1 / General


Toulon is the third biggest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. Located along the sea, the city is a real ray of sun. The harbour, as old as Ancient Greece, is the town’s crown jewel.


Population: 164 899 inhabitants

Population Density:3849 inhab./km² (miles square)

Area :42,84 km² (miles square)

Demonym: Toulonnais and Toulonnaises

Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Postcode: 83000, 83100, 83200

Maps : Google Maps


2 / Transport

All roads lead to Toulon! You can take all means of transport to go there and enjoy its sunny weather.

BY CAR

If you wish to leave Paris’s grey sky, you’ll have to drive all the way down to Toulon for about 7h45 (840km). First, take the Motorway of the Sun (A6) for about 757km, then change for the A52 (to Aubagne/Toulon) and take the A50 (to Toulon). If you wish to arrive in the city center, take the Exit 16 (Toulon-Centre). And now, let’s try to find a parking space, shall we ?

With more than 2300 free parking spaces around the city center, there might be one waiting for you. You can also try your luck with one of the 10 car parks scatterred around town : there are 8 in the center and 2 on the outskirts.

As for the pricing, the average rate for one hour is 1,10€ and 2,90€ for two hours.

For more information, please click here.

BY COACH

If you decide to leave your car at home and make an environmentally friendly gesture at the same time, please note that you can go to Toulon city center (bus station) by coach thanks to Eurolines. Travelling by coach allows you to enjoy the scenery or have a little nap.

Please click here for further information.

BY TRAIN

Leaving from Paris? Here are your possibilities:

  • Semi-Direct journey : Still in Gare de Lyon, hop in a TGV to Marseille Saint-Charles and take a TER to Toulon. This option it not the cheapest one, though it’s the longest.

To book tickets, click here.



BY PLANE

Want to fly to Toulon? Then your plane will land at the Toulon-Hyères International Airport. To go to the city center, nothing complicated here. Take a shuttle at the airport for just 1,40€ and relax. There are 5 departures per day (more during the Summer); there’s already one waiting for you !


Going around the town

To discover this vast city, use the Mistral network. A one-way ticket costs 1,40€*, but if you think that you will take the bus more than once a day, take a Day Ticket for 3,90€*. This ticket allows you to take the bus (and the boat!) as many times as you want for an entire day.

Please click here for more information.




3 / When to go ?

- February : It’s time for the big winter clearance sale ! And yes, there is winter in Toulon. Come and try to find the best deals before everyone else does. To do so, rendez-vous at 09:30am rue Lamalgue (a 15-minute walk from the tourist office).

- March :

  • Time to celebrate the French-speaking sphere! French is a multicultural language. People don’t always know that they use words coming from other languages, and this festival celebrates them every year. Many events and shows take place to honour Molière’s language. Do not hesistate to have fun with the townies!
  • Bacchus comes to town, and so does the Wine & Gastronomy Fair. This event will take place on the Place d’Armes, where 150 stallholders coming from all over France will present you their finest products.


- April : Go to the Palais des Congrès Neptune for the Mang'azur festival. Art and costume contests, lectures, movies… That’s just an insight from what you can do at this festival. Japan and manga lovers will totally fall for this event. Whether you go with your family or friends, in a costume or not, you can’t be disappointed!

- May :
  • “Tous à l’opéra!” This European Day dedicated to opera gives you the opportunity to visit the opera of Toulon, go to small concerts and see ballet shows.
  • Do you like old cars, nature and a good thrill? Then you will love the Mont Faron ascension Get behind the wheel of very old cars and challenge the 584-meter-high mountain to enjoy a beautiful view over the harbour.

- June : Act like a star during the music festival. Come sing, dance and have fun in the streets with the Toulonnais and Toulonnaises. The Fête de la Musique is also a springboard for local groups who can finally play their songs in front of a real audience. The city will make you dance all night long.

- September : Heritage Day is a major event in France. Many museums, places of worship and public buildings open their doors for free to the visitors. The city won’t have any secrets for you.

