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Monday, 20.10.2014
21:00

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Good to know
City map Toulouse
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    Good to know
    Toulouse – a brief overview

    Sitting on the Garonne River and the Canal du Midi, France’s fourth largest city is a heady combination of influences drawn from Spain and the Pyrenees to the south, the Mediterranean to the southeast and the Atlantic to the west. Nicknamed ‘the pink city’ due to its abundance of Romanesque pink-brick buildings, its historic centre is packed with enough architectural

    treasures and medieval buildings to fill a weekend alone. But that’s just the half of it. With a strong economy thanks to its cutting-edge aviation industry, Toulouse is a thoroughly modern place whose rugby-loving populace and large annual influx of students enjoy world-class cuisine and a vibrant social scene.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Top 10 sights in Toulouse
    ListMap
    Toulouse, Frankreich, Airbus, Lufthansa, travelguide, Travel Guide

    Capitole

    Place du Capitole
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Tel: 05 6122 3412
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 0830-1900
    Sun 1000-1900

    Housing the town hall, national theatre and opera house, the capitole has been the seat of municipal power since the 12th century. Inside the vast pink marble building, find ornately decorated rooms including the ‘salle des illustres’.

    Saint-Sernin Basilica

    Place Saint Sernin
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Tel: 05 6121 8045
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 0830-1900
    Sun 0830-1930 (Jun-Sep)
    Mon-Sat 0830-1800
    Sun 0830-1930 (Oct-May)

    Constructed between 1080 and 1120 on the site of a fourth-century basilica, this Romanesque church was an important stop on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.

    Saint-Etienne Cathedral

    Place Saint Etienne
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Tel: 05 6152 0382
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0800-1900
    Sat-Sun 0900-1900

    Built over five centuries, this cathedral is an interesting mix of architectural styles. Visit for its lovely rose window, vast choir and 17 chapels.

    Les Jacobins Monastery

    Le Parvis des Jacobins, Rue Lakanal
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Tel: 05 6122 3952
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1800

    Built for an order of Dominican monks in the 13th century, this brick monastery with its beautiful cloister is hugely impressive. Don’t miss the Saint Antonin chapel with its 14th-century murals.

    Les Abattoirs

    76 allées Charles-de-Fitte
    31300 Toulouse
    France
    Tel: 05 6248 5800
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Wed and Fri 1000-1800
    Thu 1000-2000
    Sat-Sun 1100-1900

    Formerly Toulouse’s slaughterhouse, this museum of modern art includes Picasso’s Body of the Minotaur in a harlequin costume, which, due to its fragility, is only exhibited for half the year.

    Jardin des Plantes

    Allée Frédéric Mistral
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Tel: 05 6227 4848
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily from 0745;
    closing times vary throughout the year.

    Dating from the French Revolution, this is the oldest public park in Toulouse. Take a stroll amid its 100 species of deciduous trees and conifers.

    Canal du Midi

    Canal du Midi

    France
    Show on map

    This important trade route and now UNESCO World Heritage site has linked Toulouse with Sète on the Mediterranean since in the 17th century.

    Let’s Visit Airbus

    Rue Franz Joseph Strauss, Village Aeroconstellation
    31700 Blagnac
    France
    Tel: 05 3439 4200
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat (by appointment only)

    Constructed in Toulouse, the Airbus 380 is a giant of passenger aviation. See where and how the Airbus is assembled during a visit to the factory on the outskirts of the city.

    La Cité de l’Espace

    Avenue Jean Gonord
    31506 Toulouse
    France
    Tel: 05 6722 2324
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Various; see website for schedule

    Exploring man’s conquest of space, this vast complex boasts 250 interactive exhibits, an IMAX cinema, a planetarium and an outdoor area housing a MIR space station and a full-size Ariane 5 satellite launcher.

    Stade Ernest-Wallon

    114 rue des Troènes
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Tel: 0892 693 115
    Show on map

    Rugby Union is something of a religion in these parts. Toulouse’s team, Stade Toulousain, is in France’s premier league – the Top 14. A trip to see them play at home is a must for any rugby fan.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Country information

    Country overview

    You could spend a lifetime’s worth of holidays in France and still not feel as though you’d done the country justice. It remains the planet’s most visited tourist destination, meriting this lofty standing with an almost overwhelming mass of historical treasures, storybook landscapes and cultural idiosyncrasies. The teeming glam of Paris makes for one hell of a centrepiece, matching any city on the planet for ambiance, individuality and set-piece sights.

    But the real beauty of France, in many ways, lies in the seemingly endless list of travel treats elsewhere. The country’s natural gifts are striking, with white sands, hulking mountains and fecund swathes of rolling countryside. It’s a land that has inspired dreamers and drinkers, revolutionaries and artists, gastronomes and geniuses.

