Ochre rooftops and blushing brick churches earned Toulouse the nickname ‘La Ville Rose’ (The Pink City). Its enchanting Vieux Quartier (Old Quarter) is a dreamy jumble of coral-coloured shopfronts and churches. Beyond the old town, Toulouse sprawls into France’s fourth-largest metropolis. It’s an animated, hectic place, but Toulouse – nestled between a bend in the Garonne River and the mighty Canal du Midi – is invigorated by its waterways.
Toulouse has one of the largest universities outside Paris: at its core this southwestern French city is home to students and scientists. French aeronautical history continues in the Airbus factory outside town. But Toulouse knows how to have a good time, whether in teeming food markets, salons de thé or the thick of its smouldering jazz, techno and rock scenes. From the tips of dusky pink spires to its loudest bars, time spent in Toulouse truly has a rose-tinted sheen.