History, technology, and the southern French lifestyle – that’s the appealing mix offered by France’s fourth largest city, Toulouse.
History: Toulouse captivates with majestic stately buildings that bear witness to the wealth once amassed through the profitable trade with “pastel,” a blue dye made from the woad plant. The town’s typical red brick façades alternating with cream-colored stone have given it the nickname “ville rose.” Devotees of sacred architecture will find plenty to admire here, such as the Saint-Sernin Basilica, Saint-Étienne’s Cathedral, and the Église Notre Dame du Taur.
Technology: In the theme park Cité de L’Espace, fans of space travel can marvel at a replica of the Ariane 5 rocket, and the Airbus assembly hangar offers guided tours. The Aeroscopia aviation museum is also located nearby.
Lifestyle: A leisurely houseboat ride along the Canal du Midi, a journey back in time to the Middle Ages at the old fortifications in neighboring Carcassonne, or simply savoring the culinary delights of the region – Toulouse and its environs offer all this and much more.
The city is small enough to be explored easily on foot, bicycle, or on a boat ride on one of its waterways. The Garonne River flows right through the Old Town, its shores pulsating with a flurry of activity.