Toulouse is a dynamic city in Southwest France, teeming with life and culture. Also known as the “pink city”, Toulouse has gained popularity among city enthusiasts, and with good reason: its architecture, rich heritage, kids’ attractions, food, and markets make it one of the most interesting cities to visit in France.

As the capital of the Occitanie region and the fourth-largest metropolis of France, Toulouse enjoys a great location nestled between the Pyrenees mountains on one hand and the Mediterranean beaches on the other. It’s only a two-hour train journey from Bordeaux, which makes it an ideal getaway for those who wish to explore the south of France.

Before planning your Toulouse adventure, check out my guide on Toulouse’s top districts before your trip. It will assist you in finding the perfect accommodation for your stay. You can also read my articles about day trips from Toulouse, and the city’s best festivals, ensuring you don’t miss any exciting events during your visit.

Take a guided tour to explore old toulouse
Old Toulouse – by Lost in Bordeaux

In this article, I’ve rounded up the best-guided tours in Toulouse. A guided tour gives you a chance to explore the city through the eyes of the locals. Whether you like walking, cycling, or trying local food, this list should help you find the best experience to make your trip to Toulouse an unforgettable journey for you and your family. Let’s dive into the best tours in Toulouse!

Best walking and cycling tours in Toulouse

Toulouse Walking Tours

Led by Penny, a passionate Yorkshire native turned Toulouse enthusiast, “Toulouse Walking Tours” offers immersive and carefully curated guided experiences. It is a one-woman show that blends historical depth with local anecdotes. She is offering a wide selection of tours that go beyond the postcard, unveiling hidden gems and stories in the heart of Toulouse. 

Basilique St-Sernin in Toulouse
Basilique St-Sernin – by Lost in Bordeaux

The “Key Sights” tour, for example, offers a captivating journey through the city’s renowned landmarks. Delve into the rich history of Toulouse with stops at the impressive Place Capitôle, the majestic Basilique St-Sernin, and the scenic Garonne. This 2-hour stroll, spanning just over 3 km, provides not only historical insights but also local stories, making it an ideal initiation to Toulouse. 

See all tours of Toulouse Walking Tours here.

Unusual Guided Tour in the Age of Enlightenment

Embark on a unique journey through Toulouse’s Saint Etienne district, led by Madame de Cambon, a descendant of Pierre-Paul Riquet (the mastermind behind the Canal du Midi). This tour takes you back to the refined atmosphere of the 18th century. In period costume and lots of enthusiasm, Madame de Cambon shares incredible stories of Toulouse on the brink of the Revolution, offering insights into the daily life and gossip of high society. 

The adventure commences with a visit to the Saint Etienne cathedral, where the unusual architecture and the resting place of Pierre Paul Riquet are revealed. The tour then meanders through Place Saint-Etienne, where Madame de Cambon narrates tales of the former Archiepiscopal Palace and the Griffoul fountain. 

This exceptional experience which takes about 1,5 hours, offers a blend of history, storytelling, and architectural exploration, making it a must-try for those seeking a lively, theatrical kind of tour, for a deeper understanding of Toulouse’s past.

This tour is offered only in French. Book your tour here.

The essential of Toulouse by bike

Biking in Toulouse is an awesome way to discover the city. It’s mostly flat, with lots of bike paths in and around town. Locals ride bikes everywhere as it is a fast, cheap, and eco-conscious way to navigate the city, making a bike tour in Toulouse a fantastic choice!

This 3-hour Tour, offered in English, takes you through the heart of the city on comfortable bikes. You’ll meet your Le Petit Cyclo’s guide, easily identifiable in a red waistcoat. This is a local agency of bikes, passionate about making people discover the area by bike! Super friendly team and more than 10 years of experience. 

Best cycling tour in Toulouse
Cycling tour in Toulouse, credit: Le Petit Cyclo

You’ll start the journey at the iconic Saint-Etienne cathedral. As you pedal through historic squares like Place de la Trinite and Place Roger Salengro, delve into the stories that shape Toulouse. 
This tour isn’t just a ride; it’s an exploration of Toulouse’s iconic landmarks, promising a blend of fun, history, and local insights.
Book the tour here.

Harry’s Free tour

Harry is a passionate storyteller, formerly from Edinburgh who moved to Toulouse 20 years ago. His Free Tour in Toulouse is a true adventure. For a 3-hour captivating journey, he’ll take you through the city’s storied past and vibrant present.  

The tour covers key landmarks around the city, to which are attached Harry’s tales of Medieval Toulouse, the Inquisition, the Canal du Midi, the Revolution, and more. Along the way, Harry shares recommendations on the best places to eat and drink, ensuring a comprehensive Toulouse experience.

Harry’s lively storytelling style infuses humor and entertainment into the historical journey, catering to diverse interests and preferences. Whether you’re drawn to the architectural marvels, curious about local insights, or seeking a dynamic blend of history and entertainment, Harry’s tour offers a memorable exploration of Toulouse. Book a tour with Harry to delve into the melodrama of Toulouse’s history and create lasting memories in this amazing city! Book it here.

Best Food Tours Toulouse 

A food tour in Toulouse is a perfect way to explore the city through its culinary scene. With a local food-tour expert, you’ll go on a gastronomic adventure, allowing you to try the city’s food highlights. From local markets to iconic eateries and hidden gems, explore Toulouse’s vibrant food scene while hearing secret anecdotes and meeting cool people!

