Icons of Toulouse: Rugby, La Piste des Géants, aircraft, space

From rugby to rockets, Toulouse has a few intriguing icons that will give your visit a sense of adventure…

Rugby fans: you’ve come to the right place. Toulouse is the most successful team in Europe, having won the Heineken Cup a record four times – in 1996, 2003, 2005 and 2010 – so unsurprisingly rugby is revered in the city. One of the highlights of your visit could be to watch a match at the 19,000-seater Stade Toulousain, and get caught up in the atmosphere of excitement and passion for the game.

To highlight and publicise the incredible saga which saw the birth of civil aviation with the first Latecoère flight from Toulouse, then l’Aéropostale and then Air France, the Mayor of Toulouse wanted the historic buildings around this legendary runway to be restored.
La Piste des Géants, The Runway of Giants, is made up of 3 spaces : a Remembrance Space (L'Envol des pionniers) providing an immersion into the adventures of the early pioneers like Saint-Exupéry,"The Gardens of the Line" opened in June 2017, symbolising the 3 continents and landscapes of those first pioneering aviation routes and La Halle de La Machine, a contemporary building that houses the dreamlike creations of La Machine Company.

Toulouse is also the European capital of aeronautics, being the birthplace of global civil and military aviation… and if you’re seeking another kind of adrenaline rush, head to the Aeroscopia Museum (built in the form of an aircraft’s fuselage) to see its unique collection of over 20 aircraft dating from 1940 to the present day (including the Concorde, Super Guppy and A400M), open to the public everyday with guided tours available. Opposite the museum is the Airbus factory, where you can witness the assembly line of the A380 and A350.

Have you ever dreamed of walking on the Moon? A visit to Toulouse’s Cité de l’Espace (Space Museum) might be the closest you’ll get – but it’s still pretty amazing. Channel your inner spaceman and try your hand – or rather your feet – at moon-walking in a zero-gravity simulator at Europe’s premier astronomy and space science centre, which spans an amazing five hectares. Gaze at the stars, climb inside a full-size rocket and lose yourself with over 250 interactive exhibits, while a large-format IMAX 3D cinema will transport you right into the heart of space.

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Toulouse - Occitanie