Toulouse 2-Day Travel Guide – What to See and Do on a Weekend Getaway

  • 18.12.2023 20:09
  • Bruno Arcos

Have a look at our Toulouse 2-day travel guide and discover the best the city has to offer, including hotels, restaurants, tips to avoid tourist scams and even a detailed list with everything you must see and do in Toulouse in 2 days.

Do you want to receive notifications about new offers?

Sign up and decide which deals you will receive. We won't send spam!

or download our mobile app

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

Nicknamed the “Pink City” due to the color of the clay used in the construction of most of its historic buildings, Toulouse is a charming place located in the southwest of France – and yet another perfect example of a place you can fully explore over the weekend.

Despite its beautiful looks and laid-back atmosphere, in line with the ever-pleasant weather, Toulouse is actually the biggest city in this part of France (and one of the biggest in the whole country), offering a surprisingly healthy amount of places to visit and things to do!

That being said, we invite you to have a look at our Toulouse 2-day travel guide and discover the best the city has to offer, including hotels, restaurants, tips to avoid tourist scams and even a detailed list with everything you must see and do in Toulouse in 2 days.

Toulouse 2-Day Travel Guide

Ryanair unsplash

How to get to Toulouse – Flights from the UK

Officially the 5th biggest city in France, as well as the largest in the southwest of the country, Toulouse is served by the Toulouse–Blagnac International Airport.

As such, if you’re traveling from the UK, it is possible to fly directly to Bordeaux from London-Heathrow (British Airways), London-Gatwick (Easyjet and TUI), London-Stansted (Ryanair), Bristol (Easyjet and TUI), Manchester (TUI), Birmingham (Ryanair and TUI) and Edinburgh (Ryanair).

How many days do I need to visit Toulouse?

Given the geographic proximity, the city’s dimensions and the abundance of affordable flights from our country, Toulouse definitely stands out as a fantastic destination for a weekend getaway.

As such, two days should be plenty for you to check out the city’s highlights. Nevertheless, if you’ve got an extra day to spare, you might want to check out some of the best day trips from Toulouse.

Toulouse 2-day travel guide – Best time to visit the city

Located in the mild and sunny southwest of France, close to the border with neighboring Spain, Spring, Summer and Fall are definitely the most sought-after months when it comes to booking a trip to Toulouse, with the period between May and September standing out as the most researched. However, keep in mind accommodation prices will be through the roof in the peak of Summer!

On the other hand, you may choose to visit during shoulder-season, when temperatures tend to be more pleasant, the streets less crowded and the prices smaller.

Documents needed for your trip to Toulouse

Since France is part of the EU, British citizens do not need a visa to visit. You’ll just need your passport, which must have been issued within the last 10 years and remain valid for at least 6 months from the date of your trip.

However, keep in mind that starting in 2024, British passengers will need to apply for ETIAS in order to enter any EU country.

Toulouse 2-day travel guide – Withdrawals, banking fees and travel budget

With the Euro (€) as France’s official currency, any withdrawal using a UK bank card might incur in the payment of several different fees. Besides the percentual fee referring to the currency conversion, some UK banks may also charge a flat commission for withdrawals made outside the UK. In some instances, you may well end up paying 5%-6% of your original withdrawal in banking fees.

On the other hand, exchanging money before your trip is not a viable solution either. Besides not being any cheaper, it’s also not safe or wise to carry so much money on you during your trip. As such, we recommend using the services of online banking fintech companies such as Revolut, N26 or Monzo.

Although each have their own limitations and fees, they allow you to withdraw a certain amount in foreign currency without any fees involved. And even after that threshold is reached, costs are much smaller when compared to traditional banks. Sign up for Revolut for free >> to get 3 months of Premium.

Toulouse 2-day travel guide – Common scams and frauds

Unsurprisingly, Toulouse is an extremely safe destination, consistently ranking among the safest cities in France (a destination that welcomes millions of tourists every year). Besides, since Toulouse hasn’t experienced overtourism yet, you don’t really have to worry about pickpockets and/or travel scams like you would in several other destinations across the country.

