes cover the entire city. Toulouse buses run until around 22.00, but several key Toulouse buses run until 01.00
Toulouse taxis are a good way to cross town. Major taxi ranks can be found at the train station, Place Wilson and Place Esquirol. Toulouse taxis are metered. Taxis can be booked by phone for important journeys.
(Source: Getting Around In Toulouse )
(Source: Richard Masoner)
Based on your preferences, you can pick and choose the sites that interest you the most. And as most of these aren't really far in terms of distance, you can visit them easily.
Do write in if you would like us to suggest options for fine dining restaurants or shopping options. Looking forward to hearing from you.