How to get to Toulouse from Paris
Aware that many visitors to Toulouse will be exploring other destinations during their visit to France, we’ve compiled this guide to traveling from Paris to Toulouse.
This guide provides simple options for traveling between these two great French destinations.
Paris to Toulouse by Train
Traveling by train is an experience in itself. With the world-renowned TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse), you can travel up to 320 km/h (200 mph), making the journey from Paris to Toulouse swift and enjoyable.
Taking the direct TGV from Paris to Toulouse is our preferred method of travel between the two cities, as it can be just as fast as flying when you consider how early you have to arrive at the airport and the time it takes to get to and from the airport into the city center on both ends of the trip – plus it’s much less hassle and more leg room!
Paris Gare de Lyon: Located in the 12th arrondissement, this historic station is the primary starting point for trains heading towards southern and eastern France.
Paris Montparnasse: Nestled in the 15th arrondissement, Montparnasse caters to trains moving towards western and southwestern France.
Paris Austerlitz: Situated in the 13th arrondissement, Austerlitz serves trains heading to central and southern parts of France, making it another viable option for travelers heading to Toulouse.
Destination train station in Toulouse: Upon arriving in Toulouse, you’ll disembark at the Toulouse-Matabiau station. It’s a hub that’s conveniently situated near the city center, connecting you to various parts of the city and the surrounding region.
Duration, frequency, and comfort level: The direct TGV train ride typically takes about 4 to 5 hours. With multiple departures daily, you can choose a time that best suits your schedule. Opt for 1st class if you desire more legroom and complimentary meals or 2nd class for a cost-effective yet comfortable trip.
Pro tip: We usually opt for 2nd class tickets, as we don’t think that you get enough added benefits to justify the cost of 1st class. 2nd Class seating is pretty much just as comfortable!
If you want to save on a night in a hotel and have a unique experience, you may also wish to take a night train. The SNCF Intercités de Nuit runs a night train from Paris to Toulouse with reclining seats, and 6-bed (2nd class) or 4-bed (1st class) couchettes compartments.
Reclining seats offer spacious legroom and a 45-degree recline, while couchette compartments provide comfort with bedding and amenity bags.
For added privacy, passengers can book a private compartment at an extra charge, and there’s also a provision for bicycles with mandatory reservations.
Benefits of train travel: Beyond the speed and efficiency, one of the major perks of traveling by train is the scenic views it can offer. Gaze out of the window to see the picturesque French countryside whizzing by, from rolling fields to charming towns and villages. Train travel is also one of the most environmentally friendly travel options.
Booking platforms and ticket options: Booking is made easy with platforms like SNCF’s official website and mobile apps such as Trainline and Omio. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure the best prices and seats. Train tickets usually become available 3 months in advance.
Flights from Paris to Toulouse
Flying offers the quickest way to bridge the distance between the capital and Toulouse. Although air costs have gone up of late, you can still find affordable tickets if you book in advance.
Charles de Gaulle (CDG): Located in Roissy, this is Paris’s main international hub. Many flights to Toulouse depart from here.
Orly (ORY): Situated south of Paris, Orly handles a mix of domestic and international flights, including routes to Toulouse.
Your Destination airport in Toulouse: Flights from Paris will land at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS). Located just 8 km from the city center, there are several convenient ways to get into town, including trams, buses, and taxis. If you’d like to learn more about ways to get around Toulouse once you are in the city, read our blog, How to Get Around Toulouse.
Duration and frequency: The flight time between Paris and Toulouse is roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes. Both airports in Paris offer numerous daily direct flights to Toulouse, making it easy to find a suitable option regardless of your schedule.
Airlines: Major carriers like Air France operate frequent services between the cities. Budget airlines, such as EasyJet, also offer direct routes, which can be more cost-effective (but double-check the luggage allowances!).
Costs: Flight prices vary significantly based on booking time, airline choice, and season. Early booking often results in more competitive prices, but last-minute deals can sometimes be found. Always compare prices across multiple platforms.
Paris to Toulouse by Bus
Buses offer an affordable and eco-friendly option for travelers from Paris to Toulouse without breaking the bank. The journey will always be longer than a flight or fast train, but you’re guaranteed a cheaper fare.
Leading bus service providers: Companies such as FlixBus and Ouibus have established themselves as reliable and popular choices for long-distance travel in France.
Pick-up locations in Paris: Most buses depart from Bercy Seine, a bus station located in the eastern part of Paris, though some may have different points of departure. Always double-check your ticket or booking confirmation.
Drop-off in Toulouse: Upon arrival in Toulouse, buses usually stop at the main bus station, located adjacent to the Toulouse-Matabiau train station.
Duration and comfort level: Bus journeys between the two cities can take anywhere from 7 to 10 hours, depending on the provider and the number of stops. Modern buses often feature amenities like free Wi-Fi, power outlets, and reclining seats to make the journey more pleasant.
Cost-effectiveness: Typically, buses are a more economical choice compared to trains and flights. To score the best deals, book your tickets well in advance and avoid peak travel times.
Paris to Toulouse by Car
Due to gas and petrol prices, driving to Toulouse is a less economical option than the train, bus, or flight bought well in advance. However, if you’ve rented a cart to explore France, this may be an option you go with. Below are some key pieces of information for driving from Paris to Toulouse.
- Route details and estimated driving time: The most straightforward route is taking the A20 motorway, covering approximately 680 kilometers (420 miles). Without major stops, you’re looking at a drive time of about 6-7 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
- Potential pit stops and attractions along the way: En route, you might want to consider stops in cities like Limoges, known for its fine porcelain, and Cahors, famous for its medieval bridge and rich red wines.
- Toll roads and costs associated: The French highway system is primarily toll-based. The cost of tolls from Paris to Toulouse can vary but expect to pay around €30-€40. Ensure you have some cash or a credit card handy for these toll booths.
- Car rental options in Paris: Numerous car rental agencies operate in Paris, including international names like Avis, Hertz, and Europcar. Always check for any specific requirements or restrictions, particularly if you plan to drop the vehicle off in Toulouse.
Car-Sharing with BlaBlaCar
For those keen on an eco-friendly, social, and cost-effective mode of transportation, BlaBlaCar presents a good option. As Europe’s leading carpooling platform, BlaBlaCar connects drivers traveling from one city to another with passengers heading the same way.
This reduces the number of cars on the road and offers a unique chance to connect with locals and fellow travelers.
Travelers in Paris can easily find numerous rides to Toulouse on the platform, making it a flexible option suitable for last-minute plans. While prices are generally lower than most other modes of transport, it’s essential to review the driver’s profile, ratings, and car details before confirming a ride.
Plan Your Toulouse Trip
Whether you want to soak in the beauty of the French countryside by train, enjoy the liberty of a road trip, or save on costs with a bus, you’ll find plenty of travel options for your journey between Paris and Toulouse.
Planning a trip with multiple destinations? Read Six Simple Day Trips from Toulouse for Inspiration.