What to see there? Is it very touristic?The most important monument is undoubtedly the town hall built in the 1750's—"Le Capitol". If you walk on the Stree of Alsace-Lorraine, you notice a clock with a clock face divided in 24 instead of the classic 12 segments. Garonne, on of the four big French rivers flows through the city and shapes its form and character. Unlike in many other European cities, where the riverfront is the most touristic area, the riverside in Toulouse is quite calm. It's not as shiny and reconstructed as in Bordeaux, for example. In Toulouse, this is the place of picnics, talking, eating and drinking on a grass in front of the river. Especially in the late spring, it is full of students. Toulouse is not a city for tourists, it is a city of student parties. And of course, as a student city, it is relatively empty during the summer.
|A special clock. Still not as special as the one in Brno ;)|
|Garonne riverside with Pont Neuf in the background. |
If you need to know something about France: The oldest bridge
in the city is always called "The New Bridge"
Canal du Midi, an artificial waterway connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean sea, built in the 17th century, is another significant element of the city. It is used everyday by lots of runners and bikers. It's pretty, but walking there during a summer night is a bit scary, because of the big amount of rats that live on the slopes and eat out of the garbage cans. And for some reason, you can always find lots of hookers around there after dark, half of which are male transvestites.
The size of the city and its futureEven though Toulouse is the fourth biggest city in France, you don't have that feeling when you are in the center. The buildings of the historic core are rather small. On the other hand, the city with its suburbs spans over a big area. The city is the fastest growing city in France and in several decades, in can overtake Marseilles and Lyon and become the second biggest after Paris, if the rates of growth remain constant. It's a French and European center of aeronautics. If you want to piss off a Toulousain, you just tell him that if you took away Airbus and the universities, there would be about 10 inhabitants left in the city. But you cannot make them angry with that, because they would agree, laughing. Airbus creates a lot of jobs here. Toulouse is the only construction site of Airbus, where they produce the giant A380.
|Canal du Midi|
|The Bridge "St. Pierre"|
The surroundingsYou can go to "Cité d'Espace"—an amusement park dedicated to space. Just after an hour and half of driving, you get to Carcassonne—an amazing castle-town that inspired the famous board game. Its towers are impressive. On the top of that, everything is close. You want to surf? There is Biarritz at the Atlantic coast. You want to swim in a warm sea without big waves? Narbonne and Perpignan on the Mediterranean await you. You want to ski? Pyrenees are two hours from there. You are into wine and beautiful villages? Go for a trip to Périgord for a weekend.
There are some places that are good to visit. Like Paris. And then cities, which don't lie on the top of your "to see" lists, but might be better places to live or study.