Toulouse, capital of France’s southern Occitanie region, is bisected by the Garonne River and sits near the Spanish border. It’s known as La Ville Rose (‘The Pink City’) due to the terra-cotta bricks used in many of its buildings
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 112
- Language: French
- Currency: Euro
- Country Code: FR
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 439,553
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- Toulouse has an extremely rich and unique culture that goes back thousands of years. Aside from the French aspect of their culture, they also have roots with Roman and Visigoth rulers. Toulouse is known as the "Pink City" because of its brick buildings that are found all throughout the city.
- Toulouse’s reputation as the cultural capital of France is certainly justified; throughout the year there is a wealth of music festivals, exhibitions and cultural events offering something for everyone. Easily accessible from most of the Ariege and the Haute Garonne, Toulouse is a vibrant and interesting cultural centre for the region, packed with museums, art galleries, historic buildings, beautiful architecture, world class opera and theatre, modern exhibition spaces, cinema festivals and a fascinating heritage.
For the Emergency services just dial 112 from any phone.
There are plenty of options to get around Toulouse, from car hire and cycling to multiple public transport options. The busses and metro in Toulouse are very easy to use and are operated by Tisseo.
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What are the common crimes?
Most common crime around the area of Toulouse is pickpocketing, when out and around in Toulouse whether during the day or night, especially at night but aware of surrounding areas, and people hanging around. Try to avoid areas around the canal and the train station as they seem quite intimidating, when travelling and especially alone at night, keep an eye on all belongings, and if have any valuables try to leave them in accommodation locked away safely, or if need to take them with you have a safe bag where they cannot be seen and are not easy to reach and take without knowledge of this, and keep an eye on all belongings at all times.
Where can I keep up with the local news?
What are the top safety tips I should know?
Be careful with drug dealers, try to either just ignore them and carry on, or try and pretend you speak another language, but do not pressure them or wind them up as they then may get angry, try to stick to well-lit areas, and do your research before travelling anywhere unknown.
Like most of France, Toulouse is a very safe city, and you are unlikely to encounter any problems. Nevertheless, it is always wise to keep a close eye on your belongings and your surroundings.
Pay attention to pickpockets especially during the summer months, as in and around Toulouse can be very busy and especially with people visiting San Tropez which is near-by, pickpockets will be able to tell which are tourists and which are unsuspecting, as a precaution keep all valuables at home or at the hotel, and watch all belongings.
Improve Your Personal Safety
Knowledge – the more you have the better equipped you are.
Awareness – the more you see the safer you become.
Response – the right reaction can change a situation.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Toulouse d’Été is the Pink City’s summer festival and it involves weeks of lounging by the river as jazz, rock, electronic music, waltz and tango fill the air. Several concerts also take place within Toulouse’s magnificent historic buildings, providing a relaxing way to appreciate the city’s past. From churches to park gardens to the station itself, no place is left untouched as Toulouse urges its citizens to have a good time.
Every year, the Occitan people (the local population of Toulouse) celebrate their ties with the Mediterranean and Oriental worlds. Events span several weeks and include a mix of classical and jazz music, dance and cinema, debate and, of course, food.
Le Printemps de Septembre
Toulouse’s Printemps de Septembre is a three-week-long art festival extravaganza that manages to jam in sculpture, painting, video, photography, cinema and music to boot. Events take place in some dazzling venues across the city, making it a great way to explore Toulouse.
Le Marché de Noël (Christmas Market)
Toulouse gives the Anglo-Saxon countries a run for their money with its annual ‘Marché de Noël’. Surrounded by the pink-brick facades of Place du Capitole, the Christmas Market comes complete with an ice rink, spiced wine, dripping fairy lights and homemade crafts. Toulouse then adds its own touch to the proceedings with local cheese and wine.
Are there any great museums or galleries?
Muséum de Toulouse
The Muséum de Toulouse, sometimes known as MHNT or Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de la ville de Toulouse, is a museum of natural history in Toulouse, France. It is located in the Busca-Montplaisir, and houses a collection of more than 2.5 million items.
Galerie du Château d’eau
The Château d’Eau is an old nineteenth century water-tower, near to the cours Dillon, just next to the Pont-Neuf, in Toulouse, France. It was originally designed as a water tower but it is now a photography gallery.
Musée des Augustins
The Musée des Augustins de Toulouse is a fine arts museum in Toulouse, France which conserves a collection of sculpture and paintings from the middle Ages to the early 20th century. The paintings are from throughout France, the sculptures representing Occitan culture of the region with a particularly rich assemblage of Romanesque sculpture. The building in which the museum is sited was built in 1309 in the Gothic style and prior to the French Revolution housed Toulouse’s Augustinian convent.
Where else is great to visit?
Notre-Dame de la Daurade
Notre-Dame de la Daurade is a basilica in Toulouse, France. It was established in 410 when Emperor Honorius allowed the conversion of Pagan temples to Christianity. The original building of Notre-Dame de la Daurade was a temple dedicated to Apollo.
Basilica of St. Sernin
The Basilica of St. Sernin is a church in Toulouse, France, the former abbey church of the Abbey of St. Sernin or St. Saturnin. Apart from the church, none of the abbey buildings remain. The current church is located on the site of a previous basilica of the 4th century which contained the body of Saint Saturnin or Sernin, the first bishop of Toulouse in c. 250. Most of the current building was constructed in the Romanesque style between about 1080 and 1120, with construction continuing thereafter. Saint-Sernin is particularly noted for the quality and quantity of its Romanesque sculpture. In 1998 the basilica was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites under the description: World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France.
Capitole de Toulouse
The Capitole is the heart of the municipal administration of the French city of Toulouse.
The Capitouls (governing magistrates) of the Toulouse embarked on the construction of the original building in 1190, to provide a seat for the government of a province growing in wealth and influence. The name “Capitole” referred not only to the Roman Capitol but also to the capitulum which was the chapter of the governing magistrates.
Théâtre du Capitole
The Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse is an opera house and ballet company located within the main administration buildings, the Capitole, of the city of Toulouse in south-west France.
What are the highlight attractions?
Stade Ernest-Wallon is a multi-purpose stadium in Toulouse, France. It is currently the home of rugby union team Stade Toulousain. The stadium was built in the late 1980s and was recently renovated. It has a capacity of 19,500.
Stadium Municipal – Toulouse Stadium
Stadium Municipal is the largest multi-purpose stadium in Toulouse, France. It is the seventh-largest stadium in France. It is currently used mostly for football matches, mainly those of the Toulouse Football Club and the big games of rugby for Stade Toulousain in the Heineken Cup or Top 14. It also hosts the test matches of France’s national rugby union team. It is located on the island of Ramier near the centre of Toulouse. It is a pure football and rugby ground, and therefore has no athletics track surrounding the field. The stadium is able to hold 35,472 people.
Cité de l’espace
The Cité de l’espace is a theme park focused on space and the conquest of space. It was opened in September 1997 and is located on the eastern outskirts of Toulouse, France. As of 2012, there had been more than 4 million visitors.
Toulouse Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral, and a national monument of France, located in the city of Toulouse. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Toulouse.