Since moving to Toulouse, I have pretty much eaten and drank my way through the entire city. They weren’t wrong when they said that theres a real aperitif culture in France, and I am definitely not complaining about it. Besides, living in the wine capital of the world, it would be culturally ignorant of me not to honour the French national drink. So in the interest of embracing this culture, I have endeavoured to try out as many bars as possible. It’s sensible really. Toulouse has a huge variety to choose from and I wanted to make a little post about some of my favourites for anyone planning to visit the city!
George and Dragon
What’s the first thing you do when you move to France? Find an English pub of course!
The irony of this becoming one of my favourite places on my year abroad is not lost on me, however this bar is so fun that it simply has to be on the list. Since I turned 20, one of my goals was to start singing again because I used to do it so much but in the past few years it has taken a back seat. Which is why I was so happy to discover this bar and their weekly open mic nights!
Fortunately, one of my friends from Birmingham who also moved to Toulouse this year just happens to be a musical genius. So, he kindly played and sang with me at these open mic nights whenever we could!
This pub has the BEST vibe and the open mic nights here were definitely some of my best nights out in Toulouse!
The best thing about these nights is that towards the end of the evening, people just start joining in on other peoples sets. So one minute you’re singing by yourself, then before you know it you’re accompanied by a cello, a trumpet and a saxophone! Everyone brings their own talent to these nights and it’s a different experience every week!
I highly recommend this place on a Thursday night because the atmosphere is second to none. I love having live music when I’m out for a drink because I feel like it really brings the place to life. Plus, for those of you who don’t speak French, everyone in the bar speaks English, so there are no awkward encounters when you try to order your drinks! Win win situation.
I love this place for its food, but I wanted to add it to the list because it’s definitely one of my hotspots in the town centre. It was one of the first bars/restaurants that I visited on my year abroad and I absolutely love coming here on a sunny evening, mainly because of the gorgeous view!
This bar is slap bang in the centre of Toulouse, and so when you drink here, you’re treated to the view of the amazing Capitole building! Although you can drink inside, I would say this place is definitely more suited to having a drink outside in the warmer weather (something which has been an essential part of my year abroad). What’s more, with it being so central, it’s always bustling with people, so the atmosphere is lively all day long!
Pub St Pierre
I don’t have any photos of the actual bar to insert here, and to be honest, it’s not really that much to look at anyway. But there are two main reasons I have added this to the list.
- The happy hour means that you can get a pint for as cheap as €2.80, which is super cheap considering pints can cost around €7 here (much to my boyfriend’s dismay).
- It is right next to La Garonne river, meaning you get to see the most amazing sunset views.
Being able to watch the sun set over the river is something I am going to miss so much about living here in Toulouse, and when you’re at Pub st Pierre, you get a front row seat and it’s pretty spectacular.
It’s true that no two sunsets are the same and I feel like I have seen so many gorgeous ones here. The cheap drinks at this bar mean that it is usually very busy and so the atmosphere is always great, particularly on one of these summer evenings!
Just a few doors away from Pub st Pierre is this pretty little place that I have been obsessed with since I moved here!
Beer gardens aren’t as much of a thing in France, but I feel like this is the closest I have got to one whilst living here. The outside seating section is lined with trees that hang pretty little lights which make the area look cute from daytime through to the night. It’s certainly one of the more photogenic bars here in Toulouse.
This place gets super busy on the weekends so it’s a great place to enjoy a drink with your friends, plus the lighting makes for a really cute atmosphere! This place is more suited to summer drinking, but I have definitely enjoyed it over the colder months just as much.
Ma biche sur le toit
This is probably one of my all time favourites here in Toulouse. If you ever want to feel boujiee for a few hours then this is the place to go. Located on the roof of the department store Galeries Lafayette, this bar is right in the centre of Toulouse and has panoramic views of the city. There is a classy inside area but my favourite part is definitely the outside deck, where you can enjoy a drink whilst overlooking the rooftops!
If you want somewhere really nice to drink in the sun, then this is definitely the place of you. Obviously it’s more pricey than the other places I have mentioned, so I usually stick to just one or two drinks max, but the price is definitely worth it for the atmosphere!
The only downside of this bar is how popular it is! Meaning that it can be difficult to get a seat and get served on the busier days, but with a bit of patience it’s usually not too bad.
If I could only recommend you one place then it would definitely be here! It’s the perfect summer spot, making you feel classy and relaxed at the same time, it has a real holiday vibe to it that just can’t be beaten!
I am so sad to say that I only discovered this bar on my final night in Toulouse! Before then I had thought that the only rooftop bar was Ma Biche Sur le Toit, so I was really happy to find this place…I only wish I had known about it earlier.
This bar is situated on top of a hotel and it has a really relaxed beachy vibe that makes you feel as if you are on holiday (especially in the 30 degree heat of the evening that I went). There is lots of seating including bar stools, tables for eating and even some sofas for that extra level of comfort. I love the Tiki hut umbrellas as they give such a different vibe to anywhere else in Toulouse, you really feel as if you’ve been transported out of the city to some kind of island resort!
Despite it being a rooftop bar, you actually can’t see the view from the seating areas, but when you order at the bar you get a glimpse of the sunny rooftops of Toulouse, adding a nice touch to the area.
This place is very similar to Ma Biche Sur le Toit price wise, but it’s such a nice place that it’s definitely with the extra pennies! Even still, wines are relatively cheap, with a glass of chardonnay at just 5 euros, which is cheaper than anywhere in the uk anyway!
I would highly recommend this place for summer drinks because the atmosphere is great and the setting is perfect for those hotter days!
And there you have my favourite bars and pubs in Toulouse. I have been to some other really good ones that aren’t on this list but I tried to narrow it down a little. I have had some of my best nights out at these bars and I am really going to miss drinking at all of them…and feeling like I am on holiday 24/7! I hope this post can help anyone out there who wants to visit Toulouse!
I am going to be spending some time in London soon so if you have any bar recommendations then I’d love to know in the comments below!