26 Best Things to Do in Toulouse, France

|   Last Updated on March 21, 2023

Toulouse, a city in the south of France, on the Garonne River, is rich in medieval culture and very beautiful architecture. It is also the center of modern electronics, biotechnology and the seat of Airbus – the famous aircraft manufacturer.

Terracotta bricks are most prevalent in the whole city, and because of that, the city has an interesting nickname – La Ville Rose (Pink City).

This city certainly will not leave you indifferent, and these are places worth seeing and things worth experiencing if you visit it.

1. Place du Capitole

The beautiful and most visited part of the city – the Place du Capitole is where the city hall – The Capitole is located.

This square is full of restaurants and cafes, where you can try their specialties and of course, the architecture is magical, as in other parts of the city.

The Capitole is a common motif on city postcards because it looks great at night especially. The neoclassical style in which is made will attract art lovers.

2. Basilique Saint-Sernin

Something that should also be visited first is Basilique Saint-Sernin, which leaves architecture lovers breathless. Be sure to visit this work of Romanesque art both inside and out, it will delight you. This building has been rebuilt many times over the years, so it has a bit of every style in architecture.

3. Pont Neuf de Toulouse

Another common postcard motif is the Pont Neuf Bridge, built in the 16th century. Made on 7 arches, it crosses the Garonne River and, among other things, is interesting because of its asymmetry. Not all arches are the same length. If you decide to take a short boat trip, you will have an even better view of Pont Neuf.

4. Canal du Midi and Canal de Brienne

The Canal du Midi, a canal that connects the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea, also runs through the city. More precisely, the canal flows into the Garonne River in Toulouse and continues its journey to the ocean.

The Canal de Brienne connects the Garonne River with the Canal du Midi. The paths surrounding this canal are ideal for walking, away from the bustle of the city. During the hot summer days, not only tourists but also locals can be found here, walking and enjoying, under the tree canopy.

5. The Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse

View of the Capitole de Toulouse, where the opera is located at night.
The Capitole de Toulouse, home of the opera and other performances at night. Courtesy of Deposit Photos

This is the home of opera, ballet and symphony orchestra. It is located within the Capitol. When you step inside, you will find a magical scene that will delight you and prompt you to buy tickets right away and watch as many operas and ballets as possible.

Some of the best operas in France take place on this stage, so if this place is also on your visit list, secure your tickets on time.

6. The Musée des Augustins de Toulouse

This is a must-see museum if you are visiting this city.

The building in which it is located dates from the 14th century, and it was a monastery. All of the artwork in this museum is from France, with sculptures and paintings from different periods, from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

7. Musée Georges Labit

This is a fantastic museum where you can see the incredible objects that Georges Labit has collected during his travels in Asia and Egypt.

When the doors of this museum open, you will have a look at some of the most beautiful French oriental art collections.

All that was collected by Georges Labit and it belongs to the city of Toulouse since 1912.

8. Muséum de Toulouse

If you love science and nature, this museum is the right place for you. It contains over 2.5 million items and is the largest museum of natural history outside Paris. Here you can see botanical, entomological, mineralogical, ornithological, osteological and many other galleries. So if you are a fan of these things, treat yourself by going to this museum.

9. Fondation Bemberg

This is a private museum where collections of paintings and art objects are kept, from the Renaissance and Modern French School. It is located within the Place d’Assézat. If you are interested in art, this place is worth a visit, because how else to get to know the city, if not through its culture and sights. This is where the largest private art collection in Europe is located.

10. Musée Saint-Raymond

Another museum in Toulouse worth a visit. As you can see, Toulouse is full of beautiful museums, and each one is worth the trip. This is an archaeological museum that exhibits, among other things, Roman sculptures. There is also a basement in it, which is impressive and represents not only an exhibition space but also an archeological site. There is a collection of sarcophagi and part of a cemetery from late Antiquity. This museum gives visitors a better perception of the origins of the Basilique Saint-Sernin, located opposite the museum.

Every first Sunday of the month, entry to all museums in Toulouse is free.

