Considered a cultural center of medieval Europe, there are lots of things to do in the stunning city of Toulouse. Another reason you should visit the city is that it is the headquarters for European space study, sitting along the banks of River Garonne.
For sightseeing and outdoor activities in southwestern France, it would be a great idea to visit Toulouse first. Tourists would find many churches, museums, and gardens that undoubtedly makes the place an incredible city.
Here are Some Things you Should Do in Toulouse:
See the Basilica of Saint Sernin
The big basilica is among the famous landmarks in the city, and it enjoys the reputation of being one of the largest churches in the country. This historic church is located just a 5-minute stroll from the city square and is worth every attention it gets.
Its architecture is awesome, and the interior and art are collectively fascinating. A great time to visit is when the church is less occupied. Then you will be able to take a guided tour to hear all about the interesting stories while you are treated to splendid views of the grounds. You can even attend a service in one of Europe’s largest basilica and hear the organs play.
In the 12th-century, the Basilica of Saint Sernin was completed. The relics you will find in the crypt are more than any French church’s as Charlemagne donated many to the abbey in the 800s. At the exterior, there is the five-story brick tower that is imposing. As visitors look up, they will see, from the shape of the arches, where its construction was stopped in the 12th-century and restarted in the 14th-century.
Visitors will also find the Porte des Miegeville scintillating, with a priced Romanesque sculpture displaying Lazarus and Dives just above the door. The Basilica of Saint Sernin is located at 13 Place Saint Sernin, Toulouse.
Sightsee at Place du Capitole
This bubbling city square is the very place to feel at home in this city because it is where people from every part converge. The big courtyard hosts temporary art exhibitions, weddings, markets, et al. The city square is hemmed in little places for shopping, and restaurant and cafes for food to eat.
There are the opera house and city hall nearby, making the center quite lively every time. The city square is a perfect place to people watch and even tour to see the paintings on the ceiling of the Salle des Illustres. The interesting images visitors will find in the Salle Gervais is where the 1800s artist painted allegories of love.
Appriciate the Arts at Musée des Augustins
If you are a lover of arts, the Musée des Augustins will be a paradise of your passion. From paintings to special collections to sculptures, it has everything one could think of. Guests can see the Gothic, Renaissance, and Romanesque works ranging from hundreds of years.
Guests will also find modern art from the 1900s. Musée des Augustins is located close to the Augustins Convent, which has an impressive church, fine architecture, and cloister with a garden. The museum is one place to be in the city where everything from the location to the interior to the entire exterior is gorgeous.
The museum’s collections are dated from the 15th-century to the 18th-century with pieces by a catalog of Italian renaissance artists, and Dutch and Flemish icons like Rubens, Cuyp, van Dyck, and van Goyen. Musée des Augustins is located at 21 Rue de Metz, Toulouse.
Visit the Muséum d’ historie Naturelle de Toulouse
The city of Toulouse accommodates many art repositories, most of which showcase stunning art or history of the city. It is incredible to learn about natural history if you are a student of everything related to nature, man, the earth, and evolution.
The museum allows you to trail human history and how men came to be by gazing at what was, what is, what is to come, and how it all transpired. You can treat yourself to a decent dose of exhibits on science and technology, animals, space, et al.
Thus museum is the country’s largest ethnological and natural history institution outside of the capital city. It is home to over 2.5 million exhibits. Many of its collections were collected by the most curious minds of the 1800s. The natural history museum is located at 35 Alleys, Guesde Toulouse.
Appreciate Pont Neuf
Built-in the late 1500s, the Pont Neuf is very popular for being the oldest bridge in Toulouse. Given the lovely views, lots of people often use it to take walks or ride their bikes on a lovely day.
Lined with historical facts about its construction, the Pont Neuf is a place also to learn. It runs across the 375 miles long Garonne River, linking many cities while the river offers interesting activities like paddle boating or driving an electric boat. Expect to see colored lights lit up the bridge.
