Place du Capitole

The heart of Toulouse

Place du Capitole

Have a seat in one of the lively cafés decorating the Place du Capitole and take a look around. Since the 12th century, the passion of Toulouse pours from this very place. From here, the streets weave deep into the tapestry that makes the “Ville Rose,” named for its dark pink, brick buildings.

The colorful streets in the old part of the city provide a view into its rich and vivid past, with their town houses, fountains and squares, museums and churches. You are in the heart of Toulouse.

Developed in the 19th century, the Place du Capitole is modeled after the famous square in Madrid. It covers two hectares, making it the city’s largest square and focal point for many public events in Toulouse. A thorough redesigning and restructuring in 1995 allowed space for pedestrians, yet maintained the square’s traditional and historical grace. Restaurants and cafés line three sides of the square, and each side gives a splendid view of the famous pink stone building, formerly a Grand Palace, that now serves as the Capitole.

The Capitole is an impressive building whose neo-classical façade and pink marble columns were completed in 1760 after ten years of construction. Beginning that year, it served as the head office of the old town magistrates. The original 1189 building sat in the same location and ruled Toulouse throughout the Middle Ages. It was also the death place of the assassinated Duc de Montmorency in 1632.

Today the Capitole houses the Theatre National du Capitole, built in 1736, and the Town Hall. The works of local 19th century artists such as Jean-Paul Laurens or Henri Martin are displayed in the Henri-IV courtyard. Nearby, Toulouse celebrities are honored in the Hall of Fame. The doors open out onto the Place de la Capitole, embraced by red-brick buildings and the mark of the Toulouse Cross, a symbol of the town's historic past.

Even though the Place du Capitole boasts a rich history, it lives for the present. On Wednesdays the Place du Capitole hosts an open-air market from morning until evening. Tuesday and Saturday morning markets are dedicated to shoppers preferring naturally cultivated organic foods at the marché biologique du Capitole. Locals, students, and tourists sit side by side on the terraces of Toulouse's best-known cafés like Le Bibent, Grand Café de l'Opéra, Le Florida, and Mon Café.

Insider’s tip for shopping

The shopping heart of Toulouse is situated around the Place du Capitole, home to the Capitole and Theatre National du Capitole . Traditional boutiques, internationally renowned shops and a handful of department are found by venturing out to the 18th and 19th century cobble-stoned boulevards of the rose-tinted Old Town.

Le Capitole

Place du Capitole
Toulouse, 31000
Tel: +33 5 61 22 29 22
Fax: +33 5 61 11 34 12

Admission is free.
Open: Weekdays 8:30 am – 5 pm

Dining near the Place du Capitole

Restaurant les Jardins de l’Opéra
1 place du Capitole
31000 Toulouse
Tel: 05 61 23 07 76
Website : 
Prices : 64 to 100 €
Closed: Sunday and Monday

Grand Café de l’Opéra
1 place du Capitole
31000 Toulouse
Tel: 05 61 21 37 03
Website : 
Prices : 14,9 to 26 €
Closed: Sunday

Restaurant Pizza Marzano
10 place du Capitole
31000 Toulouse
Tel: 05 61 21 97 04
Prices: 13,75 to 16 €

Restaurant l’Autan Tic (Crowne Plaza)
7 Place du Capitole
31000 Toulouse
Tel: 05 61 61 19 04
Prices: 23 to 35 €

Restaurant ay Gascon
9 rue des Jacobins
31000 Toulouse
Tel: 05 61 21 67 16
Prices: 11 to 20 €
Closed: Sunday

Restaurant le Bohème
3 rue Lafayette
31000 Toulouse
Tel: 05 61 23 24 18
Prices: 10 to 30 €
Closed: Saturday noon and Sunday

Theatre of Capitole / National Orchestra of Capitole

For students and youth under 26
The Capitole Carte Clé card allows entrance to three performances by the Orchestra and/or the Theatre of the Capitole for 18€. Seats and availability may be limited.

Information: 05 61 22 31 31


By Kari Masson, a freelance writer for travel, cross-cultural, and expatriate-focused publications. More than 50 of her articles have appeared in North America, Europe, and Africa. If you are looking to add dynamic creativity to your publication, contact Kari at 

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