The Ville Rose opens its doors to you, but you only have one day to explore it! Do not panic ! You will have time to take the temperature there and discover the essentials. Terre.tv offers 5 things to do absolutely if you visit Toulouse in one day. Be careful, you will have to get up early and walk briskly if you don’t want to miss anything!
Toulouse would not be Toulouse without its Place du Capitole. This square is entirely reserved for pedestrians, enough to stroll quietly among the symbols of the city: the Occitan cross and the pink brick buildings. You will discover the Hôtel de Ville de Toulouse, a one-of-a-kind brick and stone building made up of eight marble columns, each of which represents one of the eight capitouls that ruled the city during the Middle Ages. You can even visit it and it’s worth the detour! On this square, you will also have the opportunity to see the most beautiful mansions of the city such as the Hotel Le Grand Balcon where the pilots of the Aéropostale slept. Among the most famous residents, none less than Saint Exupéry and Mermoz. Opposite the Capitol, you can discover very elegant arcades whose ceilings have been painted with 29 serigraphs made by Raymond Moretti and which retrace the history of the city of Toulouse.
The Basilica of Saint-Sernin
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Basilica of Saint Sernin is a must in Toulouse. A true jewel of the city, the largest Romanesque church in Europe, intact for more than a thousand years, the Basilica of Saint Sernin is a true architectural marvel with its 21-metre high nave. From the outside, you can admire its octagonal bell tower but also the Porte de Miègeville. Do not miss to go inside to discover very beautiful paintings as well as the tomb of the bishop Saint Saturnin. It will also be possible to visit the ambulatory of the crypt to admire bas-reliefs dating from the 11th century.
The Augustinian Museum
You will discover there one of the richest Romanesque lapidary collections in the world but also a collection of impressive paintings among which we find Toulouse-Lautrec, Delacroix, Ingres, Rubens, Oudry, Rivalz or even Van Haarleem. But that’s not all ! The museum also has a solid number of sculptures by the greatest: Auguste Rodin, Antonin Mercié and Alexandre Falguière. It is in fact the Museum of Fine Arts of Toulouse organized by respecting the architecture of the building and allowing visitors to use the church and the passageways of the cloister as corridors leading from one room to another.
In front of the Hôtel Le Grand Balcon on the Place du Capitole, take Rue du Taur, one of the most touristic streets in the city. Taur because of the bull, an emblematic animal of the city and intimately linked to its history. Stroll down the street and discover the many shops selling violet-based products: soaps, sweets, cookies, etc. At the same time, you will discover that the real Toulouse violet specialty is its crystallized sugar petals, a real delight to bring back in your suitcase. Rue du Taur is located in a lively and dynamic student district where life is good. Many small restaurants and bars will welcome you for a well-deserved break.
The Hôtel d’Assézat and the Bemberg Foundation
Toulouse has no less than 74 mansions, but if there is one that should not be missed under any circumstances, it is that of Assézat. It is quite simply one of the most beautiful mansions in the city. This sumptuous palace was built in 1555 for a wealthy merchant who made his fortune on the pastel blue, capitoul of the city, Pierre d’Assézat. Built around a square courtyard, two of the buildings alone represent three different architectural styles: Corinthian, Doric and Ionic. It’s worth the trip alone! The Hôtel Assézat also houses one of the most beautiful museums in the city and now protects the Bemberg Foundation. There you can discover paintings from the Renaissance, the 17th and 18th centuries as well as more modern currents such as pointillism, impressionism or Fauvism. On the first floor, you will discover a splendid collection of old paintings, bronzes and books. On the second floor are kept the more modern canvases while the vaulted brick cellars house the temporary exhibitions of the foundation.
Finally, in one day you will be able to discover the greatest wonders of Toulouse. Take advantage of your day to take a lunch break and taste the city’s specialties such as Toulouse sausage or fénétra, an unforgettable cake.