A Day Trip To Montauban!

By Sarah Cross, Sciences Po Toulouse, France

One of the best things available to us since being in Toulouse, is the €2 train tickets on many weekends. This means that, for such a small price, we are able to take the train around the Occitanie region (of which Toulouse is the capital). It is an initiative to encourage both public transport use, and tourism to the smaller parts of the region. I recently used this for a day out in the town of Montauban, about 40 minutes from Toulouse.

First, we had a walk around the town, visiting some local, VERY French shops, and had some lunch…

We then made use of another great perk France has for students; free entry to many museums and galleries, and even more on Sundays. We went to the Musée Ingres Bourdelle, an large art and archeology gallery in the gorgeous old town hall building. With our free ticket, we also could have gone to the Natural History museum just opposite, but we decided to do some shopping!

The January sales in France have proved to be much better than the UK, with reductions of up to 70 and 80% off! We made the most of that before heading to the highlight of the day: the Light and Lantern festival.

Recommended to us by a friend, the Festival des Lanternes is a Chinese cultural event taking place over the Winter months, and is the largest of its kind in Europe. It takes place in a different town of Occitanie each year, so we were lucky that this time was Montauban. With over 2500 lanterns, it was a such a spectacular event for such a small town, and we were so glad we stayed to see it.

All in all, a very successful day out, and I look forward to the next ones over the semester!!

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