Spending some time in Toulouse, France and looking for the best places to go and see for your afternoon walks? Look no further! Lodgis has compiled a list of the best walking tours, parks, and gardens to explore la ville rose (the pink city), relax, and spend some time in nature. Whether you are just taking a day trip, staying for a few days during holiday, or moving to Toulouse, these tours will be an unforgettable experience. So take a friend, family member, pet, or a book, choose a route and have a nice day in this beautiful region of the Midi-Pyrenees near the Garonne River.
1. La Place du Capitole and the Quartier des Étudiants (Old Students’ Quarter)
In the center of Toulouse you’ll find La Place du Capitole, the perfect starting point for a fun stroll throughout the city. We suggest you start here, taking the time to see the beautiful Hôtel de Ville (or Town Hall) and all of the archways that were built in the 19th century in the same style as the famous Rue Rivoli in Paris. Afterwards, make your way towards the Quartier des Étudiants (or the old Students’ Quarter) which is full of new and antique bookstores as well as plenty of cafés to sit and have a cup of coffee, read, or take a break before finishing the rest of your walk. And make sure not to miss the beautiful views of the Saint-Sernin Church, one of the most famous historical landmarks in Toulouse.
Addresses: Place du Capitole, 31000 Toulouse; Place Saint-Sernin, 31000 Toulouse
2. Le Quartier de Marchands (Merchants’ Quarter)
Looking for an older and more architectural walk? Start again in La Place du Capitole and head toward Le Quartier de Marchands (or the old Merchant’s Quartier). This walk will take you down Rue Saint-Rome, a pleasant pedestrian street that is full of Renaissance era architecture. As you continue, you will also come upon the Hôtel d’Astorg’s courtyard, perfect for a photo-op! The Musée de Vieux Toulouse (The Old Toulouse Museum), which tells the history of the City of Toulouse and the surrounding region, will also be along this path as well as the Hôtel d’Assézat: a 16th century palace!
Addresses: Hôtel d’Astorg, 16 des Changes, 31000 Toulouse; Musée du Vieux Toulouse, 7 rue du May, 31000 Toulouse; Place d’Assézat, 31000 Toulouse
3. Le Quartier Aristocratique (Aristocratic Quarter)
South of the Saint-Étienne Cathedral lies Le Quartier Artistocratique (or the Old Aristocratic Quarter) which will make you feel as if you’ve gone back in time while you walk through the charming alleys with buildings from the 16th through 18th centuries which were constructed by the French nobility of the period! You won’t want to miss out on visiting the best antique shops in the city, most, if not all, of which are located in this quarter. And once you’ve finished your antiques shopping, stop by Chez Pillon which is known as the best chocolate maker in the region!
Addresses: Cathedral Saint-Étienne, Place Saint-Étienne, 31000 Toulouse; Chez Pillon, 2 rue Ozenne, 31000 Toulouse
4. Along the banks of the Garonne River
What better place to take a walk than along the banks of the Garonne River while in Toulouse? Take your time and enjoy the scenery as you walk next to the water and don’t forget to stop at the Fine Arts School and the Café des Artistes to admire the works of the creative mind and to stop for a nice relaxing cup of coffee with a view! Along this walk you will also find the Place de la Daurade and the picturesque Hôtel de Bernuy which is located in the center of the historic quarter of Toulouse and was built between 1503 and 1533.
Addresses: L’école des beaux arts, 5 quai de la Daurade, 31000 Toulouse; Café des Artistes, 13 place de la Daurade, 31000; Hôtel de Bernuy, 1 Rue Léon Gambetta, 31000 Toulouse
5. Parks and Gardens in Toulouse
Looking for a more relaxing place to take a stroll, see some greenery, and maybe have a picnic? Then these parks and gardens will be just the thing for you!
Le Jardin Royal de Toulouse (The Royal Garden of Toulouse)
Visit the Jardin Royal de Toulouse, the oldest public garden in Toulouse, for a calm and peaceful stroll or a picnic with friends or family. This garden is a traditional English style garden, is open year round, is free to the public, has both stroller and handicap access, and can be found on Rue du 8 mai 1945.
Le Prairie des Filtres
The Prairie des Filtres is much larger than the Jardin Royal de Toulouse and happens to be one of the most frequented gardens in the city. With views of the Garonne river, this garden draws the attention of many locals and tourists alike. Le Prairie des Filtres is open year round, free to the public, has both stroller and handicap access, and is pet friendly! This garden can be found on the Cours Dillon, 31000 Toulouse.
Le Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes in Toulouse is a public garden that used to be the city’s botanical gardens. This garden borders the Canal Saint-Sernin and boasts a collection of over 1,300 different species of plants for the enjoyment and knowledge of biology students, medical students, and botany amateurs alike. As mentioned before, this is a public garden therefore it is free to the public and has both handicap accessibility as well as stroller accessibility and can be found on Allée Frederic Mistral, 31000 Toulouse.
Le Jardin japonais de Toulouse (The Japanese Garden of Toulouse)
The Jardin japonais de Toulouse is actually located within the larger Compans Caffarelli gardens of Toulouse and is styled after Japanese gardens in Kyoto that were built between the 14th and 16th centuries. With its water features and exotic plants the Jardin japonais de Toulouse is a beautiful place to take a walking tour and discover traditional Kyoto without leaving Toulouse! This garden has free entree, is open year round, has both handicap and stroller access, and can be found on Boulevard Lascrosses, 31000 Toulouse.
No matter which of these paths, routes, parks, or gardens you choose, you can rest assured that they will all be a beautiful representation of the city of Toulouse! La Ville Rose has multiple places to spend a day surrounded by historic French architecture or taking in the views of the Garonne river while spending some time in nature.