Toulouse
Continental
Continental
Toulouse

Must-see sights

Basilica de Saint Sernin: The UNESCO world heritage site is a church built in the 12th century on the site of a previous 4th-century basilica that contained the body of Sant Sernin. It's the largest Romanesque building remaining in Europe and contains what is regarded as the most beautiful pipe organ anywhere across the continent.

Basilica de Saint Sernin

Cite de l'Espace: A theme park of space exploration situated in the eastern outskirts of the city. It was opened in 1997 and includes full-scale models of a rocket, the Mir space station and the Soyuz spacecraft.

Capitole de Toulouse: Situated on the Place du Capitole in the heart of Toulouse, it houses the Hotel de Ville, the Theatre du Capitole opera house and the Donjon du Capitole.

Capitole de Toulouse

Museum de Toulouse: The city's natural history museum, founded in 1796 and housing a collection of more than 2.5 million items. Pity the poor bloke who has to do the annual stock check.

Jardin des Plantes: Yes, you've guessed it, it's the garden of plants... as if gardens would generally contain anything else. The botanical garden was first created in 1730 and is situated just south of the city centre.

3 fast facts

  1. Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry and is also the home city of Airbus.
  2. The Toulouse Space Centre is the largest of its kind in Europe, a home for research and development related to space travel. 
  3. The University of Toulouse was founded in 1229, making it one of the oldest in Europe.

Toulouse Space Centre

Credit: hvossgaia.files.wordpress.com
 

Local cuisine you have to try

  • Foie gras: Made from the liver of a specially fattened goose or duck, it can be found in restaurants throughout Toulouse.
  • Saucisses de Toulouse: Coarsely ground meat, often pork, plus fat, spices and herbs, wine and preservatives, piped into casing and rolled into a spiral.

Saucisses de Toulouse

Facts about the host stadium

Stadium Municipal

  • Capacity: 33,150
  • Built: 1937
  • Record attendance: 39,450 (US Carmaux vs Stadoceste Tarbais, rugby union, 1951)

Toulouse with Toby Flood, courtesy of Continental Tyres

The ex-England, Newcastle and Leicester fly-half fills you in on his current city – a rugby-mad town. It's football this summer, though: Wales play Russia here on June 20, while Spain, Italy, Sweden and the Czech Republic will also be heading here.



Stadium Municipal

How to get there: The stadium is situated in an island in the middle of the River Garonne, 3km south of the city's historic centre. The Empalot and St Michel-Marcel Langer metro stations are a short walk from the venue.

Search further afield for the perfect pre-match drinking spot – there's little apart from sports facilities and exhibition space on the island itself. Bars and restaurants are more prevalent across the bridge and around the St Michel-Marcel Langer metro station.

How to speak local football

Launch into a chant of 'Nous nous sommes le Téfécé', ignoring the fact that 'Téfécé' isn't actually a word. Instead it's the way fans of local club Toulouse refer to their own team, referencing the acronym TFC.



Sons and daughters of the city 

Gael Clichy: The Manchester City left-back was born and raised in Toulouse, spending the formative years of his football career with AS Hersoise on the outskirts of the city. Clichy's father was a part-time coach and referee, and taught his right-footed son to strengthen his ability with his left foot. Refereeing one match, Clichy Snr warned Gael that he would disallow any goal scored with the right foot. It wasn't an empty threat, and a disallowed goal caused complete confusion among the other 21 players on the field.

Gael Clichy

Blaise Matuidi: The France international midfielder was born in Toulouse to an Angolan father and French mother, before moving to Paris. He later joined Troyes and Saint-Etienne before being snapped up by Paris Saint-Germain in 2011.

Jules Leotard: Yes, Toulouse was the home of the inventor of the leotard – boasts don't come much bigger than that. The man who popularised the one-piece garment was actually a 19th-century acrobat who died at the age of only 32.

Leotard

Gerard Barray: Actor who starred as D'Artagnan in the 1961 film The Three Musketeers. Later played the slightly less-well-known role of 'Spanish official' in Ray Winstone movie Sexy Beast.

Claude Nougaro: Famous French singer who became a popular figure in the 1960s and later released a number of albums with increasingly questionable French-English album titles such as Bleu blanc blues, Chansongs and Nougayork. Hmm...

Fan park info

The Euro 2016 fanzone will be located on Allee Jules Guesde, a short walk south of the city centre and close to the Palais de Justice metro station. All games involving the French national team will be shown on big screens in the fan park, which will have a capacity of around 12,000 and will also have an entertainment area and food court.