Toulouse, La Ville Rose

Toulouse is a charming French town that surprises with its enchanting atmosphere, and location between the Garonne River and the mighty Canal du Midi, plus it’s still a bit off the radar to most people.

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The ochre rooftops and coral-pink brick facades gave this sunny town the nickname ‘La Ville Rose’ (the pink city). I found Toulouse quite romantic, perfect for a couple.

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Toulouse is an easy stop-off in the heart of the south west of France. Has plenty to do and see from ancient palaces to great food markets. Toulouse has two Unesco heritage sites, the Canal du Midi and the Basilica of St. Sernin, the biggest Romanesque building in Europe.

Toulouse is a “big small city“, where everything you may want to visit is quite close, plus the public transports are amazing, making it really easy to get around.

Basilique Saint-Sernin

As I mention before this Basilique is a Unesco heritage site, and it’s considered one of the largest remaining Romanesque buildings in Europe.  I found the bell-tower especially impressive, standing 64 meters above the ground.

The city is quite clean and many streets in the center are limited to pedestrians. Bikes are also everywhere. The Old Town not only is a concentration of monuments and old buildings but is also the place where the normal everyday life takes place.

The Capitole

It’s the majestic square in the heart of Toulouse, bordered by grand buildings made from Toulouse’s hallmark rose-red bricks.

The building itself is accessible to the public, and the entry is free.. Going inside is definitely worth it.

Musée des Augustins

Used to be a convent, nowadays is a fine art museum which houses some of the works from the French school between the 15th and 18th centuries. The medieval cloister and garden are especially magical, surrounded by salons filled with evocative statues and sculptures.

Cathédrale saint-étienne

Also know as Toulouse Cathedral, it’s a Roman Catholic church built between the 13th and 17th centuries. The cathedral is a combination of northern and southern Gothic styles.

Canal du Midi

A picturesque canal whose waters flow throughout the southwest of France until exiting into the Mediterranean Sea, perfect for a stroll along the River Garonne during a sunny day.

Pont Neuf

The Pont-Neuf is the oldest and also the main bridge in town, a great place to walk along the Garonne river. The bridge was constructed in the 1500s.

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Jardin Japonais

Located in the north of the city near the Compans Caffarelli. On the day I visited the garden, there was virtually no one there, it’s a gorgeous place, that definitely deserves a visit.

Chapelle des Carmélites

It’s a stunning chapel that will absolutely take your breath away. Inside this chapel is covered in fresco painting, from the wall to the ceiling. The chapel is covered with religious depiction of the Heavens, definitely worth a peak.

Market of Saint Aubin

The Market happens every Sunday morning and is run by local farmers. It’s a great place to buy organics products, vegan street food, find local artists and books. Although Toulouse has several markets this one was my favorite

The Marché Victor Hugo, is quite big and well known for its gourmet stalls and restaurants but more is more suitable to non-vegans.

How to get there

Toulouse has its own airport, 20 minutes away from the city center. It also has great connections from the airport to the city.

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

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5 thoughts on “Toulouse, La Ville Rose

  1. Brad Nixon

    Thank you for the information and photographs about Toulouse. Everything you told and showed me was new information for me, beyond the fact that Toulouse is on the Garonne. I was especially interested to see the half timbered houses, and the fact that the walls are filled with brick, not stone or other material … a clear indication of how important bricks apparently have been throughout the city’s history. I’m surprised I’ve never seen a photograph of the Capitole. An impressive public space.

    • Ana Rocha 🌱🌍

      thank you. Toulouse is quite a nice place to visit, its colourful and glows red in the evening light, so beautiful… plus is rich in architecture and history.
      It was quite a nice surprise for me when I visited Toulouse the first time.

  2. Lane Beck | Travel Inspire Connect

    Wow! Fabulous write-up, Ana, and wonderful photography! In Paris last month I had dinner with a couple of young students who had recently passed through Toulouse. They spoke highly of it. It is a city that was, at one time, on my short list to check out for living abroad but eventually I had to give it up, having never visited. A shame. It seems to check most of the boxes. 😛

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