Shopping in Toulouse
Toulouse loves to shop for food: jars of cassoulet, tins of foie gras and plenty of wine. After that, traditional products include violet-flavoured sweets and clothes dyed using a blue plant called pastel. As a university town, Toulouse has plenty of edgy fashion shops and as a guardian of French culture, it also has many boutiques.
The main shopping street in Toulouse is rue Saint Rome. You can find chic boutiques and exclusive labels on rue de la Pomme, while more alternative fashion is on offer on the rue du Taur.
If there’s one thing Toulousains love, it’s a market. Place du Capitole has open-air markets with themes that range from organic vegetables to getting kitted out with the latest indie-grunge look. Victor Hugo Market, Place Victor Hugo, is the largest covered food market in southwest France. Taste local delicacies such as saucisse de Toulouse (Toulouse sausage), cassoulet, foie gras, magret de canard (duck breast) and confit de canard (duck stored in its own fat). The cheese counters stock hundreds of varieties of delicious local cheese.
Almost an institution in France, you'll find the Galeries Lafayette shopping centre at 77 rue Alsace Lorraine.
Standard shopping hours in Toulouse are Monday to Saturday 0900-1800, although many smaller shops close on Mondays, Wednesday afternoons and between 1200 and 1400 for lunch.
If you are not an EU resident, you may be able to reclaim VAT if you jump through enough hoops.