Travel time to Toulouse is roughly 2.5 hours and the handy Flybus Airport Shuttle (€5), which departs every 20 minutes from the main terminal, will get you into the city centre in less than half an hour.
Due to its balmy climate and picturesque scenery, you could happily spend a Toulouse vacation lounging on a deck chair, but that would mean missing out on the city’s rich cultural heritage. Distinguished by its pink brick buildings, ‘La Ville Rose’ is home to a plethora of museums and galleries, boasts two UNESCO World Heritage sites and enjoys an enviable gastronomic culture. With a 100,000 strong student population, the city buzzes with youthful activity.
Toulouse offers a host of culinary delights. Foie Gras, Cassoulet, Armanac (the oldest eau de vie of the south west), Toulouse sausages and Roquefort cheese are just a selection of the local products that make foodies drool. Sizeable artisan markets are hosted every week, offering a wide range of typical food from the region. Keep your eyes peeled for the local specialty: Fenetra, a marzipan, apricot and lemon cake.
Image used under Creative Commons from pterjan
Toulouse is rugby crazy and with good reason. The local side, Stade Toulosain, has won the European Cup more times than other team (although the mighty Munster did manage to topple them in 2008). If you get a chance, they’re worth watching live. They play home games in the Stade Ernest-Wallon and the Stade Municipal, which they share with Toulouse’s Ligue 1 football team.
To keep the kids happy, look no further than Cite de L’espace, a space exploration theme park. The park features full scale models of the Ariane 5 Rocket, the Mir Space Station, and the recent Mars rover, ‘Curiosity’. It also hosts a large planetarium and an IMAX cinema screen, so it should be an easy way to trick them into a learning experience! Tickets cost €20 for adults or €15 for children under 16.