11. Church of Les Jacobins

View of the beautiful interior of the Church of Les Jacobins.
The beautiful interior of the Church of Les Jacobins. Courtesy of Deposit Photos

Founded between the 13th and 14th centuries, this building is an excellent example of a classic monastery building, built of brick and is a true jewel of Gothic culture. The building houses an incredible vault made of palm wood that has 22 ribs that are the pillars of the choir platform. The covered arcade of this monastery has unbelievable arches, which are worth seeing, and a dining room that serves as a showroom. The remains of Thomas Aquinas are preserved in this church. He is one of the greatest theologians of the Roman Catholic Church, proclaimed a saint in 1323. His remains are preserved in the stone reliquary.

You can visit it every working day from 9 am to 7 pm.

12. Toulouse Cathédrale (Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Toulouse)

This cathedral is made up of two incomplete churches, the construction of one began around 1210 and of the other in 1272, therefore everything looks out of place. The interior also looks the same, for contrasting two styles of Gothic architecture.

The characteristic is the Rose Window, and you can also see The Pietà by Gervais Drouet, as well as pagan and mythological figures carved in wood.

13. Jardin Japonais

If you are visiting this city in the summer, the Jardin Japonais Garden is the perfect place for a break from the heat. Here you can relax with a beautiful view. This garden has a Japanese look and is filled with beautiful plants, so a visit to this garden will refresh you on hot summer days.

14. Quai de la Daurade

Quai de la Daurade is the place you will want to be when it is sunset. The pink colors of the buildings, the sky that changes colors and reflects into the river, the amazing colors that blend in one place, give you a magical sight. Here you can buy wine and homemade pastries, and the enjoyment will be complete.

15. Airbus

Since 1980, Toulouse has developed into one of the world’s most important centers of the aviation industry. Before that, postal flights to Africa and America began in 1919, and one of the pilots in Toulouse was Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of the book “The Little Prince”.

European Airbus has grown into a major commercial aircraft manufacturer with more than $ 27 billion in revenue in 2008, surpassing US Boeing on the world market. About 52,000 Airbus employees manufacture aircraft, and they cover about half of all worldwide commercial airline orders.

The recognizability of these planes is letter A and numbers 318 onwards. The smallest is capable of accommodating 107 passengers, and the grandiose A380 has 525 seats.

The hosts at Airbus will give you a proper dose of a tour of the factory, which means that in the beginning you will be spared the shock, which comes at the end – an authentic flight in the cockpit simulator, with the role of pilot and co-pilot, and a tour of the interior of all models in the aircraft showroom.

The entire Airbus complex is located right next to the Toulouse airport and passengers are transported by minibus to be able to see almost everything in one day. It is also common for plant employees to assist with bicycles and electric cars to be able to complete their work within working hours.

Part of the Airbus is the Aeroscopia Aeronautical Museum.

16. La Cité de l’Espace

This is a paradise for people who love the universe and want to know more about it. This complex includes an IMAX cinema with a giant screen and a 3D program and a planetarium with an astronomical simulator. Within the complex, you can see replicas of the first Soyuz spacecraft and a life-size replica of the Mir space station.

17. Stade Toulousain

Stade Toulousain, the French rugby union club, is one of Europe’s most successful rugby clubs. They have won the Heineken Cup 4 times. They are part of the French national team, so if you are a fan of the sport and if you visit Toulouse during the winter, do your best to get a ticket and be part of an event like this. Some games are held at Stade Ernest-Wallon, but the Top 14 games, as well as the Heineken Cup, are held at Stadium Municipal de Toulouse.

18. Stadium de Toulouse

Toulouse Football Club is a French football club playing in League 1, the best French league. They play their home games at the Stadium de Toulouse. This stadium can be visited and tickets can be bought online. The 1998 World Cup was played at this stadium.

19. Tango Festival

If you are a fan of dance, this city offers you that too. During the summer, the Tango Festival brings together orchestras and DJs from all around the world and offers tango workshops and a rich cultural program. So bring your shoes if you are planning a visit during this period and play tango like never before!

20. La Maison de la Violette

Toulouse is a city of violets, so if you have the time, visit the House of Violets (La Maison de la Violette).

This is a ship from the 1930s, on the famous Canal du Midi, purchased by Mrs. Hélène Vié in 1998. It took her about two years to refine it and get it right to place it on the UNESCO World Heritage Canal, next to the Main Railway Station, where there are many tourists.