- L'Hiver à Toulon : Christmas is a celebration that brings all members of a family together. No matter how old we are, we are all kids when it comes to chocolates and Christmas presents. Here is a list of some places you can go to to celebrate Santa:
  • Place de la Liberté
    The traditional Christmas village with its chalets, muled wine aromas and tasty pancakes are waiting for you; and lights, tinsels and Christmas bells will enchant you. Many stallholders will be there to present you their local products and creations. You will surely find the perfect present!
    Not that far from the market, you can see the Provençal nativity scene and its attractions for just 3€ (and 1€ for children under 12). Come under the Big Top to see a big show with magnificent settings and hear Provençal stories. This year, celebrate a culturally different Christmas.
  • Place d'Armes
    After a three-minute walk, put your ice skates on and experience the skating ring with a view on the sea.
    If you’re too scared of falling, you can ride the Christmas wooden carrousel, but it’s for good girls and boys only !


4 / Information and useful adresses

Traveller information :

Tourist information center : http://www.toulontourisme.com/en/

Emergency number: dial 112 (European number)

Fire brigade: dial 18

Ambulance / Paramedics: dial 15

Police: dial 17

Missing children: dial 116000

National center for emergency calls for people with hearing problems: dial 114


Museums and touristic sites :

La Porte de l’Arsenal :
http://www.toulon.fr/laissez-seduire/article/porte-de-l-arsenal

La Cathédrale Notre-Dames-de-la-Seds :
http://www.toulon.fr/laissez-seduire/article/cathedrale-dame-de-seds

La Place de la Liberté :
http://www.toulon.fr/laissez-seduire/article/place-de-liberte

La Tour Royale :
http://www.toulon.fr/laissez-seduire/article/tour-royale

Le Fort Saint Louis :
http://www.toulon.fr/laissez-seduire/article/fort-saint-louis

Le stade Félix Mayol :
http://www.toulon.fr/laissez-seduire/article/stade-felix-mayol

Le Musée du Vieux Toulon :
http://www.toulon.fr/envie-bouger/article/musee-vieux-toulon

L’Opéra :
http://www.toulon.fr/envie-bouger/proxy/opera/



5 / Budget in Toulon

Accommodation

The following prices are indicative. They refer to a one night stay in a standard double bedroom and may be subject to confirmation at the time of booking.

Economical accommodation, between 30€ and 50€: : Even if it is a small budget, you will still be able to find comfortable hotels and B&Bs. And cherry on the cake, they’re all very close to the city center.

Average price, between 50€ and 100€ : You can choose between many two-star hotels located in the city center. The decoration is sophisticated and those hotels are a few steps away from the Place de la Liberté.

If your budget goes over 100€ : expect to see many stars on the frontage of your hotel. Many three-star and four-star hotels are already waiting for you with their large rooms and views on the sea. However, if you wish to stay in an exceptional hotel, you will have to leave Toulon and drive for about 20 minutes as they are all located around the city

For more information, please visit France Hotel Guide website


Restaurants

The following prices are indicative. They refer to the price of one course or a menu for one

From 5€ to 15€ : Toulon is such an interesting city that you don’t want to stop too long to have a bite? Make a quick halt at the Lunchbox Café to recharge your batteries. The menu is well-stocked, the dishes are mouth-watering and as for desserts… They’re pure heaven. This fast-food only uses fresh products that will make you come back.
(Lunchbox Café, 23 rue Mirabeau)

From 15€ to 30€ :If you want to taste regional products, go to L’Authentic. The decoration is modern, the courses sophisticated and the chef’s creativity (who was Best Apprentice in France in 2004) will charm you.
(L’Authentic, 20 allée Amiral Courbet)

From 30€ to 60€: Chef Vaz’s cuisine is an invitation to travel. All the townies know his tasty regional recipes and his restaurant Tables & Comptoir is a place to be. Now it’s you turn to try it!
(Tables & Comptoir, 3 boulevard Eugène Pelletan)

Over 60€* : Get ready to have your breath taken away. Les Pins Penchés gives you the opportunity to eat with a breathtaking view on the sea. As for the cuisine, it’s absolutely delicious. Chef Lelievre knows how to match fine and rare products to create succulent dishes.
(Les Pins Penchés, 3182 avenue de la Resistance - Chateau de la Clapière)


What about a drink ?


