To find out what’s going on in Toulouse, take a look at the calendar of events : https://agenda.toulouse-metropole.fr/
I recommend you connect to the website www.toulouse-visit.com, it is a complete and practical guide to what Toulouse has to offer. There are great tips here even if you are just passing through : accommodation, restaurants and places to visit. Purchasing the “pass tourisme” offers free entry to museums and monuments and discounts for other activities.
There are many bars, pubs and restaurants that have bilingual staff (English, Spanish, Italian and more). You will easily find friendly people and make acquaintances.
English speaking pubs : The Classroom, the Melting pot, the Danu, the George and Dragon, O’Briens … Good to know as well, some of these bars propose great sports coverage.
Toulouse is a town with a strong Spanish flavour. A lot of people have grandparents or other close relatives who were born in Spain and immigrated with their families in the 1930s and 1940s. Needless to say there are many tapas bars and Spanish restaurants with friendly staff.
Every year in the Autumn a popular Spanish Film Festival takes place in Toulouse. Check out www.cinespagnol.com for more information.
The Cactus bar in Toulouse www.lecactustoulouse.fr hosts a Bilingual association who organize conversation exchanges between French people and foreigners. Open to all, of all origins and without registration.
Toulouse Greeters : Go on a free walking tour of Toulouse with a Greeter and you will discover the city through the eyes of a local and someone with a genuine passion for the “Ville Rose”. The visit can be tailor made adapting to your areas of interest. Check them out here : https://toulousegreeters.fr/en/team/
Keep an eye on the Toulousescope website to know what’s on in Toulouse. www.toulouscope.fr
Equipped shared office space is plentiful in Toulouse. Find the locations via the link https://www.toulouscope.fr/tops/ou-travailler-en-coworking-a-toulouse-decouvre-tous-les-espaces-de-travail-partage-de-la-ville-rose/
The KAPS (Koloc à projet solidaire) programme combines volunteering and student accommodation. The idea is simple: a flat-share is linked to a voluntary project in the community where the accommodation is situated. To qualify for the programme students must sign up for both the flat-share and the community project which includes the mentoring of a youth from a deprived area.
Visit the website of the AFEV “Association de la Fondation Etudiante pour la Ville” https://afev.org/places/afev-toulouse/ and a brochure is available in English at https://afev.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Plaket_Institutionnelle_anglais.pdf
Find a job, a training course : The French government set up a platform called “1jeune1solution” that connects job seekers with companies that have job offers. You will also have access to information on job forums and how you can participate. https://www.1jeune1solution.gouv.fr/
An idea to help you practice your French : ShareAmi is a programme that connects young people who want to improve on and practice their French with elderly people who have time to spare. The conversations take place by video (sype or other). If your knowledge of French goes beyond basic, you can sign up by connecting to www.oldyssey.org/shareami-fr. There are already 6500 learners on the waiting list for this programme but the ShareAmi team are working on opening new connections. If you know anyone who would be interested, don’t hesitate to let them know.
The Culture Pass : If you are 18 and have lived in France for more than 1 year, you can benefit from the “Pass Culture”. You will dispose of 300€ to be used for cultural activities (including cinema) and to buy books and digital materials. You will have two years to use the money.
Download the app and register here : https://pass.culture.fr/nosapplications/
la Cité de l’Espace, Airbus, Aeroscopia, le Stade toulousain … Tours are available for the most emblematic places to visit. The Frog pond can offer some guidance. Please use the contact form in the website to request a quote.
Watch out for more information from the Frog Pond on available tours of the best places to see Toulouse or for day trips to villages nearby.
Here is a simple guide to the geography of Toulouse. It is divided into 6 postal districts going from 31000 to 31500. 31000 covers the very center and includes neighbourhoods such as Les Carmes, St. George, St. Etienne, St. Aubin, Compans Cafarelli. All these neighbourhoods are popular places to live.
31100 to 31500 can be considered as quarters or “quartiers” and accommodation is more affordable. These districts are typically well served by public transport. Take a look at the Tisseo website to find the metro, tram and bus maps http://www.tisseo.fr.
Geographical positions :
31100 : South __ 31200 : North, __ 31300 : West __ 31400 : South-East __ 31500 : East
The boroughs on the outskirts of Toulouse are typically residential and suitable for families. Everyone has heard of Blagnac, where the airport is located. Blagnac is an attractive place to live both for accommodation and employment opportunities.
Balma and Ramonville St. Agne are attractive towns and are well served by the metro. Balma is the terminus stop for line A and Ramonville St. Agne for line B.
Like in all cities there are underprivileged urban areas with youth gangs often involved in drug related crimes. Each district in Toulouse has its fair share of disadvantaged housing estates.
Compared to other big cities, Toulouse has a relatively low crime rate which is due to the pro-active, community oriented style of policing. Good to know too that camera surveillance is deployed in the center of Toulouse and in all the districts.
Beware of pickpockets !
My best advice is to remain watchful of your possessions everywhere as pickpockets are probably the most prevalent criminals.
I remember wondering if the bus driver was talking to me in Spanish the first time I took a bus ride in Toulouse. I was not aware of the “ng” sound on every word ending with “n”. For example “pain” becomes “paing”, “faim” or “fin” become “faing”, médecin is pronounced médecing.
In the dictionary the English translation of “poche” is pocket. In bakery shops and grocery stores in Toulouse, you will be asked if you would like a “poche” for your purchases. It means a bag !! French people from other regions are also surprised when they hear this.