Inside, as the name implies, everything is in purple! The products are flavored with these flowers, or made directly from violets. Chocolate candies, candy canes, crystallized violet petals, acacia honey with the aroma of violet, jams, liqueurs, tea, and even salt, mustard and vinegar, candles, fragrances, all in the spirit of that flower, the patron saint of the city on Garonne.

These flowers have been cultivated in the north of Toulouse since 1850. Vegetables and florists have always produced one special kind – Toulouse violet. It is a legend that a soldier from the army of Napoleon the Third brought a violet to his beloved from Italy, and that is how she arrived in Toulouse.

21. Toulouse Gastronomy

Aerial view of people dining at a street restaurant in Toulouse.
People dining at a street restaurant in Toulouse on a summer evening. Courtesy of Deposit Photos

The gastronomy of Toulouse needs special attention, as you will get an amazing experience when it comes to their recipes.

Everyone loves to try good food and if you are in Toulouse you will not miss it.

There is no recognizable focused kitchen in the traditional sense, but that doesn’t change the fact that new recipes are coming out all the time.

The specialty is the cassoulet and is on the menu of many restaurants. The recipes vary in some details, but this specialty is always made with Toulouse sausage, white beans, and duck confit. It was named after the dish in which it is prepared – the Cassole.

Speaking of food, here are some suggestions for restaurants to visit.

22. Le Bibent

It is located on the Place du Capitol and recommended by locals. It is one of the best restaurants in Toulouse.

The name of the restaurant means “drink well” in their slang, but not only will you drink, but you will also eat well.

The chef of the restaurant is Christian Constant, who received the Michelin star for his first restaurant Le Violon d’Ingres.

23. Monsieur Georges

This was a traditional French restaurant, but in 2017 it was renovated and reopened in tapas-style. Located on Place Occataine, it is also one of the better restaurants in Toulouse. You won’t go wrong if you try a plate of cheese and mozzarella salad here.

24. Michel Sarran Restaurant

If you’ve set aside money to visit top restaurants, then visit this one. It has two Michelin stars, the prices are high, but the quality of everything is excellent.

25. Xavier Cheese Shop

And finally, when it comes to food, another place to stop and look is the Xavier cheese shop. This is the best cheese shop in Toulouse for over 30 years. François, the owner of this shop, won the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France, an award that made him one of the best cheese refiners in France.

26. N5 Wine Bar

A good meal cannot work without a good glass of wine, so this is one of the must-see wine bars.

This is the best wine bar in the world in 2017. When you go inside, it may at first glance seem like any of the 67 wine bars in the city, but as soon as you look into the wine list, then you understand why the renowned wine magazine The World of fine wine awarded it with this prestigious recognition. And in 2016, Le N5 had a plaque in its hands, as the best wine bar in Europe.

In the street of Rue de la Bourse, in the building number 5, symbolically, as this bar is called, six days a week French people who love good wine, but also tourists, try wines, combine them with food and listen to stories and advice from top sommeliers and enologists.

More than 3,600 wines are on offer. The cellar contains 25,000 bottles from more than 20 countries, as well as expensive old wines. If you have the money, you can choose wines from the 19th and 20th centuries, and one glass will cost you from 140 to 1,000 euros.

For tourists who just want to take part in the tasting, the prices are much more affordable and range from 12 to 28 euros per tasting.


Toulouse has mild winters with average temperatures of around 10 Celsius degrees and warm summers, so depending on your preferences and needs, the off-season or peak tourist season can be chosen. From May to October, with temperatures between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius, it is certainly the most enjoyable.

This city is rich in landmarks and there are so many places to see. It is not just the sights that make it special, but also the river and canals with walking paths make everything even more romantic. This city has a special charm, so when you visit it, study its history a bit, to make it closer and more interesting to you. You will not go wrong if you visit the landmarks written above because you will have an unforgettable experience.

Last Updated on March 21, 2023


  • Rovology is leveraging advice from Vagabonds, Tourists, Digital Nomads, Wayfarers and Travel Writers to give our readers a guide on the best things to do no matter where they go.