TOULOUSE – www.toulouse-visit.com
There’s no need for rose-colored glasses to appreciate the beauty of Toulouse. The very bricks used in its historical buildings imbue the city with a captivating surface light. Add to that the layers of cultural significance – past and present, musical and culinary, natural and industrial – and this fourth-largest metropolis in the country demonstrates its depth too. After all, Toulouse is home to one of France’s largest universities outside of Paris; Airbus, Europe’s aeronautical manufacturing giant; and the Canal du Midi, the World Heritage Site-listed waterway that, with the Garonne River, helps ensure Toulouse always goes with the flow.
Toulouse is nicknamed La Ville Rose (The Pink City) due to the red-brick façades seen all over town.
The 38 stations of Toulouse’s metro system are unique in that they all house works of contemporary art.
Capitole: the 18th-century home of the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), Théâtre du Capitole (opera house) and the Salle des Illustres (a display hall of 19th-century masterpieces by local artists)
Cité de l'Espace: a unique museum and park centered around space exploration
cassoulet toulousain: a slow-cooked stew of white haricot beans, duck confit and saucisse de Toulouse, served in a traditional earthenware pot
wines of the Southwest: over 300 grape varieties, 14 named geographical areas and 29 protected appellations
Claude Nougaro: a popular singer and songwriter
A first: a French city (Toulouse) has been chosen as the European City of Science for 2018
Also in the Area
Airbus factory: see how planes are built on a visit to the A350 or A380 assembly lines, a “panoramic” tour of the grounds or a look at how aviation can be more eco-efficient
Canal du Midi: Europe’s oldest still-in-use canal, this 17th-century manmade water link between Toulouse and the Mediterranean s\Sea is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Access from Paris
by road: about 6 h 30 min (420 miles) via the A20 autoroute (L'Occitane)
by train: about 4 h 10 min by TGV from the Gare Montparnasse
by plane: about 1 h 20 min to the Toulouse-Blagnac Airport
For more about what to see and do in and around Toulouse, including on the “From the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Coast" itinerary, visit www.topfrenchcitybreaks.com