One day in Toulouse Itinerary – Top Things to do in Toulouse, France

Toulouse captivates with its blend of history, culture, and innovation. Known as “La Ville Rose” for its distinctive pink-hued buildings, Toulouse boasts architectural marvels like the Gothic Cathédrale Saint-Étienne and the Renaissance-style Capitole de Toulouse. Indulge in the region’s culinary delights at bustling markets and charming bistros, savoring local specialties like cassoulet and foie gras. With its picturesque riverbanks, lively atmosphere, and timeless charm, Toulouse offers an unforgettable experience for every traveler.

One day in Toulouse itinerary

Toulouse: A Perfect Day Itinerary

Welcome to Toulouse! Experience the city’s history, culture, and cuisine in just one day with our guide. From pink-hued architecture to bustling markets, there’s much to explore in “La Ville Rose”!

Discover Toulouse’s Historic Heart

Start your day with a visit to the iconic Place du Capitole, home to the magnificent Capitole building. Explore its grandiose architecture and perhaps catch a guided tour inside. Then, wander through the charming streets of the historic center, admiring the Renaissance mansions and colorful facades.

Capitole building, Toulouse
Capitole building, Author: Frédéric Neupont, Source: Flickr

Don’t miss the Basilica of Saint-Sernin, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest Romanesque churches in Europe. Take your time to soak in the rich history and architectural beauty of this ancient city.

Inside the Capitole building, Toulouse
Inside the Capitole building, Author: Kimon Berlin, Source: Flickr

Explore the Couvent des Jacobins: 

Step into the tranquil ambiance of the Couvent des Jacobins, a medieval monastery renowned for its stunning architecture and rich history. Founded in the 13th century by the Dominican Order, this architectural gem served as both a place of worship and a center for intellectual and spiritual pursuits. Marvel at the exquisite gothic vaults of the church and wander through its peaceful cloister, which once provided refuge for monks seeking contemplation and study. Don’t miss the chance to visit the tomb of Saint Thomas Aquinas, one of the most influential theologians in Christian history, housed within the convent since the 14th century.

Couvent des Jacobins, Toulouse 2
Couvent des Jacobins, Author: Marmontel, Source: Flickr

Explore the Vibrant Markets

Head to the bustling Victor Hugo Market, where local vendors offer a cornucopia of fresh produce, cheese, meats, and regional specialties. Enjoy browsing the stalls, sampling some delicious treats, and immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere. Take the opportunity to pick up some souvenirs or picnic supplies for later in the day. Don’t forget to admire the stunning glass and iron architecture of the market hall, a testament to Toulouse’s rich heritage.

La Ville Rose, Toulouse
La Ville Rose, Author: xiquinhosilva, Source: Flickr

Indulge in Toulouse’s Gastronomic Delights

Savor the flavors of Toulouse with a leisurely lunch at one of its many inviting bistros or brasseries. For an authentic taste of the city, head to Maison du Cassoulet Toulouse, where you can indulge in their renowned cassoulet, a hearty stew of white beans, sausage, and duck confit. Alternatively, try other regional specialties like foie gras or duck breast. Pair your meal with a glass of local wine or a refreshing glass of pastis, and enjoy the relaxed ambiance of dining al fresco on a sunny terrace.

Cassoulet, Toulouse
Cassoulet, Author: Phillip Capper, Source: Flickr

Discover Aerospace Marvels

Embark on a journey through the history of aviation and space exploration at the Cité de l’Espace. Explore interactive exhibits, marvel at full-scale replicas of spacecraft, and learn about the pioneers of flight and space travel. Don’t miss the chance to experience a simulated space mission or take a virtual reality journey to the edge of the universe. Whether you’re a science enthusiast or simply curious, the Cité de l’Espace offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

Stroll Along the Canal du Midi

Wind down your day with a leisurely stroll along the picturesque banks of the Canal du Midi. This 360-km network of navigable waterways linking the Mediterranean and the Atlantic through 328 structures is one of the most remarkable feats of civil engineering in modern times. Built between 1667 and 1694 by Pierre-Paul Riquet, the canal played a crucial role in facilitating trade and transportation during the 17th century. Admire the tranquil waters, lined with lush greenery and charming houseboats, as you soak in the peaceful ambiance of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Take a moment to relax on a bench or enjoy a refreshing drink at one of the waterside cafes. The canal provides the perfect setting for a serene end to your day of exploration in Toulouse.

Canal du Midi, Toulouse
Canal du Midi, Author: Science Europe, Source: Flickr

Enjoy Toulouse’s Nightlife and Cuisine

As evening falls, Toulouse comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. Head to the lively Place Saint-Pierre, where you’ll find a plethora of bars, cafes, and restaurants catering to every taste. Whether you’re in the mood for live music, craft cocktails, or traditional French fare, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from. Take your time to savor the flavors of Toulouse one last time before bidding adieu to this enchanting city.

Toulouse at Night
Toulouse at Night, Author: Gérard Vilminot, Source: Flickr

Where to stay in Toulouse?

La Cour des Consuls Hotel and Spa Toulouse

La Cour des Consuls Hotel and Spa Toulouse

46 Rue des Couteliers, 31000 Toulouse

A luxury haven in Toulouse’s historic heart, offering refined rooms and suites adorned with chic décor. Pamper yourself at the spa or indulge in gourmet delights at their esteemed restaurant, all amidst elegant ambiance and impeccable service.


Hotel Innes by HappyCulture

Hôtel Innes by HappyCulture

13 Bis Rue Matabiau, 31000 Toulouse

Nestled in Toulouse’s vibrant Capitole district, this boutique hotel boasts cozy rooms with modern amenities. Enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages in the lounge, and explore the city’s attractions just steps away from this charming urban retreat.


