La Ville rose
Only a 2 hours flight away from Lisbon, Toulouse is a prefect city for a nice short getaway. It’s close, the flight is not expensive and overall it’s quite underrated.
The city is small and charming, with delicate details, like its unique architecture made out of red bricks, which gives it an overall pinkish color, that reminds us slightly of the setting from the epic Musketeers’ stories.
Other cool fact is that violets are the symbol of Toulouse, and so there are many related products in shops all over the city. The most emblematic one is La Maison de la Violette, a shop inside a purple boat, floating on the Canal du Midi, where we can find all imaginable violet-related products, from natural soap, to sweet-scented bags of dried violets, to edible products like candy, caramelized violet petals or violet jam.
Then there are a list of beautiful highlights that we can explore more detailed or passing by, depending on the time we have.
More than exhaustive information, I leave you some “postcards” and notes to inspire you to know the city 😉
The infamous Canal du Midi, the most ancient sailing channel that unites the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Quai de la Daurade, a beautiful waterfront by the Garonne River. It’s crossed by the emblematic Pont Neuf (New bridge), which in spite of its name is the oldest bridge crossing the river in Toulouse.
Countless Gothic Style monuments, somber reminders of the Middle Age now repurposed as turistic and cultural attractions, such as:
- Basilique de Saint Sernin, the biggest Romanesc building of Europe, considered World Heritage by UNESCO
- Musée des Augustins, once a gothic monastery that is now an art museum
- Cathédral de Saint-Étienne, a gorgeous gothic style cathedral
- Couvent des Jacobins, another catholic church of gothic architecture, where remain the relics of Thomas Aquinas
Place du Capitole: the main square, where the city hall is located. The building can be visited and is quite beautiful inside.
Victor Hugo market: a fresh food market with local food restaurants.
A visit to Carcassone is like time travel. A medieval village, built within walls, beautifully preserved from the passage of time. It’s about 1 hour drive from Toulouse, and totally worth the trip.
Hope you feel inspired to discover Toulouse. And if you know other perfect destinations for short breaks and microadventures, share with me on comments 🙂