Blurbs from Southern France

Four cities in seven days. There’s nothing quite like being young and restless. In February, I took a trip around southern France with another assistant friend of mine. We decided to buy an Interflix bus pass, which gave us five one-way bus tickets to any cities for 99 euros. We ended up going from Metz to Paris, Paris to Toulouse, Toulouse to Marseille, Marseille to Montpellier, and Montpellier to Nancy/Metz.

Other than living on a lot of grocery store carrot salad, visiting museums and art galleries (we’re nerds), and sleeping on night buses we managed to catch some cool sights. Here’s what I recommend in Toulouse, Marseille, and Montpellier if you’re looking to get a feel for their vibes.

Toulouse

scenic, welcoming, vibrant

  1. Spend some time riverside along La Garonne.
  2. Eat traditional cassoulet. Le Marché Victor Hugo has some affordable options. I would recommend eating this dish for lunch, as it’s quite heavy and you might need the rest of the day to walk it off.
  3. Watch the sunset reflecting off the red brick of the city. There’s a reason why Toulouse is the pink city.

Marseille

bustling, fresh, sunny

  1. Walk around Old Port and Le Panier (a nearby neighborhood).
  2. Eat fresh seafood. I recommend Toinou. It’s just a short walk from Old Port.
  3. Splurge on a boat tour. Whether it’s Les Calanques or Chateau d’If, the blue waters and white cliffs will not disappoint.

Montpellier

hip, bohemian, charming

  1. Stop by a toy store out of bygone years called Pomme de Reinette et Pomme d’Api. Internet shopping could never replace the experience of getting lost in this place.
  2. Picnic in the park. Montpellier is a city of people who take picnicking seriously.
  3. Hang out in Place de la Comedie and wait for street performers to play or for people to spontaneously break out into dance.

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