Jardin Japonais | ©Sébastien Gay/Flickr
Take a day off and enjoy the eastern exotic oasis that is the Jardin Japonais. The botanical Japanese gardens offer a peacefully pleasant environment to reflect, as well as appreciate nature’s beauty. Take a free tour of the grounds and discover the Zen Japanese rock garden, Buddhist statues, great lake, and striking red bridge. The park also features a small house, which has been converted into a museum to teach visitors more about Japan, in addition to the fun facts about the flowers and trees that are grown in the garden. This is the perfect place to enjoy a warm day out, whether you want to go for a simple stroll or find a place to curl up with your favorite book. Jardin Japonais is particularly beautiful during autumn, as the leaves change and decorate the park in an array of vibrant colors. Be on the lookout for a small play area for children and a bar café for parents.
Statue in Jardin des Plantes | ©Christophe Robert/Flickr
Jardin des Plantes
Founded during the French Revolution in 1730, Jardin des Plantes is the first botanical garden to be established in Toulouse and the oldest public park in the city. There are over 1,000 different species of botany, some of which hold medicinal properties; these proved to be essential during the war, and Napoleon even allowed the grounds to be used as an artillery pint for soldiers. Adjacent to the Jardin des Plantes is the Natural History Museum, in addition to a medical school, popular theatre, and frequently visited church. Organize a group visit or take an individual tour, where you are sure to stumble upon one of the many sculptures that reside in the park, including a memorial to a war captain and statues dedicated to many characters of Greek myths.
Prairie des Filtres at Night | ©Pierre Phaneuf/Flickr
Prairie des Filtres
Grab the family and head out to Prairie des Filtres for a full day of fun! The park sits alongside the Garonne River, making it a popular site for water activities, including a special water ski club that has been active for over 40 years now. The park also features a bowling alley, a playground for young children, and a picnic area. Walk around the meadow and discover pieces of history; the site was used as both a training facility for rugby teams, as well as a vegetable garden during the war. Prairie des Filtres has so much open, lush green space that it is frequently used as a venue to host festivals, concerts, and other special events. Not to mention pets are allowed, so bring your fluffy friend for a fun game of fetch!
Performance at Jardin Raymond VI | © Pierre Phaneuf/Flickr
Jardin Raymond VI
Spacious public garden
Jardin Raymond VI is a botanical garden and public park that was established in 1998 and dedicated to Raymond VI, a count of Toulouse. Come explore the grounds, which is rich with wild and rare plants, many of which are associated with some kind of legend or interesting anecdote. The park is free and open to the whole family; let the dog roll around in the grass while the kids play on the playground. Located right next to Toulouse’s Modern Art Museum, the two-hectare park is a popular place for artists to sketch the landscape or paint a portrait. It’s also a great place for students to study,or catch up on a bit of light reading. Be sure to visit during the winter season to enjoy a peaceful, and quiet, view of the park covered in snow; it’s breathtaking!
Jardin du Grand Rond | ©Jamiecat*/Flickr
Jardin du Grand Rond
Named after the Bowling Green lawn used when people play a game of boules, this public garden is in the shape of a roundabout. Over four hectares large, the park was constructed during the mid-1700s, as part of an imitative to develop the more urban areas of Toulouse. The garden is decorated with numerous statues, including a sculpture of David defeating Goliath, the awakening of Morpheus, and a mother dog protecting her pups. There is also a Wallace Fountain, which is an active water drinking fountain. Lastly, this park is has the most flowers than any other place in Toulouse, so visit the Jardin du Grand Rond to stop and smell the roses!