Toulouse is the capital of the largest region of France: Midi-Pyrénées (45,000 km2) nested between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, at the feet of the Pyrenees Mountains, and bordered by Spain. The region enjoys great southern France sunny weather all year long.
A must stop when in the region, Toulouse is an intoxicating experience for visitors who fall for the colourful charms of the aptly named ‘Ville Rose’ (Pink City) and its Latin personality. Nicknamed the “little Barcelona”, this active and modern city is home to 120,000 students, close to one fourth of the population. Toulouse is known for its innate love of celebration.
Another fundamental aspect of the Toulouse way of life is its cuisine and wines/spirits. Lovers of good food take great pleasure in savouring local produce and the city’s culinary specialities: Toulouse sausage, violet-flavoured sweets, wines, the famous ‘cassoulet’, and the ‘Fénétra’ cake.
In this city where a feeling of human warmth is always felt, visitors can enjoy a relaxed stroll or bike ride through the narrow historic streets to explore the treasures of its architectural heritage. Passed down through 2000 years of art and history, the Capitole always leaves the visitors in awe in front of its richly painted ceremonial rooms.
In the Capitole Square where this monumental symbol of Toulouse along with the famous Occitan Cross resides, tourists can enjoy being photographed standing on their astrological sign. Nearby, the pilgrims on the Way of St. James kneel in the St Sernin basilica, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and nicknamed the ‘Carol Flower’
Toulouse was the favourite city for Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of ‘The Little Prince’ and a pioneer in the airmail adventure (Today, you can sleep in his room, #32, at the Hotel Le Grand Balcon). Visitors can visit the Airbus A380 assembly lines and board the Concorde!
At the Cité de l’Espace theme park, one can plunge into the heart of the universe, with over 250 exhibition items and interactive activities, including the Ariane 5 launcher, the Mir space station, the Soyuz spacecraft, a thrilling IMAX 3D film, an original planetarium show, and the discovery of Mars in 2012!
In the evening, visitors can enjoy the colored lights that illuminate Toulouse’s monuments and the banks of the Garonne River, offering a romantic walk amid a series of veritable urban frescoes.