Toulouse – 10 reasons to visit the pink city this summer

1. Les Guinguettes – outdoor eating and drinking. The best place to be in the summertime is outdoors.

Ephemeral ‘guingettes’ or summertime outdoor taverns adorn the pink city!

A handful of guinguettes

L’emulation Nautique, Les Terrasses de l’Atelier, L’Ecluse Saint-Michel, La Guinguette St. Cyprien , La Friche Gourmande, Pêcheur de Sable, at la Daurade next to the river, and Le Ministère in the Minimes neighbourhood……just to name a few. They are everywhere, even in the suburbs.

Next to the giant ferris wheel that sits on the Garonne in July and August is “Racines”, my personal favorite. Enjoy the view from the giant wheel before a drink at this ephemeral café on the riverside and watch people showing off on water skis.

The ‘burbs’ – Coté Montauban (east) there is Le Canaille Club. Near Blagnac, there is Jardin de l’Olympe with tables in the sand and a lot of space.

LE PETIT BIKINI,👙 no, don’t worry it’s not a dress code is the welcome addition to the Bikini concert venue in Ramonville-Saint-Agne. The new establishment which opened last June has a huge terrace that seats 400 people out back.There is also the Poney Club at the entrance of the hippodrome, not too far from the Zenith, the biggest gig venue in town. From June you can meet up at Les Robins du Bois, a guinguette with a huge shaded terrace and a beach and live music!

For a rooftop vibe head to Mama Shelter, or Ma Biche sur le Toit 😎

2. Museums and Galleries – The Museum of Toulouse (natural history museum) is located at the entrance to the lovely Jardin des Plantes. both the museum and park are great for kids! Musée Paul Dupuy (la musée des arts précieux) has recently reopened after three years of renovation. In the lovely Carmes sector of the city you can admire the rich collection of paintings sculptures, furniture drawings carvings and other decorative art objects and graphics. Entrance is 8 euros.

You can read Inside Toulouse for details about our most well loved institutions. Note that le Musée des Augustins, the city’s fine art museum is still closed for refurbishment. Les Abattoirs, the museum of modern and contemporary art is open.

from left The Bemberg Foundation was a hotel particulier which now houses a gallery and a small café, the Musée Saint Raymond is the museum of archeology (with a garden café), the Musée Aéroscopia tells the story of aviation in Toulouse and the Cité de l’Espace tells the story of space.

3. Music Festivals

 The Rio Loco Festival

This world music festival is taking place in Toulouse from 14 to 18 June 2023 at the Prairie des Filtres. The 28th edition will kick off with Tony Allen- Spirit of the Drum ft. Damon Albarn , Oxmo Puccino etc. A native of Lagos, now a frequent resident of France he plays Nigerian music with pop overtones with an eclectic band of musicians . Other gigs range from reggae, hip hop, groove latin jazz, pop soul folk to pop electro….

For the full program visit 

Jazz Festivals – the main festival of jazz in Toulouse, Jazz sur son 31, doesn’t take place until October but Jazz in Marciac, in the Gers (1.5 hours by car) Festival Jazz à Sète, Pause Guitare in Albi and the Festival de Carcassonne are all happening this summer! Visit Jazz in Occitanie part 2 for more info on summer music festivals in Occitanie.

4. Historical landmarks

Place Capitole is the absolute centre of la ville Rose with large sprawling cafés surrounding the enormous square which houses city hall, the Théatre du Capitole (Opéra House) as well as the National Orchestra and the Hall of Illustrations.  The square is decorated with the Occitan Cross which points towards the Neoclassical Facade of our most famous landmark. On the other side of the Capital building is Le Donjon which houses the Tourism Office. Visit for schedules of the hop on hop off, open top bus tours.

5. Take a guided walking tour of the Pink City – The Office of Tourism organises walking tours of Toulouse by theme, visit : for the timetable.

If you would like a personalised walking tour you should contact Penny @ . A native of Yorkshire and longtime resident of the ‘pink city’, Penny will show you around town sharing her intimate knowledge of Toulouse. Penny adapts her tours to her clients and their particular interests and passions. A walk with Penny will surely enrich your visit toToulouse.

6. Le Canal du Midi – Toulouse is ‘the‘ starting off point for discovering the canal either by bicycle or barge.

the natural beauty of the canal du midi coté urban

7 Soak up the sun on ‘La Garonne

See the city by boat from the Garonne – row or cruise down the river, or just hang out (flâner) on the riverbanks and admire the view.

8 Visit the city by bike

Vélô Toulouse – like many cities you can zoom around Toulouse on a rented bicycle without having to worry about bringing your own and finding a place to lock it up when you stop for lunch, or to visit a gallery. The first 30 minutes are free!

9 Via Garona – is an old lost road from the Way of Saint James. It takes you from the magnificent Basilica of St Sernin to St Bertrand de Comminges in the Pyrénées with some remarkable stops along the way. Visit Via Garona for more information.

10. Watch the sunset in Toulouse-the sun reflecting off the terracotta buildings so typical of Toulouse is pretty but the sun setting over the river in Toulouse is even more beautiful. From the 9th June the ‘covid curfew‘ goes from 21h to 23h and we will once again be able to enjoy watching the sun set over the pink city.

I hope that you have enjoyed this post about Toulouse, follow me to keep up with me on my travels around Occitanie…………………à bientôt Christina.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s