The redbrick town of Albi captures the imagination of visitors as soon as they arrive. Built on the river Tarn, its picturesque aspect will delight photographers. The town is a popular day trip for visitors staying in Toulouse. The imposing Albi Cathedral, in unique southern French Gothic style, is the centerpiece of the town. Additionally, the Old Bridge (Pont Vieux) and the Saint-Salvi quarter contribute to Albi’s UNESCO status.
The most famous son of Albi is the artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who was born here in 1864 and is famous for his lively post-Impressionist depictions of Paris in the late 19th century. Today, a large collection of his works can be viewed in the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, which is housed in the Palais de la Berbie.
Things to know before you go
- Albi is easily reached from Toulouse as part of a day-long guided tour.
- Entrance to the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum is via paid ticket.
- Albi Cathedral is free of charge and open to the public daily.
How to get there
Albi is a 1-hour drive northeast of Toulouse. It’s also accessible by train from the main station in Toulouse—a journey of around an hour. Alternatively, you can join a day tour from Toulouse with transport provided.
When to get there
Spring or early autumn temperatures are the most agreeable in Albi, while summer months are generally hot and can be humid. In summer the town hosts a number of festivals such as the Independent winemakers festival. Depending on the year the Tour de France has also been known to pass through the town in the summer.
Discover the Work of Toulouse-Lautrec
A bourgeois alcoholic known for his bon vivant lifestyle and short stature, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec created art that is still legendary today. His prolific career lasted just over 10 years and coincided with two major developments: the birth of modern printmaking and the explosion of nightlife culture in late 19th-century Paris, as seen in movies such as Moulin Rouge. His iconic posters came to represent the excesses of belle epoque Paris.
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- Toulouse-Lautrec Museum (Musée Toulouse-Lautrec)
- Albi Cathedral
- Black Mountains (Montagne Noire)
- Space City (Cite de l'Espace)
- Toulouse Cathedral (Cathedrale St-Etienne)
- St. Sernin Basilica (Basilique Saint-Sernin)
- Museum of Augustins (Musée des Augustins)
- Place du Capitole
- Basilica of Our Lady of the Daurade (Notre-Dame de la Daurade)
- Garonne River
- Pont Neuf
- Les Abattoirs Museum
- Lastours Castles (Châteaux de Lastours)
- Fronton Wine Region