Harry's Free Tour

Duration: 3h
Languages: English
Guru: Harry
Registered on September 02, 2019

Hi, I'm the guy that'll show you the fun things that there are to do in Toulouse and will share with you the dramatic events that have occurred (not just the dry boring history.) I am a writer, researcher, barman, quizmaster and history fanatic. Over 20 years ago I moved from Edinburgh to Toulouse. That's from Rain and Whisky to Sun and Swimming Pools. And no, as much as I miss my people I've never, ever regretted the decision. I love this place, I love how alive it is and always has been. And if you let me show it to you, you will too.

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  • Free booking and cancellation
    Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free

Tour description

Hi. This is VERY much a History Tour. It opens with a 15 minute introduction to the city, so much fun in January, just standing there. I just thought it best you know upfront that I cover most of the sites for siteseeing but it is not the focus of the tour. The focus is on the major events and era's in the cities past. I speak of them in linked stories trying to leave you (by the end of the Tour) with a real idea of how the city came to be what it is. It's not easy to do in 3hrs but I do try, and I love the subject.

I've lived here over 20 years now and have spent quite a lot of that time trying to write an Historical Fiction of this city. What does that mean for you? It means I've studied its History as a personal passion and have always regarded its Historical events through the lens of "How could this best be told in narrative form?" Which is what I do. I tell stories. True stories of things that happened here in Toulouse. But stories, nevertheless.

On this Tour you you will see…

  • Place du Capitole
  • Rue Saint Rome
  • Hotel Assezat
  • Pont Neuf
  • La Daurade and la Basilique
  • Les Jacobins
  • Rue de Taur
  • La Basilica St Sernin

And, although the History stuff does tend to wander I try to make its telling as linear as possible.

I will cover… 

  • Medieval Toulouse
  • The Cathars
  • The Albigensian Crusade
  • The Inquisition
  • The Canal du Midi
  • The Revolution in Toulouse
  • The Great Flood of 1875
  • and a lot more…

Things like the Capitouls, the Troubadours and their influence, a bit of the Ligne Aeropostale, some Martydom by Bull, the Resistance and all the fun of the Black Plague.

I won't leave you ignorant either as to where is best to eat and drink in town and what other things there are to do. I always try my best but constrained as I am by the limitations of time and geography I cannot cover everything I would like.
Most notably lacking from my Tour will be much mention of Toulouse's Blue Dye Trade, the rebellion of the Huguenots and a visit to the Cathedral. There is (of course) lots of other stuff I have to leave out but these three pain me the most. Sorry.   

P.S.  In the summer I tend to open up some afternoon tours. These are less reliable than the morning tours. If you book an afternoon tour understand that it may get  cancelled if it gets too hot.  Around 35c is ok with a bit of wind but from around 38c or over the tour is probabaly going to be cancelled a couple of days before. With that kind of heat we'd all just be feeling like rotisserie chickens anyway! It's no fun. Those are the kind of days where you want to find a cocktail and some air conditioning.


1. I sometimes get involved in the subject matter. I never tire of telling my stories but if English is a foreign language to you I may at times talk too quickly. Let me know and I will slow. I try to remember but... hell! How do you give a passionate tour while talking slowly and carefully?

2. I like variety in the world. I like religions. In my opinion the Modern day Catholic church and the Dominican Order are organizations that give a lot of people hope and strength and help have my full support. The Pre-Enlightenment Catholic Church was not so nice. Not all saints were saintly and the first century of the existence of the Dominican Order and its expansion of the Inquisition and what they did was positively evil. If you have a problem with any of these statements and/or can't bear to hear ill spoken of the church or the Dominican Order in any context then you REALLY don't want to take my tour. I'm not here to offend and yet -even avoiding all conjecture- I keep managing to do so. It's not through some wish to be contentious, more a refusal to give an anodyne or sterile tour. That's just not me.

