Weekend in Toulouse: Itinerary, Activities and Accommodation
Are you going to Toulouse for 2 days? Here is an itinerary that you can use as inspiration to prepare your stay in Toulouse.
The South West, the sun, the Pyrenees, its culinary specialties and all the beauties to see! This city is so nice. You will love to walk there, discover the city with your nose on its facades and visit museums and gardens. Not to mention restaurants, markets or cafes.
Here are many good things to do and see when visiting Toulouse. You will have the choice. Indeed, there are many monuments or points of interest classified by UNESCO.
This article is already quite complete with lots of ideas to keep you busy during a two-day weekend. However, you are not immune to other discoveries in the pink city.
So Let’s go!
Day 1: Discovery of the City
Let’s start with Place du Capitole, the nerve center of the Ville Rose. First of all to situate you what is the Capitole?
It is a monument that houses the Hotel de Ville and the Théâtre du Capitole. Its construction began in 1190 by the Capitouls to establish the seat of municipal power.
In Toulouse, it has been the emblem of the city for more than 800 years! There are also traces of Roman remains.
Opposite the building is the Place du Capitole, which measures 12,000 m2.
This square is an essential and emblematic place with all its pink facades.
All around, where you will look, you will see the facades of the largest hotels in Toulouse as well as the Arcades where Raymond Moretti painted frescoes on the history of Toulouse.
I recommend that you enter the historic Café Bibent with its listed interior decoration.
The Basilica of Saint-Sernin
Let’s continue this weekend in Toulouse with the Basilica of Saint Sernin, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is one of the largest buildings of Romanesque architecture in France.
The first bishop of Toulouse was named Sernin. Do not hesitate to enter because inside there are magnificent paintings as well as the sarcophagus of Saint-Saturnin.
The basilica has 128 relics of saints and a thorn which according to history comes from Christ. Access is free except for the crypts (€2.50). However, if you have the Toulouse Tourism Pass, entry is free.
The Jacobin Convent
Believe me, you will be amazed by this religious building. It is located between Place du Capitole and the Garonne.
What is amazing is the contrast between its very simple exterior appearance and its interior. A nice discovery.
The construction dates from 1229 and is all in pink brick. There is a church part and a convent. The vault of the choir of the church rests on a single pillar with star-shaped ramifications. It looks like a palm tree. It’s really very original.
Another thing not to be missed, the church has very beautiful stained glass windows. Then you can visit the Convent. To see: the relics of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the chapter house, the refectory and the chapels of Saint Antonin and the Virgin.
You will appreciate the serenity of the cloister which is magnificent. Admission to the church is free, the convent is chargeable.
We continue the day with another religious monument to visit! Saint-Étienne Cathedral in Toulouse is located in the historic center of the city.
The first traces of the cathedral date from 1071. Its atypical architecture is due to its construction which will last more than five centuries. Everything is richly decorated and ornamented.
Little anecdote, Riquet, the designer of the Canal du Midi is buried in the Saint-Etienne cathedral.
It is one of the essentials when you spend a weekend in Toulouse. Popular, dynamic and well-travelled, it is a nugget of the city that you absolutely must visit.
The Saint-Cyprien district is located on the left bank and you can get there by the Saint Pierre or Neuf bridges. On this route, there are many beautiful viewpoints over the Garonne.
The Saint-Cyprien district looks like a village with a market square atmosphere and bell towers.
What is there to see in this neighborhood? First of all, the place Saint Cyprien with all these pink brick buildings, then the ramparts, finally the port Viguerie.
And, if you want to sit on the terrace more, there is Place Estrapade with its shops and cafes which is just perfect.
Take advantage of being in the Cyprien district to have lunch at the restaurant. If you are still motivated, I recommend that you visit the slaughterhouses. No meat carcass here but the modern and contemporary art museum where the permanent exhibition is interesting.
You can discover the famous stage curtain created by Picasso for a play. The museum also offers temporary exhibitions whose themes vary over the year.
If you have taken the Tourist Pass, the entrance to the museum is free. Otherwise, you will have to pay around 5€.
The Canal du Midi
Impossible to visit Toulouse without stopping to discover the Canal du Midi. Symbol of the city, the Canal du Midi is a must even for a weekend.
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can visit it in barge cruise mode or opt for a boat rental. There are also boats in which you can sleep.
As you will see, this first day already offers a great program of visits. You will have a great first impression of Toulouse, the beautiful pink city.
Day 2: Relaxation and Culture
The Jardin des Plantes and the Royal Garden
This first stage of your day is an enchanted parenthesis in the city center. This is the first public garden in Toulouse in 1754. Nice bridge, duck pond, benches and also beautiful statues.
Open your eyes and you will see Saint-Exupéry and his Little Prince. And another strong point of this circuit, you can go from the royal garden to the Jardin des Plantes then to the Grand Rond garden by footbridges.
