Best Neighborhoods in Toulouse: the Top Places to Live in the City
On the hunt for the best neighborhoods in Toulouse? Yet again, your trusty friends at Homelike are here with a useful district guide. Coming up, we’ve covered 8 different Toulouse neighborhoods, along with helpful information on each of them.
The fourth-biggest city in France, Toulouse (population around 1 million) sits right in the south of the nation, close to the border with Spain.
Romantically known as ‘the pink city,’ it’s packed with terracotta-brick buildings, and has a busy, bustling atmosphere. Toulouse offers a young population, a student-y vibe, a thriving music scene, a charming old town, excellent nightlife, and lots of fun stuff to do.
Because it’s so far south, it also has an alluring Mediterranean-like climate, with lovely weather all year round. And though it’s not super-cheap, it’s a lot more affordable than places like Paris and Marseille.
So no matter who you are, Toulouse can be a great place to live.
But different neighborhoods are best suited to different people… and you don’t want to wind up in a district you don’t like. So in this guide, we’ve brought you the best neighborhoods in Toulouse, along with information on which places are best for which people.
We’ve brought you facts, details and information on all these 8 lovely districts and areas:
- Quartier de la Daurade
- Fer à Cheval
- Place Occitane
- Le Busca
Looking for the best neighborhoods in Toulouse? Come join the party, you lucky boys and girls, because we’ve covered them all!
1. Quartier de la Daurade
Best for: Riverside strolls, being right in the center of the action, feeling like a tourist, and living close to all the well-known stuff
The so-called ‘Capitole de Toulouse’ (as you could probably figure out for yourself) is the very heart of the city, and it’s where you’ll find all the action.
It runs alongside the eastern bank of the river, and sits between the city’s two most well-known bridges. The part that borders the river is known as Quartier de la Daurade… but in truth, ‘Quartier de la Daurade’ and ‘Capitole de Toulouse’ are often used interchangeably. So when people use either of those names, they’re often referring to this same city-center region.
Whatever you want to call it, this is of course one of the best neighborhoods in Toulouse if you want to feel like a tourist rather than a local.
Here, you get gothic Couvent des Jacobins, Our Lady of the Daurade Basilica, some beautiful streets and squares, and a whole load of excellent riverside strolls. Both by night and day, this part of the city is a perfect place to wander.
But there’s even more packed into Quartier de la Daurade beside the sights. Brimming with Renaissance and Neoclassical architecture, the whole neighborhood is endearing and alluring, and every corner has something beautiful to gawp at. City-center districts don’t get much more romantic than this… and it can be a brilliant place to call home.
Best for: Young people, hanging with hipsters, eating your way around the globe, and exploring endless independent venues
Just over the river from Quartier de la Daurade, you have busy and bustling Saint-Cyprien. It doesn’t have as many sights as its nearby neighbor, but it offers even more action.
Edgy, interesting and charmingly bohemian, this once-unloved district has had a recent resurgence, and it’s one of the city’s coolest places for interesting events.
In Saint-Cyprien, you get edgy galleries, on-river floating bars, tasty delis, hipster thrift stores, international food markets, smiling faces, riverside hangout spots, two great parks, and loads of cool and quirky nightlife venues. On your hunt for nightlife, start at La Loupiote, a live-music local favorite with great beer and an excellent atmosphere.
It’s one of the most multinational districts in the city center… so you can munch on various different treats, including Turkish stuff, North African morsels, and lots of artisanal eats.
Also one of the city’s most artistic districts, it’s home to MATOU, (housing one of the biggest poster museums on the planet), and the excellent Les Abattoirs (which is among the top modern art venues in France).
Despite its city-center location Saint-Cyprien somehow feels like a big friendly village… for living in the center without really feeling like you’re living in the center, it’s one of the best neighborhoods in Toulouse.
Because Saint-Cyprien is such a trendy area, it’s usually pretty difficult to find a place to live here… so it’s often easier to find a serviced flat or serviced apartment.
3. Fer à Cheval
Best for: Living in a central residential area, excellent proximity to many green spaces, and finding a quiet home
Southwest of Saint-Cyprien, and also bordering the river, it’s lesser-known Fer à Cheval.
If you want to live in a largely-residential area close to the center of the city, it’s one of the best neighborhoods in Toulouse.
Here, you’re close to some great green spaces (including popular Prairie des Filtres), and some nice riverside strolls. The district is also super close to Îles du Ramier, an island sitting in the middle of the river. Massive Îles du Ramier is full of things to do, offering parks, pools, cycling tracks, canoeing clubs, walking routes, kid-friendly hangouts, and loads more city escapes.
Fer à Cheval isn’t the most exciting district in Toulouse, but it’s pretty, welcoming and safe… and it’s more affordable than the areas we’ve brought you so far.
If you’re a little older, or moving with family, you’ll probably love living here—but if you’re young, or on the hunt for action and adventure, you might find Fer à Cheval a little boring.
Best for: Residing in a quiet area, finding a suburb-style neighborhood, exploring the arts, and lots of traveling for work
Northwest of Saint-Cyprien, Bourrassol borders the northern part of the city’s river.
