Empty Street in Toulouse
Photo by: theritters, Creative Commons

Toulouse is a city located in southwestern France, along the banks of the Garonne River. It stands 590 kilometers from Paris and has the distinction of being the hub of France’s aerospace industry. Toulouse is the site of the largest space center in the whole of Europe.

Aside from its aerospace wonders, Toulouse is also referred to as the Ville Rose, or Pink City, of France. It is a melting pot of cultures, a place where people know how to celebrate and eat. The weather in Toulouse is typical and temperate Mediterranean, although the summers can be hot and the winters, mild.

If you are planning to go to Toulouse, take note of the school holidays. You want to avoid these, as well as the holiday months of Christmas and New Year, if you want to have Toulouse all for yourself. Peak seasons in terms of tourist arrivals also include the periods between middle of February up to middle of March, as well as Holy Week, July and August. If you want to go at some other time, you may want to try September, when the annual Piano Jacobins is held, or October, the month for the annual Jazz sur Son 31 International Jazz Festival.

The best way to spend your time while in Toulouse, France, is to see the sights. Places of interest includes the Basilique St-Sernin, an 11th-century church built from brick, tile and stone, and enjoys the distinction of being the largest showcase of Romanesque church architecture in Europe. The church houses the tomb of St-Sernin, who was responsible for bringing Catholicism to Toulouse. The Cathedrale St-Etienne, on the other hand, is a church that took five centuries to build. As such, it follows a combination of architectural styles. Another marvel of religious architecture is the Jacobin Convent, a set of structures built according to the Languedoc Gothic architecture from the 13th century.

Toulouse’s magnificent culture is well preserved in the Musée des Augustins. The museum contains a wide range of 12th-century sculpture showcasing the Romanesque style. This collection is on display along with paintings and sculpture pieces dating back to the medieval ages up to the 20th century. The 18th-century Le Capitole, on the other hand, is also a sight to behold. The Capitole is home to the City Hall and a public theater.

Getting around Toulouse is easy. You can take the subway, the driverless trams, or the extensive network of buses plying different routes. If you feel like driving, you can also rent a car to get around at your own pace.

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