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What to Do in Toulouse this Summer

Couple dancing Tango in Toulouse

What to Do in Toulouse this Summer

As the sun shines bright and the warm breeze sweeps through the city, Toulouse becomes a lively and enchanting place to spend the summer months. 

Whether you are a foodie, a backpacker, a sports fan, or someone who just loves to soak in the culture, Toulouse has something for everyone. At Taste of Toulouse, we know how to best enjoy the city while the weather is at its best. 

Here are our top picks for an unforgettable summer in Toulouse. And while you’re with us, be sure to explore our selection of delicious Toulouse Walking Tours

People enjoying picnics in Guinguette in Toulouse

Relax at a Guinguette

What better way to embrace French culture than spending a lazy afternoon or evening at a guinguette? These charming open-air establishments are perfect for enjoying a meal or drink by the water, often accompanied by music, dancing – or even pètanque. 

Toulouse is home to numerous picturesque guinguettes that should be on your list this summer. To discover more about the world of guinguettes in Toulouse and outdoor dining experiences in the city, check out our previous blog article on Outdoor Bars and Restaurants to Visit This Summer in Toulouse

Hit the “Beach” (Toulouse Plages)

Imagine lounging on a beach, playing beach volleyball, or dancing with the locals, all within the city limits! Toulouse Plages transforms the Prairie des Filtres into a bustling beachfront with endless summer activities from late July to late August. 

Entry is free, and there is something for everyone. Kids can enjoy dedicated activities while adults indulge in sports like badminton or beach volleyball or relax in spaces with lounge chairs.

Don’t forget to cool down with the water misters or learn something new on the dance floor, where you can participate in dance, yoga, martial arts, and more. 

There is also a board game area for those who prefer quiet time. With all this and more, Toulouse Plages is a must-visit summer destination. For more details on the event, check out the Toulouse Plages 2023 website. 

Pétanque Balls

Engage in a Game of Pétanque

When in the south of France, do as the locals do and engage in a friendly game of pétanque. Like bocce ball, pétanque is played with metallic balls on a gravel court and is an immensely popular pastime in the region. 

Toulouse offers various graveled areas perfect for playing pétanque, including Prairie des Filtres, Place Saint Sernin, Place du Salin, and Place du Ravelin. 

If you don’t have your own balls, fret not! 

Head over to Pétanque des Copains, an outdoor bar and restaurant near the pétanque courts on the Esplanade Alain Savary. Here, you can rent a set of balls and enjoy refreshments and food, making for an authentic Toulouse experience.

People having dinner in Place du Capitole

Savor a Cassoulet at the Place du Capitole

If you’re a food lover, visiting Toulouse in early September is a must. The city comes alive with one of the most awaited festivals, Toulouse à Table. This gastronomic event features a delightful food truck evening and a gourmet village where you can sample artisan products. 

However, the festival’s crown jewel is undoubtedly the giant cassoulet banquet in the Place du Capitole. Cassoulet, a traditional dish from the region made with white beans and meat, is celebrated in all its glory. 

Surrounded by the historic charm of the Place du Capitole, this is an unforgettable experience for the taste buds.

The Garonne River at Sunset

Enjoy an Apero or Take a Dinner Cruise Along the Garonne

For a different perspective of Toulouse, why not explore the city from its river? Peniche Horizon, moored at Quai de la Daurade, offers an incredible experience in the heart of Toulouse.

As you float along the Garonne River, you’ll be greeted with picturesque views, including the dome of La Grave and charming barges, while enjoying a refreshing apéro (pre-dinner drinks) or a seated dinner. 

The hosts, natives of Toulouse, are passionate about showcasing the city from a new angle and contributing to local dynamism by offering products sourced locally.

The floating restaurant serves contemporary cuisine inspired by Mediterranean flavors. This is not just a meal but an exquisite journey through the city’s landscapes and flavors. 

Catch an Outdoor Movie at the Cinémathèque de Toulouse

For film enthusiasts or those simply looking for a laid-back evening under the stars, the Cinémathèque de Toulouse has got you covered. During the months of July and August, the Cinémathèque hosts its annual Cinema en Plein Air festival, showcasing a range of movies in their courtyard. 

What’s special is that all movies are shown in their original language with French subtitles. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic or a recent release, the lineup usually has a good mix, including English language films. 

There’s something magical about watching a film in the open air, surrounded by fellow movie lovers and the gentle summer breeze. 

For details on the film schedule and other information, visit the official page here.

Couple dancing Tango in Toulouse
(Source: Tangopostale)

Get Swept Away by Tango in Toulouse

Tango in Toulouse? Absolutely! The city has a rich tango culture, thanks in part to being the birthplace of Carlos Gardel, the renowned French-Argentine tango musician. Each summer, Toulouse hosts Tangopostale, a week-long festival celebrating all things tango. 

With an array of free events, workshops, and dances in several of Toulouse’s squares, it’s an opportunity to shimmy into the vibrant world of tango. 

But that’s not all! 

Throughout the summer, you can find weekly tango dances at places like Place Saint Georges on Saturday evenings in June (including a free lesson!), the bandstand in the Grand Rond garden on Sunday evenings in July, and pop-up events at squares like the Place du Capitole. (Check the latest listings at Tanueando.)

Take Our Toulouse Wine Bar Tour

Need an escape from the summer heat? Our Toulouse Wine Bar Tour is the perfect solution. We visit a selection of wine bars, all equipped with air conditioning or cool basements, where you can sip on exquisite local wines and nibble on cheese and charcuterie in comfort. 

You’ll find respite from the heat as you indulge your senses in the flavors and ambiance. This enjoyable outing offers a perfect communal space for friends to convene over pre-dinner drinks and appetizers.

Stay Cool with These Tips

The Toulouse summer can get quite warm, especially during mid-day. Here are some tips to stay cool:

Embrace the “sieste”: Take a leisurely nap during the hottest part of the day, around 3-5 pm. Plan your activities for the morning and evening and indulge in this delightful French tradition.

Use water misters: Many restaurants in Toulouse have water misters on their outdoor terraces. They provide shade with umbrellas and spray a gentle mist of water to keep you cool. Additionally, pick up a small spray bottle of water from a pharmacy. Opt for a refillable one for an eco-friendly option.

– Indulge in a cool treat: Nothing helps with the heat like delicious ice cream. Check out our previous blog post on the best places to get ice cream in Toulouse.

Unmissable Toulouse Walking Tours…

Toulouse in summer truly offers a treasure trove of experiences, from the lively Toulouse Plages and tango dances to gourmet adventures and river cruises. Whatever style of traveler you are, you’ll find an array of events and experiences await you in Toulouse this summer.

For the foodies among you, we recommend joining on one of our delicious Toulouse Walking Tours.

Begin planning your summer trip in Toulouse now. And if you have any questions at all, please get in touch.

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