Is Toulouse Safe at Night?
The fourth largest city in France, Toulouse offers a fabulous blend of old-world charm and vibrant modern living. The city’s iconic rugby and soccer teams attract large numbers of sports fans, while the city’s reputation as the number one student city in France means there are plenty of young residents hailing from across France and Europe.
Altogether, it’s an ideal destination for holidaymakers in France. The city offers a wealth of cultural treasures, markets, green spaces, and first-class cafes and bars for a short visit. For more extended stays, Toulouse is an excellent basecamp from which to explore the beauty of the south of France, being within a comfortable driving distance of mountains, the sea, and wine regions. (Read our 12 Days in the South of France blog for inspiration.)
But a natural question to ask, wherever you happen to be traveling, is, “Is it safe?” With many guests visiting Toulouse’s sensational wine bars and hip bars, we decided to share some local guidance on safety concerns in the city and staying safe at night in particular.
Continue reading to see how Toulouse’s crime rates and safety issues compared to other French cities. And, while here, please browse our full range of Toulouse Walking Food Tours.
Safety in Toulouse – the General Picture
Toulouse is a pleasantly walkable city that welcomes international visitors throughout the year. The destination is particularly popular with students, rugby fans, and wine enthusiasts. Although the fourth-largest city in France, you’ll never feel overwhelmed by the size of Toulouse. It offers plenty of things to see and do but doesn’t intimidate with its scale in the way Paris or London might.
Generally speaking, you can visit Toulouse confident that you’re in a safe, modern European city. You do not have to worry about high levels of street violence, gun crime, or even natural disasters and diseases as you may have with specific international destinations. In a French context, you’re looking at a city with comparable safety concerns to Bordeaux or Strasbourg.
Keeping yourself safe in Toulouse essentially comes down to following common sense travel guidance and vigilance. When using sites such as Numbeo to check reported crime rates in Toulouse, you’ll find the city receives middling scores on most issues – about what to expect of most European cities of significant size.
The good news is that in Toulouse, most crime statistics come from petty crimes, which are normally carried out in certain isolated parts of the city. As a visitor to the city, we recommend using caution around central train station – the Gare Matabiau – as thefts and muggings can be more common in the area than in others. If traveling through the central station, keep a close eye on your belongings and keep your wits about you if approached.
However, there does tend to be a stronger police presence in this area, due to the nature of the heavy traffic around the train station, so sticking to brightly-lit, public areas will greatly reduce the chance of anything happening. (Browse the Taste of Toulouse blog for tips on where to go, including Favorite Places in Toulouse, as Selected by Locals.)
Toulouse at Night: Staying Safe
The risk of muggings and thefts does understandably increase in Toulouse at night. However, you will find the central neighborhoods busy with revelers until late into the night and you will feel safe.
As a company specializing in Toulouse Walking Food Tours, it should come as no surprise that we love nothing more than exploring the city on foot. However, if you’re walking between locations at night, traveling in a group or taking a taxi will offer added safety, especially if you’re unsure of the area. The city’s taxis are efficient and safe – it’s always preferable to pay a small sum for a cab ride rather than end up lost in areas you don’t know.
Districts like Le Mirail, La Farouette, Les Isards, and Bagatelle have a reputation for being less safe at night, so exercise caution if exploring these areas. In the center, Place Arnaud Bernaud and areas around the Gare Matabiau, including the Rue de Bayard, can experience higher levels of street crime, so do remember to be vigilant.
Essentially, Toulouse throws up the same safety concerns you’d expect in any reasonably sized city. Do your research, keep an eye on your belongings, and avoid entering areas you are unsure of, and you are unlikely to encounter any problems.
Get to Know the City with a Toulouse Walking Tour
Toulouse is a very safe city when taken on the whole. There are no natural disasters to worry about, gun violence is rare, and solo female travelers will feel as safe as in any modern European city.
The major concerns to bear in mind are pickpockets and the threat of street muggings. Keep your belongings with you at all times and pay particular attention to your possessions when in busy tourist areas.
When traveling at night, be sure that you are not wandering into isolated neighborhoods or districts you don’t know. If you have moderate to long distances to travel at night, it’s best to travel in a group or by taxi.
By taking sensible precautions, you’re unlikely to experience difficulties and will be able to enjoy the best this beautiful southern city has to offer.