How To Spend A Day in Toulouse, France
A couple of weeks ago we spent some time in South West France for my friend's wedding. While we were there we managed to squeeze in a little day trip to Toulouse and I was surprised by how much I loved the city. The food is great, the city is rich in history and there is plenty to see and do. Here's my guide on how to spend a day in Toulouse...
How To Spend A Day In Toulouse
Coffee at La Fiancée
You can be pretty much guaranteed that whenever we visit a new place, Sam will have researched a list of the best coffee shops, and Toulouse was no different! La Fiancée was our cafe of choice and we weren't disappointed - it was set on a cute little street and the coffee was really good. The brunch also looked pretty yummy too if you're hungry.
Stroll along the Garonne River
The Garonne river runs through the heart of the city and it's a lovely place to head for a little wander. With cultural hotspots on both sides, there's plenty to see and do. We didn't have enough time to visit any of the museums or take a ride on the big wheel, but wandering along the river banks reminded me a little bit of being in Paris which is always a good thing!
Lunch at Le Bistroquet et Sa Cantine
We stumbled across this little spot after the place we'd planned to go for lunch was closed (top tip: a lot of places in Toulouse are shut on a Monday and opening hours are irregular!). The concept was pretty fun - you basically have a buffet starter, choose a meal for your main course and then have a buffet dessert, all for only €15! The food was really fresh and inventive and the buffet options meant that there was plenty of variety for our whole party.
Take a bus tour around the city
Some of our friends had been in Toulouse the week before us and they recommended that we take the bus tour around the city. The bus is shaped a little bit like a small train and you get on outside Sephora at Place du Capitole. It took about 45 minutes and was such a great way to see a lot of Toulouse's hotspots and to get our bearings - plus, it was accompanied by an audio guide which gave us a lot of info about the city's history. I would definitely recommend this if your short on time as it's a brilliant way to get a feel for the city without having to run from one place to the next.
Have a drink at Place du Capitole
The bus tour will drop you back off at Place du Capitole which is a great place to spend an hour or so. Have a little nosey around the actual Capitole building (there is a great free gallery inside) and then pull up a chair at one of the bars in the square and settle in for a spot of people watching. We stopped for a frozen lemonade at Le Paradis de Fruit which was very refreshing on a summer's day.
Visit the Basilica of Saint-Sernin
One of the places we spotted on our bus tour that I knew I wanted to explore in more depth was the Basilica of Saint-Sernin. Dating back to the 11th century, it's the largest Romanesque church in Europe. I always find visiting churches so moving (something about thinking about all of the conversations and events that have happened in them during the years) and this one is really beautiful.
Dinner at L'Entrecote
Sam and I were both keen to get our fill of steak frites while we were in France, so when we stumbled across L'Entrecôte we knew we had to give it a try! The menu is simple - you get a walnut salad to start, followed be steak, fries and their famous entrecote sauce. All you have to decide is how you would like your meat cooked! The food was incredible - the meat was deliciously tender, the chips were crispy and I'm still dreaming about the sauce now!
There you have it - my guide for how to spend a day in Toulouse. Have you visited the city before? Is there anything else you'd add to the list?