A Walk Through Toulouse, France

Toulouse was one of those cities that I had heard of many times before, but didn’t actually know anything about. That all changed when I stepped off the train into what is a vibrant, energetic and beautiful city of more than half a million people, including the massive student population. I learned that while modern, while green and vibrant, while open minded and fun, it’s a city with a beautiful soul. That seems like an odd thing to say I realize, but it’s one of those things I have to put in the category of “You Know It When You See It.” When a city has a lively soul you feel it right away, it jumps out at you and demands attention. Too many times I’ve visited a place that is flat without this pronounced spirit, so when I do find it I feel it in a powerful way. Toulouse is just such a city.

Yes it’s large (for France), yes Airbus is headquartered there bringing lots of smart people into town but Toulouse also has a long and rich history that I was thrilled to learn more about on an afternoon stroll last year. Here is how I saw Toulouse and why I loved it almost right away.

Looking out through the doors of the Hôtel d’Assézat
Strolling along the banks of the Garonne River
Inside the Basilica of St. Sernin
Basilica of St. Sernin
Traditional brick and plaster architecture with a warning to would be poster-hangers
Toulouse, France
Strolling through one of the many neighborhoods in town.
Cloister of Les Jacobins monastery church
Cafes lining the massive Place du Capitole
Enjoying lunch at the Marché Victor Hugo
The fun and quirky Violet Boat where you can buy anything and everything to do with violets.

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By: Mike

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on , and

14 Responses

  1. Sam

    Never been to Toulouse. But now I want to! I’ve spent quite a lot of time in France (which, for a British person, is mostly unremarkable), especially in the south, but never got there. Must add it to the list now!

    • Mike

      You definitely should, and be sure to visit nearby Albi as well. Great place

  2. Nicole @thewondernuts

    Next time in France, we’re heading here! It’s just beautiful. =)

    • Mike

      It really is a lovely town, even if it’s on the large side 🙂

  3. Vanessa @ Sauteed Happy Family

    Love love love!!! I can’t wait to go to Toulouse one day!!

    • Mike

      Great to hear it, it really is a lovely city

  4. Annie of TripShus

    nice photos! definitely on my list.

    • Mike

      You won’t regret it!

  5. Tracy Z

    I quite enjoyed Toulouse when I was there a few years ago – it just has this energy about it. Guess it helps being an University town =)

    • Mike

      that definitely plays a roll, an energy you don’t find everywhere. But school was out when I was there and I still found a great spirit around town

  6. Monique

    Toulouse was always a city I had in mind but never put on my priority list but now there is something telling me I need to go soon!

    Thanks for sharing!


  7. Debbie Beardsley @ European Tripista

    I was in Toulouse once but not your Toulouse! I actually stayed one night before heading out for a conference so didn’t get to see any of the city at all. Now you’ve really got me intrigued! It looks beautiful.

  8. Lauren Kahn

    Thank you for posting this piece and the one about the violet lady. I will be home exchanging in the far western suburbs of Toulouse in July and will be sure to check all of this out.

  9. Alison

    Lovely! Toulouse is one of those places we always seem to pass by but never have time to stop in. Looks like a stop is in order next time we visit the south!


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