Toulouse Vacation Travel Guide & Top hotels in Toulouse. Halfway between the sun-lit shores of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, and just a stone’s throw from the snow-capped Pyrenees, is the Southern French city of Toulouse.
Toulouse Vacation Travel Guide
While most major French cities are proudly hewn from stone, Toulouse is built from bricks, These humble bricks, once considered a sign of poverty, are now a source of pride. Throughout the day their colors change, from red, to orange, to pink, earning Toulouse the name “la ville rose”, the pink city. Much of Toulouse’s finest brickwork is found in its holy places.
Step into the rose-coloured light of the Church of the Jacobins and gaze up at the incredible vaulted palm that rises over the final resting place of Thomas Aquinas. Then, climb the bell tower for views across a sea of terracotta and a maze of medieval lanes below.
Follow the footsteps of centuries of pilgrims to The Basilica of Saint-Sernin, a hallowed stop for those who walk the Camino de Santiago to Spain. From a fragment of the true cross to the bones of over 100 saints, these vaults house the world’s largest collection of holy relics outside the Vatican. Wander down Rue Croix Baragnon to one of the France’s most beloved churches, Toulouse Cathedral.
Although the design changed course many times over the Cathedral’s 500-year construction, this lopsided, mishmash of styles is proof that when we look beyond imperfection, true beauty often awaits. Toulouse’s many civic buildings and museums breathe life into the city’s brickwork too.
The pink heart of Toulouse is its Capitole, whose walls celebrate the city’s great moments… it’s four seasons… and love itself. Come face to face with the city’s Roman past at the Museum Saint Raymond. Ponder past deeds and deceptions in the Gallery of Emperors; an incredible gathering of marble busts unearthed 40 miles upriver at the Roman Villa of Chiragan.
The stone lips whisper hopes, secrets and curses too, within the medieval vaults, staircases and cloisters of the Museum of the Augustins. A home to artistic treasures from across the ages, this 14th century convent is also a refuge for homeless gargoyles, rescued from the wrecking ball of war and time.
Color is a theme that has long infused the story of France’s fourth-largest city. While brickwork earned the pink city its sobriquet, blue is the colour that brought the city its incredible wealth. Toulouse is filled with mansions built by 15th century dye merchants who made fortunes when the city was the epicentre of the pastel trade.
The stateliest of all is Hôtel d’Assézat, which today houses one of the finest Renaissance and Impressionist art collections in Europe. From fabric dye to the sky above, blue is a colour that continues to bring prosperity to Toulouse.
At the Aeroscopia Aeronautical Museum, discover the city’s rich aviation heritage, from its perilous beginnings to the design and manufacture of the world’s most iconic aircraft. While at Cite de l’Espace, discover how Toulouse’s aerospace prowess has helped humankind push beyond the clouds and into the final frontier.
No matter how far from Earth we may roam, Toulouse’s many gardens remind us that there is no place like home. So take the time to relax amid the groves and floral displays of Jardin Royal and Jardin des Plantes, before losing yourself in the city’s other simple pleasures.
Sample local delicacies at the Victor Hugo Market… watch the waters of the Garonne slide by to far off Bordeaux… or just ride a bicycle to nowhere in particular. Visit Toulouse and you’ll soon understand that it is not just the red oxide within its bricks that gives this city its special glow.
It is people who breathe life and magic into her clay. So pack your sense of wonder and follow the light to Toulouse, …for when you walk these streets, the pink city shines even brighter.
Top hotels in Toulouse
1. Le Grand Balcon.
Located in Toulouse City-Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Place du Capitole and Basilique Saint-Sernin. Capitole Station is only a 4-minute walk and Jeanne d’Arc Metro Station is 7 minutes.
All 47 soundproofed rooms feature free WiFi and minibars. For a bit of entertainment, guests will find Smart TVs with satellite channels, and other amenities include room service and premium bedding.
2. Nemea AppartHotel Résidence Concorde.
Located in Toulouse City-Centre, this residence is within 1 mi (2 km) of Rue d’Alsace-Lorraine, Place du Capitole, and Toulouse Business School. Toulouse Exhibition Center is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) away. Toulouse Matabiau Station is only a 2-minute walk and Marengo SNCF Station is 5 minutes.
All 101 rooms offer free WiFi, refrigerators, and flat-screen TVs with cable channels. Guests will also find premium bedding, hair dryers, and safes. Limited housekeeping is available. A health club, a spa tub, and a sauna are available at this smoke-free residence. WiFi in public areas is free. Other amenities include self parking, a meeting room, and laundry facilities.
3. Campanile Toulouse Ouest – Purpan
Located in Purpan, this hotel is 0.2 mi (0.2 km) from Purpan Hospital and within 3 mi (5 km) of Airbus and Toulouse Business School. Place du Capitole is 3 mi (4.8 km) away. Lardenne Station is 24 minutes by foot and Toulouse Les Capelles Station is 24 minutes.
This smoke-free hotel features a restaurant, a meeting room, and free newspapers. Free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. Additionally, multilingual staff, a TV in a common area, and a ballroom are onsite.
All 75 soundproofed rooms feature free WiFi and room service. For a bit of entertainment, guests will find LED TVs with satellite channels, and other amenities include premium bedding and coffee makers.
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