3. If you've come for the match (any match) and you're just looking to find out where the good restaurants and bars are and what there is to do I will cover it all (I know them well) but unless you're also really, really into history you might be bored. "Too much information." is a comment I get a lot of. I'm sorry.
There are other tours and they are all shorter and may be more fit for purpose. I'm not trying to be rid of you I just say this because - you're on Vacation, you want to have fun! And I'm not here to bore you. I try to make the tour as funny and entertaining as possible but I accept that history just isn't everyone's bag.

4. I am a Scot (from Scotland) I know I sound American. It's a complicated thing. ;)

Final Note.

Percentage wise by time spent my History Tour is divided by the relevance of the era to the Modern day city (I.M.O). All in all, in the tour it comes out about -

15% Antiquity
5% Dark Ages
35% Medieval
5% Renaissance
15% Industrial era/Post
15% Architecture
10% Food Places/Stuff to do.

The percentages may vary depending on whether people show a particular interest in one era. And the tour may overrun if everyone seems like there having fun, but rarely more than by 10 mins.

Basically I tried to create the Tour I'd like to go on.

There. That's done. I hope I haven't put you off too much. Toulouse is an amazing place and its history isn't so much drama as melodrama and I love telling people all about it.

I look forward to seeing you on the Tour.  Take care.


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What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    Pl. Saint-Sernin, 31000 Toulouse, France
    Pl. Saint-Sernin, 31000 Toulouse, France
    View on map

    I'll be in a hat and the Hawaiian shirt waiting across the street from the cafe "Les Delices de Saturnin." I will be standing in the grounds of the Basilica Saint-Sernin at the point where where rue Saint- Bernard joins Place Saint-Sernin. Type "Harry's Free Tour Toulouse" into google if you require a GPS pin. If you can see doors into the Basilica then you are in the WRONG place. The Cafe "Les Delices de Saturnin" is across the street from the rdv and is open every day from 8 if you want to arrive early and grab a coffee or if you need to hide from the rain.

  • 1
    Outside visit
  • 2
    Outside visit
  • 3
    Outside visit
    Convento de los Jacobinos
  • 4
    Outside visit
    Quai de la Daurade
  • 5
    Outside visit
    Hotel d'Assézat
  • 6
    Outside visit
    Église Saint-Jérôme de Toulouse
  • 7
    Outside visit
    Marché Victor Hugo

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

(945 ratings)
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Carolin 21 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Jun 2024
I had so much fun. Harry is so passionated about telling all the historical stories of Toulouse. Best food recommendations as well. Thank you Harry! It was so lovely to get to know you!
Ramsés 21 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Jun 2024
This man is passionate about the history of the city and it shows. Not a typical tour by any means, but a really enjoyable one, full of actually interesting history facts and with a lot of charm. I finished the tour and wanted to learn even more about the city
Ann 16 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Jun 2024
Harry is a very knowledgable, entertaining and passionate tour guide . His tour was extremely enjoyable.
Ramona 09 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Jun 2024
If you want a diferent tour, look for Harry. Great tour, we just loved it, lots of amazong stories!
Rathiga 05 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled alone - May 2024
Harry is great, fun, honest, passionate and talented ! Spent 3 interesting hours which went by quickly. He provides a lot of details in his initial e-mail and gives an honnest and enthousiast introduction so you can't have bad surprise. But the tour was much better than expected ! He made me love Toulouse. I highly recommand !
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Who is this tour for?

Suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Does not accept large group reservations.
Suitable for carrying pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
A minimum of 5 people is required for the tour.
Additional costs:
The tour does not require the payment of entrance fees or additional expenses.
Free cancellation
If you will not be able to attend the tour, please cancel your booking, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Payment methods
Only cash payment is accepted.
When do you want to go?
  • Risk of cancellation
    This provider has a higher than average cancellation rate on the platform.

    You can check the specific details of this tour before booking.
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  • Risk of cancellation
    This provider has a higher than average cancellation rate on the platform.

    You can check the specific details of this tour before booking.
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