It’s the “Rentrée”. You have probably heard about this word before. Summer holidays are over, kids go back to school, parents go back to work and new students arrive in town. You are also new to Toulouse? Lucky you! There is so much to discover in this town.
Toulouse has approximately 500,000 inhabitants and it’s constantly growing. Nothing to worry about, as it stays a mid-sized city where you normally can’t get lost. What is probably important for you to know is which areas exist and where is best to live. First question: Do you fancy living in the city or outside of Toulouse? If you prefer living in the countryside, then just be prepared – it is a French city, so public transport is not the same as for example in Germany (very tough to beat anyway 😉) and getting into town can sometimes be tricky.
Living in the centre of Toulouse
Toulouse is divided into six “secteurs” with a total number of 20 districts, secteur 1 being the city centre (Capitole – Arnaud-Bernard – Carmes, Amidonniers – Compans-Caffarelli, Les Chalets – Bayard – Belfort – Saint-Aubin – Dupuy).
Secteur 2, called Toulouse Rive Gauche (left bank), is still also very close to the centre, especially Saint-Cyprien.
You can find a detailed map here.
You can of course also live outside of Toulouse and if you are looking for a quieter and bigger place, the villages around are very popular. People working for Airbus in Blagnac/St. Martin usually live in Colomiers, Pibrac, Cornebarrieu, Aussonne, Beauzelle, etc. However, all depends on your means of transportation. Here is how you get around.
Getting around in Toulouse
The public transport system Tisséo
Toulouse has two metro lines (line A and B), as well as two tram lines (T1 and T2 – T2 going to the airport). There are more and more fast bus lines that take passengers faster to the outskirts of Toulouse. You can easily plan your journey here.
Tip: If you are under 25 and a student/apprentice/etc., benefit from the cheap monthly Tisseo ticket for only €10. Just go to the Tisseo information centre, get your Tisseo card done for €8 (please bring your ID card and a passport picture).
Bikes around town
VélôToulouse is a great way to go around town. You may have seen the red bikes sitting at stations around Toulouse. They are easy to use, they are stations everywhere and it’s not expensive to use. For only 20€ a year, you can use them as often as you want, with 30min free each ride. A got way to get home during the night when the last metro is long gone.
Tip: You can charge the fee on your tisséo card online on their website and you are ready to go.
This new bike scheme INDIGO weel that appeared in Toulouse some weeks ago. The bikes are not at any particular station, but you can find them all around town in a dedicated area (careful, the scheme is not fully deployed to all areas of town). The advantage is that they can be found over the app very easily, however it costs a bit more than VélôToulouse.
Meeting new people in Toulouse
If you are new in Toulouse, you will probably not now that many people. You can find several tips about where to meet new people like internations, meetup groups, German-French Stammtisch and many more on the link here.
Finding a flat / house
If you are looking to rent or buy a house there are two options in general: either you go through an agency (very common here) or you look to rent or buy privately from the owner.
Le boncoin is a website for private landlords and agencies, so you will find both. The website is comparable to craigslist in the US or gumtree in the UK, so you can also find all other sorts of adverts like furniture, cars, etc.
seloger is one of the biggest websites to rent and buy a flat/house in France. You will find great offers illustrated with pictures.
pap.fr stands for particulier à particulier (private person to private person). Here you will not find any offers from agencies, but only offers from private people, so no fees apply.
If you prefer sharing a house or a flat, here are two websites which work really well:
appartager is the biggest website in France for flat/house share. So if you are looking to live with other people, it’s the place to look.
adele is a website dedicated to student housing. If you are looking to live in a student accommodation, you will find all of them listed on this website.
Good luck with your house search! If you do not fancy to prepare your move to Toulouse on your own, we suggest to get in touch with Toulouse Village, a great partner to organise all administrative things before your arrival.
Toulouse Village – your partner for a successful move
You will arrive in Toulouse soon and you need a partner on your side who will help and support you during and after your move? Then Toulouse Village is the right choice for you. Marion and her team are very dedicated and will help you settle in as smooth as possible. Their services comprise searching accommodation, school registration, finding daycare solutions for your children, managing administrative formalities et cetera. For more information and to get in contact with them, have a look at their homepage.
New arrival’s guide by the city of Toulouse
The city of Toulouse has published a so called guidance brochure for new arrivals. It contains a lot of information like transportation, administration, culture, education et cetera. You can find it here.
Toulouse in 60 seconds
We have already published several articles that could be useful for your start as well:
- Where to learn French
- Good restaurants and bars in the city
- Sport activities
- Living in Toulouse (special supermarkets, where to go for a swim, etc.)
- Toulouse with your family
Have a great time in Toulouse,