Toulon, capital of the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, is a dynamic city that retains the typical Provencal charm of the region’s towns and villages. A tourist destination of choice, it is ideally located on the coast. What could be better than getting lost in the town’s alleyways while strolling through the designer stores? A visit to Toulon, alone or with a guide, will lead you to discover its emblematic monuments such as the statue of the Genius of Navigation, the monumental door of the arsenal, the clock tower, the boat sculpture, the Place de la Liberté, etc. Art enthusiasts can also learn more about the history of the city through the classic and contemporary collections of the city’s museums. Rugby is also an integral part of Toulon life. Go to the Stade Mayol where the pitch has been trodden by various legends, such as Johnny Hallyday and Jonny Wilkinson.
Don’t miss the market day! Head to Cours Lafayette to discover the colorful and scented stalls of local producers. How can we talk about Toulon without mentioning its harbor? Characteristic of the city, the entrance to the harbor is close to the city center. If you want to take advantage of the sun to relax or to take up water sports, you can put your towel on one of the Mourillon beaches, the beach of Mitre, the beach of Pipady, Anse Magaud… Climb Mount Faron to admire the panorama that awaits you. Accessible on foot, by car or by cable car, it is the starting point of various hiking trails.
Throughout the year, Toulon puts the spotlight on art and culture. Many events such as the Mang’Azur Festival, Cinéma en Liberté, Rockorama, Jazz à Toulon, and Fête du livre du Var allow the public to discover new worlds and it is an opportunity for enthusiasts to meet up.
The Monumental Door of the Arsenal and the National Maritime Museum of Toulon
Dating from the 18th century, the monumental door of the arsenal is today the entrance to the National Maritime Museum of Toulon. It consists of four Greek columns with two statues that of Mars, god of war, and Minerva, goddess of intelligence. Listed as a historical monument, it is very imposing: 13.50 meters high and 11.50 meters wide.
The National Maritime Museum of Toulon houses a collection of memorable ships and galleys from the Mediterranean maritime tradition. On three levels, it brings together models and reconstructions presenting maritime life in Toulon between the 18th century and today. The building is one of the city’s must-see tourist attractions.
Place de la Liberté
The Place de la Liberté is located in the heart of the Haussmann quarter of Toulon. Cinemas, the theater, department stores, cafés and restaurants are located there. In the center, the Fountain of the Federation stands proudly. The square is a monument in its own right and is well worth a visit. You can also admire the façade of the Grand Hotel, which now houses the Liberté theater.
Fort Saint Louis
Built in 1696, Fort Saint Louis is strategically located at the entrance of the harbor to prevent the presence of the enemy. Initially named “Tour des Vignettes,” the Fort was used in particular during the siege of Toulon by Anglo-Spanish ships. It was rebuilt in its original form after its destruction. On August 15th, the city highlights it with a magnificent fireworks display. It was, at the time, completely surrounded by the sea. Today, a median strip connects it to the shore.
Mont Faron is the most famous mount of Toulon. Linked by a cable car to the coast, Mont Faron is a privileged place for outdoor activities such as hiking, for example. Peaking at 584 meters, it dominates the city and offers an exceptional view of the harbor and the hinterland of the Var. At the top of Mont Faron, you can visit the Memorial Museum of the Landing in Provence, Fauverie, or sit at the table of a restaurant.
Statues of Raimu
Hero of Marcel Pagnol’s trilogy, Jules Muraire, known as Raimu, was born in Toulon. You can see some representations of Raimu located in different places of the city to pay tribute to him. On Place des Trois Dauphins, you can see his bust. On Place du Théâtre, you can see a monumental painting and a standing statue of Louis Arride. Finally, on Place Raimu, you can discover the famous sculpture of the Card Game between Caesar and Panisse, representing a mythical scene from the movie Marius.
- Tourist Office of Toulon: https://toulontourisme.com/
- Road service: A50 Highway (from Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Lyon, Paris, Nice or Hyères)
- Air access: Toulon-Hyères Airport (30 minutes)
- Railroad access: train station
- Sea access: port du Levant