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Located in Southwestern France about midway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Toulouse is a city that has incredible charm due to its many red brick buildings. The amount of red within the architecture of this city has even become part of it’s nickname: La Ville Rose or “The Pink City.” Although it is primarily known for being at the center of the aerospace industry for Europe, it is also one of the essential cities to visit during any trip to France. Are you headed to Toulouse? Then we have some essentials that you should put onto your itinerary:
The Place du Capitole Is One of Europe’s Great Squares
What makes for a great European square? First you’ve got to have a wide open space for people to have enough room to have a sense of privacy. It must be free from vehicles so that people can explore the area at their leisure without worry. There must be at least one cafe around that serves something that is out-of-this-world spectacular in some way. Last but not least, there must be an ancient building that serves as the backdrop for the entire square.
The Place du Capitol has all of these! The combined town hall and opera house calls this square its home. There is plenty of space for a walk or for people watching, if you prefer. Stop by the Opera’s Grand Cafe on the square for some of the best oysters that you’ll ever have in your life! All in all, a visit here is well worth the effort.
Aerospace Industry? Space Museum? Makes Sense!
As the hub of Europe’s aerospace industry, Toulouse is home to one of the best space museums in the world. You can’t really miss where the museum is when you visit this city because it is home to a 150 foot replica of an Ariane 5 rocket! There are several exhibits that help to track the course of humanity’s race to the stars, including a life-sized model of the initial Sputnik satellite, real moon rocks, and actual components of the first space station, Mir.
There are hands-on exhibits as well, such as the gyroscope that simulates astronaut training and plenty of learning opportunities for kids of all ages. Before calling it a day here, make sure to catch the presentation in the planetarium.
Finish Your Time in Toulouse In Style
The red bricks of this city were used because it was cheaper to fabricate them instead of the whitewashed bricks that are common throughout the area. It makes for a beautiful change of pace and one that is worth seeing in its entirety. Rent one of those tiny subcompacts, drive through the Old Town, and just enjoy the experience of what The Pink City has to offer each visitor.
Are you ready to visit Toulouse? This is a city that is beautifully unique with a charm that is all its own. Centrally located in France, whether you spend one day here or one month, every day feels like it is fresh and new when you’re there. Stop by Toulouse at your next opportunity… you won’t be disappointed!
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