However, and much like you would do in any other big city, using your common-sense is key. That means no taxis whose drivers refuse to start the meter, no accepting help from strangers when you’re using an ATM or trying to buy metro tickets and always keeping an eye out for your stuff when you’re walking through busy areas. To sum up: don’t do anything you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing in any other city!

Where to sleep in Toulouse – Hotels and Accommodation

If you’re looking out for a place to stay on our Toulouse 2-day travel guide then we got your covered!

Considering this is one of the biggest cities in France, Toulouse isn’t exactly budget-friendly. Although flights are usually dirt-cheap, food and accommodation can make a dent in your wallet if you’re not careful. Still, if you look hard enough, there are always a few good options suited to every budget.

That being said, here are a few hotel options which have passed our value-for-money test:

Toulouse 2-Day Travel Guide – Transportation between the airport and the city centre

Although Toulouse Airport is served by its very own tram station, the stop has been deactivated due to renovation and expansion works on the city’s metro lines, with the current situation expected to persist until 2026 (when the metro will reach the airport). Therefore, until then, the most convenient way to move around between the airport and the city center is by using the shuttle service. These buses operate 24/7, with a new vehicle departing every 15 minutes. The journey takes 25 minutes, and you can get out at the Jeanne d’Arc or Jean Jaurès metro stations or at the Marengo train station. Tickets cost €9,00 – you just need to tap your contactless payment card on the scanning machine inside the vehicle, and the fare will automatically be debited from your account.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for the cheapest option available, you can go for a combination of bus and tram. Start by boarding buses 30 or 31 departing from the airport, since both lines (regardless of your choice) will drop you off at a tram station (bus 30 at Odyssud-Ritouret; bus 31 at Guyenne-Berry). From there, take a tram heading towards Palais de Justice, getting off at the terminus.  Once you make it there, you’ll be about a 20-minute walk from the heart of the city. If you don’t feel like walking, you can always take the metro at Palais de Justice (Line B – Yellow) towards Borderouge, and get off at Jean Jaurès. Public transportation in Toulouse operates between 05h30 and midnight, with waiting times ranging from 10 to 20 minutes. One single ticket costs €1,80 and is enough to cover the entire journey (which takes about 50 minutes). These can be purchased at the ticket counters inside the airport, directly from the driver (exact change) or digitally through the Tisséo app.

Toulouse 2-Day Travel Guide – Public transportation

As you might have gathered from the info above, Toulouse is served by a comprehensive public transportation network, including the metro, tram and bus. However, from a tourist standpoint, these options may not be particularly useful if you’re staying in the heart of the city, as the historic center is quite compact and easy to explore on foot.

Be that as it may, we’ve decided to round up some info on the local tram and metro systems, just in case it comes in handy!

Metro and Trams in Toulouse – Maps, Tickets and Fares

Despite being served by both systems, the local tram and metro systems are composed of just 3 lines in total (2 metro lines + 1 tram line), with a new metro line currently in the works (for 2026). Besides serving as an essential mode of transportation for residents commuting between their homes and their places of work and study, the metro network covers the entire city center! To find out which tram/metro to hop on (and where) for a specific route, you can check out the planning tool on the Tisséo website (the public transport management in Toulouse), or you can simply use Google Maps since the schedules are integrated in the platform.

The tram operates every day from 05h30 to around midnight.

As for tickets, each individual ride will set you back €1,80, allowing you to switch between lines and even different modes of transportation within 60 minutes of validating your ticket. Tickets can be bought from the automatic machines located inside each station/stop, or directly through the Tisséo app, with your smartphone serving as your ticket.

That being said, if you plan on using the tram and/or the metro frequently, it’s worth looking into the daily and multi-day options available:

  • 1-Day Pass: €6,80
  • 7-Day Pass: €13,50
  • 10-Trrip Ticket: €15,10
  • “Tribe” Ticket: €8,90 (group ticket. It includes 12 trips, which must all be used in the same day)

Toulouse 2-day Travel Guide – Free walking tours

While in Toulouse, you have the option to explore the Old Town with a free walking tour. These tours, led by local guides or tour companies, offer guided visits to the historic center, sharing intriguing stories about each place and providing valuable cultural context. Even though these tours are technically free, it’s customary to show appreciation for the guide’s efforts by leaving a tip at the end. In Toulouse, a reasonable minimum tip would be around 7,00€.

