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25 Top Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Toulouse

25 Top Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Toulouse

Looking for things to do in Toulouse? This list is designed to help you discover the city’s charming architecture, hubs of cultural activity, and the welcoming atmosphere of the many restaurants and cafes. Whether you feel like exploring museums boasting first-rate collections, enjoying the city’s lively markets, or relaxing in picturesque gardens or by the River Garonne, each recommendation offers an authentic slice of life in Toulouse. 

Get ready to dive into the city’s old-world allure and memorable attractions — there are choices for every kind of traveler, from the solo gourmand to the parent looking to entertain kids. If you feel we’ve missed something that needs to be on this list, let us know. And please be sure to check out our very own Walking Tours and Foodie Experiences in Toulouse.  

Halle de la Machine

Step into the theatrical world of La Halle de La Machine, located on the historic Piste des Géants, the Giant’s Runway, where the pioneers of airmail once took flight. Discover hypnotizing street theater machines as you listen to tales of creatures wrought from wood and steel, and embark on journeys aboard mechanical beasts like the Minotaur and the Spider.

Jardin Japonais

Enjoy a revitalizing escape at Toulouse’s Jardin Japonais, an enchanting Japanese garden designed in the Kyoto style from the 14th to 16th centuries. It features a tea pavilion, a picturesque wooden red bridge, and various traditional elements promoting meditation, rest, and time spent connecting with our natural world.

Wander or picnic along the Garonne

Enjoy a scenic stroll or a leisurely picnic along the River Garonne. This vibrant spot busy with locals transforms with the seasons, offering lively water activities in the summer and tranquil, natural beauty during the quieter months of spring, autumn, and winter. There’s nowhere better to sit and enjoy Toulouse’s magnificent local produce found at the city’s markets (read our 5 Best Markets in Toulouse and find out where to get delicious treats for your picnic). 

Eat at the food court at Halles de la Cartoucherie

Halles de la Cartoucherie, a bustling food court set in repurposed munitions workshops, offers a variety of gourmet experiences in Toulouse. Enjoy twelve market stalls, ten street food outlets, and three bars where you can watch sports, enjoy cultural activities, or even get some work done in its coworking space.

Salle des Illustres and Salle Henri Martin at the Place du Capitole

The Salle des Illustres, located within the neoclassical Capitole building in the city center of Toulouse, features sculptures of notable local figures that offer a window into Toulouse’s history, while the Salle Henri Martin is adorned with ten grand canvases by Henri Martin, including four wonderful panels representing the seasons. A bonus — this marvelous monument offers free access to visitors.

 Basilica of Saint Sernin

The Basilica of Saint Sernin, a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a stop on the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago de Compostela. Its elegant structure features a remarkable octagonal bell tower and houses a wealth of saints’ relics in its crypt.

Couvent des Jacobins

The Couvent des Jacobins is a popular cultural spot for Toulouse residents, offering a blend of guided tours, performances, and exhibitions. This medieval convent, steeped in the history of the Dominican brothers, continues to enchant visitors with its rich programming and lovingly maintained architecture.

Wander into the courtyard of a hôtel particulier for fabulous photos 

Step into the beautiful courtyard of the Hôtel d’Assezat, a hôtel particulier, or grand mansion in Toulouse. This 16th-century building houses the Fondation Bemberg, which displays a fabulous variety of art exhibits.

Hire VélÔToulouse Bikes and Cycle the Canal du Midi

VélÔToulouse is the city’s main option for bike rentals, with rental stations dotted across the city. Download their app, pick up a bike, and enjoy a delightful, health-giving cycle along the peaceful Canal du Midi. Nothing soothes the spirit like quiet time spent among greenery, accompanied by the music of flowing water – just be sure to switch out your bike at a rental station every 30 minutes if you want to keep your rental fees low.

Marché Victor Hugo

Discover the stomach of Toulouse at Marché Victor Hugo, where local vendors offer a vast array of regional foods and delicacies. 

Learn about the stories behind the different sellers and the foods local to Toulouse while sampling regional cheeses, charcuterie, and wines by joining us on a Guided Victor Hugo Market Tour in Toulouse.

Take a ride on the télépherique for the best view of Toulouse

Elevate your experience in Toulouse with a ride on the télépherique! This cable car opened in 2022 and provides visitors with excellent views over the city. A ride on Europe’s longest aerial tramway is a fun – and relatively inexpensive – activity for those traveling with children. 

