Between the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, Toulouse occupies a prime spot at the foot of the Pyrenees. It’s a real hub for festivals, with more than 1,000 held each year, including the Fête de la Violette. Explore La Ville Rose – the Pink City – on foot, peek inside the Unesco-listed Basilique Saint-Sernin before tucking into a slice of local gâteau du fénétra. Book your stay with Culture Trip today.
The Privilege rooms at this hotel come with the veritable advantage of windows overlooking the beautiful Place du Capitole and its buildings that date as far back as the 16th century. Standard rooms have views of the courtyard, where you’ll no doubt spot other guests enjoying a drink in the Occitania air. When checking in here, be sure to look up – the lamps are unexpectedly accompanied by various musical instruments dangling from the ceiling.
At La Galerie, you’ll find a wooden stove, leather chaise longue and pink ottoman in a lounge and dining area bursting with quirk. In the Roseraie district northeast of Toulouse, the hotel is only a few metro stops from downtown via the nearby Argoulets station, a five-minute walk away. The art-inspired guesthouse features three rooms honouring renowned painters, with antique trinkets and framed prints scattered all over the property. Outside, there’s a small swimming pool.
You’ll have the choice of a suite or an apartment at this chic, spacious hotel, just off the east side of the Pont Neuf, Toulouse’s 16th-century stone bridge. Whichever you choose, you’ll discover a minibar and an audio system that pumps music into the shower; some also have a balcony overlooking the Garonne River. At the onsite Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Cénacle, the impressive stone hearth is given a mood lighting treatment, while chef Thomas Vonderscher works his magic with dishes such as beef tartare.
Owner Marie-Ange is an architect who has travelled the world, and her charming guesthouse is designed in her image. Each of the four bedrooms boasts unique characteristics, such as the art deco room with a ceiling skylight, the Mermoz room with bay windows and a patio, and the Terrace room with a private roof lounge. The upstairs communal lounge features trinkets and souvenirs, each coming with a story from all over the globe.
The bright white floors, ceilings and walls transform the lobby area here into the perfect canvas for a range of colourful contemporary art and sculptures. If you’re particularly taken by any of the prints adorning the walls, ask at reception for a price. The cuisine on offer at the onsite South West Bistrot Ramblas is just as creative and colourful, with chef Yousri Ben-Jeday prioritising organic produce from regional producers.
Once a 17th-century convent, this historic hotel sits on the south side of the Place du Capitole, opposite the theatre that inspires its name. Opera-red tones dominate the bedroom interiors, along with giant gold-framed paintings. An old-world charm pervades throughout the property, and those who enjoy a traditional hotel service will be right at home. The gold-hued brasserie continues the theme with a classical French menu, including Gillardeau oysters, a veal chop and a risotto of the day.
As Europe’s aerospace hub and the home of Airbus, Toulouse’s proud flying history is honoured at this 1930s hotel. Bedrooms are decorated to resemble fluffy clouds, while pioneering French aviators such as Jean Mermoz, Henri Guillaumet and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry stare out from black-and-white photos on the lounge walls. Younger guests will enjoy spotting model aeroplanes – and even copies of Saint-Exupéry’s famous book Le Petit Prince (1943) – dotted around the building.
This family-run property was born in 1905 when Léon Sentenac – the current owner’s grandfather – opened it as a wine bar. More than a century later, and the offering has extended to incorporate a 41-room hotel, its founder remaining present and honoured in its name (“father Leon”). The room options include double, triple and family, while breakfast is a self-serve buffet divided into sweet and savoury. The latter offers prosciutto, fresh eggs and baked baguettes, while the former comprises a wide choice of pastries, spreads and fruit.
Shyla Watson contributed additional reporting to this article.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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