City of Toulouse

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Toulouse

Toulouse (map) is capital of Haute-Garonne in the Occitanie region. According to the rankings of L’Express and Challenges, Toulouse is the most dynamic French city.

Toulouse counts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Canal du Midi, and the Basilica of St. Sernin (map), the largest remaining Romanesque building in Europe, designated in 1998 along with the former hospital Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques (map) because of their significance to the *Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route.

The city’s unique architecture made of pinkish terracotta bricks has earned Toulouse the nickname La Ville Rose (“The Pink City”).

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Toulouse is a big city, but the historical centre is quite small, and mostly pedestrianised. You can walk to most attractions. The old centre of Toulouse is east of the River Garonne: it’s compact and most places of interest can easily be visited on foot. It’s bounded to the east & north by Bvd Lazare Carnot (map) / Bvd de Strasbourg (map), and to the south by the cathedral, rue Metz (map) and Pont Neuf (map).

Toulouse has a very rich architectural heritage ranging from large Romanesque and Gothic churches to neo-classical facades such as that of the Capitole, to the prestigious mansions of the Renaissance. This ancient heritage is mainly enclosed within the 220 hectares of the city’s inner boulevard (one of the largest protected urban areas in France).

Le Château d’Eau (map), an old 19th-century water-tower, was converted as a gallery in 1974 by Jean Dieuzaide, a French photographer from Toulouse and is now one of the oldest public places dedicated to photography in the world.

Basilica of Saint-Sernin (map). It is considered the largest remaining Romanesque church in Europe. With more than two hundred relics (including six apostles), many of which were donated by Charlemagne to the shrine that preceded the present church, Saint-Sernin is the church with the most relics after Saint Peter of Rome (map).

Cathedral of Saint-Etienne (map) is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toulouse. Its construction, which was mainly done at the beginning and then at the end of the 13th century, reflects the history of this decisive century which saw the city lose its independence to become a French city.

Convent of the Jacobins (13th century / early 14th century, map) was the Dominican convent of Toulouse and is considered to be, together with the Albi Cathedral, the pinnacle of Southern French Gothic architecture.

Musée des Augustins (map) is the fine arts museum of Toulouse, it is located in the former Augustinian convent.

Bemberg Foundation (map), housed in the Hôtel d’Assézat, presents to the public one of the major private collections of art in Europe.

Musée Saint-Raymond (map) is the archeological museum of Toulouse, located in a former college of the university it presents the ancient history of Toulouse and a very rich collection of Roman sculptures from the imperial Roman villa of Chiragan.

Muséum de Toulouse (map) is one of the most important natural history museums in France, housed in the former convent of the Discalced Carmelites.

The areas around Place du Capitole (map), Rue de Bayard (map) and Place St Georges (map) are lined with cafes and restaurants. The restaurants generally open for dinner around 19:00.

There’s a flea market every Saturday morning in just outside of the Basilique Saint Sernin. While it does not offer anything too special as flea markets go it’s a great way to mingle with a local crowd. Another flea market is held every first weekend of the month at the Allées François Verdier (map), at the Grand Rond (map).

Public transport of Toulouse

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TISSEO – The bus, tram and metro lines.

CityMapper – Toulouse | The ultimate transport app and technology for mobility in cities.

 BUS >   sobus.travel — sells bus tickets for all the bus companies. OuibusIsilinesFlixBusEurolinesMegabus >> (*Intercity buses in France)

 RAIL >   Trains are a great way to get around in France. For regional trains, schedules can be found at ter.sncf.com. You can get from pretty much anywhere to anywhere else by train. For long distances, use the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, or High-speed train) on which reservations are obligatory. TGVThelloOuigo. + RailEurope • EurostarThalysizy (Paris-Brussels) • TGV Lyria (Switzerland) • DB (Germany) • RENFE (Barcelona) >> *Rail travel in France

 AIRPORTS >   Toulouse–Blagnac Airport. aeroport.fr – list of airports in France. parisaeroport.fr – Paris airport information.

 WATERWAYS >    Brittany FerriesP&O FerriesDFDS Seaways / French Waterways

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