Blue sky over the Basilic Saint-Sernin of Toulouse

Combine work with pleasure during your city-break in Toulouse

I’ve lived in France for more than three years, but I didn’t really get the chance to visit around. In March I had a two-days conference in Toulouse, so we planned to extend our stay and visit the place during the weekend. Here’s our highlights of a city-break in Toulouse, a guide to how to combine business with the pleasure of discovering a new destination.

Quick guide to a city-break in Toulouse

Day 1. Discovering the fortress of Carcassonne

In the first day we visited the Cité of Carcassonne, a great fortress that stand the test of history, being now a UNESCO world heritage. You can read more about the day-trip to Carcassonne.

View from the outside on Carcassonne fortress

Day 2. Discovering the pink buildings of Toulouse

The second day we visited Toulouse, the European capital of aeronautic and spatial industry. Here are the French Schools of Aviation and Aeronautics, and the core of the activity for Airbus Group. There are lots of aviation museums, as well as organized tours for visiting the aircraft’s assembly site.

Activities for the Aviation Geeks

  • La Cité de l’espace – dedicated to space, here you will find thematic attractions, satellite launcher or even “walk on the moon” simulator. Price starting at 21€.
  • Aeroscopia Museum – offers thematic games, scale model expositions telling the history of aviation. Price starting at 3€
  • Airbus Assembly Site – Awesome panoramic view on the newest aircrafts. Tour starting at 15.50€
  • Ailes Anciennes Toulouse (en. Old Wings) – this association repairs and reconditions old aircrafts. Price starting at 6€
  • Touch and Go Blagnac Airport – pilot initiation on the flight simulator and an airport tour. Price starting at 15€

 Activities for the nature lovers

Aside from the aviation industry aspect, Toulouse is also known for the color of its buildings. This city is called la Ville Rose (en. the Pink City) because all buildings are made of pink terracotta bricks and are located in the hyper-center of Toulouse, the concentrated, mostly pedestrian area.

Fountain of Wilson in Toulouse
Wilson Fountain

Toulouse has also nice parks and garden. You can take a walk in Compans Caffarelli Gardens which encloses the Japanese Garden, you can visit Jardin des Plantes and cross the Big Roundabout (Grand Rond) which is also a park, or you can go for a jog on the river banks of Canal du Midi.

Dragon sculpture in Compans Caffarelli Gardens during the city-break in Toulouse
Compans Caffarelli Gardens

The conclusion is that I managed to combine business with the pleasure of discovering new cities, explore new sites, and get a full weekend for myself with a city-break in Toulouse and Carcassonne.

Do you have a 9-to-5 job too? How do you manage to cope with your travel bug? Tell me in the comments.

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