    Geography

    France, the largest country in Western Europe, is bordered to the northwest by the English Channel (La Manche), to the northeast by Belgium and Luxembourg, to the east by Germany, Switzerland and Italy, to the south by the Mediterranean (with Monaco as a coastal enclave between Nice and the Italian frontier), to the southwest by Spain and Andorra, and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The country’s loose six-sided shape means it often gets referred to by the informal nickname “L’Hexagone”.

    The island of Corsica, southeast of Nice, is made up of two départements. France is home to an astonishing range of scenery, from the mountain ranges of the Alps and Pyrenees to the attractive river valleys of the Loire, Rhône and Dordogne, and the flatter countryside of Normandy and the Atlantic coast.

    The country has some 2,900km (1,800 miles) of coastline.

    Away from the mainland and Corsica, there are a number of French-administered overseas departments and regions outside of Europe. These include Guadeloupe (an island in the Caribbean), Réunion Island (located in the Indian Ocean just east of Madagascar), French Guiana (on the northeastern coast of South America), Martinique (another island in the Caribbean) and Mayotte (an island in the Mozambique Channel).

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 62814233

    Population Density (per sq km): 114

    Capital: Paris.

    Language

    French is the official language. There are many regional dialects, but these are rapidly declining, with the exception of Basque, which is spoken as a first language by some people in the southwest, and Breton,which is spoken by some in Brittany. Many people speak at least some English.

    Currency

    Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

    Electricity

    220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are widely used.

    General business opening hours

    Generally Mon-Fri 0900-1200, 1400-1800.

    Public Holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2015 period.

    2014

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2014
    Easter Monday: 21. April 2014
    Labour Day: 01. May 2014
    Victory Day 1945: 08. May 2014
    Ascension Day: 29. May 2014
    Whit Monday: 09. June 2014
    Bastille Day: 14. July 2014
    Assumption: 15. August 2014
    All Saints’ Day: 01. November 2014
    Armistice Day: 11. November 2014
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2014

    2015

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Easter Monday: 06. April 2015
    Labour Day: 01. May 2015
    Victory Day 1945: 08. May 2015
    Ascension Day: 14. May 2015
    Whit Monday: 25. May 2015
    Bastille Day: 14. July 2015
    Assumption: 15. August 2015
    All Saints’ Day: 01. November 2015
    Armistice Day: 11. November 2015
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2015

    Flight and accommodation

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    Nightlife in Toulouse
    ListMap

    Toulouse’s large student population ensures a thriving bar and club scene.

    From riverside cafés to all-night dancing, you’re never too far from a watering hole.

    Au Père Louis

    45 rue des Tourneurs
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    Start your night with an aperitif at this Toulouse institution, founded in 1889.

    Au Chabrot

    9 rue Cujas
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    A newcomer to the city, this wine bar serves local tipples accompanied by charcuterie and regional cheeses.

    La Couleur de la Culotte

    14 place Saint-Pierre
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    This cocktail bar and brasserie ramps up in the evening with live music and DJ nights.

    Le Mandala

    23 rue des Amidonniers
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    Catch local, national and international jazz musicians playing live.

    Opus Café

    24 rue Bachelier
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    If you’re looking to dance till dawn, this is the place. Things don’t really get going until 2am.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Restaurants in Toulouse
    ListMap

    You can’t come to Toulouse and not try its famous meat and bean stew: the cassoulet.

    Other specialities include foie gras, duck confit and Roquefort cheese, plus the violet flower, used in confectionary and desserts.

    Restaurant Michel Sarran

    21 boulevard Armand Duportal
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    One of the city’s best restaurants, you’ll taste superior French cooking here in a homely atmosphere.

    Les Jardins de l’Opera

    1 Place du Capitole
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    A Florentine courtyard off Toulouse’s main square houses this modern fine dining restaurant.

    Le Colombier

    14 rue Bayard
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    This is one of the best places in town to try cassoulet, as it’s been serving it up for over 150 years.

    Restaurant Emile

    13 place Saint-Georges
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    The flavours of southwest France served with a contemporary twist.

    Le Grenier de Pépé

    1 rue Denfert-Rochereau
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Ideal for a quick and tasty lunch, this small place serves sweet and savoury crêpes, salads and fondue.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Calendar of events

    Festival Occitania

    1 September – 30 November 2014
    Website

    Venue: Throughout Toulouse.

    Every year, the Occitan people (the local population of Toulouse) celebrate their ties with the Mediterranean and Oriental worlds. Events span several weeks and include a mix of classical and jazz music, dance and cinema, debate and, of course, food.

    Piano aux Jacobins

    3 – 30 September 2014
    Website

    Venue: Eglise St Jacobins, Toulouse.

