travel

30+ Things to Do in Toulouse, France

Located in the south of France, the city of Toulouse offers both the conveniences of a big city and a small town feel.  I lived in La Ville Rose, or the Pink City, for a summer and compiled a list of 30+ things to do from eats to sweets, activities to attractions (including the best A/C spots!):Things to Do in Toulouse France

Eats: 

  1. Marché des Carmes + Gwadasel: Get the French farmer’s market experience and pop into this small shop connected to the market for some fresh eats.
  2. Crêperie Saint Georges: Prepare.  Your.  Self.  When in France, crêpes are a must!  And my mouth waters thinking about this scrumptious eatery.Place St Georges Fountain Statue Art
  3. Sushi Planet: I’m not a big fan of seafood, but conveyor belt sushi is a sight to see.  Oh, they have Nutella sushi, so there’s that!
  4. Le Fournil de Pierre: Convenient location, quick service, decent prices.  It may not be a fancy sit-down, but it offers sandwiches, salads, pastries and drinks to fill you up on a busy day.
  5. La Mie Caline: Similar to #4 (and just across the street), this spot offers ready-made salads and sandwiches, and it won’t break the bank.
  6. Paul: Quality French cuisine without the wait.  (And with a great coffee selection!)Toulouse France Round Trip Travel St Sernin
  7. Flunch: If you’re not satisfied with France’s small portions, this is the place to be.  I want to use the word “buffet” to describe this joint, but it’s not classy enough.  Fill your plate with anything from fresh-cooked meat to ratatouille, chocolate mousse to papaya—you choose.
  8. Le Paradis du Fruit: Go natural with their freshly made smoothies and plates all with a view of the Capitol building from your patio seating.
  9. Le Sherpa: Lively atmosphere, slow service, authentic food.  Read: typical French restaurant.  I loved my crepe and ice cream here (and so did my wallet)!

Sweets: 

  1. Au Poussin Bleu: I’m convinced I visited another planet when I took a bite of my macaroon.  Even before tasting the pastries, the window display and bakery aroma will please and entice you.  Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
  2. Häagen-Dazs: The pint of mint chip in your freezer is nothing compared to this sit-down dessert restaurant.  High-class, sophisticated ice cream with ample concoctions from which you can indulge.
  3. Amorino Gelato: If you’re looking for an Instagrammable dessert, this is the place to be!  Home of the famous “flower cone.”Processed with VSCO with nc preset
  4. Brûlerie des Saveurs: This classic French café offers beautiful creations topped with chantilly cream.  Bless up.
  5. La Belle Liégeoise: You guys.  I’m gluten-intolerant—why did I eat this?  Answer: it was too good to deny.  Freshly made waffle with melty chocolate on the inside.  Totally worth the tummy ache.Processed with VSCO with nc preset
  6. Bruegger’s: Sometimes it’s good to try your home cuisine in a different country.  I made several stops at this NYC-themed three story coffee and bagel joint.  Good coffee, free Wifi, A/C.  Need I say more?
  7. Starbucks: It’s the only one in the entire city, and it’s two stories.  Sure, we have Starbucks in America, but learn how to say your order in French.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

One Week Guide to Toulouse FRANCE FREE

Attractions:

  1. Jardin des Plantes: Looking for a spot of peace and quiet in the middle of a bustling city?  This place is perfect for a bike ride, picnic or fluff of cotton candy!Processed with VSCO with a6 presetJardin des Plantes Waterfall Toulouse FranceProcessed with VSCO with a5 preset
  2. Jardin Royal: Another smaller park just a short walk from Jardin des Plantes.Jardin Royale Toulouse France
  3. Le Capitole: Visit the Capitol building because when in Toulouse, right?  The architecture and artwork are worth a stroll.IMG_2158IMG_2156
  4. Jardin du Barry: If you’re staying outside the city center or want to escape that very thing, this large park offers barbecue grills, space to play and a killer view.Jardin du Barry Zenith Toulouse France
  5. Churches (St. Sernin & St. Etienne & St. Jérôme): And there are a lot, but their gorgeous architecture and rich history (maybe even A/C!) make them sights to see.St Sernin Jardin Garden Toulouse FranceSaint Sernin Capitole Toulouse France
  6. Garonne River: One cannot visit Toulouse without taking a walk along the Garonne particularly at night.  Garonne River at Night Toulouse France
  7. Les Jardins du Museum à Borderouge: Also a little farther out, these botanical gardens offer a calm retreat from rush hour traffic.

Activities:

  1. Piscine Nakache: I have never seen a larger pool in my entire life.  Beat the heat and swim in this crazy huge pool (and this isn’t the only one!).Piscine Nakache été summer pool toulouse france
  2. UGC Movie Theater: Give your feet a rest and engage your mind with a foreign film.
  3. Musée des Augustins: Peruse this classical artwork and take a walk in the courtyard.Musée des Augustins Toulouse FranceMusée des Augustins La Nuit des Musées Museum Toulouse France
  4. Les Abattoirs: You won’t be bored is really all I can say.  I enjoy contemporary art, but this museum takes it to the next level.  (The translation of this word is slaughterhouse…)
  5. Canoe on the Garonne: Not content with just looking at the river?  See the city while scoring a great arm workout.
  6. Thrift shopping: Any thrift shop is an adventure, but abroad?  Hours of inexpensive fun, treasures and stories.  I took home a blue tie-dyed shirt with a large wolf shirt (for my brother, of course) at Groucho Vintage.Rues Toulouse Street View St Sernin
  7. Galeries Lafayette: Take Nordstrom to the next level and you get this high-end department store.  I never bought anything here, but just browsing its 6 floors satisfied me.
  8. Rue Alsace-Lorraine: Hit up Toulouse’s “Main Street” for stores of all price ranges.  Some of my favorites include H&M, Zara, Camaïeu, Naf Naf and Yves Rocher.Toulouse France Carmes Travel Europe
  9. C’est Deux Euros: Meet France’s version of a dollar store, but everything is two euros.  I bought plastic flamingo ice cubes, and I’m content.
  10. Librairie Privat: Not a library, this bookstore offers several stories of books, little trinkets and great postcards (the best in my opinion).
  11. Annual events: Rio Loco, an international music festival highlighting different parts of the world each year; La Nuit des Musées, a night where hundreds of museums offer free admission across the world; and La Fête de Musique, a city-wide street musical festival on June 21.

Paris and the French Riviera may be tourist hotspots in France, but Toulouse offers a wide variety activities from parks to shopping, making it worthy of a visit.  Bon voyage !

{What do you like to do and to see in Toulouse, France?}

 

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