Top 10 Things to Do in Toulouse, France


November 2, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ France



Angela King from New Zealand, is currently on a one and a half year trip with her husband and two boys. They spent 3 months traveling throughout France and today the share their favorite places to visit with kids in Toulouse, France.



 

Top 10 Things to Do in Toulouse, France

 

Toulouse is a great, small city to visit with kids.  It has lots of beautiful architecture, green spaces/playgrounds, a variety of food to eat and lots of family-friendly activities.  The French have such a great approach to family and life, time together is really enjoyed and prioritized.  There are often free, family events on the weekends, especially in summer.  In summer they also set up a beach/carnival along the river banks.  It is a young and progressive city with lots of different cultures and English is spoken well in most shops and restaurants.  Its signature food is the Toulouse sausage and the Cassoulet.

 

Where to Stay

If you are only there for a shortish trip, I recommend staying right in the old part of town around Capitole, Esquirol, Jean Jaures and a km in either direction.  That way you will be able to be able to walk almost everywhere.

 

Getting around

Tisseo is the website for transport planning.  We bought our kids a monthly pass – it was E8 to buy the card and then E10 unlimited travel for 30 days.  Otherwise, it is E2 for a trip in one direction (can switch between metro/bus/tram) within an hour, no discount for kids.

You can sign up for the low-cost bike hire scheme if your kids are old/tall enough to ride an adult bike.  You pick up a bike and then return it to your destination for a small fee – I think E1.20 per day as long as you keep each trip to less than 30 mins.  Actually, maybe it’s free as long as you return within 30 mins – ask more at the Tourist info center.  Our kids were too small and we had our own bikes so never used it but have used the London one and love the idea.  Toulouse is pretty easy to bike around as there are few cars in the inner city and bike lanes further out.

http://www.toulouse-visit.com/offre/fiche/commerces-et-vie-pratique/velotoulouse/COMMID031V501HFN

Toulouse Museums

Toulouse puts a lot of effort into making its museums accessible to kids so when looking at websites always check out the For Families (en famille) section as there are likely to be small, practical workshops run on certain days/times for kids. Like most of Europe, some museums are free on the first Sunday of the Month.  We did not see all the museums in Toulouse as we had come from Italy and kids were a bit museumed out.  We picked the most kid-friendly ones.   Tourist Info website is – http://www.toulouse-visit.com

Things To Do in Toulouse.

 

Free things to do:

 

Have a Picnic

Take a picnic of yummy French foods and wine and head down to La Daurade by the river Garonne. There is a boat themed playground for the kids, the river walk to explore, a lovely café in summer and always lots of people. Also, it has 2 public toilets.  Picnicking is a big thing in France and people will be out here till late eating, chatting and meeting friends.  Friday night was our favorite time for this.  A lot of the best eating spots are near here too if you are not in the mood for a picnic.  Just head up into town and you’ll find lots of places to stop and eat or takeout.

 

 

 

Jardin Japonais

I know you didn’t come to France to see Japanese Gardens but they are always lovely and this one is adjacent to Compans Cafferelli which has the best playground in Toulouse. There is a huge climbing structure and what we call a Rocktapus (spins and swings around) as well as every other type of usual equipment.  There is a café nearby with a yummy crepe sucre for about E2.  The public toilets are not the best, BYO toilet paper (this is always a good idea in France, I always have tissues in my bag).

 

 

Victor Hugo Market

This is a food market that is on every day except Monday in Toulouse, from 6am until about 2pm. You can buy some very yummy French food, either pre made or ingredients to cook with.  There are also butcheries with brains, birds, bunnies etc on display.  Great if your kids like gross things like mine, but some kids might not like it so much.  There are lots of other markets on around the city as well.

 

 

Chapristea Cat Café

My kids love cats, the fluffier the better, so they were thrilled when we found this cat café.  All the cats live there and there are some rules to stick to, but a nice cool spot to have a rest and get some patting in.  http://www.chapristea.com

 

 

 

Couvent de Jacobins

Pop your head into the Couvent de Jacobins for wow architecture and some beautiful stained glass windows. If there was an event or service on here it would be magnificent to hear the acoustics but I was never brave enough to break into song and test it myself.  You can pay a small entry fee to go into the cloisters but we never did.  http://www.jacobins.toulouse.fr
 

Paid things to do:

 

Museum de Toulouse

Also known as the Natural History museum, we loved this museum and there is also a great park and playground behind it for a run around before/after.  It has a good display of dinosaur bones, animals, fossils, volcanoes, etc and has lots of interactive displays.  There are buttons/screens for the kids to interact with and nothing they can do much damage to.  They also usually have on an exhibit as well.  Upstairs there are children’s workshops which my kids loved.  http://www.museum.toulouse.fr  E7 adults, E5 kids, free for under 6 year olds.  Free on the first Sunday of the month.

 

 

Canal Cruise on the Midi

This includes a trip through a canal lock so the kids can see how these work. E10 for adults, E5 for kids. There are also boat trips on the River Garonne.  Can’t find a link for this, but flyers are available from Tourist Info centre at Esquirol park.  There are lots of cruises (but not all go through the lock) so google might help if you want a longer one.

 

Cite de la eSpace

Toulouse has a space program and hence has a space-themed activity.   My husband took the kids to this and they loved it.  Be prepared to spend the whole day as they have so much to see and do – best to see the website as they often have night events, special events etc.  http://en.cite-espace.com   Entry is about E21 adults and E15 for kids.

 

 

Saint Raymond Museum

This is the antiquities museum which shows the history of the area and has Roman/Greek statues and archeological exhibits.  They have kids workshops on during the week, so try and get onto one of these.  It is likely to be in French but we found most people spoke good English and were more than happy to include our kids.  We went on a special night where they had music, dance and theatre bringing it all to life.  http://www.saintraymond.toulouse.fr/Musee-Saint-Raymond-Antiquities-Museum-of-Toulouse_a1081.html   Entry is E4 adults, E2 children, free for littlies.  Also free on the first Sunday of the Month.

 

 

Airbus Tour and Aeroscopia

We did not do this but I know many families did and really enjoyed it. My kids just are not into planes (unless we are on them flying somewhere exciting) so it didn’t ever get to the top of the list.  http://www.manatour.fr/en

 

Myself, my husband and our boys aged 7 and 9 years old are originally from New Zealand, traveling around the world on a 1.5 year trip.  We had 3 months in France and loved every minute of it.  The boys loved running around like loons and pushing any buttons that existed – hence why our travels include lots of playgrounds.

 



Guest Post Bio

Angela King is from New Zealand, and is currently on a trip with her husband and two boys. They plan on traveling for 1.5 years to explore the world and worldschool their children.

 


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