    Set within Toulouse’s St Jacobins Church, with its stunningly tall pillars and other-worldly feel, this annual festival draws some of the best pianists in the world.

    Le Marché de Noël (Christmas Market)

    21 November – 31 December 2014

    Venue: Place du Capitole, Toulouse.

    Toulouse gives the Anglo-Saxon countries a run for their money with its annual ‘Marché de Noël’. Surrounded by the pink-brick facades of Place du Capitole, the Christmas Market comes complete with an ice rink, spiced wine, dripping fairy lights and homemade crafts. Toulouse then adds its own touch to the proceedings with local cheese and wine.

    Fête de la Violette

    1 – 28 February 2015

    Venue: Place du Capitole, Toulouse.

    Once upon a time, these purple flowers formed a main part of the local economy. Now you can only find them in a few specialist places, often in the form of sweets or bath salts. Every year, Toulouse celebrates its emblematic flower with this festival as a chance to relive the past and to preserve the skills of another age.

    Zoom Arrière

    1 – 30 April 2015
    Website

    Venue: La Cinémathèque de Toulouse.

    A cinema event with a difference. This Toulouse film festival focuses on forgotten or overlooked works, with a different theme each year.

    Le Printemps de Septembre

    1 May – 30 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: Throughout Toulouse.

    Toulouse’s Printemps de Septembre is a three-week-long art festival extravaganza that manages to jam in sculpture, painting, video, photography, cinema and music to boot. Events take place in some dazzling venues across the city, making it a great way to explore Toulouse.

    Les Siestes Electroniques

    1 – 30 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: Prairie des Filtres, Le Théâtre Garonne and Le Bikini, Toulouse.

    This annual event in Toulouse celebrates, in its own words, ‘sweet and restful’ music. It’s a series of club evenings and outdoor concerts that feature contemporary music from around the globe. Lie back on the riverbank, close your eyes, listen and relax.

    Rio Loco

    1 – 30 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: Prairie des Filtres, Toulouse.

    Rio Loco, which translates as ‘Crazy River’, invites a foreign city to mingle on the banks of the River Garonne each year. Expect several days of outdoor music, a carnival atmosphere, food tastings and relaxed, continental drinking in the midst of this cultural exchange. It’s a great time to visit Toulouse and to feel the heat and rhythm of the city.

    Toulouse d’Été

    15 July – 8 August 2015
    Website

    Venue: Throughout Toulouse.

    Toulouse d’Été is the Pink City’s summer festival and it involves weeks of lounging by the river as jazz, rock, electronic music, waltz and tango fill the air. Several concerts also take place within Toulouse’s magnificent historic buildings, providing a relaxing way to appreciate the city’s past. From churches to park gardens to the station itself, no place is left untouched as Toulouse urges its citizens to have a good time.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Hotels in Toulouse
    ListMap

    Toulouse is well endowed with overnight accommodation, and it’s generally reasonably priced.

    From bed and breakfasts to boutique hotels to luxury pads, there’s plenty to go around.

    Grand Hotel de l’Opéra

    1 place du Capitole
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Right on Capitole square, this elegant hotel combines traditional décor with modern luxury – including a spa.

    Beaux-Arts

    1 place Pont Neuf
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    This beautifully styled 4-star hotel overlooks the river Garonne.

    Le Père Leon

    2 place Esquirol
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    A family-run boutique hotel with a lovely brasserie run by a Michelin-starred chef.

    Les Bains Douches

    4 Rue du pont Guilhemery
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    A stylish design hotel located in an art deco building near Toulouse Cathedral.

    Le Clocher de Rodez

    14 place Jeanne d’Arc
    31000 Toulouse
    France
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    This comfortable 3-star in the city centre is housed in an 18th-century former post-house.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Best time to visit

    Today: Monday, 20.10.2014 21:00

    cloudy

    temperature


    19°C


    66°F

    wind direction

    south

    wind speed

    8.125 mph

    humidity

    81%

    7 days forecast

    Tuesday

    21.10.2014

    23°C / 12°C

    73°F / 54°F

    Wednesday

    22.10.2014

    18°C / 9°C

    64°F / 48°F

    Thursday

    23.10.2014

    19°C / 7°C

    66°F / 45°F

    Friday

    24.10.2014

    20°C / 9°C

    68°F / 48°F

    Saturday

    25.10.2014

    21°C / 10°C

    70°F / 50°F

    Sunday

    26.10.2014

    23°C / 11°C

    73°F / 52°F

    Monday

    27.10.2014

    25°C / 13°C

    77°F / 55°F

    Climate & best time to visit France

    France has a temperate climate in the north; northeastern areas have a more continental climate with warm summers and colder winters. Rainfall is distributed throughout the year with some snow likely in winter. The Jura Mountains have an alpine climate. Lorraine, sheltered by bordering hills, has a relatively mild climate. There’s a Mediterranean climate in the south; mountainous areas are cooler with heavy snow in winter.

