Why Toulouse? Let me start from the beginning.
Exploring the Basque Country had been on my mind for some time already. I never managed to get there. Neither while living in Spain nor on my numerous trips to this country. As I like to say “let do it sooner than later”!
The time has come and I have decided to do it properly. Including the Pays Basque. I never really need much persuading when it comes to visiting France! To be more frank, no persuading, actually :) lol
I landed in Toulouse. And instead of taking a train straight to Biarritz. I took a walk to the town’s centre. I didn’t expect much of Toulouse. And surprisingly I felt for this laid back, cosmopolitan and vibrating city. Where the main priorities are fine dining, good wine and enjoying life. One of France’s most beautiful cities has suffused with the Latin vibe thanks to its location, which is closer to Barcelona than Paris.
Toulouse combines medieval architecture with the bohemian style of its citizens. Constant innovative projects with cultural events on every corner! Its rich historical heritage is visible in the pink-brick walls. You seem to breathe freedom and purely relax in its air. Toulouse is not only pink in its brickwork, but also in heart and mind, including the city’s politics!
This ‘city of lights’. Or ‘Ville de Lumiere’ (due to the very high concentration of illuminated sights at night), is quite rich in religious architecture. Such as the Basilica of St Sernin, whose style spans over five centuries, and the Gothic Eglise des Jacobins, or the Notre-Dame La Dauade. But the real gems are to be found in the civic architecture!
Le Capitole, the City Hall, stands proudly over the Place du Capitole with its impressive facade and numerous elegant columns. It was built in the baroque style in the 18th century and contains one of the most prestigious opera venues. The Theatre Nationale du Capitole, which is outfitted in an Italian style with shades of scarlet and gold.
Have a coffee at the fashionable Place Wilson or the Place du Capitole. Lined with shops and cozy cafes. During my stay the square was being prepared for the Rugby Event and I learned that Toulouse is home to France’s finest rugby teams! And I love rugby players, but You should know that by now. I bragg about it in almost every post! So if you are a rugby player call me ha ha ha
If you are a devoted art lover, do not miss Les Abattoirs. The Toulouse Modern and Contemporary Center. La Cite de L’Espace is a must-visit for all air, science and space fanatics! And for all the boat and water addicts. The Toulouse Crosiers boat trip along the banks of the gently curving River Garonne or the Canal du Midi is simply obligatory!
Toulouse is a perfect city to stroll along its charming historic centre. The beautiful Old Quarter and the spider web of cobble-stoned streets. The city has a great night life, shopping and more UNESCO World Heritage sites than you can imagine, but the biggest attraction here is the dining!
From the temples of haute cuisine to hearty cassoulet with duck confit and Toulouse sausages. Through simple bistros, grand cafes and, thanks to a large immigrant population, tapas bars and Korean grills. Other specialties include foie gras, truffles and tapenade from the Midi.
If you don’t have enough of the medieval architecture and fine dining, take a day trip to the Carcassonne – it is steeped in its own history but worth a separate story!