It’s hard to get good travel information about Toulouse because even though it is one of the fastest-growing areas of France, it is not a destination that most visitors know much about right off the bat.
Everybody knows they want to see Paris, we know that Normandy is for WWII history lovers, Provence has a strong lure because of its climate and culture, the Dordogne attracts lots of British people, Bordeaux and Bourgogne are all about the wine. So what about Toulouse? What’s the one thing everybody needs to know about Toulouse?
The Best Toulouse Has to Offer
The one thing that stands out to me about Toulouse is the local culture. I will list many specific activities you can do to get to know Toulouse below, but if you don’t have time to do any of those, the one thing you must do is walk around the city and enjoy our food and wine culture.
Must-Try Restaurant in Toulouse
Let’s start with satisfying the appetite first! Eat at L’Entrecôte. The original formula for this restaurant was invented by the Gineste de Saurs family near Toulouse and various branches of the family tweaked it over time to make it one of the most popular restaurants “chains” in France.
Read the article above, this is not a restaurant for vegetarians and for people who have specific food requirements. But for those of us who are hearty eaters, it’s heaven! Hot Tip: arrive either early (7PM or late 8:45PM) for minimal wait in line.
There are alot of wonderful restaurants in Toulouse, many of them more sophisticated than L’Entrecôte. But that’s the one I take all my friends to when they visit because it’s fun, inexpensive, and full of Toulouse charm.
Enjoy Our Cafés and Wine Bars
Toulouse is a city that attracts a lot of students and a young professionals. You will find them hanging out at various wine bars almost every night (Sunday night being “quieter”).
The one wine bar everybody says you need to try is Nº5 on rue de la Bourse in Toulouse. I tried it and they were jerks. So I say, go anywhere but there. I talk about it in this episode The Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, Episode 184 starting at minute [48:40] The fame got to their head and they’ve lost touch with what matters most: hospitality. You will see groups of people hanging around bars at various spots in downtown Toulouse at night: try one of them!
What Sets Toulouse Apart from other French Cities?
Toulouse if famous first and foremost for something that has nothing to do with tourism and visitors: the aerospace industry. Toulouse is the both the cradle and strategic center of Airbus, the company that is neck and neck with Boeing for aircraft production.
Sometimes the association with the space industry is so strong that it’s hard to think of anything else. But then, if I think about it for a second, I come up with so many other things that are wonderful about Toulouse! So, stick around Toulouse for a few days and let’s get to know one-another!
The Charms of Toulouse as a City
If you’d like to listen to an overall presentation of Toulouse and its main attractions, you must listen to this episode: The Ultimate Guide to Toulouse, Episode 183
Toulouse used to be a crowded medieval city with all the public health problems that came along with it. Then Toulouse made room for parks and gardens that we can still enjoy today and where we recommend you take a stroll. Choose the best one for you with this episode: Parks and Gardens in Toulouse, Episode 76
- Most Beautiful Places in Toulouse, Episode 72
- Augustins and Abattoirs in Toulouse, Episode 69
- Top Attractions in Toulouse, Episode 31
Explore Off the Beaten-Track: Amazing Day Trips from Toulouse
- 8 Great Places to Visit in the Ariège, Episode 237
- A Day-Trip to the Gers from Toulouse, Episode 235
- Saint Bertrand de Comminges, a Day Trip from Toulouse, Episode 177
- Sorèze and Revel, Great Day Trips from Toulouse, Episode 156
- Tour the South West of France, Episode 147
- Top Attractions in Figeac, Episode 143
- Lourdes, Episode 100
- Cordes-sur-Ciel, Episode 88
- Carla-Bayle in the Ariège, Episode 85
- Mirepoix, Episode 81
- Foix and Niaux in Occitanie, Episode 48
- Parks and Gardens in Toulouse, Episode 76
- Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in the Lot, Episode 43
- The Medieval Walled City of Carcassonne, Episode 23
- Canal du Midi, Episode 22
- Albi and Toulouse-Lautrec, Episode 20
- Cahors in the Lot, Episode 62
Trip Reports about the Toulouse Area
- Visiting Southern France in Winter, Episode 148
- Southwest of France with Children Trip Report, Episode 114
- Corbières and Tarn Trip Report, Episode 78
- Looking for Unique Experiences in France, Episode 86