Cheap flights to Toulouse
Mouthwatering French cuisine, a compact yet stunning old quarter and a surrounding countryside that is quite simply the best in France, Toulouse has all the ingredients for the perfect holiday. Normally overlooked by tourists for cities and resorts closer to the sea, Toulouse is definitely one of France’s hidden gems when it comes to city breaks or that longer summer getaway. The main appeal of this southern metropolis just a stone’s throw from the Pyrenees has to be its spectacular architecture.
This is France’s pink city, or la ville rose if you’re in the know, thanks to the red brick used in the construction of many of its buildings. A stunning old town that changes colour depending on the light, walks along the Garonne River and parks and cafe-lined squares complete the lineup of attractions that keep tourists coming back to France’s fourth-largest city year after year. Oh, and being so close to Spain, the weather isn’t bad either, plus you can expect an almost Latin-style vibe to this city. What do we mean? Well, let’s just say things go at a rather slower pace than the rest of the country.
A mobilboard (segway) tour is a great way to see Toulouse, with plenty of guaranteed laughs. It's especially useful if you've just arrived and want to learn the city's layout. For more information go to www.toulouse-visit.com.
Get a panoramic view of the city for free from the top floor of
Galeries Lafayette Toulouse Lapeyrouse shopping mall. On the way down sort through the sales (11 January until 21 February).
When it's too hot, the Jardin Japonais is an ideal place to cool off. Beautiful, authentic flowers, plants, water features and landscaping make it photogenic, too. Entrance is free and there is a snack bar (19 Boulevard Lascrosses).
Safari Kids is a massive indoor playground where kids up to the age of 12 can use up all their energy running around and visiting bouncy castles, soft climbing frames, 'pools' of soft balls, and more. Frazzled parents will love the coffee bar and free wi-fi. www.safarikidstoulouse.fr
The Musee Departemental de la Resistance et de la Deportation is full of intensely personal WWII memories, including a leather jacket that belonged to a resistance member. Get the English booklet at the entrance. For more information visit www.musee-resistance.haute-garonne.fr.
Le Festival Occitània runs until 26 October and offers more than 80 events dedicated to the Occitan language and culture, including poetry, cinema, storytelling, dance, theatre, exhibitions, round table discussions, and concerts. For a full programme visit www.festivaloccitania.com.
Piscine Nakache has free parking, wheelchair access, cheap entrance, a children's pool and a massive walk-in pool with a waterfall at one end. There is a snack bar but you can bring your own picnic (Allee Gabriel Bienes).
Escape to Cordes-sur-Ciel. Just an hour from Toulouse, you'll find museums, craft stores, and wine shops, all set on medieval cobbled streets. There's a wonderful fruit and vegetable market on Saturday mornings. www.cordessurciel.fr/en/