France's southern city of Toulouse is home to some of the most impressive medieval buildings in Europe as well as a ton of galleries, museums and plazas that are sure to keep you dazzled and amused for days on end. Despite being the fourth largest city in France, its pedestrian city center imparts a sense of serenity, with the charm of quaint French provinciality. Toulouse has much to boast about in the way of architecture, with a fantastically well-preserved array of medieval buildings, providing the city with an enchanting ambiance and jaw-dropping spots around every twist and corner.
For a sightseeing stroll, swing by the stunning Ville Rose, "the pink city," which is the historic part of the town, having earned its name from the distinctive brick architecture that is a warm shade of pinkish-red. The 18th century Capitole Square
is inundated with amazing baroque buildings, with the town hall and National Theatre
the most prominent. Toulouse's central monument is the Basilique St. Sernin
, which is the largest and most impressive Romanesque church in Europe. Don't miss out on visiting the crypt here, where there are relics of 128 saints.
Toulouse also plays an important role in European aviation and space travel. For a great family activity, take the children for a marvel around the Cité de l'Espace
, which is a fantastic museum that provides an impressive interactive look at space travel and offers a world-class planetarium. Review the local art scene at Musée des Augustins
, a 14th century monastery that is not only one of Toulouse's most important buildings architecturally but displays the world's finest collection of Romanesque sculptures as well as medieval paintings and masterpieces from artists such as Rubens and Manet.
For an alternative meander around, take advantage of the Canal du Midi
. Originally constructed by Louis XIV as a link between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, this waterway is today listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its 40 kilometers of biking and walking trails. Whether you take the popular three-hour boat trip or just explore the canals on foot, the waterway is an integral part of Toulouse charm, and the network of small canals that crisscross the town are a unique way of exploring.
Place du Capitole
Main square of historic Toulouse; home to the current town hall... read more
canal de Brienne
Walk along the shaded banks of this city canal...
76 allée Charles-de-Fitte
Museum housed in a former slaughterhouse... read more
35 allées Jules Guesde
Interactive natural history museum in the Jardin des Plantes... read more
69 rue Pargaminières
Square of the Jacobins
Gothic monastery and resting place of St Thomas Aquinas... read more
Grande rue St-Michel
City square representing the entrance to the Saint-Michel district... read more
Chemin de la Loge
Bike or walk through this city park on an island...
Avenue Jean Gonord
Discover space and aeronautics at this unique adventure park... read more
National monument with a strange mix of architectural styles... read more
Port de l'Embouchure
Engineering marvel from the Renaissance period...
21 rue de Metz
Museum and monastery featuring an impressive medieval art collection... read more
Place Sainte-Cécile, 81000 Albi, France
Appreciate the Peace and Serenity of this Convent...