A Few Hours in Toulouse
A Few Hours in Toulouse
Toulouse might not be in your traveling bucket list, maybe you haven’t even thought about it as a place that you should visit. I know that I’ve never thought about spending time in this city, but after being sent there for work, I’d love to go back. Keep reading if you want to know why you should visit Toulouse.
Toulouse – La Ville Rose
Toulouse is a beautiful and unique city that has the nickname of the pink city, due to the terracotta bricks used in its buildings. The bricks have a pink hue that gives a stunning look both to the buildings and the city itself.
The city lies on the banks of the River Garonne and it’s located near the border of Spain, close to the Pyrenees. The Canal du Midi won the status of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1996. This canal links Garonne to the Mediterranean Sea, it has a length of 241 km’s, it was constructed from 1666 to 1681 and can be traveled by boat, bike or on foot.
Toulouse has one of the oldest universities in Europe, it’s the centre of the aerospace industry in Europe, the chosen city to host the headquarters of famous names such as Intel, Airbus and CNES – the largest space centre in Europe.
As you walk around, exploring the city, it’s impossible to not stop over and over again, you will be unable to put down your camera and you will come home with millions of pictures.
What To See
The city with its beautiful architecture is a must see itself. You can also visit the Basilica of Saint Sernin which is another World Heritage Site, walk to the large market square, visit the Place du Capitole and the Theatre du Capitole.
You have plenty of churches to see such as the Cathedral of Toulouse, the Chapelle des Carmelites, the Church and Convent of Les Jacobins. If visiting churches are not your cup of tea you can also enjoy various museums and visit the Japanese Garden.
Still not convinced? You can also take a tour to the Airbus Factory in which you can have an overview of the Airbus plant, see various testing stations, visit the production line and have a detailed presentation of the largest passenger airliner – the Airbus A380. This is an excellent tour for aviation lovers.
An Unexpected Trip
One of the reasons why I love my job is the opportunity to stay in nice hotels in different countries, even if usually, I don’t have much time to visit the cities that I stay in because the days are so long that all I want to do is die in bed once I get into the hotel room.
This wasn’t one of those times.
Sunday, the first day, I travelled as a passenger and had the whole day free. Since this is a rare opportunity I decided to go and explore Toulouse. The hotel was a bit of a walk from the city, but after 50 minutes I was crossing one of the bridges that take you to the town centre.
The day was a bit cold and I didn’t have any particular thing that I wanted to see, I ended up just roaming the streets, taking a lot of pictures and stopping by a cafe in the market square to rest my legs and drink something.
There are not enough good things to say about Toulouse, the prices are cheaper than some of other cities in France, the people are really nice and accept that your French isn’t that brilliant. The city was almost empty but that could have been because it was Sunday and almost everything is closed on Sundays.
The Airbus factory is also closed on Sunday so there were no tours that I could take while I was in Toulouse. I want to come back to do the tour and have more time to roam the streets to get to know this beautiful city better.