Toulouse

Toulouse Toulouse Main Square by crafterm

This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 12th May 2010 and has been read 34919 times.

City of MulticulturalismMidway between the Mediterranean and Atlantic to the south of France is the city of Toulouse. Perhaps most famous for its cherry red brick buildings, La Ville Rose boasts a large repertoire of fine food; birthplace to national dishes, cassoulet and foie gras, the city is replete with traditional restaurants offering cheap and cheerful menus.
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Toulouse is also a student-driven city, holding the second largest student population in France. Prestigious universities abound here, which in turn makes for a lively and eclectic social scene. Thanks to Toulouse's geographical location, it has been opening its doors to foreigners for quite a while—the Visigoths, Moors and Spanish have all taken a bit of fancy in the past to this handsome city. Nowadays, you can get a pretty mixed crowd of Anglo-Saxon, Hispanic and Italian people (to name but a few), giving the city a very cosmopolitan feel.

Toulouse by quimbahiHome to the alternative, lots of artists have moved to this pretty pink city to enjoy the bohemian feel it has to it. Mix'Art Myrys squatters have found fame here, with a few other artist groups following in their footsteps. It doesn't get much more alternative than having the local abattoirs converted into a space for art exhibitions! Theatre and cinema are also quite popular in these parts, with many art house films being filmed round the city (get in touch with Le Collectif d'Urgence Acteurs Culturels if you fancy yourself as the next Ewan McGregor or Samantha Morton). Alternatively, for all you engineers out there (and any would-be astronauts), you can take solace in the Cité de l'Espace, a popular sky tourism attraction.

But life in Toulouse is not all spaceships and bohemian rhapsody—by all means enjoy a tipple or two in the many bars and cafes scattered about in the university vicinities and make the most of the French joie de vivre in Place Saint Pierre. If you prefer the thrill of the outdoors and doing activities such as hiking and riding, then you will be relieved to know that breathtaking mountains and beautiful beaches are all within easy reach of the town. Nearby San Sebastian offers all a surfer could desire, and the Pyrenees are not too far off either, if mountains are more your thing. So no matter what your interests, there's room always room at the toulousain inn to check out a more alternative scene!

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