The charming, pink tinged buildings of central Toulouse are what give it its moniker, 'La Ville Rose'. They stand close together, beside winding, cobbled lanes few cars dare to attempt. Making this a wonderful place to explore on foot. The charming Place du Capitole is at Toulouse's rose heart: a lovely square, lined with important halls, churches and municipal buildings.
The Garonne River splits the city in two, and most of the main sights are on the right bank, between the tree lined river and the Canal du Midi, which flows around the city's north east.
Most visitors start their visit in the Place du Capitole and wander outwards. It won't take long to spot the 17th Century Carmelite Chapel on Rue de Perigord, which has some wonderful murals. Or the Basilica St. Sernin, built in the 13th Century - and an important stop along the Camino de Santiago.
But one of the loveliest streets is the Rue Emile Cartailhac: lined with charming cafes and grand residences it heads towards the river.
The other major church is the Cathedrale St. Etienne. This church's fame is in part derived from the wonderful mish-mash of its architecture. Some of it has been here since 844AD, but more elaborate bits have been added on at several different points. Creating an interesting Gothic/Romanesque/Flamboyant wonder.
Another way to view the city's charms is by barge along the river.
These days Toulouse is one of Europe's major aerospace centres. And if you're at all interested in space - or planes or flight of any kind, then La Cite de l'Espace will probably be an interesting place to spend a couple of hours.
The Musée des Augustins is an impressive gallery, home to a Rubens, some Rodins and several prints by Toulouse's most famous son, Toulouse-Lautrec. Or for something more modern there's Les Abattoirs - yes, the building was a slaughterhouse in the same way that the Tate Modern was a power plant.
The Toulouse table is rich and earthy, with sausages, foie gras, duck confit and truffles; and influenced from its other border, brandade de more and tapenade. For dessert you could visit Georges Larnicol on the Place du Capitole - if you haven't already.
Toulouse also has some excellent second hand shops, with some of the best around Rue Peyrolieres. And there's a flea market in the Allees Francois Verdier on the first weekend of every month. On Thursdays there's a book market in Place Arnaud-Bernard.
Our selection of the best places to stay in Toulouse range from the cheap and cheerful, perfect for those on a tight budget, to a super cool design hotel in a very central spot.
Still not sure which is the hotel for you? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay in Toulouse, or feel free to call or email one of our gurus for advice. If you want to extend your search take a look at our recommendations in the Lot or Dordogne.
An elegant 19th century townhouse with a cosy atmosphere. Rooms, triples, and family rooms cater to couples, families, groups and business visitors. All joyfully decorated in pinks and reds. Very central and great value.
A small and comfortable hotel near the Garonne River and the Place du Capitole. Comfortable and cosy rooms in deep reds with teak furniture and an oriental twist. A great spot to explore the city from.
A charming hotel in central Toulouse with lovely views over the Garonne. Comfortable and cosy rooms and a good restaurant. A good spot to explore Toulouse from.
A contemporary chic B&B. Big bright airy suites with kitchenettes - light parquet floors, huge comfy beds, high ceilings, and views into a inner courtyard. An excellent choice for families, couples or groups, looking for a bit more privacy and independence.
A gorgeous townhouse mansion on the outskirts of Toulouse. Chicly renovated rooms, apartments, and one cottage, in creams and pastels. Lovely gardens, terraces and a salt water swimming pool. Ideal for families, groups and those after something less city like.
A delightful farmhouse renovation with oodles of charm. A choice of film-themed rooms, a cottage or a charming gypsy caravan. All have open beams, fireplaces and warm furnishings. An enormous gardens with fragrant herbs and an outdoor pool. Romantic, family friendly, lots of character.
A rather historic Grand Hotel formerly a convent. Excellently located opposite the Théâtre du Capitole and near to designer shops. Regal suites overlook the square, some have private balconies. Excellent meeting rooms and a spa for unwinding.
A super cool design hotel with all the modern gadgetry necessary for a business trip or holiday break. Sleek sky-themed bedrooms with modernist paintings and funky lighting. A stylish getaway.