Natural history museum
Go visit the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle for a full day of fun the whole family can enjoy! Broaden your cultural horizons by learning not only about Toulouse, but also about the world in general. Exhibits include animals, plant life, rocks and gems, space, the anthropology of humans, and more. See everything from human skeletons to a giant elephant situated on the main floor. Many of the exhibits feature a hands-on component so that you can actively engage while you learn, and you can also catch a fun performance or watch a short film in the auditorium before stepping outside to the courtyard for a pleasant picnic lunch. The museum offers classes for children and adults, and frequently hosts events for the community.
35 Allée Jules Guesde Toulouse, FR, +33 056 773 8484
Exhibit Room at Musée des Augustins | ©Pierre Metivier/Flickr
Fine arts museum
From the Middle Ages to the present, Musée des Augustins houses paintings and sculptures from all over France. Originally built as a convent in 1309, the church was converted into a museum in 1801, after the French Revolution. The collection features over 4,000 works from a variety of periods and styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, and Romanesque. Take a guided tour to explore and learn about the history of the art that is hung on the walls. The museum hosts a number of events, such as concerts and exciting murder mystery parties! It is occasionally open at night, and offers art classes to practice drawing and painting, as well as art history classes to learn more about what goes into making each piece of art.
21 Rue de Metz Toulouse, FR, +33 056 248 5800
Les Abattoirs | ©-M-ric/Flickr
Global art museum
A modern and contemporary art gallery, Les Abattoirs features pieces from all around the globe. Works are created in different mediums, including sculptures, paintings, photography, and more. Exhibits rotate frequently, but there is a permanent collection as well. After perusing the art, pop into the coffeehouse, or enjoy a craft cocktail at the restaurant bar. Les Abattoirs offers workshops for both youths and adults, and is happy to host an educational visit for individuals, groups, and schools. Adults should be sure to visit the museum on Thursday nights to attend functions in the event series, including concerts and riveting lectures. As for kids, they may have their birthday party hosted by the museum, or they can partake in supervised children’s activities while their parents are out exploring.
76 Allées Charles de Fitte Toulouse, FR, +33 056 248 5800
Exhibition at Espace EDF Bazacle | ©Muséum de Toulouse/Flickr
Riverfront culture center
Located in the heart of Toulouse, adjacent to the Garonne River, the Espace EDF Bazacle is an active hydropower plant for the city. Although it may not be your typical museum, the plant offers a handful of engaging, and educational, exhibits so that citizens can learn more about the behind the scenes aspects of what makes the city tick. Take a guided tour and discover exhibits such as, “Exploring the architecture of the Bazacle,” “Understanding Electricity,” and “Meeting the River and its Inhabitants.” There are a few additional exhibits, but the EDF Bazacle remains a place to teach people about the past, as well as to provide exceptional views of the river and the city of Toulouse.
11 Quai Saint-Pierre Toulouse, FR, +33 056 230 1600
Musée Georges Labit | ©VIGNERON/wikicommons
Museum of civilizations
Founded by a passionate French traveler, the Musée Georges Labit is an art museum dedicated to Egyptian, Asian, and Middle Eastern cultures. Take a guided tour of the collections, which include art in the form of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and more. Exhibits also feature tapestries, fashions, tableware, furniture, and other objects used by these ancient civilizations. Once you’re done exploring the museum, take some time and visit the sister library. The Georges Labit Library contains books and documents on history, art, travel, and religion from these various cultures, so peruse the pages of the past while enjoying the fresh air and pleasant atmosphere of the adjacent courtyard.
17 Rue du Japon Toulouse, FR, +33 056 114 6550