The fourth largest of France’s decadent cities, Toulouse is a charming and visually striking city packed with canals, architecture and a rich culinary scene. In the heart of the city, by the mighty Garonne, is the stunning Capitole, surrounded by wide boulevards, pink-brick neoclassical architecture and gorgeous hotels which make Toulouse a rich destination to spend a few days – or even a few weeks. With cool bars that cater to its lively student crowd and natural wonders for hours of exploration, hotels in Toulouse should not be overlooked.
Hotels in Toulouse: Our Top Picks for Stylish Hotels in the Heart of the Occitanie Region.
Toulouse: Discover the Pink City
Located in the Occitanie region of southern France, Toulouse is the capital of the Haute-Garonne department, located on the Garonne River. A cozy boutique or 5 star hotel in Toulouse is the best way to experience this lovely city, with complimentary breakfasts, exceptional service and comfortable surroundings all ensuring you get the most out of your stay. Known to locals as La Ville Rose, the iconic pink brick that has been used to construct most of its buildings sets it apart from the architecture of France’s other metropolitan areas. In the lavish Capitole de Toulouse you’ll find the vast 16th century city hall (Hôtel de Ville), alongside the National du Capitole opera house. The neoclassical art that adorns the interior is spellbinding. For a taste of traditional Toulouse, book a hotel near the Vieux Quartier which surrounds the Capitole. The area features picturesque streets that were once frequented by 16th century merchants, who in turn made the city one of the most important trading centers in France. Further buildings of note in the area are the impressive Basilique St-Sernin, and the grand houses and stately mansions built when the city flourished through trade. Thanks to its location on the Garonne, hotels in Toulouse provide picturesque views over the river, plus the city’s waterways provide miles of glorious walking routes and bike rides along the Garonne and Canal du Midi, which also passes through the city. Lastly, southern French cuisine has found a home in Toulouse. Hotels in the city will all have access to excellent restaurants, and those seeking a taste of traditional Toulouse should warm up with a Cassoulet (a type of bean stew) with a tasty sweet Tarte aux noix (walnut tart) for dessert – if you still have room!
The South of France: Day trips from Toulouse
One of the best things about Toulouse is its location. In the heart of the South of France, a hotel in Toulouse means that the rest the region is easily accessible thanks to the city’s exceptional transport links. Why not take a day trip to Carcassonne? This beautiful walled citadel at the foothills of the Pyrenees is a charming excursion, packed with history and photo opportunities. Known as La Cité, this medieval fortification charms with its iconic turrets and high walls, and includes a delightful central square where you can relax and enjoy an alfresco lunch or browse the surrounding stores. Hotels in Toulouse are also a wonderful idea if you want to explore the dramatic Pyrenees in either winter or summer. Forming a natural border between France and Northern Spain, these mountains are only an hour and 30 minutes’ from Toulouse. In winter, the snow-covered peaks draw winter sport enthusiasts from all over Europe to the area’s magical ski resorts. If you’re visiting Toulouse in summer, then hiking and biking in the Pyrenees is highly recommended. Another charming day trip from your hotel in Toulouse is Montauban, an attractive commune on the banks of the Tarn River. It’s the oldest of southern France’s medieval bastide towns, and the history of Montauban is built into its architecture, which is dominated by red brick and neoclassical charm. Art aficionados will adore the Musée Ingres which showcases the life and work of celebrated 19th century painter Joseph Ingres. Hotels in Toulouse mean that not only the city, but the rest of the stunning Occitanie region is right on your doorstep.