Toulouse is one of the largest cities in France dubbed the ‘Pink City’ or La Ville Rose – Rose meaning pink. The majority of the buildings are made from terra-cotta bricks but looking around you don’t really see the pink colour. After our recent visit to the incredible city, we’ve put together the Toulouse France ultimate guide to help you plan. Before we get down to what must see, here is a little history about why it is known as the pink city.
Toulouse France – La Ville Rose
For more than 200 thousand years Toulouse is La Ville Rose, the pink colour from back then is not the same as it today. 200 thousand-year ago it was about natural pigments of colours. When people are thinking about the pink colour, they are thinking the soil or clay for example. Toulouse was built with red bricks; the most important thing is this was the cheapest building material. When you walk through the town of Toulouse, you will notice that all the buildings are built with bricks.
Toulouse had no mountains or hills so there was no stone to use for building, they utilized what they had. The city has loads of clay which is what they used to make bricks. It was something cheap, free and available; sand, clay and water because Toulouse is close to the river.
Related: Best things in Toulouse
Toulouse France Ultimate Guide – Must See Places
During our visit to Toulouse, the weather was no favourable, after all it is still winter in Europe. Regardless we do not regret out spontaneous visit one bit and are eager to share what we got up to. The pink city has so much to offer but the rain restricted our plans, we decided to work with what we had. Here are some places you should definitely check out if you’re ever in the city.
*THE PAUL DUPUY MUSEUM* .. .. During our recent visit to #toulouse we made time to visit @museepauldupuy which we found very interesting indeed. They have permanent and temporary exhibitions from furniture to textiles. .. .. . . @visiteztoulouse . . #visiteztoulouse #explorers #travel #travelling #traveling #traveller #travelgram #travels #instatravel #traveldiaries #travelblogger #travelblog #traveladdict #igtravel #neverstopexploring #wanderlust #liveauthentic #lifeofadventure #natgeotravel #welltravelled #iamtb #searchfinddiscover #inspiringtravelpics
Museums – learn something!
Those who know me know I was never a history buff nor did I ever visit museums but I have changed. Over the last two years I have been enjoying checking out museums and learning something new. If you love learning something new whenever you visit a new city, we recommend checking out these museums. The following museums you can enter for free with a Toulouse Tourist Pass.
- Toulouse Museum – a natural history museum opened to the public since 1865 and a must visit.
- Augustine Museum – a fine arts museum with various collections including sculptures and paintings
- Paul-Dupuy Museum – municipal museum which houses many art collections some belonging to Paul Dupuy.
Can you imagine having your #wedding here? Just look at all of this gorgeous #art on the walls and the #statues are something else altogether. . . . We really enjoyed the tour of the #capitoletoulouse and learn of the #history of the town. . . . #visiteztoulouse #toulouse #pinkcity #frenchcity #abmlifeisbeautiful #bbctravel #travelawesome #travelblogging #traveldiary #travelgram #travellife #travelphoto #travelphotography #travelpics #traveltheworld
Regardless of the weather, here we share some of the monuments across the city that are definitely a must see. Whilst this list is not conclusive, it is definitely a great place start as you work your way through the city.
- Le Capitole: An old institution dating from the 12th century, the building itself dates from 1750 and houses the city hall. Since the 18th century it has been home to the theatre and the city hall, an important place for Toulousans.
- Basilique Saint Sernin: Added to the UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1998, it is the only Abbey still standing. It is the largest remaining Romanesque style church in Europe and sits on the old Abbey site. It is from the 11th century and is a resting place of a bishop and martyr from the 3rd century.
- Cathedrale Saint-Etienne: Also know as Toulouse Cathedral, a Roman Catholic church in the city. It was built between the 13th and 17th centuries, it is a combination of northern and southern Gothic styles.
A city like Toulouse should not only be spent visiting this and that but must be explored from corner to corner. I loved that our hotel Albert 1er was located a mere few minutes from the largest shopping street. Though I rarely spend time shopping on my travels, there is no denying it in Toulouse. There are two must visit places that I recommend;
- Victor Hugo Market: It is one of the most prestigious markets in France, famous for its gourmet stalls plus restaurants. Definitely venture upstairs and try out some of the local delicacies like foie gras and cassoulet.
- Stroll along River Garonne: This is a must do especially if you want to truly appreciate Pont Neuf. It is the oldest bridge in Toulouse and it was constructed in the 1500s.
When people tell you how delightful this city is, you don’t truly understand just how much until you visit. We were pleasantly surprised by the city and hope the Toulouse France Ultimate Guide has given you the flavour. It is a must see city in France, make sure to add it to your bucketlist.