Commune with nature at Jardin Japonais
Also known as the Pleasant Japanese Garden, Jardin Japonais offers tranquility and a perfect rendezvous with nature. Stroll around and savor the fragrance of the beautiful flowers. Guests will see a bright red moon bridge, tea pavilion, stone garden, and many more from the garden.
Looking into the trees or down in the lake, guests will also see an array of wildlife like turtles, birds, frogs, and koi fish. Many seating areas and benches are there in Jardin Japonais, where guests can relax and absorb in all of the awesome scenics.
The garden opens every day from 745am to 9:00 pm and is located at 19 Boulevard Lascrosses Toulouse.
Step into Foundation Bemberg
This mansion turned art gallery is a 1500s palace that houses the personal collection of a rich Argentinian. His name was Georges Bemberg and he used to live in France. The assemblage includes drawings and sketches, sculptures, and paintings. Also, guests will also find old books and furniture. As well as artworks that portray the work of a few of the most popular artists from the impressionist and postimpressionist eras.
This marvelous place was designed by Nicolas Bachelier. The city’s most famous renaissance architect and took almost 3 decades to finish. Foundation Bemberg was built for Pierre d’Assezat, who built his wealth on the woad trade, but went broke in 1581 by the time his glamorous palace was finished in 1581.
See a Play at Theatre du Capitole
If you crave for entertainment, do not go to the regular movie theatre or concert. You should try out something extraordinary like a visit to the Theatre du Capitole. This house of performing arts hosts many opera performances and ballet.
Though small in size, it is a refined space with comfy seats and great acoustics. Located at Place du Capitole Toulouse, the theatre is hosted in the administration building of the city hall.
Catch the Extraordinary at Musée Saint Raymond
This museum of antiquities was established in1891, and it houses many treasured antiques like Roman art. During excavation, an early Christian necropolis containing many crypts and inscriptions were discovered in its basements. Visitors will also find many discoveries from the Chiragan Villa, like bronzes, busts, et al.
The museum’s exhibits span from prehistory to the year 1000. Also, it specializes in a host of Mediterranean civilizations, but with an emphasis on Gallo-Roman history. Musée Saint Raymond is the perfect place to be for those in search of artifacts and art from ancient periods. It is located at 1, Ter Place Saint Sermin Toulouse.
Relax at Couvent des Jacobins
Dubbed the ‘Quiet city Oasis’, this Dominican monastery was built in 1229 and is a nice place for quiet. Also, visitors come to relax in the peaceful ambiance while savoring the southern gothic architecture.
The cloister is gorgeous, with a plush green garden right in the center. Lots of people will pay the little fee, which is like a donation to the abbey, to gain entry to the read and courtyard, observe a quiet chat, or just sit and ruminate alone.
Take a Tour Trip on the Garonne
Leaving throughout the afternoon are private boat tours taking visitors on a circular tour around the wide Garonne River as it passed by some of the city’s most panoramic scenes, like the gentle dome of the Hopital de la Grave and the L’Hotel-Dieu Saint-Jacques.
An excellent way to enjoy the Pont Neuf view is from here. Also, the tour cruise will showcase visitors the Port de l’Embouchure (English: Port of Mouth). It is the historical overlap between the Canal du Midi, the Garonne, and Canal du Brienne.
Grab a Taste of Toulouse specialty
Visiting Toulouse, you should have a decent bite of the tasty local specialties offered here. Cassoulet is a tasty casserole, best eaten in winter when one might need to warm up. It includes goose, duck, and pork products like Toulouse skin and sausages. Cooked down in a terracotta dish with big white haricot beans into a dense, rich broth, followed by a red wine from Corbieres or Fitou, and that makes a good meal.
The major feature of this meal is the Toulouse sausage, a southwest France specialty well-seasoned, meaty, and free of additives.
Things To Do In Toulouse – Summary
If you have not been to the Garonne area before, make a visit to Toulouse a must. From cracking museums to fantastic monuments, and delicious meals, this city promises and delivers on comfort, luxury, and maximum relaxation.