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75016 - Paris, France
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Toulouse is the capital city of France’s southern Occitanie district and is located close to the Spanish border, at about a distance of 100 km. The Garonne River cuts through the town. Its culture is seemingly close to the Spanish style than the French.
Toulouse is popularly called- La Ville Rose- The Pink City since it has a vivid display of terra-cotta, red brick buildings. La Ville Rose appeals as an architectural exception lit up in reds, oranges and pinks. It is a visual delight, especially during the sunset over the Garonne river. The city has a 17th-century Canal du Midi which connects the Garonne to the Mediterranean Sea. Toulouse, the fourth largest city in France, is popular as a city of rugby and violets and it spans over Paris because of its culture, geographical, history, and fashion diversity. Its borders maintain a regular supply of wine and cheese. Vieux Quartier (Old Quarter) has the colourful coral styled shopfronts and churches adding to the charm of places to visit in Toulouse.
There are many famous places in Toulouse along with many things to do in Toulouse. The various Toulouse points of interest lie in its small centre or in the downtown areas, which can be trekked comfortably by foot.
Popular tourist places in Toulouse include its architecture jewels with a functional purpose.
Basilique Saint Sernin – It is a church which was constructed in the 11th century which has been partially restored now by a reputed French architect Viollet-le-Duc.
Hôtel d Assezat – It is an old mansion of the city, and presently it houses the artwork from Bemberg Foundation.
Capitole – It is the palatial town hall and theatre with a stunning façade.
Pont-Neuf – It is the only bridge topping the Garonne river. Built in the 15th century, it is a must visit tourist spot to enjoy the waterway pleasures of Toulouse.
Le Couvent Des Jacobins, Place Des Jacobins – It is a convent and a church built in the 13th century. The church interiors are beautifully decorated with paintings (preserved). It also contains Thomas Aquinas' relics. The most interesting part of the church interiors is an exclusive ‘palm tree’ shaped column. A hidden wooden door from the church leads you the convent made of red bricks and marble. Its beauty and trance will leave you impressed beyond the usual expression. The place makes for a perfect break from the bustling city centre life.
City Park – It is located ahead of the centre of the city at the Grand Rond.
Les Augustins – Earlier a monastery church, Les Augustins is now an art museum. The special retreat is the Les Abattoirs Modern Arts museum and a beautiful garden with a view of Garonne.
Georges Labit Museum Asian Arts and Egyptian Antiquities Museum – It is a refreshing and stunning Mediterranean garden built in 1893.
Canal du Midi – It is a 240-km long canal and a UNESCO World Heritage linking the Garonne River to the Étang de Thau on the Mediterranean. The best thing about this spot is that it is fully-developed with wide roads leaving enough space to walk or cycle around the banks.
Cité de L'espace – It is a prominent Toulouse attraction which is also known as the "space city". It is a scientific theme park which features replicas of spacecraft and focuses on the conquest of space.
By Air: Blagnac Airport is the closest link between downtown Toulouse, at a distance of about 11 km, and from cities like Paris, Munich, London, and Frankfurt.
By Train: The national intercity train operator is SNCF in France, and it runs through Toulouse too.
By Bus: Toulouse has a good bus connectivity to and from Portugal, Italy, Spain, and Belgium.
By Road: Carpooling is a very affordable option to visit Toulouse and is cheap in comparison to trains, which is relatively expensive.
Toulouse has a very dependable network of buses, trams and metro lines to navigate your way through the city. There is a free electric shuttle bus network which operated on all weekdays. This red and white fleet is called the Navette Centre Ville Gratuite.
The metro, in comparison, is small with only two lines connecting east to the west and other, linking north to the south. However, it is modern and convenient to use.
Downtown areas of Toulouse must be avoided by car as there are limited park spaces. Take the metro instead. Capitole Taxi is the only licensed taxi operator, and their service is slow.
September to November is the best time to visit Toulouse since it is autumn time here.
December to February is cold and an off-season time. It is an ideal time for people who wish to do Toulouse with less crowd.
March to May is the spring season, and the weather is more or less like it is from September to November- meaning it is pleasant.
June to August are typical summer months, and it is hot. However, it is still not so hot that you may need to necessarily avoid visiting Toulouse during this time. Outdoor activities are still enjoyable in this sort of Toulouse weather.
Events in Toulouse give you more reasons to plan a trip in the specified season. In February, the festival centred around to heighten the flowering season of a highly perfumed flower- La Violette de Toulouse - in the city. The next time you use a perfume product of Toulouse, remember its origin in the city of violets.
In March, a special display by the finest flamenco artists is on the show.
In May-June, there is Toulouse International Art Festival, a spring in September festival. The exhibition is held in the Garonne basin and further includes some iconic heritage locations in the city to showcase the festival. The event locations include Les Jacobins monastery complex, the Augustins Museum, the Toulouse Higher Institute of Arts and the Hôtel d’Assézat palace on the right bank of the river, and on the left bank, the Water Tower, the Hôtel-Dieu and Les Abattoirs with the Viguerie harbour and the adjoining public areas.
In June, the Rio Loco festival is conducted across the river shores and involves some open-air musical presentations along with exhibitions and tastings.
The Christmas market is organised at the famous Place du Capitole. There are gifts waiting to be picked. The list includes local woodcrafts to pottery, toys, jewellery, clothing and leather goods, etc. there are traditional grilled chestnuts and chalet bars for special mulled wines.
When packing for Sumatra, you should keep these important things in your bag.
Saucisse de Toulouse- It is a sausage with a loaded peppery taste and pink-coloured meat grilled over a wood fire.
Duck- It is a regional speciality which comes in a variety of forms of foie gras, confit, dried, and many more.
Cassoulet- It is a regional speciality, a stew dish made using white beans, saucisse de Toulouse, duck and local herbs.
Le Rohtang Pass
Euro is now the official currency in Toulouse, replacing the earlier used French Franc. There are 24-hour ATMs across the city centres. To exchange currency, visit the multiple exchange centres which have a bilingual staff to inform and guide you.
French is the official language spoken in Toulouse, with only a minority of them speaking Occitania. The recent change has been spoken English used by the locals to communicate with the tourists. It is still a very basic level of communication in English. The gold standard remains French, and therefore, it is important to get acquainted with simple phrases in-use during the trip and get easy-going on the place.
Good morning - Bonjour
My name is … - mon nom est
Where is...? - où se trouve
Yes - Oui
No - non
Please - S'il vous plaît
Sorry - Pardon
How much is this? - combien ça coûte
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