In some ways, the district is pretty similar to nearby Fer à Cheval—it’s a good compromise between central and residential, it’s relatively affordable, it runs along the banks of the river, and it’s quiet but friendly.
It’s actually a little more residential than Fer à Cheval—so if you’re gonna be in Toulouse for a long while, it’s an excellent place to get a long-term home or studio apartment.
It’s also one of the best neighborhoods in Toulouse for enjoying arts and music. The neighborhood is home to Zénith Toulouse Métropole concert hall and Théâtre Garonne, while you’re also very close to all the artistic venues of Saint-Cyprien.
And as a nice bonus, Bourrassol offers good proximity to Toulouse’s big international airport… so if you travel a lot for work (or even for fun), it’s in the perfect location.
All in all, Bourrassol is a good place to be if you want a quiet life, and focus on work, family, arts, and building a long-term home.
5. Place Occitane
Best for: Living in a famous square, throwing your money around, and buying some fancy clothes
Bordering Quartier de la Daurade to the east is the lively district of Saint-Georges. The neighborhood is home to Place Occitane, one of the most famous and historic squares in the city.
But whether you live right in the heart of Place Occitane, or in the wider district of Saint-Georges, this is one of the best neighborhoods in Toulouse (if you have the money to afford it).
One of the most expensive and upmarket parts of the city, it’s known for being a high-class hangout. Here, you’ll find pricey food markets (Victor Hugo market is a local favorite), gourmet foods, fashion boutiques, expensive stores, pricey wine bars, multi-storey offices, and some of the city’s richest residents.
It’s also a very peaceful place to live, and it’s much more laid-back than some of the city’s other central neighborhoods.
6. Le Busca
Best for: Interesting sights, a good compromise between suburban and fun, some great green spaces, and anyone moving with kids
If you head south from Quartier de la Daurade, or over the river from Fer à Cheval, you’ll stumble up La Busca. It’s an unusual mix of sight-packed and suburban, and it’s an excellent place to live.
Some of the most famous places in the neighborhood include Monument à la Gloire de la Résistance (an unusual underground war memorial), the fun-packed Jardin des Plantes (which houses the city’s botanical gardens), and the excellent and interactive Muséum de Toulouse.
But beyond all the sights, arty Le Busca has plenty more appeal. It’s laid-back and laconic, it has a relatively diverse population, it borders a canal, and it offers lots of lovely homes.
It’s also one of the best neighborhoods in Toulouse for anyone moving with kids—inside of Le Busca, you get a whole load of great green spaces, the excellent Quai des Savoirs interactive science museum, and lots of family-friendly eateries (make sure you check out Pizza Luce, an affordable no-frills spot right beside Jardin des Plantes).
And the family-friendly stuff doesn’t end there—the district is also surrounded by many different schools for many different ages.
Best for: Making friends with rich people, constant eating and drinking, and sipping your nights away in lots of classy venues
One of the most upmarket and expensive districts in Toulouse, Carmes is sandwiched between Le Busca and Quartier de la Daurade, and it also runs right along the river.
Known for its maze-like streets and alluring architecture, this is one of the most attractive parts of the city (and that’s saying something, for a place this pretty). Full of townhouses, elegant apartments and old mansions, lots of the city’s middle-class residents live here… and it’s quite a pricey place to live.
Carmes is most well-known for its drinking and dining scene—for chewing, sipping and slurping, this is among the best neighborhoods in Toulouse. You’ll find French-style bistros dishing up classic fayre (imaginatively-named Le Bistrot des Carmes is always a good place to eat), along with upmarket restaurants serving food from around the globe.
And when you fancy a drink, Carmes is home to many (admittedly-expensive) cocktail joints and wine bars. Intimate Nasdrovia Bar is a great place to enjoy some carefully-curated cocktails.
And for more eats and treats, there’s also an excellent near-daily market on the Place des Carmes. It offers lots of farmers’ produce, artisanal treats, and locally-sourced products.
If you’re only planning to be in Toulouse for a few months or so, Carmes is a great place to find a Toulouse short term rental. But if you’re sticking around for a longer time, you might want to move to one of the city’s more affordable districts.
Best for: Moving with a family, finding good schools, escaping to green spaces, and living a residential life on the outskirts of the city
An excellent choice for a family-friendly life, largely-residential Minimes lies on the outskirts of Toulouse… but it’s still within walking distance of the city center.
Much more relaxed than most other districts on this list, Minimes borders two canals, it’s close to some good green spaces (including the landscaped Japanese garden of Jardin Japonais Pierre Baudis), and it’s home to lots of pretty small streets.
It’s also very close to lots of big supermarkets and stores, all the amenities you could ever need, and (most importantly for families) some great schools—bilingual Mon Ecole My School is relatively close to the neighborhood, while there are many more south of the district.
Minimes is also in a good location for escaping to green spaces on the weekends—both to the north and the east, you’ll find lots of great places for a quiet day out of the city. And because it’s not quite in the very center of Toulouse, the neighborhood is a good choice for finding an affordable home (whether you’ve moving with family or not!)
Minimes is also among the best neighborhoods in Toulouse for traveling to different parts of France (for fun, work, or weekends away). Just southeast of the district, you have the city’s train station, with various connections to endless other parts of the nation.