The Jardin des Plantes is a former botanical garden that was once very popular with medical students. It is also an ideal place for walks with family or lovers with its 7 hectares.
As for the Jardin du Grand Rond, it connects the city to the countryside. It owes its name to its function as a gigantic roundabout, from which 4 lanes start. You can play petanque in the park.
It is also a good spot for picnics between the trees and the fountains! Besides, I recommend this option if you go to Toulouse in the summer. The ideal is to do some shopping for fresh produce at the market.
The Natural History Museum of Toulouse
Science, culture and social issues in the same museum! Many events and debates are organized there, find out about the program before going there.
It is the second largest naturalist museum in France. It owes its creation to the Toulouse Picot de Lapeyrouse, who installed his collections in the former monastery of the Discalced Carmelites.
This is typically an activity that you can do as a family. Indeed, there are specific activities for children such as puzzles or disguise workshops. Access is free if you have opted for the Pass Tourisme.
The City of Space
Toulouse is very famous for its aeronautics and space research. Less than 20 minutes from the center, you have the Cité de l’Espace.
It’s 4 hectares laid out with playful and interactive exhibitions on the conquest of space. It’s an almost total immersion, where you will be able to board a shuttle, the Soyuz which transports 3 cosmonauts to the space station.
There is also a replica of the Ariane 5 rocket or the full size Mir space station! I loved training to walk on the moon with the Moon Runner, a walking simulator!
The Cité de l’Espace attracts up to 300,000 visitors each year. My advice ? book your entry ticket in advance! Go to the city’s website to book.
Accommodation in Toulouse
- Odalys Appart’hotel Colombelie: Located just 1 km walk from Capitole Square. Spacious and bright double room from 80 € per night, breakfast at 12 €. Most: the location to visit Toulouse on foot, calm, friendly staff.
- Néméa Appart’Hôtel Résidence Concorde: Located next to the Canal du Midi, a 15-minute walk from the Capitole. Modern double room and design from 100 € per night, breakfast at 12 €. The most: the rich breakfast, the calm, the comfort of the equipments, the decoration of the rooms. This is our favorite for its benefit / price ratio!
- Villa du Taur: Hotel located between Place du Capitole and Basilique Saint-Sernin. Double room decorated with great taste from € 140, breakfast € 21. Most: the ideal location, the staff very pleasant, the comfort of the rooms and bedding. Big favorite for the decoration of the rooms with the windows.
- The Cour des Consuls Toulouse Hotel and Spa – MGallery by Sofitel: This 5 * hotel is located next to the Bemberg Foundation Museum. Double room with ultra neat decoration, spacious and very modern from 260 €, breakfast 26 €. The most: a place of exception, the perfect breakfast, the quality of services. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Toulouse!
Good addresses for a weekend in Toulouse
Restaurants in Toulouse
Cozy atmosphere and tempting menu with vegetarian, organic, locavore and varied dishes!
Varied recipes and quality local products. It is a restaurant that also serves as a tea room. The place is cozy with benches full of cushions, right next to the Basilica of Saint Sernin. The welcome is friendly, enough to have a good time during your visit to the city.
- Price: €€
- Official Site
An excellent gastronomic address not to be missed during your weekend in Toulouse. Located in a very beautiful red brick building. The team is caring and warm.
The chef is originally from Toulouse and studied abroad, particularly in Asia, where he draws inspiration in his cuisine for an authentic and tasty result.
- Price: €€€
- Official Site
As its name does not say, it is an excellent Korean restaurant. Associations of flavors, very friendly staff and a pleasant setting, the Saint Cyprien district.
In short, the essential ingredients to have a good time.
- Price: €€
- Official Site
Bars in Toulouse
La Cale Seche
Cocktails, rums, delicious punches to spend an evening with friends or lovers. A good downtown bar close to the capitol. The decor is original. It is a wooden schooner set with hammocks, barrels, swings and lifebuoys for the sailors. The atmosphere is festive and warm.
- Prices: €
The George & Dragon
Place du Peyrou, near the University of Arsenal, the George & Dragon pub is a landmark of hyper festive students. Good-natured atmosphere to drink an unpretentious beer and have a good time.
- Prices: €
Le beer garden
A little piece of Germany in the South West of France! It’s friendly and delicious! A pub with snack boards, good beer. It’s good and friendly, located in the Grande Rue Saint Michel.
- Prices: €
Conclusion on a Weekend in Toulouse
Toulouse is a superb city, a hidden gem in the South West. It is best to plan three days to visit it, especially if you have transport time.
Architecture, history, park, local gastronomy, you will be seduced. In addition, it is exotic with the warm accent of the South West. You can also do many activities on site or move away from the city, especially if you like green tourism and gastronomy: Pyrenees, Garonne….
Enjoy your stay, you won’t be bored!