Toulouse Markets and Shopping Streets (Self Guided), Toulouse

At Galeries Lafayette, a renowned Toulouse department store, you can find exclusive French items for sale. However, to discover some great bargains, visit Toulouse's street markets. At the markets, you will see everything from fresh, organic vegetables to antiques. Take this self-guided walk to explore the best shopping areas and markets of Toulouse.
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Toulouse Markets and Shopping Streets Map

Guide Name: Toulouse Markets and Shopping Streets
Guide Location: France » Toulouse (See other walking tours in Toulouse)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Author: helenp
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Victor Hugo Market
  • Rue d'Alsace-Lorraine (Alsace-Lorraine Street)
  • Rue des Arts (Art Street)
  • Place Saint-Georges (Saint-Georges Square and Market)
  • Rue Saint-Rome (Saint-Rome Street)
1
Victor Hugo Market

1) Victor Hugo Market

In the midst of the city find the Victor Hugo (covered) Market. Where is it? No surprise, walk down Victor Hugo Street to Victor Hugo Place. Can't miss it. There is a ground floor with shops and a second floor with restaurants and cafes. Come early, they close at 2pm. It is possibly the most popular market in the city.

Over 80 stallholders hold forth with a cornucopia of fresh products. Let us count the ways. There are Fishmongers, butchers, tripe sellers (really?), and poultry. Vegetarians get greengrocers, bakers, pastry makers, cheese makers, and creamers, wine makers, etc. Eat there or try the restaurants on the upper floor ("first" floor in France).

The market opened in 1892. The Victor Hugo Market is host to more than a hundred friendly merchants, and restaurants. And there are nocturnal activities. English speaking tours are available. If one doesn't visit the Victor Hugo Market, they miss one of the best parts of Toulouse.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 7 am - 2 pm
2
Rue d'Alsace-Lorraine (Alsace-Lorraine Street)

2) Rue d'Alsace-Lorraine (Alsace-Lorraine Street)

Alsace-Lorraine Street marks the boundary within Sector One of the City between the Capitole and Carnes districts in the west, and Saint-Etienne and Saint-Georges in the East. As with Saint-Rome Street, it is a main shopping street. It also qualifies as one of the Haussmann Roads of Toulouse, La Ville Rose.

It stretches from the entrance of the Ciron-Fumel hotel north to Place Esquirol. At this point it becomes pedestrian. After passing rue de Remusal it reopens to vehicle traffic.

Until 1872 the street was called Longitudinal Street. This was a temporary name used during the Urban development stage of the City. On November 26 the Municipal Council named the Alsace-Lorraine Street in honor of the two provinces lost to Germany in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. The Alsace-Lorraine Street was opened by 1873.

The Alsace-Lorraine Street accesses several historic monuments and buildings: The Augustin Museum; the Couular Palace, and department stores. There are the Universal House, Au Capitole, Grand hotel Tivolier, Cazeaux et Martin building and many others.
3
Rue des Arts (Art Street)

3) Rue des Arts (Art Street)

In medieval times the present Art Street was in two sections. First, Baragnon street, named for resident artisan basket makers. Cantegril street was Puits-des-Deux-Edges Street for the well at the intersection of Pomme Street and Fourbastard Street. In the 16th century tinsmiths and pewter smelters gave it the title of Estagneres-Vieilles.

In 1806 the street at last became the Art Street. The School of Fine Arts had moved into the buildings of the old Augustinian convent. Private mansions line the street, among them are: Nolet hotel; Depuy-Montard hotel and; Duranti hotel. Other building include: house at Croix-Baragnon; cordage at Cross street Baragnon and; the Calbairac building.

Strolling along, one will also encounter public works: Statue of Velleda, who died in an uprising against the emperor Vespasian in the year 70; The Xavier Durasse fountain, erected in 1992 in honor of Xavier Durasse, organist and composer.
4
Place Saint-Georges (Saint-Georges Square and Market)

4) Place Saint-Georges (Saint-Georges Square and Market)

Saint-Georges Square is named for a small chapel that was in the middle of the square. The chapel was moved hundreds of years ago to a corner of the street only to be demolished in 1808. The Square was once a popular locale for the burning of heretics during the Inquisition. No nostalgia for that "old time religion" here.

Prior to the French Revolution of 1794 the square was named Montaygon, after a local landlord. Come the Revolution the square was named Place Calas. Jean Calas was executed in the square. At one time the square was named for composer Paul Vidal. Vidal, happily, was not executed anywhere. Finally, in 1914, the City brought back Saint-Georges Square.

There is no shortage of good places to dine around the square. One may sit inside or outside. Outside is recommended for relaxed people watching. Every morning, except Sunday there is a farmers market in the Saint-Georges Square. Go early.
5
Rue Saint-Rome (Saint-Rome Street)

5) Rue Saint-Rome (Saint-Rome Street)

Rue Saint-Rome is a pedestrianized street. The street is lined with shops and restaurants. Not a difficult thing to shop and snack one's way from rue Esquirol all the way to the Capitole, a pleasant, easy way to spend an afternoon.

Rue Saint-Rome is situated in the heart of the Capitole quarter. It is one of the important commercial roads of the city. The rich fronts of old Guild houses, commercial establishments and hotels line the street. Many of these buildings, constructed between the 15th and 19th centuries testify to the prosperity of Toulouse bourgeoisie.

The street is named for the 12th century church of Saint-Romain and has always been a favorite place to do business. The first major guild to use the street was the Butchers Guild in the mid 1200s. The butchers were quickly followed by the fishmongers. The locals did not like the smell of the way things were going, so the fish guild was out.

The fish people were replaced by leather workers. They passed the smell test and the Leather guild and other artisans moved in. During the French Revolution the street was briefly named Liberty Street, but so were a lot of other streets. The name change did not pass the test of time and rue Saint-Rome reappeared.

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