Catch more than rugby in the pretty Pink City

Place du Capitole
My boyfriend surprised me with flights to Toulouse and I’d love some advice on how to make the most of our time there. We will be staying for three days and would love some recommendations on what to see and where to go. Thank you.

My boyfriend surprised me with flights to Toulouse and I’d love some advice on how to make the most of our time there. We will be staying for three days and would love some recommendations on what to see and where to go. Thank you.

Toulouse is a beautiful city in the Haute-Garonne in south-western France. It lies on the banks of the River Garonne, just 150 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea. It is the ideal destination for a short city break. Known as the ‘Pink City’, Toulouse has an exceptional heritage and is full of surprises.

If you fancy a tour of the city, your first port of call should be the tourist train. The train regularly takes visitors on a tour of all of Toulouse’s most famous attractions such as the Capitol, the banks of the Garonne and the Saint-Sernin Basilica.

A must-see when in Toulouse; the Saint-Sernin Basilica is one of the most beautiful churches in the region and a masterpiece of Roman art. The basilica has recently undergone significant renovations including recovery of the old bell tower, extrication of the 12th century murals and a revival of its altar, which is over 900 years old. The basilica’s crypt is a veritable treasure trove and not to be missed.

Toulouse is an active and bustling city. Its enthusiastic personality is fuelled by its rugby culture and taste for celebration. You can find some of the most fun bars and clubs in the old town in Place Saint Pierre. This riverside location is filled with a huge array of nightlife and is the go-to place if you’re planning a night out.

If you time your trip right, you might be able to catch a Stade Toulousain rugby game in the impressive Stade Municipal. Despite’s Connacht’s heroic victory in the city, Toulouse boasts arguably one of the best rugby teams in Europe, having won the Heineken Cup four times. After the match you can enjoy a taste of home in De Danú, the largest Irish bar in the heart of Toulouse. Its relaxed atmosphere and live music make it a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.

The south of France is famous for its food and Toulouse is no exception. The southwest is famed for is meat and cheeses as well as confectionary and violet-based treats. Eating a Toulouse cassoulet or sausage is an essential part of enjoying the area and great dishes can be found throughout the city.

Even just wandering round this fabulous city will reveal its intriguing history and charm and you won’t be long discovering why this is one of France’s most beautiful and enchanting destinations.

Where to Stay

Grand Hotel Raymond IV (***)

Prices start from €74 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Situated in the heart of Toulouse, Grand Hotel Raymond IV is close to the Saint-Sernin Basilica, Place du Capitole, and Musée des Augustins. Also nearby are Place Wilson and Toulouse National Theatre. This elegant, Art Deco inspired hotel features air conditioned and individually decorated rooms. A buffet style breakfast is served each morning and room service is available.

Grand Hôtel de l’Opéra (****)

Prices start from €105 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Located in the centre of Toulouse, facing the Théâtre du Capitole, the Grand Hôtel de l’Opéra is a stone’s throw from restaurants and shops. A former 17th century convent, the hotel is now one of the most famous and popular in the ‘Pink City.’

Hotel des Beaux Arts (***)

Prices start from €115 per room per night on Hotels.com

*Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking.

This romantic hotel is within walking distance of the famous Pont Neuf and Place de Capitole in the historic heart of downtown Toulouse. Boasting extraordinary views over the serene riverbanks, guestrooms of this entirely non-smoking hotel are all ensuite and well equipped with a variety of comforts such as complimentary Internet access, satellite TV, minibar, safe, and a charming décor. 

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!