    The Atlantic influences the climate of the western coastal areas from the Loire to the Basque region where the weather is temperate and relatively mild with rainfall throughout the year. Summers can be very hot and sunny – sunburn can be a risk if you’re unprepared. Inland areas are mild and the French slopes of the Pyrenees are renowned for their sunshine record. A Mediterranean climate exists on the Riviera, and in Provence and Roussillon. Weather in the French Alps is variable. Continental weather is present in Auvergne, Burgundy and the Rhône Valley. Very strong winds (such as the Mistral) can occur throughout the entire region.

    Climatic variations – and in particular the long summer holiday period – mean that mainstream tourism in France peaks in July and August. If you’re visiting the country at this time, prepare to face higher-than-usual demand at major sights, attractions and coastal resorts. There’s likely to be plenty of queuing involved – some roads may even get clogged at particularly busy times.

    By contrast, visiting during the low season – from October through to February or March – is not only far quieter, it also sees a drop in costs. This doesn’t apply to ski resorts, of course, which see peak demand over the winter months.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +33

    Telephone

    Card-only telephones are common, with pre-paid cards bought from post offices and tabacs; coin boxes are being phased out throughout the country. International calls are cheaper between Mon-Fri 1900-0800 and all day Sat-Sun. Calls can be received at all phone boxes showing the sign of a blue bell. Information in English and other languages can be accessed by pressing the button with a two-flags icon.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is excellent.

    Internet

    Public access is available at internet cafés in all large towns and cities.

    Flight and accommodation

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    Shopping in Toulouse
    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Compact and widely pedestrianised, Toulouse is well set up for shoppers. Find all the usual French and international chains on and around Rue d’Alsace-Lorraine and Rue Saint-Rome. Upmarket designer boutiques are gathered on Rue des Arts, Place Saint-Georges and further north on Place Victor-Hugo, including Toulouse-born brand Le Comptoir des Cotonniers (17 rue des Arts). At the other end of the scale, hunt out vintage and second-hand clothes at Place de la Bourse.

    Markets

    Toulouse has numerous good markets. On Sundays, visit the St Sernin market and rummage through antiques, bric-a-brac and second-hand clothes, while on Place du Capitole find a huge flea market every Wednesday. An essential Toulouse experience is a trip to the Marché Victor Hugo (Place Victor Hugo): a vast covered food market dishing up regional specialities such as foie gras and magret de canard (duck breast).

    Shopping Centres

    French department store Galeries Lafayette has a branch in Toulouse (4-8 rue Lapeyrouse). For 50 shops under one roof, head to centrally located shopping centre Espace Saint-Georges.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Shaking hands and, more familiarly, kissing both cheeks, are the usual forms of greeting. The form of personal address is simply Monsieur or Madame without a surname and it may take time to get on first-name terms. At more formal dinners, it is the most important guest or host who gives the signal to start eating. Mealtimes are often a long, leisurely experience. Casual wear is common.

    Social functions, some clubs, casinos and exclusive restaurants warrant more formal attire. Evening wear is normally specified where required. Topless sunbathing is tolerated on most beaches but naturism is restricted to certain beaches – local tourist offices will advise where these are. A smoking ban for workplaces and public spaces has been in place since February 2007.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know
    Health

    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    This being France, the only real problems posed by the local food and drink are mild stomach complaints resulting from overindulgence. Tap water is safe to drink (although you’ll find a huge amount of bottled water for sale too) and cooked food, assuming it’s come from a hygienic kitchen, is certainly no more risky to consume than that of any developed country. Some travellers steer clear of unpasteurised dairy products due to a perceived risk of disease, while others laud the same products for their perceived health benefits. If you’re at all unsure, it’s probably best to stick to what you’re used to.

    Other Risks

    Visitors to forested areas should consider vaccination for tick-borne encephalitis. There was an outbreak of canine rabies in 2008. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

    In more universal terms, sunburn is perhaps the most common complaint among visitors to France, particularly over the summer months – temperatures are generally higher in the south but it’s wise to be cautious across the country. The usual precautions apply: use a generous amount of sunscreen and be sensible about how long you spend in direct sunlight. Be aware that a breezy day can sometimes mask high temperatures.

    If walking over a long distance in warm weather, it’s advisable to drink – and carry – plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing, including a sun hat. Blisters can be another problem for hikers. These can often occur if new walking shoes are being worn across a long distance. Ideally footwear should be worn in before the trip.

    Flight and accommodation

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