From 2,90 to 10,10 euros : Stop at the Bar à ThymThis trendy bar is only 5-minute far from the seaside and offers a large selection of drinks. They have everyhting you can think of, from a cup a tea to a shot of Tequila/Jäggermeister. Be careful through: beers aren’t that expensive (around 6,40€*), but cockails and strong alcools aren’t that cheap (around 8,20€* for a Mojito). The bar regularly organizes theme evenings, so don’t forget your camera !
(Bar à Thym, 32 boulevard Docteur Cuneo)
From 1,70 to 7,50 €* : You want to have a quiet evening? Then go to La Tortue. Once inside, it’s like being in Africa. There’s cheetah everywhere, palm trees, totems... You get the chance to travel without leaving the city. Some beers are very cheap (around 2,80€*) and cocktails cost between 5€* and 7,50€*. This bar is a nice place to stay in Toulon’s habour.
(La Tortue, 71 quai de la Sinse)


Culinary specialities

  • La Cade

    This is a true institution. The dough is made of chickpea, olive oil and water. This galette can be salty or sweet. Its first appearance dates back to the First Empire. Napoleon needed workers to build new ships and at that time, the workforce came from Italy. Those men and women didn’t come alone, they brought the Cade with them. And we’re glad they did!

  • Chichi frégi

    This sweet donut is the first cousin of the famous “churros”. Stallholders sell it in the streets, on the beach or in fun fairs. You can’t leave town without tasting it!




6 / Unmissable visits!


There are plenty of sights to see in Toulon. Here is a short list of what you can do in this sunny town.

Essential stops

La porte monumental de l'arsenal This monumental door is a Historic Monument. Built in 1738, the door is now the entrance to the Musée de la Marine. The four Greek columns located at the pediment give the visitors the impression of entering an antique temple. Indeed, Mars (god of war) and Minerva (goddess of wisdom and defence) guard the entrance.
Toulon has an intimate relationship with the sea. This museum has an impressive collection of ship models and objects related to the sea.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Seds : Located in the medieval part of the city, this stone lady is more than 900 years old. The first stones date back to the 5th century, but sadly, there are no visible remains today. On top of the catheral, you can see a 36-meter square tower inside which there is an altarpiece made of marble and stucco. The cathedral has nothing to be ashamed of compare to Notre-Dame-de-Paris!

La place de la Liberté : Here we are now, right in the center of the city. The square was built after a decision made by the Ministry of War in 1858. France, Strength and Justice are sculpted on the majestic fountain. You can also find many restaurants, cinemas and boutiques in the square.

La Tour Royale : The Royal Tower became a Historic Monument in 1947 and offers a breathtaking view to the visitors. This tower is a true symbol for the city. To go there, you need to step on a footbridge and walk above water. Be careful of vertigo!

Le Fort St Louis : Here is another proof of Vauban’s talent. When the construction started (1692), the fort was completely isolated from the continent. Thanks to its location, the fort was also a strategic place against the invasion of Toulon and the Provence. Unfortunately, it was partly destroyed in 1707 and became known as Fort Saint-Louis when the reconstruction started.

Le stade Mayol : PYou love rugby and never miss a game? Then visit the Stade Mayol. The story starts in 1919. Félix Mayol, a local singer, decided to participate in buying grounds for the local club so that they could buy sport facilities. The grand opening took place in 1920 and the townies have been loving it since then.

Musée du Vieux Toulon : This museum was created on behalf of the Friends of the Old Town Society. The society celebrated its bicentenary in 2012 but the museum opened its doors in 1946. The place tells the story of the city thanks to three rooms:

  • The History Room
  • The Sacred Art Room
  • The Temporary Exhibition Room

This museum is the best place to discover the foundations of Toulon.

L’Opéra : This “Grand Theater”, as the townies call it, opened in 1862, 13 years after the Opera Garnier. With its 1797 seats, the “Grand Theater” welcomes modern as well as classic representation and is one of the most famous lyric scenes in Europe.

*This travel guide was published in April 2015, prices may then vary.