Market tour with a cheesemonger

This tour is all about meeting the authentic tastes and local vendors of Toulouse. Exploring the renowned Marché Victor Hugo introduces you to the world of French cheeses, bread, and wine, under the expert guidance of a passionate cheesemonger – Jessica.

As you navigate through the bustling market, you’ll discover the fascinating world of fresh and artisanal local products. During this visit, you’ll not only sample a variety of dishes but also gain a deeper understanding of the French market shopping experience. 

Food tour in Marché Victor Hugo
Taste of Toulouse – by Lost in Bordeaux

The Marché Victor Hugo tour is a sensory delight, combining the ambiance of a traditional French market with the expertise of a cheesemonger, making it a must-try for food enthusiasts and those eager to savor the authentic flavors of Toulouse.

Jessica who runs the tours, is originally from the U.S. but a Toulousaine at heart since 2017. Passionate about making the French food experience accessible, she shares insights and tips for exploring local markets, wine, and cheese. 

As a certified French Wine Scholar and former cheesemonger, Jessica combines in her guidance her love for the city’s architecture, people, and cuisine. Her tours are fun and informative, they offer a delightful journey through the markets, vineyards, and culinary wonders of the region. 
You can book the tour here

A food tour in the Carmes neighborhood with a trained chef

Try this unique culinary journey in Toulouse with Alejandro, a skilled chef who not only guides but also cooks for you throughout this 3.5-hour small-group tour. The exploration winds through the historic neighborhoods of Carmes and Saint-Etienne, offering seven stops that intertwine tales from Toulouse’s Roman era to the Middle Ages. 

This isn’t just a typical food or historic tour—here, history is not just told but tasted. At each stop, savor traditional recipes, ingredients, and products embodying the essence of Southwestern French Cuisine. For example,  you’ll be sampling sweet bites from the town’s oldest pâtisserie and eating the charcuterie star of this region: AOP Jambon Noire de Bigorre.

If you feel like discovering history through your taste buds, this is the tour for you! Secure your spot now for this special tour right here. 

Cheese tasting on a food tour in Toulouse
Food tour in Toulouse

Best tours with kids in Toulouse 

A walking tour with little kids is an impossible mission, at least with mine. So instead of fighting them, why not make it a fun experience for the whole family? Here are a few family-friendly ways to discover Toulouse.

The Little Train 

The little trains are quite common in France and you can find them in almost every city. It’s a fun, family-friendly activity and a very relaxed way to see the most important monuments of a city. 

The little train in Toulouse offers two different circuits. First, Circuit Garonne follows the Garonne River and takes you through most of the historic center around Place du Capitole. The second tour is the “Circuit de Canal du Midi”, following the canal, the gardens around the Grand Rond, and the chic Carmes neighborhood.

Weekend in Toulouse
Place du Capitole – by Lost in Bordeaux

Practical info:
The tickets: The ticket price is 7€  for adults and 3€  for kids (3-11 yo) and you can get a 2 €  discount with the city pass. You can buy the tickets next to the train, but be sure to arrive about 20 minutes before the scheduled train time. More info can be found here

Sightseeing Tour Bus

It’s usually not my favorite way to discover cities but with little kids that could be a great solution to eliminate some whining.

This 70-minute journey on a red open-air minibus offers a brief yet enriching exploration of the “Ville Rose.” Accompanied by an 8 -Language audio guide, which provides engaging stories and explanations, you’ll discover the vibrant streets of Toulouse and gain a super fun activity.  

The number of sites you will get to see in this adventure is quite extensive! It takes you through the old town, where you’ll see Toulouse’s Cathedral, the Basilica of Saint-Sernin, and the Hôtel d’Assézat’s Renaissance, home to the art gallery of the Bemberg Foundation featuring a stunning collection of 19th and 20th-century French paintings.

What’s great about a tour bus is that it allows you to see the main landmarks of the city in a relatively short time. A win-win when traveling with kids! You can Book it here

A Cruise on the Garonne River

Not only is a cruise a fun experience, but it’s also suitable for all ages which makes it a perfect activity to do with kids. The relaxed pace lets you appreciate the city without rushing or crowding. This laid-back cruise along Toulouse’s Garonne River is no exception! It is a perfect way to discover the city’s charm through its waterways. 

“Les Bateaux Toulousains” offers two kinds of cruises, which take 1h15 or 1h30. The cruise path changes slightly throughout the months of the year, so you will be sailing on either the Garonne River or le Canal du Midi, one of the oldest canals in Europe. 

You’ll drift along the Garonne, pass under Toulouse’s iconic bridges, and soak in the cityscape while enjoying a unique point of view. Also, on board, there’s a bar, so you can take a glass of wine and turn it into a luxurious, even more French experience! Book your tickets here

Or- you can get a free ticket if you purchase the **Toulouse city pass.

**Priced at €20 and valid for 3 days, the Tourism Pass of Toulouse gives you free access to museums and monuments, discounted rates on various activities, and a complimentary guided tour of your choice from the Tourist Office. You can also add 10 public transport trips (metro, bus, and tram) for an additional €10.

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

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*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

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