Information & Facts
France is a major culinary tourism destination, and Toulouse
will not disappoint hungry travellers. There are many good
restaurants in Toulouse serving delicious regional food. Duck is a
particular specialty, and cassoulet, a stew made with white beans
and meat, is a regional dish worth trying.
If you're not sure what you're looking for, there are a variety
of good restaurants above the Victor Hugo Market that enjoy a good
view of the bustling stalls below.
The small size of the city centre makes getting around Toulouse
easy. It is possible to see nearly all of the main attractions on
foot. Renting a bicycle is a popular way to move around the city,
and if you have plenty of time you can take a boat along the
Garonne River. There is a good network of bus and metro lines as
well. It is best to avoid driving in Toulouse however, as any time
saved will be taken up with finding parking spaces, which are
French is the official language.
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. Currency can
be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels,
though you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major
credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques,
particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not
Toulouse has a vibrant nightlife with options to please every
taste. Those looking for cultural experiences will find drama and
ballet performances at the Theatre du Capitole, Theatre Garonne and
Theatre de la Digue, orchestral and symphonic concerts at the Halle
aux Grains. The Theatre Zenith hosts rock concerts, variety acts,
and other touring performances. The Casino Barrière has glitzy
restaurants and shows.
Toulouse has a number of bars, pubs and nightclubs as well,
ranging from disco and hip hop to live music to chic cocktail
lounges. The large student population ensures the venues in the
downtown area are always lively.
Shopping in Toulouse is focused in the downtown area, where
there are a number of nice markets. Flea markets are held each
Sunday near the St Sernin Basilica and the St Aubin Basilica,
selling local food and produce and other assorted items. There is a
great open-air organic produce market at the Place du Capitole.
The main shopping areas of Toulouse are the rue
d'Alsace-Lorraine, which has many clothing and houseware shops. Rue
Croix Baragnon and the rue des Arts are the best places to find
antiques, and there are many upmarket boutiques on rue des Arts,
rue Croix-Baragnon, and rue St-Antoine du T. Rue St Rome has many
department stores, and you'll find chic clothing shops in the rue
de la Pomme.
Because of the many aerospace companies based in the city, items
from Airbus and the Cité de l'Espace are popular Toulouse
Store hours in Toulouse are generally 9am to 7pm, and many shops
close from 1pm to 3pm. Few shops are open on Sundays.
The soft rose-coloured bricks that give Toulouse its nickname,
'The Pink City', belong to beautiful historic buildings that make
up the town centre. The Capitole building is the star attraction,
with both municipal offices and the Théâtre National du Capitole
housed within; while the 11-century St Sernin Basilica is among the
largest in the world. Other beautiful buildings worth visiting
include the Hôtel d'Assézat, the Musée des Augustins, and Les
Jacobins Monastery, which houses relics of Thomas Aquinas.
Toulouse's attractions are not limited to the historical,
however, as the Cite De L'espace theme park celebrates the city's
large aerospace industry with flight-themed interactive exhibits
and a huge planetarium.
Boat trips are a great way to relax and take in the sights of
Toulouse, and are conducted along the Garonne River. Pretty parks
like the Japanese gardens also offer places to sit and relax or run
around and play in, depending on your age and energy levels.
Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last Sunday in March and
last Sunday in October).