The Toulouse Student’s Sightseeing Checklist
Mireille Harper is a third year French, Spanish and Italian student from The University of Birmingham. She spent her first semester studying at Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès in Toulouse, France, and is now currently studying at Università degli Studi di Padova in Padua, Italy. Here is her complete guide for students on what to do and see in Toulouse, covering galleries and museums, churches, days out, markets, festivals, events and free places to hang out.
Musée des Augustins
For fine art, sculptures and paintings. A 2 minute walk from Esquirol Métro and walk for around 2 minutes. Free for students.
Musée d'Histoire Naturelle
This natural history museum boasts everything from animals and insects to minerals. A 5 minute walk from Palais de Justice Métro. Check out the botanical garden and the nearby Jardin des Plantes! It costs €10 to visit the museum, garden and exhibitions.
If you’re into antiquities like busts and sculptures. 5 minutes from Jeanne d’Arc Métro. Free for students.
Musée de Vieux-Toulouse
There’s everything from antique mosaics and paintings to costumes. It’s less than 5 minutes away from Esquirol Métro. For students, entry is only €2.
Musée Georges Labit
Dedicated to oriental art in France, with collections from India and Cambodia to China and Tibet. A 15 minute walk from François Verdier Métro. Students pay €2.
Espace Muséographique Georges Baccrabère de l’Institut Catholique
The Catholic Institute’s museographical space is home to paintings, sculptures and more from Toulouse’s history. A 5 minute walk away from Palais de Justice or Carmes Métro. Entry is free!
Musée Départemental de la Résistance et de la Déportation
If you want to learn more about the French resistance to the Nazis in and around Toulouse during WW2, pay this museum a visit. Entry is free and the museum is 15 minutes from St Michel-Marcel Langer Métro.
This art museum is full of all sorts, including textiles, ceramics, sculptures and furniture. A 6 minute walk from Carmes Métro. Entry is €4.
Musée d’Histoire de la Médecine
Home to all sorts of medical objects. 5 minutes from St Cyprien-République Métro. Free entry.
Musée di Compagnonnage
Dedicated to the three training pillars in the world of journeymen; the learning of trade and craft, travelling and handing down of knowledge and skills. A 5 minute walk from Capitole Métro. Entry is free.
Musée des Transports et des Communications
Full of documents and objects related to the transport and communications’ history of Toulouse. 5 minutes from Saint Agne-SNCF Métro.
Musée Postal des Anciens Ambulants de Toulouse
This museum is dedicated to the now non-existent railway mail of Toulouse. 15 minutes from Minimes-Claude Nougaro Métro. Entry is free.
A museum devoted to all forms of modern and contemporary art from sculptures to paintings. 5 minutes from St Cyprien-République Métro and €4 entry for students.
A former water tower that now is a museum to countless photography exhibitions. It is 4 minutes from St Cyprien-République Métro. Entry is under €4 for students.
Home to a permanent collection of paintings, bronzes and art objects. Entry is under €10 for students and is located only a 2 minute walk from Esquirol Métro.
Le Quai des Savoirs
This newly-opened museum/centre is dedicated to scientific, technical and industrial culture and is a stone’s throw away from Jardin des Plantes. It’s only 5 minutes away from Palais de Justice Métro and exhibitions cost €5 for students to enter, although it’s free to visit and look round the centre.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest remaining Romanesque building in Europe. Less than 10 minutes from Jeanne d’Arc Métro. Entry is free.
Couvent des Jacobins
This convent boasts beautiful murals, and sometimes hosts art exhibitions. It’s around 7 minutes from Capitole Métro. Entry is free, unless you want to visit everything (including the Saint-Antonin chapel) which costs around €2.
3. Cathédrale Saint-Étienne
This church, built from the 13th-16th century is 3 minutes from François Verdier Métro. Entry is free.
4. Chapelle des Carmélites
This 17th century chapel is home to beautiful painted murals and only 5 minutes from Jeanne d’Arc Métro. Entry is free.
5. Église Saint-Jérôme
This small, hidden-away chapel is well worth a visit. It’s only 2 minutes from Capitole Métro. Entry is free.
6. Église Saint-Aubin
Make sure to check out the market on Sundays where local produce is sold. It’s less than 7 minutes from François Verdier Métro and entry is free.
7. Église Saint-Pierre des Chartreux
Regarded as one of the most beautiful churches of the Baroque era, it’s only 11 minutes from St Cyprien-République Métro and free to enter.
8. Église Notre-Dame du Taur
Despite being much neglected, this atmospheric church is worth a visit. The church is 7 minutes from Jean Jaurès Métro and entry is free.
9. Église Saint-Nicolas
If you like gothic architecture, pay this church a visit by walking 5 minutes from St Cyprien-République Métro. Entry is free.
10. Église Notre-Dame de la Dalbade
Entry to this Church is free and it’s only a 5 minute walk from Esquirol Métro.
1. Centre de l’Affice
Dedicated to graphic art, this centre is full of posters, post-cards, calendars and much more. Entry is free and the centre is a 2 minute walk from St Cyprien-République Métro.
