The fourth-largest city in France, Toulouse, is one of the many overlooked tourist destinations in the country. When in fact, Toulouse, also known as the “Pink City,” has so much to offer – distinctive buildings, a great food scene, old town scenery, historical and cultural traditions, and a lot more!
This is why, in this 2 Day Itinerary for Toulouse, we will share all the information you’ll need, especially if you’re still doubting whether to visit the town. Indeed, once you get to know Toulouse a little better, you’d want to book that ticket immediately and spend a weekend there.
Toulouse is ranked as one of Southern France’s prettiest cities. While famed for its pink facade, Toulouse offers an experience to explore its rich history and architecture. There are many landmarks to see, from the grandiose Saint Sernin Basilica to the Capitole de Toulouse, the town hall, and the opera house.
Of course, a trip to Toulouse would only be complete with sampling their local cuisine. Although you might already be familiar with French cuisine, the city offers local delicacies like the cassoulet, a hearty stew made with white beans and various meats. So, check out the city’s many bustling food markets and quaint cafes to taste the local flavours.
While there’s so much to see and explore in Toulouse (which we will discuss more later), it’s also essential to know the best time to visit the city. The weather here almost all year round is warm and sunny.
But, if you’re wondering how to make the most out of your 48-hour trip to Toulouse, spring, and fall are generally the most pleasant seasons weather-wise. While the summer months are also famous for tourists, these months are when the city is a little bit crowded.
In addition, make sure you’ll be staying somewhere convenient and accessible. Generally, those places are the centre of Toulouse, Capitole du Toulouse, and the Carmes districts. These areas are filled with charming streets and alleys lined with cafes, shops, and restaurants and are within easy walking distance of many of the city’s top attractions.
Toulouse is a hidden gem that should be on your travel list. This 2-Day Toulouse Itinerary lets you know what to do on your two days there. All that’s left to do is pack your bags and prepare to embark on your Toulouse journey.
If you’re wondering how many days in Toulouse is ideal or how many days do you need in Toulouse? Well it all depends on what your plans are? You could easily spend 2 weeks in Toulouse or 2 months and still not see or do everything.
Below is a great guide on what to do in Toulouse in 2 days because sometimes 2 days in Toulouse is all you have, especially if you’re spending a weekend in Toulouse or you’re travelling to Toulouse on short stop over trip and want to be able to tour some of the main areas within Toulouse.
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Overview of 2 Days in Toulouse Itinerary
Here’s a glance at what you’ll see and do in two days in Toulouse:
- Get breakfast at Victor Hugo Market
- Visit Saint Etienne Cathedral
- Explore Capitole de Toulouse & Place du Capitole
- Have coffee at Patisserie Conte
- Relax at Jardin Japonais
- Stroll along Canal du Midi
- Get Dinner at La Cave au Cassoulet
- Enjoy Breakfast at Le Péry
- Visit the Basilique Saint Sernin
- Discover art at Les Abattoirs
- Lunch at Antipodes
- Cruise along Garrone River
- Wine & Dine at Cartouches
Day 1 in Toulouse
Get breakfast at Victor Hugo Market
One of the most popular markets in Tolous is the Victor Hugo Market, locally known as Marche Couvert Victor Hugo. It is located in the heart of Toulouse and is home to fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and homemade bread, which will be heaven for food lovers.
For your first meal of the day, visit Victor Hugo Market and have some coffee and croissant, or maybe a hearty meal from one of the many vendors. After your light meal, use your time and wander through the market, taking in the sights and smells.
As you visit the market, not only will you get to observe the local’s daily routine, but it’s also the perfect place to stock up on snacks for a picnic or to pick up ingredients for a home-cooked meal.
Visit Saint Etienne Cathedral
With origins going back to the 3rd century, Saint Etienne Cathedral, also known as Toulouse Cathedral, has been an important landmark for the locals. The church has this unique Gothic architecture featuring stunning stained glass windows, a magnificent organ, and soaring spires.
In addition, the cathedral is also home to several gardens that can be a place for resting, relaxing, and even picnics. So, take advantage of this, and once you are in the area, take your time admiring the intricate architecture and peaceful atmosphere.
It is located in the centre of Toulouse so it wouldn’t take much of your time to travel there. Moreover, it is also near your next destination – Capitole de Toulouse & Place du Capitole.
