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Toulouse is a city in southwestern France, near the Pyrenees, in the Midi-Pyrenees region, half way between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France, after Paris, Marseille and Lyon and is renown as a city of rugby and violets.
Regular scheduled domestic and international flights arrive at Blagnac airport, 11 km west of downtown Toulouse. Air France operates flights to/from Paris flight time of approximately 30 minutes.
To get to the city from the airport, you can take the "Shuttle Bus" to either the main bus/train station, or the Jean Jaures or Jeanne D'Arc metro stations in the city center. The journey takes 20-30 minutes and the bus operates every 20 minutes.
Toulouse is a big city, but the historical centre is quite small, so you can walk to most destinations in the inner city quite comfortably. This is definitely the best way to explore the city.
By bus, tramway or metro
Tisseo operates a network of bus, tramway and metro lines throughout the city.
A free shuttle bus circles the historic centre of the city throughout the day on all days except Sunday. These buses are usually green and don't have set stops, so if you see one, flag it down.
The metro is relatively small, there are two lines, one going east-west (line A), and the other going north-south (B), but is modern and easy-to-use.
You should avoid going downtown with a car, as parking spaces are limited. One good option is to drive to a metro station just outside of of the center and park there, then head downtown by metro.
What to see
Toulouse has a small center, and you can reach most interesting places in the downtown area comfortably on foot.
Basilique Saint Sernin - a church from the 11th Century, partly restored by the famous french architect Viollet-le-Duc.
Hôtel d'Assézat - one of the most appealing of the many old mansions of the city
Capitole - the imposing and palatial town hall and theater, its beautiful facade facing onto the grand Place du Capitole
Pont-Neuf - the only old bridge across the Garonne river; built between 1544 and 1626
Le Couvent des Jacobins, place des jacobins. The church part is very interesting as its beautiful and typical paintings have been preserved, and contains Thomas Aquinas' relics. You will see an unusual and very high "palm tree" shaped column sustaining the roof, proof of the old european mastery of building techniques.
Les Abattoirs Modern Arts museum, and there is also a nice garden with a nice view on the Garonne
Georges Labit Museum Asian arts and Egyptian antiquities museum in an exotic and Mediterranean garden built in 1893, 17 rue du Japon
Canal du Midi. The Canal du Midi or Canal des Deux Mers is a 240 km long canal in the south of France, le Midi. The canal connects the Garonne River to the Étang de Thau on the Mediterranean. The Canal du Midi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
What to Do
Peniche Baladine Boat Tours. Take a boat trip down the Garonne River and/or through the canals leading to the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
Walk through the city and along the Canal du Midi or along the Garonne river from St Pierre bridge and Pont-neuf during the evening.
Party at St Pierre Place: very popular among Toulouse's students
The Toulouse Alternative Arts Scene
La Dynamo is a club located in a former sex club and a great place to see live bands and other performances - ça bouge! Located in the city centre at 6 rue Amélie.
Les Motivées is an association that is very active on the political and social scene in Toulouse, and that organises or takes part in many free events, strikes, concerts, etc. throughout the year. They founded a political party a few years ago that is pretty active locally and holds a few positions with the City Hall Council.
La Grainerie is more particularly dedicated to circus and was first created and settled on derelict brown land ; it hosts various collectives of artists every year.