Believe it or not, I did actually try to inject a little bit of culture into my life whilst I was studying abroad. I’ll admit it, I claimed to get most of this culture through discovering the food that was on offer, but in an attempt to prove that I’m not just a greedy, lazy student, I did get my fix in other ways as well. As a city, Toulouse has so much to offer for both tourists, and the regular residents who live there. There are loads of events going on in the centre throughout the year, and so many different places to visit and discover!
One of Toulouse’s most developed cultural attractions is the collection of museums that are dotted around the city. These museums are a big part of Toulouse and are promoted a lot, with every one being free on the first Sunday of the month! Not only this, but when living here, it certainly pays off to be a student, and you can actually enter the majority of them for free, or at a reduced price! I managed to enter all of the museums I am about to show you without spending a penny. Leaving me with more money to dine out at all of those restaurants I talked about.
This is actually more of an art gallery than a museum but extremely cool nonetheless. It has a huge variety of art ranging from classical to the modern day. I must admit I’m not really an art person, in fact, I’m one of those annoying people who stands in front of the art saying ‘I just don’t get it’. However, I actually found this place really interesting because it has a lot of contemporary pieces and cool displays. I mean, just look at the first photo.
I managed to go here without paying because I came during a special art celebration weekend that allowed everyone free access, but I would have paid the reduced student fee anyway because this place was definitely worth a visit!
If you’re an art lover, this place is great. If you’re not an art lover, this place is still great. It’s an interesting experience no matter what, and one of the best galleries Toulouse has to offer!
La Musée des Augustins
This museum is completely free for students (including those from other countries) so as long as you present your student card to the cashier then you’re good to go! Musée des Augustins is definitely one of the prettiest museums in this list, with all of the exhibitions laid out in gorgeous stone buildings and surrounding a little garden area. Even if you don’t want to walk around the museum the garden is a great place to relax and read a book or something!
This is mainly a sculpture museum with lots of sculptures from different time periods contained in all the different rooms. There is also a paintings room but I never managed to visit it as it was being refurbished throughout the year. I think the displays here are really interesting even if, once again, you’re not really an art or sculpture connoisseur. Also, it’s not too big so it’s easy to fit in when you have other things to do in the day.
This place is perfect for those who want somewhere to relax for a while and briefly get away from the city. I went to this museum so many times when different friends visited me and each time I didn’t get bored of it!
Museum of natural history
My flat mate and I had been wanting to visit this museum for a while so when the first Sunday of the month came around we didn’t want to pass up the opportunity. So, dedicated as we are, we dragged our hungover selves out of bed and queued up for a bit of education. Being the only day of the month where it was free, the queue was indeed very long, but that can only be expected, and I think it was worth it in the end.
This place was pretty much everything you expect from a natural history museum. Loads of cool displays and interactive exhibits involving animals and facts about the earth!
The museum also had some cool greenhouses out the back with tropical plants in which were really pretty to walk through. The garden itself wasn’t in great condition but I think I’ll put that down to the water weather when we visited…otherwise I was pretty impressed.
This was the most typical museum of the lot, and definitely the one that is most suited to a variety of people. Of course, there were a lot of families and children there, but there were also people our age too. I mean, if we still appreciated it even when we were hungover, then you know it’s pretty good.
So this isn’t museum, it’s actually a town hall, but I visited it so often and found it so impressive that it basically was a museum for me. This place is free (of course) to enter and it’s basically just a really beautiful building. The walls and ceilings are covered in paintings and the whole place just has such a feeling of grandeur. The photos speak for themselves really…
Lots of things go on at the capitole building including weddings and official meetings, so there is also a boardroom alongside the main area that looks equally as fancy.
I have lost count of the amount of times I’ve been in this building because I simply love it. It’s right in the centre of town and just one of those places that you have to visit if you come to Toulouse. I don’t make the rules guys.
See! I am cultured after all! I might not have tackled all of the museums in Toulouse, but I gave it a shot, and didn’t spend a penny whilst doing it, so I’m quite impressed with myself. If you’re ever looking for something to do on a rainy, or simply empty day in the city, then I definitely recommend these places!
What’s your favourite thing to do on a rainy day? I’d love to know in the comments!