Toulon: the ‘must-visit’ French city that has everything

In all of the years that I’ve lived in France and most specifically in Provence, I have been told that Toulon is not really worth visiting.  Well, having been there recently, I am here to say that this is not true at all.  I was very pleasantly surprised by the beauty and diversity of this seaside city. 

The Market

Toulon has one of the biggest markets I have ever seen.  The stalls go on for blocks and if you’re able to cook your own food, this is the place to go for all of your local ingredients.  There’s everything and it’s all from the area.

Don’t miss it!  It’s closed on Monday but opens every other day from 8-12:30. 


Not only is it absolutely beautiful to walk along the port admiring the Mediterranean Sea but you will also find lots of cafes and restaurants where you can soak up the sun and enjoy some local dishes.

I ate at Le Bistrot du Port and it was very good.  There’s nothing like a long leisurely lunch by the sea.  You will not be disappointed.

The Heart of Toulon – the must-visit French city

After visiting the port, I wandered away from the sea and crossed the main boulevard.  I would zig-zag your way through with two goals in mind.  Les Halles de Toulon  and la Place de la Liberté.

As you make your way to Les Halles, you will pass by the big Cathedral de Notre Dame de la Seds,  Les Halles is a newly renovated space that is jam-packed with one beautiful food stall after another.  It’s all gourmet!  You will be enchanted by the Art Deco setting and it is truly a feast for the eyes.  This market is clearly a popular place with the locals and it is a great place to stop and eat or simply pick up something to bring back with you.

I, of course, was admiring the canolli ( Italian, yes,  but…..).

After les Halles, walk toward the Place de la Liberte.  There is the most beautiful fountain and I couldn’t help but think of the Trevi fountain in Rome.

The Fountaine de la Federation was placed in the square in 1890.   It is absolutely beautiful and should not be missed.

From the Place de la Liberte, I’d keep walking toward the left and just wander through the beautiful streets.

There are a lot of cool bars and it is evident that this is a haven for student life.  I enjoyed seeing the funky little shops and the vibe of a modern city.

I would absolutely consider Toulon if you’re in this area.  Yes, it’s a bigger city but it has so much to offer.  I will definitely be going back.

Final tip…….want to go to the beach?  Head to Le Mourillon.  Go all the way to the left, at the point and you will find a nice park to walk along, some beach bars… and the beach!  Another lovely spot.  Toulon has everything.

Has anyone previously told you that Toulon is the ‘must-visit’ French city? Have you ever been there?

Image credit – all images copyright Suzanne Grosso Vidal

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About the Contributor

Suzanne Vidal

I have a long history with France as I married a French man in 1988 and have 3 dual-national children.  I've lived in different parts of France over the years and I'm currently living in Aix-en-Provence.  I enjoy sharing my experiences and bringing France to life via storytelling.  Read more on my blog or follow me on Instagram @suzannegrossovidal.  À bientôt!

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One Comment

  1. Catherine Knox Jul 20, 2023 at 10:22 PM - Reply

    Looks just the place to visit we were around Bordeaux a week ago and I googled how far we were from you 7hrs + wish we were nearer. Love your stories x

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