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Toulouse is primarily known as the capital of the southwestern region of France, located on the banks of the Garonne River and serving as the headquarters for European space exploration. However, it is also a great place to visit, where you can see and explore many interesting places: countless churches, museums and gardens — all of which make Toulouse a unique city.
The small airport of Toulouse manages to serve about 7 million passengers a year. More than 60 airlines from all over the world arrive here.
But tourists spoiled with excellent service will not be so happy with Toulouse-Blagnac Airport. There is not even Wi-Fi, not to mention places for recreation. At this airport you can’t count on a vacation or decent food. In addition, the airport is closed at night, so its infrastructure is designed for quick arrival, passing control and moving further into the city.
The airport is connected to the center of Toulouse by a bus line. You can find buses at the exit from Hall B. They leave the station every 20 minutes and take passengers to the main station of the city. The fare is 5 euros.
If you want to save a little, look for the bus of route 66 — a ticket costs only 1.6 euros. It rides a little longer and takes you to the subway. You can quickly get to any point in Toulouse using the same ticket.
Toulouse has the nickname La Ville Rose — City of Roses. All because many of the city’s buildings are made of pinkish brick. The construction of these houses was funded by the city’s main export commodity, the blue dye used in medieval and Renaissance textiles.
Today, Toulouse is the aviation capital of Europe with the largest space center and headquarters of Airbus. Toulouse attracts fascinating museums about space, history, ancient art, as well as art from the Gothic period to the Impressionists.
The basilica was built in the 1100s. Now this largest Romanesque church in Europe is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. More relics are stored here than in any other church in France. Many of them were donated to the abbey by King Charlemagne in the 800s.
If you look closely at the facade of the five-story brick tower of the basilica, you can clearly see a mixture of styles, since the building began to be built in the 12th century, and finished only in the 14th.
Whether you go shopping or sightseeing, you will regularly return to Capitol Square in front of City Hall. The city seems to be built around this place. A magnificent palace in pink is much older than it might seem at first glance. Some fragments of the palace were built in the 12th century, and in the back of the building you can see elements of the Renaissance. It is worth looking inside, where the artists painted heartbreaking allegories of love. In the 19th century, the palace served as a venue for weddings, so the interior is “filled” with love.
Despite its name, this museum is not about the history of Toulouse, but the largest collection of ethnological exhibits outside of Paris. There are more than 2.5 million subjects of natural science. Here you can immerse yourself in botanical, entomological, mineralogical, ornithological, paleontological and many other “logical” galleries for hours! Many of these collections were collected by the most curious minds of the 19th century.
Toulouse is the birthplace of the classic French Cassoulet dish. This bean stew is without a doubt a symbol of the city. Although, according to the most famous recipe, sausages need to be added in Cassoulet, in Toulouse it is made with duck, which will completely change your idea of this dish.
They also make Toulouse sausages according to their own recipe. Lean meat is used for sausages, due to which they have a special pink color. Serve them with fried potatoes or stewed vegetables.
One of the best souvenirs you can bring from Toulouse trip is a jar of local foie gras. Experts say that in this region the most tender duck liver is obtained.
It is worth trying a nut tart in Toulouse. Spread an abundant layer of ground nut filling on thin dough, baked and served with a scoop of ice cream.