In January, I took a trip to Toulouse, France for a few days with a good friend. I was very surprised with how much I liked the city. My only other experience in France was when I went to Paris at the age of 18 with my high school. While this trip was an amazing experience, I was excited to see France outside of Paris. The major, capital cities only give you the tip of the iceberg as far as how people live their lives. So I was excited that my second time in France was a completely different region.
Basically, I went to Toulouse because I went to Andorra. Do any of you ever do that? You add another destination to the trip simply because you’re close by and why not? Over Christmas break, I went to Andorra. I’ve been fascinated with Andorra for a long time. If you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably wonder what Andorra is. Well, it’s a tiny country in between Spain and France in the mountains. You can read my post about Andorra here. You can get to Andorra by bus either from Barcelona or Toulouse. So I thought “why not come in through Barcelona and out to Toulouse?” So that is exactly what we did.
The city is nicknamed the pink city because many of the buildings are constructed with a pink stone. The French call it “La Ville Rose” which means the pink city. Many of the monuments and places we visited were pink as well.
I mean who wouldn’t want to hang out here?
We found that the city center was quite walkable. The Donjon du Capitole building is what marks the center of the city. Around it are all sorts of restaurants and shops. You can actually tour this building, but it was closed when we were there.
Look at how pink it is! Also look at how bundled I was! It was freezing when we were there!
Couvent des Jacobins
After wandering around the city center, we wandered over to this old monastery that was quite breath-taking. It’s called Le covent des Jacobins and it carries eight centuries of history with it. Amazing.
It is a Dominican monastery built in 1229. It was built in an old, gothic style with of course the pink bricks that Toulouse is famous for. During the French revolution, the monastery was used a barracks. Some of it was destroyed. However because of it’s historical nature, it has been renovated and is open to the public. It costs 4 euros to enter. However entrance is free for students.
If you wander down to the river as the sun is setting, it is unbelievable. We just happened to be in that area when it happened and caught some amazing photos.
Museum St. Raymond
This museum had a lot of statue heads. The pieces that are preserved in the museum come from the Celts and the Romans who lived in Toulouse. There are about 1,000 different pieces of statues and such in the place.
The Toulouse Museum
We spent our last few hours exploring this museum. I liked it, but I would honestly do other things if you only have a few days in the city. It’s a museum with all sorts of science and biology-related things. While I always love learning about that stuff, I know we could have spent this time looking at more historic churches and such in Toulouse. Toulouse has many, after all.
Also one thing to note for traveling to France is peanuts. I am severely allergic to peanuts and it’s the new trend in France to cook with peanut oil. Not everywhere of course, but it is more popular these days. I wrote “I’m allergic to peanuts and peanut oil” on a piece of paper in French (I do not speak any French) and at each restaurant showed it to the staff to be sure. So if you’re like me, this is a thing to be aware of in France.
Anyway, on a lighter note, have you traveled to Toulouse or France?