Local information

About Toulouse

Toulouse is the capital city of the department of Haute-Garonne, and of the largest region of France: Midi-Pyrénées. It lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 km (93 mi) from the Mediterranean Sea, 230 km (143 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean,  and 580 km (360 mi) from Paris. 

Toulouse is an intoxicating experience for visitors who fall for the colorful charms of the aptly named "Ville Rose" (Pink City) and its Latin personality. Nicknamed the "little Barcelona", this active and modern city is the home to 120000 students, close to 1/4 of the population. Toulouse is known for its innate love of celebration. 

Another fundamental element in the art of living in Toulouse: gastronomy. Good food lovers will savor with pleasure the flavors and culinary specialities of the city: Toulouse sausage, violet-based confectionery, wines, the famous cassoulet, "Fénétra" cake... In the pink city, gourmets are spoiled for choice between daily markets, the 5 Michelin starred restaurants, cooking classes and good traditional or trendy addresses.

In this human scale city, it is with pleasure that visitors have a walk or ride a bike along the historic streets to discover the treasures of its architectural heritage. Legacy of 2000 years of art and history, the Capitole still amazes those who enter the heart of its richly painted ceremonial rooms. On the place of this monumental symbol of Toulouse, where the famous Occitan Cross is located, tourists amuse themselves photographed standing on their astrological sign. Nearby, the pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela kneel in the Basilica of St. Sernin,  classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors of Toulouse will also be transported out of time in the Jacobins Monastery where they can find the relics of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Visitors will also be initiated to the traditional plant of the city: the violet, the famous winter flower of Toulouse, and the fabulous story of the blue gold of Toulouse: the "pastel" (woad), the dye plant at the origin of the expression "The Land of Cockaigne". Beautiful "hôtels particuliers" from the Renaissance line the streets of the old neighborhoods. Their large doors hide their beautiful courtyard.  As an example, the Hôtel d'Assézat, built by Nicolas Bachelier for Pierre d'Assézat, a rich "pastelier", houses now the Bemberg Foundation, an art gallery which presents to the public a famous private collection which includes paintings from Pablo Picasso or Paul Cézanne.  Visitors can also have a quiet walk along the banks of the Garonne and the Canal du Midi, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

Toulouse was also the preferred place of Antoine de Saint-Exupery (who was sleeping in the famous room 32 of the hotel Le Grand Balcon, Place du Capitole), author of the Little Prince, who was a pioneer of the adventure of the "Aéropostale",  an aviation company well known for its airborne postal services. Nowadays, Toulouse is also known to be the center of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus Group and CNES (the french space centre). 

Source and pictures from Wikipedia.


SoToulouse — Official tourism information

ToulouseWalkingTours — Sightseeing walking tours

Toulouse Wikipedia page

Urban-Hist app (in french)