Toulouse is a very beautiful, original city in the south of France, with perfectly preserved medieval architecture, a large Garonne river with picturesque embankments and bridges, navigable canals, beautiful parks, churches, monasteries and museums. Tourists from all over the world come here to walk along the ancient winding narrow streets, visit ancient cathedrals, sit in cafes, look into the magnificent shops of French wines, cheeses and sweets.

Here we have collected some of the sights and itineraries of Toulouse that may be useful for you on a day off, as well as on other days, in your free time. It seems to us that walking around Toulouse is a separate and important part of our “dialogues”. This is a dialogue with the city, which will be our habitat for these seven days. To make it easier for you to navigate, we have linked all the places with links to the Google Maps map, and we will also give them a French name to make it easier for you to find them.

Parks and embankments

Japanese garden

Very close to where our event will take place is Japanese Garden (French Jardin Japonais, English Japanese garden). This is a small cozy park where you can walk along the paths and bridges, look at the carp in the pond and meditate in the Japanese gazebo. This park is located in another larger park, where there is a small sports ground with table tennis tables, a lake, a fountain and… a bust of Taras Shevchenko.

Address: Jardin Compans Caffarelli, Bd Lascrosses, 31000 Toulouse
How to get there: metro line B, stop Compans Caffarelli

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden (French Jardin des Plantes,  Eng Garden of plants) was founded in 1730, and in 1808, by decree of Napoleon Bonaparte, the garden became owned by the city and was opened to the public. Within the park is the Natural History Museum of Toulouse. There are about a hundred botanical species in the park. It has a lake with ducks, roosters and hens run freely in the park. The park adjoins two more parks across the road: King’s Park (Jardin Royal) and < a href=”https://goo.gl/maps/XeuCRRvq7M1g3BybA” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Great Circle (Grand Rond). This is a great place to take a walk along the shady alleys on a hot day, sit on the grass, maybe even eat traditional French chestnuts, which are sold from stalls.

Address: 31 All. Jules Guesde, 31400 Toulouse
How to get there: metro line B Carmes station or Palais de Justice.

Canal Walk

Toulouse stands on the large river Garonne, which flows northwest and empties into the Atlantic Ocean near the city of Bordeaux. This and other rivers, connected by canals and locks, form a gigantic transport system that in past centuries permeated almost all of France. It is still possible to pass through Toulouse from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea along rivers and canals. The canals of Toulouse are the ancient arteries that encircle the city. Some of them are very picturesque, they are inhabited by barges, and along the banks there are footpaths that go under the bridges – all this in the shade of huge plane trees. //goo.gl/maps/FeD7iwrvcHBpaVCQA” target=”_blank”>South Canal (Fr. Canal du midi), which is located just north of the Japanese Garden. You can go west along it and come to Jumo Bridge (Fr. Ponts Jumeaux) . From there you can go back along Canal de Brienne (fr. Canal de Brienne) and walk to the place where the channel communicates with the Garonne through a lock in the area Place Saint-Pierre ( French Place Saint-Pierre). It offers a view of the Garonne, the embankment, the Saint-Pierre bridge (fr. Pont Saint-Pierre). From here you can continue walking along the Garonne along the promenade or visit the nearby Jacobin Monastery or head to towards Capitol.

How to get there: metro line B, Canal du Midi station.

Quai Garonne and Pont Neuf

Between St. Pierre Bridge (Fr. Pont Saint-Pierre) and New Bridge (fr. Pont Neuf), which is actually one of the oldest bridges in Toulouse, there is the Henri Martin promenade (fr. Prom. Henri Martin). Along the way you will meet the old Port de la Daurade and the Basilica Notre Dame de la Daurde (Fr. Basilique Notre Dame la Daurade).

From there, you can continue walking further beyond the New Bridge and reach Quai de Tounis Street, look at the massive gates that block the lower part of the city from floods and the Garonnet River. If you go along Rue de Pont de Tounis, you can come to the ancient cathedral Notre Dame de la Dalbad (French Notre-Dame de la Dalbade) and from there get further into the intertwining of narrow streets Carmes region (fr. Carmes).

How to get there: The fastest way to the Pont Saint-Pierre is from the Capitole (metro station Capitole on line A) along the old street Rue Pargaminières. the closest metro station to the New Bridge is the Esquirol metro station on line A).

Old Town

The old quarters of Toulouse are located roughly in the square between the Botanical Garden in the south, the Garonne in the west, basilica Sant Sernin in the north and carnot boulevard in the east. The most picturesque streets are located in the Carmes area (fr. Carmes). We highly recommend walking along Théodore Ozenne, along Rue du Langedoc, visit the Carmes market (located right at the exit of the Carmes metro line B) and the surrounding streets, which will be full of cheese and wine shops.

