Highlights, tips and info to live authentic going out experiences in Toulouse
What time do people go out and how is the nightlife in Toulouse?
Toulouse is the fourth-largest city of France, known also as La Ville Rose, the “Pink City”, because of its unique architecture made of terracotta bricks. At only 100km from the Spanish border, the influence is noticeable, especially in the cuisine. The narrow streets of the central area create a sort of maze, crossed by the wide boulevards, which are the main streets where everything happens. The atmosphere is always very friendly and whether you’re looking for art, good cuisine or a vibrant nightlife, Toulouse has a lot to offer, making everyone happy. As in the whole of France, you can be sure that you can eat well also here whether it's tapas, cassoulet or local specialities based on duck often accompanied by a good glass of pastis. The numerous restaurants, as well as the bars, open quite early and people tend to go out around 6 pm, usually after work. Especially during the weekend, the night starts in a bar, to then continue with dinner between 8 and 9 pm. Some enjoy the “before” (the pre-party), with their friends at home, others go directly to the bars downtown, usually between 9 and 10 pm. Clubs start getting crowded after 1 am and they close between 5 and 6 am, depending on their position in the city. As many of the bars are located in small streets, concentrated in the central area of Toulouse, there are some rules to respect. You better not shout too much in the street and you better be aware that after 10 pm you won’t be able to buy alcohol in the grocery stores. Also, it’s always better not to get too drunk while walking in town or you might get into trouble with the police. After parties in Toulouse can be found, you just have to be lucky and ask the right person, outside the right club.
Which are Toulouse's best neighborhoods to go out?
We all know France played a key role in the electronic music scene, and the nightlife of the country proves it. Toulouse defends itself quite well, even though nightlife here developed especially in recent years. One of the most famous venues of the city is Péniche le Cri de la mouette, on the Garonne river, loved by locals as much as by tourists, as it’s a very characteristic place, where live concerts set the pace. Near Place du Capitol, the busiest central square, you can find not only the Opera House, but also Le Florida and Fat Cat, two of the most popular bars in town. If you are a sports fan, you better know that people in Toulouse are crazy for any type of sport, especially rugby, and the riverside of Place Saint-Pierre is full of bars which in the evening are full of people watching matches. Chez Tonton, is one of the most popular places, because of the owner Madame Françoise and her good pastis. Le Filochard is another must in Toulouse, where you can sip a mojito while enjoying reggae, techno or a live band, depending on the day. The most popular clubs in town are Californication Club, in pure Californian style, as the name suggests, The Bazar, near Capitol and divided between techno and commercial music, Dowtown Factory, where you start the evening with an apéro and end it on the dance floor, le Bikini, the main place for international headliners and L’Arena & le Nine (located in the same building), the new electronic music and Zouk/Hip-hop clubs. The numerous students who live in Toulouse love to go to O’Club. Places like L’Envol or La Voile Blanche are also perfect for people who enjoy fancier vibes. The city center maze is where all the nightlife is concentrated, whether it's restaurants, bars or clubs. If you're here on holiday, you can't miss a boat tour on the Garonne, the river which crosses the city. After you've done your homework as a tourist, to start having fun you have to go downtown. La Place du Capitol is another of those things you can't miss in Toulouse. Surrounded by small boutiques, as well as bars, cafés and restaurants, the large square also hosts art exhibitions and small markets. In the Amidonniers area, between the Garonne and the Canal de Brienne, there are many open-air terraces where you can enjoy a cocktail. Alternatively, the several beautiful parks, including Jardin de l’Université, Jardin Royal and Jardin de Plantes, are a good location to enjoy a take-away drink, but keep an eye on the time or you might get locked in the park.
How expensive is to go out in Toulouse?
Going out in Toulouse is not that expensive, but it always depends on how much you want to spoil yourself, and which are your priorities. A dinner, depending on where you go, can cost you between 15€ and 40€, but usually it doesn’t exceed this price. We mentioned tapas, that you can find in the street food markets, as well as bars and restaurants, and they usually cost around 8€, but you can find them at 3€. To drink, usually a nice glass of wine starts from 4€, and of course it increases depending on the quality; same for cocktails, which in some places start at 4€ and generally hardly ever cost more than 10€. To go clubbing, the entrance usually is between 10€ and 20€, but it’s very common to find free entry parties around the town. Cocktails once in the club are between 8€ and 10€.
What's the dress code in Toulouse?
When it comes to going out in Toulouse, there aren’t big rules on how you should get dressed. As in the rest of the world, when it comes to clubbing and dress code, it all depends on where you decide to go. In the more commercial and chic clubs, it’s better if you go well dressed, not to encounter any problems at the entrance: a shirt and a nice pair of trousers for him and a fashionable dress for her. In the underground and rock venues instead, dress code isn’t important as much as music: dress as you like and just concentrate on having fun.