things to do in toulouse

Welcome to Toulouse, a vibrant city in the south of France! Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or a foodie, Toulouse has something for everyone. With a rich history and a blend of art, architecture, and gastronomy, this charming city offers an array of attractions and activities to explore.

From iconic landmarks to picturesque gardens, there are countless things to do in Toulouse. Discover the historical significance of the Capitole de Toulouse, visit the beautiful Japanese Garden for a peaceful escape, and keep an eye out for fascinating art installations, such as the “L’Enfant au bonnet d’âne” on Pont Neuf bridge.

Immerse yourself in the architectural beauty of the Basilica of Saint-Sernin and capture stunning photographs of its bell tower. Take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Garonne River and enjoy the scenic views, or explore the vibrant indoor market, Marché Victor Hugo, where you can indulge in local produce and specialties.

Toulouse is a city that seamlessly blends history with a vibrant atmosphere, making it one of the best destinations in France. So, whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer stay, make sure to visit these toulouse attractions and experience the best the city has to offer.

Stay tuned for more articles on Toulouse’s top sights and activities!

Things to Do in Toulouse

Discover the architectural marvel of the Capitole de Toulouse, a must-visit attraction in the heart of the city. Serving as the iconic town hall, this neoclassical masterpiece stands proudly in Toulouse’s historic center.

Step inside for free and be captivated by the grandeur of the Salle des Illustres rooms. Admire the intricate decorations and be awe-inspired by the impressive paintings that adorn the walls.

The Capitole de Toulouse is a testament to the city’s unique architectural heritage. Its magnificent façade and elegant design showcase the splendor of Toulouse’s rich history. As you explore this remarkable building, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s cultural and artistic significance.

Capitole de Toulouse

“The Capitole de Toulouse is a true gem in the city, combining history, art, and architecture in a breathtaking way.” – Local resident

Begin your journey of exploration in Toulouse by starting at the Capitole de Toulouse. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant atmosphere and get a taste of its architectural splendor.

Relax in the Japanese Garden

For a tranquil retreat in the heart of Toulouse, head to the Japanese Garden located in Compans-Caffarelli Park. Created in 1981, this beautiful garden offers a serene atmosphere with its arched bridges, manicured lawns, and green trees. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll, find a peaceful spot to read a book, or simply take in the beauty of the surroundings. The Japanese Garden is a hidden gem in Toulouse and a perfect place to relax and unwind.

Escape to Tranquility

The Japanese Garden in Toulouse provides a peaceful escape from the bustling city life. Surrounded by nature and meticulously designed landscapes, this garden offers a tranquil environment where visitors can find solace and rejuvenation. The sound of trickling water from the garden’s streams and ponds further adds to the calming ambiance, creating a perfect respite from the stresses of everyday life.

“The Japanese Garden in Toulouse is a slice of serenity in the midst of a vibrant city. It’s a place where you can forget about your worries and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.” – Local Resident

Exploring the Garden

As you enter the Japanese Garden, you’ll be greeted by a sense of tranquility and harmony. The carefully curated landscape features traditional elements such as pagodas, lanterns, and stone paths, reflecting the essence of Japanese gardening principles. These design elements, combined with the vibrant colors of the plant life, create a visually stunning and serene environment.

Take a leisurely stroll along the garden’s pathways, crossing the arched bridges that span its peaceful streams. Find a quiet corner to sit and admire the beauty around you. Let the tranquility of the garden wash over you as you take a moment to recharge and appreciate the natural world. The Japanese Garden offers a peaceful escape that is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.

Events and Activities

The Japanese Garden not only provides a serene atmosphere, but it also hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year. From cultural festivals to art exhibitions, there’s always something happening in this enchanting space. Visitors can immerse themselves in Japanese culture and traditions while enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the garden.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful escape in Toulouse, the Japanese Garden is a must-visit destination. Lose yourself in the tranquility of this hidden gem and discover a slice of serenity in the heart of the city.

Spot the child with a dunce’s cap

When crossing the Pont Neuf bridge in Toulouse, keep an eye out for a unique art installation called “L’Enfant au bonnet d’âne.” Created by artist James Colomina in 2017, this installation features a red figure of a child wearing a dunce’s cap. It serves as a representation of those who have been marginalized or isolated from society. The Pont Neuf is not only a historic bridge but also a place to discover intriguing works of art.

L'Enfant au bonnet d'âne

Don’t forget to stop and admire this thought-provoking art piece while enjoying the scenic views of the Pont Neuf. The juxtaposition of the historic bridge and the contemporary installation adds to the charm and cultural significance of this area.

Photograph the tower of St Sernin

The Basilica of Saint-Sernin, located in Toulouse, is a must-see landmark and one of the city’s most iconic attractions. Its distinctive bell tower stands tall, commanding attention and offering a picturesque view that photography enthusiasts will appreciate. This Romanesque church, the largest of its kind in France, presents a captivating backdrop for capturing stunning images.

“The tower of Saint-Sernin is a true gem in Toulouse’s architectural landscape. Its grandeur and unique design make it a perfect subject for photography.”

As you photograph the tower, you’ll notice how the peach brick facade subtly contrasts against the deep blue Toulouse sky, creating a visually striking composition. The intricate details of the tower’s structure and the play of light and shadow add depth to your images, enhancing their overall appeal. Experiment with different angles and explore the surrounding area to find the best vantage points for capturing the tower in all its glory.

Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a professional seeking breathtaking shots, the Basilica of Saint-Sernin offers a wealth of opportunities. Its architectural beauty and historical significance make it a captivating subject, providing a distinct sense of place and time to your photographs. Don’t miss the chance to add this remarkable landmark to your photography portfolio.

Basilica of Saint-Sernin tower

Notable Features of the Basilica of Saint-Sernin:

  • Magnificent bell tower offering picturesque views
  • Distinctive Romanesque architecture
  • Peach brick facade contrasting against the Toulouse sky
  • Opportunity to capture the intricate details and play of light and shadow

Soak up the views from the Garonne

The Garonne River meanders through the heart of Toulouse, offering breathtaking vistas and a serene ambiance. Whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely stroll, a riverside picnic, or simply some quiet contemplation, the riverbanks of the Garonne provide the perfect backdrop. Locals and tourists alike flock to this idyllic spot, especially during balmy summer evenings.

As you relax by the Garonne, be sure to take in the enchanting view of the Dôme de la Grave and the iconic Pont Saint-Pierre bridge. These magnificent landmarks add to the charm of the riverside area, creating a picturesque setting that is truly unforgettable.

So why not indulge in the scenic views of Toulouse from the banks of the Garonne River? It’s the perfect way to unwind, soak up the beauty of the city, and create lasting memories.

Browse the Victor Hugo Market

Experience the vibrant atmosphere and culinary delights of the Marché Victor Hugo, an indoor market in the heart of Toulouse. With over 75 stalls offering a wide variety of local produce and specialties, this market is a haven for food lovers.

Indulge your senses as you wander through the market’s bustling aisles, filled with the enticing aromas of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Discover an array of artisanal cheeses, locally sourced meats, and freshly baked bread. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and flavors of Toulouse’s gastronomic heritage.

Whether you’re a connoisseur looking to stock up on gourmet ingredients or simply seeking to sample the local fare, the Victor Hugo Market has something to satisfy every palate. Browse through the wide selection of wines, honey, spices, and other culinary treasures, sourced directly from the region.

Highlights of the Victor Hugo Market:

  • Over 75 stalls offering a diverse range of local produce and specialties.
  • Artisanal cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables, and locally sourced meats.
  • Aromatic spices, flavorful wines, and delectable confections.
  • Opportunity to interact with passionate local producers and vendors.
  • Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and vibrant colors of the market.

Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or simply looking to immerse yourself in the local culture, a visit to the Victor Hugo Market is a must-do when in Toulouse. Experience the rich culinary traditions, discover unique flavors, and take home a taste of Toulouse’s gastronomic heritage.


Toulouse, the Pink City of France, is a captivating destination that offers a diverse array of attractions and experiences for visitors. From its historic landmarks to its beautiful gardens, Toulouse has something to offer everyone. Whether you’re a lover of art, architecture, or simply enjoy immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of a charming city, Toulouse won’t disappoint.

One of the highlights of your visit should be exploring the magnificent Capitole de Toulouse, the town hall which showcases stunning neoclassical architecture. Additionally, find serenity in the Japanese Garden located within Compans-Caffarelli Park, a perfect place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Don’t miss spotting “L’Enfant au bonnet d’âne,” a captivating art installation on Pont Neuf bridge that serves as a representation of marginalized members of society. And for a picture-perfect moment, photograph the tower of St Sernin, the largest Romanesque church in France, against the vibrant Toulouse sky.

Finally, take a moment to soak up the picturesque views along the Garonne River. Whether you choose to stroll along the riverbanks or simply enjoy a leisurely picnic, the tranquil ambiance of the river adds to the charm of Toulouse.

In conclusion, Toulouse is a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty. With its varied attractions and welcoming atmosphere, it’s no wonder Toulouse is a favorite among travelers. So why wait? Plan your trip to Toulouse today and immerse yourself in all this enchanting city has to offer.


What are some popular attractions in Toulouse?

Some popular attractions in Toulouse include the Capitole de Toulouse, the Japanese Garden, the Basilica of Saint-Sernin, and the Garonne River.

What can I see at the Capitole de Toulouse?

At the Capitole de Toulouse, you can explore the Salle des Illustres rooms, known for their ornate decorations and impressive paintings.

Where can I find a peaceful retreat in Toulouse?

A peaceful retreat can be found at the Japanese Garden located in Compans-Caffarelli Park, which offers a serene atmosphere with its arched bridges and greenery.

What artwork can I discover on the Pont Neuf bridge?

On the Pont Neuf bridge, you can spot the unique art installation called “L’Enfant au bonnet d’âne,” created by artist James Colomina, which features a red figure of a child wearing a dunce’s cap.

What is special about the Basilica of Saint-Sernin?

The Basilica of Saint-Sernin is the largest Romanesque church in France and offers a stunning backdrop for photography with its distinctive bell tower and beautiful peach brick facade.

Where can I enjoy scenic views in Toulouse?

You can enjoy scenic views in Toulouse by taking a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Garonne River, which also provides a tranquil atmosphere.

What can I find at the Victor Hugo Market?

At the Victor Hugo Market, you can browse through over 75 stalls offering a variety of products, including fresh produce, cheeses, and wine. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local gastronomy.