Sure, you could see Toulouse with a tour guide, a map or a satnav…You could also wander around aimlessly hoping to come across some hidden architectural gem or cute little restaurant…Or you could choose a more quirky option! One that shows you the real Toulouse!
1 – The urban treasure hunt
It’s just like a school field trip! Grab your backpack, biro, clipboard and answer sheet and explore Toulouse with the Granhòta urban treasure hunt (€9). You’ll spend more than three hours discovering the city’s monuments, alleyways, townhouses and points of interest. During this time you’ll answer questions about Toulouse’s heritage, hunt for secret codes, decipher rebus puzzles, unscramble anagrams and discover new alphabets. Basically, you’ll find out all about the city, its culture and its famous figures with your team of fellow keen beans. You’ll find out where you can see the remains of St Thomas Aquinas once each year, which top couturier dressed the Black Madonna of Toulouse, and which neighbourhood is haunted by the ghost of Simon de Montfort. You’ll see the oldest Toulousaine house. You’ll dive down mysterious alleyways. And you’ll know all the best tales that the Pink City has to tell.
2 – The real Toulouse
Not really the inquisitive type? Prefer ambling around the city as if you actually lived there? Don’t want to stand out as a tourist? Then give Toulouse Greeters a go! The organisation is made up of residents who give free city tours. They’ll spend at least two hours showing you their neighbourhood and its local cultural, historic and shopping sites. You’ll see their favourite restaurant, their go-to bar, or whatever festival is on right now. Are you a fan of aeronautics, the circus, local crafts, history or street art? Make sure to choose the right “greeter” (your guide) based on your interests and what you would like to see most. Although they aren’t official guides, they’ll be able to show you their very personal experience of the city and share their passion. And it’s totally free!
3 – Compulsive photographers
Are you the sort of person who explores the world through their camera lens? Love sharing your travels on an app? A bit snap happy? Then the “InstaMeet” is your cup of tea! A bunch of photography fans in Toulouse have created a dynamic Instagram group. They meet up for themed walks, photograph the city from its most visually pleasing and unusual angles, and post everything on Instagram with the hashtag #IgersToulouse. These meet-ups are generally open to everyone and are sometimes held outside of the city, in places like Albi and Rocamadour. So check out the Toulouse Instagrammers’ accounts!