Mercure Toulouse Centre Saint-Georges

Mercure Toulouse Centre Saint-Georges

Rue Saint Jerome, 31000 Toulouse

Located near Place Wilson, this contemporary hotel provides comfortable rooms with sleek furnishings and city views. Guests can savor regional cuisine at the on-site restaurant or unwind with a drink on the terrace, experiencing Toulouse’s vibrant atmosphere firsthand.


Odalys City Toulouse Centre Compans Caffarelli

Odalys City Toulouse Centre Compans Caffarelli

39 Rue du Béarnais, 31000 Toulouse

Ideal for extended stays, these spacious apartments offer a blend of comfort and convenience. With fully equipped kitchens and proximity to Compans Caffarelli Park, guests can enjoy a home-away-from-home experience while exploring Toulouse’s cultural treasures and green spaces.


A few facts about Toulouse

  • Aerospace Hub: Toulouse is known as the “Space City” due to its significant presence in the aerospace industry. It’s home to Airbus headquarters and hosts major aerospace companies, research institutes, and the Cité de l’Espace, a space-themed park and museum.
  • Pink City: Toulouse earned the nickname “La Ville Rose” (The Pink City) due to the distinctive pinkish hue of its buildings, created by the use of terracotta bricks in construction.
  • Cultural Heritage: Toulouse boasts a rich cultural heritage, with landmarks like the Basilica of Saint-Sernin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Capitole de Toulouse, a grand neo-classical building housing the city hall.
La Ville Rose, Toulouse
La Ville Rose, Author: xiquinhosilva, Source: Flickr
  • Gastronomy: The city is renowned for its gastronomy, featuring local specialties like cassoulet (a hearty bean stew), foie gras, and Toulouse sausages. Its vibrant food markets and traditional brasseries offer a taste of authentic French cuisine.
  • Student Population: Toulouse is home to one of the largest student populations in France, with prestigious universities like the University of Toulouse and Toulouse Business School attracting students from around the world.
  • Canal du Midi: Toulouse is a gateway to the Canal du Midi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. The canal is popular for leisure activities such as boating, cycling, and scenic cruises.
Canal du Midi, Toulouse
Canal du Midi, Author: Ludovic Lubeigt, Source: Flickr

What’s the best time to visit Toulouse?

The best time to visit Toulouse is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October). During these months, the weather is mild and pleasant, perfect for exploring the city’s outdoor attractions without the summer crowds. Spring brings blooming flowers, particularly enhancing the charm of Toulouse’s parks and gardens, while autumn showcases vibrant foliage, creating picturesque landscapes.

La Ville Rose, Toulouse
La Ville Rose, Toulouse

Additionally, these seasons offer a myriad of cultural events and festivals, including the Toulouse International Art Festival in spring and the Toulouse Jazz Festival in autumn, providing visitors with opportunities to immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant arts scene.

However, if you prefer warmer temperatures and don’t mind larger crowds, summer (July to August) can also be a great time to visit, despite higher tourist numbers and occasional heat waves. Winter (December to February) tends to be cooler and quieter, ideal for travelers seeking a more tranquil experience and lower accommodation prices.

Day Trips from Toulouse:


Located about an hour northeast of Toulouse, Albi is famous for its stunning red-brick cathedral, the Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the historic Old Town with its charming streets, visit the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum dedicated to the renowned painter, and stroll along the banks of the Tarn River.


Journey about an hour and a half southeast of Toulouse to discover the medieval fortress city of Carcassonne. Explore the well-preserved ramparts, towers, and cobblestone streets of the UNESCO-listed Citadel, and delve into the city’s rich history at the Château Comtal and the Basilica of Saint-Nazaire.


Just over an hour northeast of Toulouse lies the picturesque hilltop village of Cordes-sur-Ciel. Marvel at its well-preserved medieval architecture, wander through narrow cobblestone streets lined with artisan shops, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside from the top of the village.


Approximately two hours northwest of Toulouse, Saint-Émilion beckons with its scenic vineyards, historic wine cellars, and charming village center. Explore the underground catacombs, sample world-class wines at local wineries, and soak in the ambiance of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Extra tips for visiting Toulouse, France

  • Public Transportation: Utilize the efficient public transportation system, including buses, trams, and the metro, to navigate the city easily. Consider purchasing a Toulouse City Pass for unlimited travel and discounts on attractions.
  • Walking and Cycling: Toulouse is a walkable city with many pedestrian-friendly areas. Consider exploring on foot or renting a bicycle to discover hidden gems and enjoy the city’s charming streets and parks.
  • Language: While French is the official language, many locals, especially in tourist areas, speak English. Learning a few basic French phrases can enhance your experience and show respect for the local culture.
  • Safety: Toulouse is generally a safe city, but be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas, especially around tourist attractions and public transportation. Keep your belongings secure and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Dining: Experience Toulouse’s gastronomic delights by dining at local restaurants and cafes. Don’t miss trying regional specialties like cassoulet, duck confit, and Toulouse sausage, paired with a glass of local wine.
  • Local Markets: Explore Toulouse’s vibrant markets, such as Marché Victor Hugo and Marché des Carmes, to sample fresh produce, cheeses, and artisanal goods. These markets offer a glimpse into daily life in Toulouse and are perfect for food enthusiasts.
  • Reservations: Make reservations in advance for popular attractions, restaurants, and tours, especially during peak tourist seasons, to avoid disappointment and long queues.
  • Respectful Behavior: Show respect for local customs and traditions, such as greeting people with “Bonjour” and saying “Merci” when leaving a shop or restaurant. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites and adhere to posted rules and regulations.

Make sure you have everything you need

What to pack for your next trip?

Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.

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