Explore Toulouse Matabiau Station ! Information and tips

All you need to know about traveling to and from Toulouse Matabiau Station

All about Toulouse Matabiau Station

Toulouse Matabiau station, or Gare de Toulouse-Matabiau, is the city’s main railway station, servicing over 9 million commuters and tourists every year. Located right in the historic center of this popular southern French city, it’s no wonder so many visitors pass through this transportation hub when exploring Toulouse and the larger Haute-Garonne region. Named after the Matabiau area, the station is close to many of the city’s best-known sites and a number of first-rate patisseries, cafes and tapas bars housed in charming Belle Époque-era buildings.

As the gateway to Toulouse, the Toulouse Matabiau can get quite busy. To avoid the rush and ensure you have all the tickets you need at hand, plan ahead with Virail. After entering your travel destination and preferred dates, our service finds the best traveling options for you, with a clear indication of routes and platforms so that you needn’t stress when you travel through Toulouse.

An overview of Toulouse Matabiau Station

Opened in 1905, Gare de Toulouse-Matabiau is a richly historic building, located in the heart of the city’s old center. The passenger building itself is classed as a historic monument, built from stone taken from the city of Saintes, a region renowned for its ancient stone quarries. Designed by the architect Marius Toudoire and named after the borough of Matabiau in which it is situated, the station took two years to complete. Toudoire had previously designed Bordeaux’s Midi station, and he incorporates the same 26 coats of arms on the exterior of the building as he did on Midi Station. These coats of arms represent the regions (previously) serviced by the rail network.

The station itself has retained its style over the years, with slight updates in and around the passenger building to deal with increased traffic. Originally servicing just 1 line, the station now features 13 platforms that utilize 4 rail lines with access to the city’s Metro. As the building became listed and protected as a site of French cultural heritage in 1938, the building’s facade cannot be altered. Nevertheless, the interior has been significantly revamped with modern facilities over the last decade.

Routes serving Toulouse Matabiau Station

Today, some 9 million passengers travel through Toulouse Matabiau every year through the following route options.

The national high-speed TGV service runs three routes through Toulouse-Matabiau, including fast journeys to Paris (via Bordeaux and Tours), Lyon (via Montpellier) and Barcelona (Spain, via Carcassonne). Seat reservation is compulsory with all TGV train services.

An intercity service, known as Intercités, connects Toulouse with Paris, Bordeaux, and Bayonne, with additional night train services to Paris. Unlike TGV, these intercity trains to Paris do not require reservations and are generally slower and cheaper.
Toulouse-Matabiau also connects a wide number of local lines via the TER Occitanie service. Here, you can easily connect with the surrounding region, with 11 different routes to popular destinations like Narbonne, Carcassonne, Aurillac, Mazamet, Colomiers, and Pau.

For travel in and around the Toulouse area, Toulouse Matabiau Station has direct access to Line A of the Toulouse Metro via Marengo. This rapid transit system is ideal for travelers looking to visit tourist sites or reach the suburbs, covering 2 lines (A and B) with plans to expand in the future.

If you’d prefer to travel by road, national and international bus and coach services can be found just outside the station off Boulevard Pierre Semard. Here, you’ll find connections both to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport and through France and Spain (Andorra, Barcelona).

Make the most of your Toulouse stay

Toulouse is perhaps most renowned as a center of culture, hosting one of the largest universities in France (outside Paris) and featuring a number of world-class museums and galleries. The city’s overall vibe is relaxed, with an attractive old town and noted architectural flourishes and colorful facades, which have given the city its nickname “The Pink City”. For the best trips in and out of Toulouse, we can help you book the right tickets and find the best routes for your needs. Whether you’re coming into Toulouse from Paris, Barcelona or Bali, we’ll help you find the fastest or most economical option to make your trip worthwhile.

If you’re looking for accommodation in the picturesque city of Toulouse, our trusted partner —booking.com— can help you choose the perfect option, including anything from a cozy apart-hotel to a full-fledged French villa. For car rentals in and around the Pink City, let our partner carrentals.com find the best deals for car hire. However you want to explore Toulouse and wherever you choose to travel on to, help is available through Virail.

Getting to Toulouse Matabiau Station from the surrounding areas

The main entrance to Toulouse station is on the west, via Boulevard Pierre Semard and Rue René Tastayre. Here, you’ll find easy access both via drop-off points, car parking (at an EFFIA car park) and bus stations. The station is open from 05:10 am until midnight every day. Getting to the station from any point in Toulouse is fairly simple, owing to its connection both to the city’s wide bus network and the Metro (Line A, with Line B transfers in Arènes). You’ll find the public bus and intercity bus services plentiful, with wide-reaching international coaches to northern Spain. For direct airport transfers, the best port of call is the AERO shuttle bus service, which terminates and departs directly from the train station. Hailing a cab or using an e-cab service is also simple, with pick-ups and drop-offs via Boulevard Pierre Semard.

If you are traveling to the station from the east, be aware that you can access via an underpass, but not by car. This is particularly troublesome if you have luggage, so ensure you use the designated drop-off points to the west.

Main traveling and commuter services at Toulouse Matabiau Station

Wi-Fi is available throughout, with snack services via Monop’daily, PAUL, and a number of vending machines.

There are several public waiting areas and benches within the passenger building, with more limited waiting capacity on the platforms. A first-class lounge (for first-class ticket holders), left luggage and an information desk are all found within the main building.
In terms of ticket services, you’ll find a number of self-service ticket machines just outside the information booth, with in-person booking available within the SNCF booking center. These are all found in the northern area of the passenger station.

Car rental services are housed within the station’s main building to the north, as are both the long-term and short-term car parks.

Down on the platform levels, options are a lot more limited, with several vending machines and benches but no significant waiting areas.

Traveler facilities available at Toulouse Matabiau Station

Traveler facilities are as you’d expect from other French train stations. Mobility impaired travelers have access via elevators on all platforms but should direct themselves to the southern area of the entrance, near PAUL, for initial access.
For foodies, the south of the station has both PAUL and Monop’daily, both of which offer a good variety of sandwiches and salad options, as well as cakes, pastries, and baked goods, but there are no restaurant options in the station itself. For fast food options like burgers, milkshakes, and donuts, Quick can be found in the north of the station near another PAUL eatery.

There are several ATMs from major banks across the passenger waiting areas if you need cash, but cards are accepted at all major retail points in the station. Restrooms and baby changing facilities can be found just before you pass through the ticket barrier and not on any of the platforms, so be sure to use the washroom here —if needed— before waiting for your train.

Final thoughts on Toulouse Matabiau Station

Toulouse Matabiau is a well-designed historic station offering direct access to many of Toulouse’s best attractions. As soon as you step out of the station, you’re greeted by the city’s famed pink architecture and a number of options to connect you with your hotel or sights like Basilique St-Sernin, Place du Capitole, Musée des Augustins, and Capitole. The building itself is attractive from the outside and utilitarian from the inside, providing a comfortable travel experience for the thousands of commuters and tourists who use it every day. To avoid any headaches upon arrival for travel, pre-book your tickets with Virail. With your tickets downloaded, printed and ready to use, all you have to do is follow the signs down to your platform for an easy connection through France. This way, you’ll experience minimum stress and worry for a pleasurable travel experience.

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