That being said, here are a few companies that run free walking tours in Toulouse:

Toulouse 2-day Travel Guide – Hidden Treasures

As mentioned earlier, and despite being a great tourist destination on its own, this French city is far from the sheer size or magnitude of other more popular European stops. That being said, 2 days in Toulouse will be enough for you to explore the city’s main tourist attractions and highlights.

Be that as it may, and because we believe a good traveler must always be able to explore beyond the obvious, we wanted to add a few more obscure places to your list of things to see and do in Toulouse in 2 days:

Quartier Saint-Etienne: Often overshadowed by the Old Toulouse of Place du Capitole, Saint-Etienne is one of the most charming and authentic quarters in the city center, where the wealthier merchants used to build their mansions. To get a taste of this district, make sure to wander through the lovely Place Sainte Scarbes.

L’Envol des Pionniers Museum: Probably the quirkiest museum in the city, its exhibition tells the story of the first French pilots who pioneered air mail and package delivery. These pilots hailed from – you guessed it – Toulouse!

Galeries Lafayette Rooftop View: Much like Paris, Toulouse also boasts its very own version of the famous shopping gallery, albeit not as impressive or glitzy. However, just like in the capital, you can head to the top floor for free and enjoy fantastic views of the downtown area.

La Morgue de la Daurade: Another extremely peculiar site, tucked away in the peaceful La Daurade quarter, this place served as a morgue for bodies that washed ashore on the banks of the Garonne River. Nowadays? Well, you can grab a drink or indulge in a tasty ice cream in the exact same spot where locals used to do body identification. Bonne Appétit!

Toulouse 2-Day Travel Guide – What to See and Do in 48 Hours

Looking for a weekend getaway? In just 48 hours, you can get a taste of the very best of Toulouse, including its gorgeous historic center and the narrow street of the Vieux Quartier, the scenic riverbanks of the Garonne or the shores of the legendary Canal du Midi. If you got an extra day to spare, then heading to Carcassonne to see its medieval fortifications is also a great idea!

Without further ado, here’s what to see and do in Toulouse in 2 days:

Toulouse 2-Day Travel Guide: Day 1 – The Historic Center

As one would expect, we’ll kick off our adventures in Toulouse by heading straight into the heart of the historic center. As you step into the city, it’s impossible not to notice that pretty much every single building dons the same hues, since the downtown area was all built using the same type of clay. Because of that, Toulouse is known as “The Pink City”! But before you get lost in the charming, maze-like streets of the city center, your first stop will take place at the Basilica of Saint-Sernin, the largest Romanesque church in Europe and widely regarded as the most impressive building in all of Toulouse. Right next door, don’t skip the fantastic Musée Saint-Raymond (€5,00), the official name given to the Archaeological Museum of Toulouse. After all, this region has a rich history of Roman occupation, with thousands of different artifacts pertaining to that specific period. In fact, this museum boasts such an impressive collection, specialists claim it might even rival that of the legendary Louvre, in Paris! After the museum, you’ll stroll down Rue du Taur, the city’s main pedestrian avenue, before making a quick detour to check out the incredible frescoes at the Chapelle des Carmélites. As you reach the end of Rue du Taur, you will finally make it to Place du Capitole, Toulouse’s most famous square. As the name suggests, this is where you’ll find the Capitole de Toulouse, the historic building that now serves as the Town Hall. You may even walk in for free and tour some of its most beautiful salons.

Near the emblematic square, we also recommend paying a visit to the Galeries Lafayette Rooftop View. Much like Paris, Toulouse also boasts its very own version of the famous shopping gallery, albeit not as impressive or glitzy. However, just like in the capital, you can head to the top floor for free and enjoy fantastic views of the downtown area. Once you enjoy the scenery, you will then enter the Vieux Quartier, the section of the Old Town where you can stroll along narrow, cobblestone medieval streets – and one of the city’s most beautiful quarters! Furthermore, this is also where you’ll find Couvent des Jacobins (€5,00), another of Toulouse’s most important churches. To wrap up your day, you’ll take a walk through the splendid Quartier Saint-Etienne. Often overshadowed by the Old Toulouse of Place du Capitole, Saint-Etienne is one of the most charming and authentic quarters in the city center, where the wealthier merchants used to build their mansions. To get a taste of this district, make sure to wander through the lovely Place Sainte Scarbes or pay a visit to the Saint-Etienne Cathedral.

