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The charming, pink tinged buildings of central Toulouse are what give it the moniker 'La Ville Rose'. They stand close together, beside winding, cobbled lanes few cars dare to attempt and soe of the building are the best places to stay in Toulouse and 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 with most of the main sights on the right bank between the tree lined river and the Canal du Midi which flows around the city's north east. Indeed, one of the best ways to view the city's charms is by barge along the river!
The Toulouse table is rich and earthy with sausages, foie gras, duck confit and truffles and also influenced by the other border - brandade de more and tapenade. For dessert you could visit Georges Larnicol on the Place du Capitole.
Toulouse has some excellent second hand shops with some of the best around Rue Peyrolieres. There is a flea market in the Allees Francois Verdier on the first weekend of every month. On Thursdays a book market in Place Arnaud-Bernard.
What Not To Miss
- 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.
- Heading towards the river, one of the loveliest streets to wander along is the Rue Emile Cartailhac: lined with charming cafes and grand residences.
- Another major church is the Cathedrale St. Etienne, whose fame is in part derived from the wonderful mishmash 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.
- These days Toulouse is one of Europe's major aerospace centres. And if you are 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.
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.
For a City Break
- If you want to be close to the Place du Capitole, the Hotel du Taur is one of the best places to stay in Toulouse - it's only a few metres away. Converted from an elegant, rose brick 19th Century townhouse and with rooms less than £50 a night it is ideal for those on a tight budget.
- If you like the idea of being close to the river, the Hotel Garonne should fit the bill. The decor is warm - all deep reds and teak, with an oriental twist.
- If you prefer things ultra modern the Hotel La Grand Balcon is the property for you. A super cool design hotel with sleek, sky-themed bedrooms, modernist paintings and every comfort technology can bring you. It's also one of the best places to stay in Toulouse if you're looking for something a bit different.
- Hotel des Beaux Arts ticks all the right boxes: it's centrally located, with stylish interiors and a good restaurant to boot. They even offer guests free bike use to help you see all that Toulouse has to offer!
- Converted from a convent, the Grand Hotel de L'Opera now has much grander furniture than in its past life. Though the building - directly opposite the Theatre du Capitole - is still as beautiful and private as ever.
Sausages and more!
- Atout Carmes is one of the best places to stay in Toulouse for foodies. It runs cooking classes! More of a B&B than a hotel there are kitchenettes in each of the two rooms and two suites. This is ideal if you prefer a self-catering option.
- If you want your visit to Toulouse to include some of the lovely surrounding countryside then book La Maison Toulouse. It's a beautiful townhouse mansion set in lovely gardens. The fact that it only has a few rooms also makes it a good choice for families.
For An Apartment Or Villa
If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner Booking.com.
- Toulouse is nicest weather-wise in the summer, with the average daily temperature reaching 22°C in July and August.
- This however is peak tourist season, so if you fancy a quieter and potentially cheaper alternative consider coming in May or September.
- Visitors can fly into Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, located 11km west of the city, before hopping on a shuttle bus to the centre.
- Ryanair fly direct from Stansted to Toulouse, easyJet from Gatwick and British Airways from Heathrow.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Toulouse
Hotel du Taur 38 rooms from £43Toulouse
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.Value chicSights nearby - Just steps from the Place du CapitoleLocal markets - Good for local colour.
Hotel Garonne 14 rooms from £83Toulouse
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.Sights nearby - Located in the heart of the old town.Local markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - CN Traveller
Hotel des Beaux Arts 19 rooms from £101Toulouse
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.Sights nearby - Located on the banks of the Garonne by the Pont NeufQuirky - An experience!Local markets - Good for local colour.
Atout Carmes 2 rooms from £101Toulouse
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.City StyleCooking classes - Check for timings.Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.Local markets - Good for local colour.
La Maison Toulouse 5 rooms from £113Toulouse
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.Swimming Pool - Outdoor PoolGreat walks - Good for walkers.
Grand Hotel de L'Opera 54 rooms from £171Toulouse
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.Sights nearby - Perfect location bang in the centre of town.SpaLocal markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - CN Traveller
Hotel Le Grand Balcon 31 rooms from £184Toulouse
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.City StyleSights nearby - Great location in the centre of townDesigner - Uniquely designed interiors.Local markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Tablet