Well worth a visit if you’re into urban and pop art. It’s only 3 minutes from Esquirol Métro and entry is free.
A contemporary art gallery full of works from both renowned and up-and-coming artists, photographers, painters, sculptors, video artists and performers. Only 2 minutes away from Esquirol. Métro and entry is free.
4. Galerie de l’Echarpe/Concept Galerie
This gallery is hired on an independent basis by local artists so expect a wide variety of art. Free to enter and only 3 minutes away from Esquirol Métro.
Galerie Alain Daudet
Another contemporary art museum which is free to enter, and only 1 minute from Esquirol Métro.
If you’re really into art, get the métro to Carmes and stroll about the area – it’s full of galleries!
Good places for a day out in Toulouse
Get the Métro Ligne A to Argoulets and you’ll find the ice skating rink right outside. Tickets are under €5 for students – just make sure to bring proof of student ID and proof of your address.
3. Ice skating
Head to AdventureRooms or Enigma Escape. Both cost between €15 and €25 to enter. Engima Escape is 4 minutes from Jeanne d’Arc Métro and AdventureRooms is 8 minutes from François Verdier Métro.
Get the T1 or T2 tram to Cartoucherie or Zénith and it’s a 2 minute walk from there to Le Zénith.
Observatoire de Jolimont
Open to the public if they want to go stargazing. Less than 10 minutes from Jolimont Métro. Entry is free.
Cité de l’Espace
If you’re into theme parks, visit this space-inspired one. Get the 37 bus from Jolimont Métro or Ramonville Métro to the Cité de l’espace stop. Entry is around €21.
A must-see for aviation enthusiasts. Get the T1 Tram to Aéroconstellation and it’s a 10 minute walk away. Around €10 for students.
Head to the top of Galeries Lafayette, the main shopping centre in town, to admire the beautiful view. Situated right in the centre of town, Galeries Lafayette is 3 minutes from Jean Jaurès Métro.
Outside Jean Jaurès Métro, there are two Gaumont Wilson cinemas which show both English films (with French subtitles) and French films. Tickets are under €10, and both cinemas are FULL of every kind of cinema food you could ever want, including popcorn, ice cream and chocolates, as well as a huge pick-and-mix tower.
Free places to hang out
1. Le Prairie des Filtres
Overlooks the Garonne and is only around 10 minutes from St Cyprien-République Métro.
2. Pont Neuf/Quai de la Daurade
Go for a stroll across the bridge, which is only 3 minutes from Esquirol Métro.
3. Jardins des Plantes
This lovely park is a 5 minute walk from Palais de Justice Métro.
4. Jardins Japonais/Compans-Caffarelli
Get the Métro Ligne B to Compans-Caffarelli and you’ll find the beautiful gardens less than 1 minute away.
5. Jardin du Grand Rond
Check out the one of Toulouse’s most-flowered gardens, which is only 7 minutes from François Verdier Métro.
6. Canal de Midi/Canal de Brienne/Canal Lateral
Make sure to go for a walk along the three canals of Toulouse.
7. Place Saint-Pierre
Head down to the river where you can chill with friends and watch the sunset. Only a 5 minute walk from Capitole.
8. Place du Capitole
Watch the world go by in the main square, and pay a visit to the historical rooms of Capitole (open to the public on the first Sunday of each month).
Where should I visit outside Toulouse, and how should I get there?
You can get to Perpignan, Albi, Carcassone, Narbonne, Montauban, Moissac, Cordes-sur-Ciel and even Andorra in a matter of hours and you can practice your French while you’re at it! Most seats cost less than €20 return.
2. Use a Megabus/OUIBUS coach
Visit Montpellier, Paris and Barcelona as well as various other destinations (all cost around €25 return if you book in advance). You can even get a Megabus to Toulouse from the UK!
Catch a flight
Destinations include Munich, London, Amsterdam and Milan (all under €50 return if you book early) and if you’re super-savvy, head to Carcassonne Airport via train and grab super cheap Ryanair flights to Portugal, Belgium, Ireland, Scotland and England.
What are some key events in Toulouse?
Fête de la Violette
This festival takes place in February to celebrate the emblematic flower of Toulouse.
Festival Flamenco Toulouse
Over March and April, you’ll find shows, classes, exhibitions and film shows all dedicated to the art of flamenco dancing.
This international tango festival takes places in Toulouse in July.
Festival Toulouse d’Été
From July to August, Toulouse becomes the town of music, with all sorts of events from concerts and recitals celebrating different music genres from across the world.
Les Siestes Électroniques
For fans of electronic music, this festival hosts concerts, club nights, workshops and exhibitions. The line-up is mainly made up of emerging musicians/
Piano aux Jacobins
Toulouse plays host to an international piano festival in September.
8. Toulouse les Orgues
This international organ festival takes place in October.
9. Marchés de Noël
During November and December, Christmas markets start popping up everywhere. Make sure to visit the main Christmas market at Place du Capitole, but also keep an eye and ear out as plenty of smaller markets pop up all over Toulouse!