Walk through a Concorde jet and a Super Guppy at Aeroscopia

Tour the Aeroscopia museum to step foot inside a Concorde jet and the large Super Guppy aircraft, offering a unique glimpse into aviation history and the technological advances in aircraft design. A top choice for any engineering or airplane enthusiast. 

Visit the Toulouse Observatory

The Toulouse Observatory offers public tours on Friday evenings and astronomical events, providing insights into the universe with its historic telescopes. It’s an educational visit where you can learn about space and observe celestial phenomena firsthand.

Experience 3Gs of atmospheric pressure during a space launch at the Cité de l’Espace

At Cité de l’Espace, you will be thrilled by the breathtaking space launch, feeling the powerful 32Gs of atmospheric pressure for an immersive multi-sensory astronaut experience. Along with Toulouse’s observatory, this will provide a memorable trip for anyone passionate about space. 

Go to a rugby match at the Stade Ernest-Wallon

Experience the electrifying atmosphere of a rugby match at Stade Ernest-Wallon, the stronghold of Toulouse rugby. Feel the local passion and join fans in cheering for the home team. Our Rugby Fan’s Guide to Visiting Toulouse will provide you with further information.

Explore the Toulouse Natural History Museum

Engage with the natural world at the Toulouse Natural History Museum, where extensive exhibits cover paleontology, ethnology, and mineralogy, making it an ideal destination for educational exploration for visitors of all ages.

Attend a performance at Théâtre du Capitole

Enjoy an evening at Théâtre du Capitole, where spectacular performances of opera and ballet take place in a grand setting, highlighting the strength of Toulouse’s cultural scene and its dedication to the performing arts. And if you’ve never enjoyed the romance of attending an opera, Toulouse would be an incredible destination to change that! 

Get lost in the winding streets of the city center

Delight in the charm of Toulouse by meandering through its labyrinthine city center. Opt for our guided Chocolate & Pastry Tour of Toulouse to uncover both culinary secrets and architectural treasures. Or, if traveling in a group, why not spend the evening exploring the city’s wine bar scene on our Wine Bars of Toulouse Tour

Drink an aperitif at Au Père Louis

Visit Au Père Louis, one of Toulouse’s oldest bars which has been frequented by locals since 1889, to enjoy a classic aperitif in a listed historic monument. If you want to try the aperitif the premises are most famous for, order le quinquina.

Visit Saint Aubin Food and Flea Market

Taking place every Sunday between 7 AM and 2 PM, the Saint Aubin Market offers fantastic local produce from local sellers and great shopping. Browse the vintage books, locally-made crafts and jewelry, and find something unique to take home. 

Kayak on the River Garonne

Take a kayaking trip on the River Garonne to experience Toulouse from a fresh perspective. This activity offers a mix of relaxation and adventure, providing a unique vantage point of the city’s scenic banks and historic bridges. Granhota offers 1-hour guided kayak tours on the Garonne during the summer months.

Explore the Quartier Saint-Cyprien

Quartier Saint-Cyprien is a popular neighborhood on the left bank of the Garonne that’s always buzzing with life. The area is known for its local markets and village feel. Experience its eclectic charm by visiting art galleries, sampling food at local eateries, and browsing the shops. Don’t miss out on visiting Cacaofages – one of our favorite chocolate shops which features stunning chocolate sculptures and some of the best hot chocolate in Toulouse.

Check out the Musée Saint-Raymond

Musée Saint-Raymond specializes in Roman antiquities and archaeological findings from the Toulouse region. Located near the Basilica of Saint-Sernin, it offers guests a window into the ancient past of the region — a must-visit for history buffs.

Attend a football match at the Stadium de Toulouse

Feel the passion of Toulouse’s football fans at the Stadium de Toulouse. Attending a live match will immerse you in an electrifying atmosphere, showcasing the local obsession for sports. Trust us, Toulouse fan culture is something else!

Explore the Pont Neuf at night

The Pont Neuf, Toulouse’s oldest bridge, is a beautiful sight when illuminated after dark. Walking across this historic structure gives delightful views of the city lit up against the night sky. A lovely spot for an after-dinner stroll. 

If you can believe it, in and around all of these activities, there is still time to explore Toulouse at your own pace, exploring the shops, restaurants, and bars. With so much on offer, you will find Toulouse to be the perfect summer vacation destination you need. If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you’d like to get to know the city better with a guided experience, consider a Taste of Toulouse Walking Food Tour.   


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