From there you can go up Rue du Langedoc, which leads to the pedestrianized shopping street Rue d’Alsace Lorraine and follow it to Capitol (Fr. Place du Capitole). It is recommended to turn and wind along the adjoining old streets and wander in the labyrinths of the “pink city”.

We recommend that you go into the building of the Capitol (City Council of Toulouse) and enjoy the surroundings and the collection of paintings. Entrance to the Capitol is free.

Further northeast of the Capitol is the Victor Hugo Market. Here you can see how the French buy and eat oysters with wine. The market has a huge selection of seafood, cheeses, wines, honeys. (Keep in mind that the market is open all days except Monday and only until 2:00 pm, so you should plan a trip there in the morning.)

Cathedrals and monasteries

Jacobin Monastery / Couvent des Jacobins

Perhaps one of the most interesting temples in Toulouse, where we highly recommend visiting. The building was built in the Gothic style. Inside, there are stunning stained-glass windows and arches supporting the ceiling. It is curious that the remains of Thomas Aquinas are kept in this monastery, although he himself did not live in Toulouse, but the Pope of Rome transferred his remains to this monastery for great success in overcoming the Cathar heresy (the history of the brutal struggle against the Cathar heretics is a separate big chapter in the history of Toulouse and the neighboring city of Albi – may be of interest to those who are fond of the history of religion).
You should definitely visit the inner square courtyard and walk along the promenade encircling it for meditation.

How to find: located near the St. Pierre bridge. the nearest metro is Capitole on line A.

St-Sernin Basilica / Basilique St-Sernin

Basilique St-Sernin is a well-preserved Romanesque church. The giant octagonal bell tower is amazing. The entire basilica is built of pink-colored bricks and white stone.

The relics of St. Saturninus (also known as St. Sernin) – the first Bishop of Toulouse, who was tortured by the pagans.

How to find: located north of the Capitol. The nearest metro station is Jeanne d’Arc on line B.

Saint-Étienne Cathedral / Cathédrale Saint-Étienne

This city cathedral was built over several centuries – from the 12th to the 13th century. It is notable for its magnificent “Gothic rose” – a large round stained-glass window above the entrance.

How to find: located near the François Verdier metro station on line B.

Museums

Toulouse Museum / Muséum de Toulouse

The Museum of Natural History, which was founded at the end of the 18th century thanks to the efforts of the naturalist Jean-Francois de La Perouse on the territory of a former monastery.

The museum is located right in the Botanical Garden, it has a good souvenir shop and a very pleasant cafe in a bamboo grove.

This is a huge museum, with a large number of halls and exhibits on an area of ​​several thousand square meters. Here you can see all kinds of skeletons, stuffed animals, minerals, etc. Perhaps it may be more interesting to the younger generation.

How to get there: the nearest metro stations are Palais de Justice or Carmes on line B.

Saint-Reymond Museum / Musée Saint-Raymond

The Saint-Reymond Museum is located near the Saint-Sernin Basilica in a historic building of the 16th century. The museum is dedicated to the history of Toulouse.

Exhibits found at excavations in the vicinity of the city are exhibited here. The collection consists of jewelry, bas-reliefs, coins, bronzes and other historical artifacts.

How to find: located north of the Capitol. The nearest metro station is Jeanne d’Arc on line B.

Les Abattoirs Contemporary Art Museum

The museum was created on the site of the former slaughterhouses of the first half of the 19th century. This fact is reflected in the name of the gallery. Despite the short history of existence, “Les Abattoirs” is already called one of the best museums of contemporary art in France. The collection is a collection of sculptures, drawings, paintings, photographs and installations that were created in the XX-XXI centuries.

Visiting this museum is also a good reason to go to the left bank of the Garonne and also go to the small Raymond VI botanical garden (Jardin Raymond VI).

How to get there: the nearest metro station is Saint Cyprien – République on line A.

Space City Park / Cité de l’Espace

The park was created in 1997 near the space center of Toulouse at the initiative of the city authorities and with the support of the French government. Models of space engines, satellites, rockets and ships are placed on the territory of the museum.

In the museum, you will see full-scale replicas of iconic spacecraft, including the Mir space station and the 52-meter Ariane 5 launch vehicle.

The park is located in the southeastern part of the city, quite far from the center. You can only get there by bus.

Address: Cité de l’espace, Avenue Jean Gonord