"Oh Toulouse!" Toulouse by Jonathan_C

Toulouse Travel Guide: 616 reviews and 1,339 photos

I had a feeling I would like this town before I came here for a four day work trip. The beautiful location, the universities, the modern industries of aviation and biotechnology and a substantial web presence make Toulouse a perfect sister, or perhaps cousin, of Seattle. As capital of the Midi-Pyrenees, Toulouse combines the best of urban and rural France with several universities and an amazing assortment of cultural events mixed together with rural southern hospitality and incredible food.

pedestrian heaven

The center city has not ben ravaged by war and retains the charm of medievally narrow streets that are constantly busy with tourists and students and those who call Toulouse home. Except for a few major arteries, pedestrians and bicyclists rule the center city where travel by car is discouraged. Life here is lived outside all day and all night with markets, restaurants, cafes and nightspots providing gathering places at every intersection with a named 'place'. Place du Capitole, place Wilson, place St. George, place St. Sernin, place Puits Clos, place St. Etienne, ... Each is its own mini neighborhood with its own unique atmosphere. There is enough variety in the center city alone to fill many days of exploring.

cyclist heaven

But don't forget to go exploring outside the city limits as well. The countryside surrounding Toulouse is gorgeous and it is quite easy to rent a bike and get out of town in just a couple of hours. Bicycles are extremely common in the city and motorists are very accepting of them. The slow pace of traffic in the city greatly reduces the danger of riding in traffic. And the path along the Canal du Midi provides an excellent route out of town. In my travelogue you can follow my own day ride south of Toulouse to explore the rolling countryside and quaint hamlets of the Lauragais.

There is so much to see and experience in Toulouse that you can't possibly do it justice in a stay of less than a week. My plan is to arrange to work there for a couple of weeks every year. I really don't expect two weeks to be long enough either, though. It may only make me realize how much more there is to see that I don't even have an inkling of right now.

Oh Toulouse, pretty in pink, your wit and charm and good home cooking have completely seduced me!

  • Last visit to Toulouse: Oct 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (15)

Comments (17)

  • Jan 27, 2008 at 2:20 PM

    Looks like a great place!

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    Apr 27, 2007 at 5:19 AM

    Actually, before planning my trip to Toulouse, I read your good tips. As you I was impressed by Thomas d'Aquin and the discreet tomb for such a personality. Seems to me that the fight between the "ratio" and the irrational thinking is still going on.

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Mar 26, 2007 at 10:48 PM

    You must be in the airline industry. Isn't Toulouse the headquarters for Airbus? Nice writing as always...

  • songlines's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2006 at 12:20 AM

    Hi, I also visited Toulouse and found it to be very nice, I was only travelling through and all I remember is the carnival that was on that night! It was great! Great pages and photos all round.

  • arlequin_g's Profile Photo
    May 14, 2005 at 6:09 AM

    Toulouse is much better than I thouhgt so another place to add to my must visit list. Very good and personal page.

  • Spincat's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2005 at 11:21 PM

    Thank you for visiting my very incomplete Toulouse pages - I am delighted to have dicovered your wonderful descriptions and pictures: it really is a fabulous city

  • cheekymarieh's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2004 at 9:22 AM

    Great page. The best way to see a place and sample the local food is definitely by staying with a local.

  • jadedmuse's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2004 at 5:45 PM

    The inverse traveler observation was perfection, Jon. Your appreciation for Toulousse was vibrant and well communicated. I'd never really seen photos of this city - loved your impression of French treatment of churches/cathedrals. You are so perceptive.

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Aug 30, 2004 at 4:05 PM

    What's not to like! Well done.

  • Jun 9, 2004 at 9:14 AM

    Greetings from a Parisian born on the Lauragais. Your page is fantastic.Have a nice day.


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