First day wrap-up:

  • Basilica of Saint-Sernin
  • Musée Saint-Raymond
  • Rue du Taur
  • Chapelle des Carmélites
  • Place du Capitole
  • Capitole de Toulouse
  • Galeries Lafayette Rooftop View
  • Vieux Quartier (Rue Saint-Rome and Rue des Changes)
  • Couvent des Jacobins
  • Quartier Saint-Etienne (Place Sainte Scarbes)
  • Saint-Etienne Cathedral

Where to eat in Toulouse – Cheap restaurants in the historic center (downtown):

Toulouse 2-Day Travel Guide: Day 2 – From the Garonne to the Canal du Midi

While the earlier stage of your weekend getaway was spent in the historic center of Toulouse, your last day in the city will be dedicated to the two important water elements that helped shape the metropolis we know today. That being said, you’ll start your long walk in the Quartier Saint-Cyprien Quarter, another of Toulouse’s secondary districts – but no less enchanting! However, the real reason for coming here was to find a good excuse to cross the Pont Neuf, the city’s prettiest bridge, spanning the quaint waters of the Garonne River. Despite its name (“New Bridge”), this is actually the city’s oldest, having been built about 500 years ago. Back in the downtown side, it’s worthwhile to take a walk along the waterfront and soak in the views, maybe making a pit stop at the quirky Morgue de la Daurade. Tucked away in the peaceful La Daurade quarter, this place served as a morgue for bodies that washed ashore on the banks of the Garonne River. Nowadays? Well, you can grab a drink or indulge in a tasty ice cream in the exact same spot where locals used to do body identification. Bonne Appétit!

Still along the riverbank, you’ll eventually make it to Pont Saint-Pierre, where you can snap one of Toulouse’s most famous postcard-pictures, with the fabulous Dôme de La Grave peeking from behind the rows of historic buildings. As you move north, you’ll finally make it to the meeting point of the Garonne and the Canal du Midi, a real wonder of ancient engineering. Built in the 17th century, this canal spans a whopping 240 km, connecting Toulouse to the port of Marseille. Back then, it proved to be a ground-breaking solution for those attempting to create a shortcut between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. Nowadays, walking along the canals and taking all the different pathways is a must-do when visiting Toulouse. Finally, your weekend will come to an end in the unforgettable Japanese Garden, a tranquil park based on the classic gardens of Kyoto.

Second day wrap-up:

  • Quartier Saint-Cyprien
  • Pont Neuf
  • Morgue de la Daurade
  • Dôme de La Grave
  • Canal du Midi
  • Japanese Garden

Where to eat in Toulouse – Cheap restaurants near Pont Neuf and the Canal du Midi:

Got more than 2 days in Toulouse? Then you might want to check out the best day trips from the city:

  • Carcassonne: Probably the most famous day trip from Toulouse, Carcassonne looks straight out of a fairy tale. Beyond its charming narrow streets and classical buildings, the highlight is the village’s massive medieval wall, among the best preserved in all of Europe.
  • Albi: If Toulouse is called the “Pink City”, Albi boasts the title of the “Red City”, the color that is most commonly found in the village’s facades. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Albi is famous for its Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, the largest brick building in the world, and a place of worship that doubles down as a fortress.
  • Montauban: Located just 50 km away from Toulouse, along the shores of River Tarn, Montauban offers an outside-the-box experience, away from the crowds of the more popular destinations. However, you can still expect all the allure of the traditional villages in the French southwest.
  • Moissac: A classic stop on the original route of the Way of Saint James, Moissac is known for the local Saint-Pierre Abbey and its famous cloisters – a must-visit for all the pilgrims passing through.

Do you want to receive notifications about new offers?

Sign up and decide which deals you will receive. We won't send spam!

or download our mobile app

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play
Travel ideas