Explore Capitole de Toulouse & Place du Capitole
For your third stop in the morning, it’s a must to see and visit the Capitole de Toulouse & Place du Capitole. These are two critical places in the city, offering neoclassical and majestic sights to see.
The Capitole de Toulouse is a grand building that houses the city’s town hall, administrative centre and opera house. While not all city halls in all countries are considered a tourist destinations, this is an exception.
This is because of its exceptional neoclassical architecture, with a beautiful facade and a grand marble staircase that many travellers find attractive to see up close.
Meanwhile, just a few steps in front of the city hall is where Place du Capitole. This square showcases different architectural styles that have dominated Toulouse throughout its lengthy history.
As you visit the square, you’ll find various cafes, shops, street performers, and plenty of people-watching opportunities.
Have coffee at Patisserie Conte
After strolling around the historic centre of Toulouse, starting your afternoon itinerary with some sweets would be nice. Patisserie Conte is a local cafe and bakery that’s been serving up delicious pastries since 1950.
They are famous for serving one of the best fenetra in Toulouse. Fenetra is a rustic tart made with almonds, apricot, and candied lemon peel.
If you enjoy trying different kinds of pastry, you should take advantage of this. Moreover, grab a drink and replenish the energy you’ve used up.
Relax at Jardin Japonais
What’s better than a stroll in a tranquil and peaceful garden while travelling to another city? To do that, include the Jardin Japinais in your itinerary.
The Jardin Japonais is a Japanese garden built in 1981 by the city mayor, who had a trip to Kyoto. He wanted to let the residents of Toulouse experience what it’s like to be in a Japanese garden without the need to travel miles away.
Jardin Japonais is designed in the traditional Japanese style and features winding paths, a koi pond, and plenty of cherry blossoms. As you stroll inside the garden, you will encounter an arched red bridge, a teahouse, a rock garden, and much more.
One thing is for sure, if you visit the park, you’ll be doubting if you’re still in Toulouse because the surroundings just let off a Japanese garden, making it a perfect place to unwind and soak up some nature after a day of sightseeing.
Stroll along Canal du Midi
Canal du Mi is a 250-kilometre network of waterways that links the Mediterranean and Toulouse. It was recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site in the 90s after being part of important history during World War II.
As it runs through Toulouse, it has become a famous tourist destination for those who want to take leisurely walks and enjoy a calming time.
So, before ending your first day in Toulouse, stroll along Canal du Midi’s banks. You even have the choice to walk or rent a bike and cycle the canal’s length; yes, it is also possible to take a boat tour if you prefer.
Either way, you’ll enjoy the beautiful city and surrounding countryside views here, especially as the sunset reflect over its water.
Get Dinner at La Cave au Cassoulet
No trip to Toulouse would be complete without trying cassoulet, the hearty stew made with white beans, sausage, and various types of meat that’s a local speciality.
The best way to enjoy this dish is to visit a famous and renowned French restaurant in the city – La Cave au Cassoulet.
La Cave au Cassoulet is a charming French Bistro with an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere, candlelit tables and white tablecloths.
This cosy restaurant promises a beautiful stay, serving delicious traditional dishes and an extensive wine list. The best way to end a tiring (but worthwhile) day!
Day 2 in Toulouse
Enjoy Breakfast at Le Péry
On your second day at Toulouse, start your journey with a delicious breakfast at Le Péry, a trendy and famous bar and restaurant at the square of Place Damloup.
While the place is known as a bar and restaurant, they also have various brunch meals to fill you up before starting your tour. When visiting, make sure to try their famous tartines and potato galette.
But, aside from the great French food they serve, they also take pride in their enormous terrace shaded with trees so diners can enjoy eating in the area all year round. Just the perfect palace to start your day!
Visit the Basilique Saint Sernin
After having your fill at Le Pery, take things slow and go on a walk through Basilique Saint Sernin. Here, you get to know the city’s historical past and, at the same time, enjoy beautiful architecture,
The Basilique dates back to the 11th century. As you tour the vicinity, you will be welcomed with stunning architectural details, intricate carvings, and magnificent stained glass windows.
Aside from this, you can also visit the crypt beneath the Basilique, where ancient tombs and relics of past saints and bishops are.
Basilique Saint Sernin also has its bell tower open to the public. You’ll get a great panoramic view of Toulouse’s skyline if you climb this. Just be prepared for the narrow spiral staircase that will take you atop.
While it remains a famous tourist destination, it still acts as an active church for locals. So if you wish to attend a service, you can experience the solemn beauty of a Catholic Mass or other religious ceremony if you want to.
You can easily do all this alone, but a guided city tour will also help you gain more helpful information and discover stories about the basilica. In any case, take your time to appreciate the serenity and grandeur of this great religious site.
Discover art at Les Abattoirs
Art enthusiasts should be aware of Les Abattoirs, a contemporary art museum housed in a former slaughterhouse.
The museum showcases a diverse collection of modern and contemporary artworks, including paintings, sculptures, installations, and multimedia exhibits.
So for your second stop on your second day, you should explore and visit Les Abattoirs. As mentioned, they have an array of exhibitions displayed for public viewing. But aside from this, they also offer a range of workshops and events for visitors.
You can check out the gallery’s events and announcements online, so you know when would be the perfect time to visit.
Since Les Abattoirs is housed in a former slaughterhouse turned into a modern art museum, many travellers are curious about the buildings’ architectural style.
This is why many tourists and even locals come to visit and admire the building and, at the same time, enjoy the pieces they share with the public.
Lunch at Antipodes
After strolling around from one place to another, it’s time to enjoy more of the Toulouse food scene.
Antipode is one of the many famous restaurants in the city, and Michelin has reviewed it and received much praise from locals and food enthusiasts visiting the city. Adding to its story, it was built by two former students of Toulouse catering school.
Since then, it has gained popularity, especially with its lunch menu; despite being a small establishment, many people visit it. So, coming earlier than the usual lunchtime is highly recommended to avoid long lines.
Cruise along Garrone River
Next up – hop on a cruise along Garonne River! After fueling up with some good French food, embark on a leisurely cruise along the Garonne River, which winds through Toulouse.
While you can admire it from land, one of the best ways to admire the picturesque scenery, including the city’s iconic bridges and charming waterfront architecture, is by joining a cruise tour. A river cruise offers a unique perspective of the city and allows you to relax and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.
Since the river is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, including hills, forests and vineyards, you can take in the atmosphere and feel the tranquillity of the city right before you end your 48-hour trip in Toulouse.
This is highly recommended to be done during the afternoon, right before sunset. This way, not only can you enjoy the day scenery of the surrounding river areas, but you’ll also get to end (almost) your trip in Toulouse with a great view of the city’s sunset.
Furthermore, if you have more time to spare you can always visit nearby beaches near the river.
Wine & Dine at Cartouches
After a long day of going around and exploring Toulouse, it’s time to wrap off your trip with some good food and wine at a good restaurant.
Cartouches is one of the best restaurants in Toulouse, and Michelin also reviewed it, saying they offer good value cooking and excellent food quality.
So, since this would be officially your last stop in Toulouse, take advantage of their great cured meats and their long list of wine selections.
Plus, it is directly handled by the owner Nicolas Brousee and his wife, who will cater to you during your time at the restaurant.
Tours in Toulouse
While touring around Toulouse can quickly be done by foot or public transportation, it would also be a great idea to go on a bike tour around the city.
This way, you can admire the buildings in the town that have pale-coloured brick change into pink hues throughout the day and discover why Toulouse was named the Pink City.
When you book this tour, a bicycle and gear will already be provided depending on your needs and comfort.
A professional guide will take you and your small tour group to see places, including famous landmarks, plazas and basilicas.
Toulouse offers excellent architecture, breathtaking views, and good food. While in town, make sure to taste every local cuisine you can. Doing this would be easier if you joined a local food tour.
Lasting for only 3 hours (which will take little time), you will discover local delicacies and drinks as if you are a local.
You will visit five places offering sweet and savoury dishes with a guide and a small tour group. Some food you might sample during the tour includes foie gras, cassoulet, wine and violet.
2-Day Itinerary for Toulouse Wrap-up
After all, that said, you already know how to spend 48 hours in Toulouse. We have already given the necessary information you need to know in this detailed itinerary, including things to do, what to eat and tours to try.
All you have to do now is prepare your documents, book your flight and hotel in Toulouse and pack your bags – and you’re ready to embark on a 48-hour journey to Toulouse.
Recommended tours in Toulouse
- Marché Victor Hugo Small Group Food Tour
- The essential of Toulouse by bike
- Explore Toulouse Wine Bars with a Local Wine Expert
- Toulouse: Private guided walking tour
- Private tour of Toulouse in an electric Tuk Tuk
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