The area around the train station and along the canal can seem quite intimidating at night,with many beggars and prostitutes,but i stayed here for several months and never had any bother.Even during the day rue bayard-opposite the station is populated by tramps and their packs of dogs,but again they do not hassle you,infact they are quite polite.As a whole i would say that Toulouse is a safe place ,mybe because it is well policed,or because the people have a healthy fear of the police?
I spent one month living in Toulouse with a host family. I loved the city and I can say most parts of the city are pretty safe. However I had two horrible experiences. Please avoid going to the outside areas where there is a high concentration of poor inmigrants. I guess the best way to identify this areas is the big department buildings filled with unwelcoming kid gangs.
While discovering the city I found myself into one of these areas and felt really unsafe. Lots of weird people approached me trying to sell drugs or asking for money. The scariest thing was when I was sorrounded by 5 or 6 kids acting violently against me and I just had to run.
Be careful with drug dealers, I tried getting rid of them by speaking Spanish and prettending not to speak French but did not work. Just ignore them.
As all big city, Toulouse is confronted to the headache of drug, urban violence, and of thieves. A delinquency that is constantly tracked by an omnipresent police.
The policemen are very numerous in the streets, and their presence is very visible.
It is necessary to pay attention especially to the pickpocket, especially in summer:
To the bus stops and in the subway, especially in center city (bus stops Alsace-Lorraine street, and garden of the Capitol) as well as in the Matabiau station. There are guys in the metros and trains with some dress, jacket or even a newspaper hanging on their arms... be aware...
Worst places: public places as stations, the metro, touristic spots, commercials streets (rue St.-Rome) during street performance, on the markets, when there is a lot of people (St.-Sernin on Sunday)
In some stores (FNAC, Mac-Do...) and to the terraces of the bars.
The night, it is always the center of the city that is the most dangerous (around the Capitol and the Esquirol places) and the sides of the Garonne.
On the other hand, and specially if you are a tourist, pickpockets are waiting for you. Just keep your eyes open (don't be obsessed) and don't give facilities to them.
Dont'put valuables in your backpack pockets, don't leave your bag under the table in bars around the center, keep your bag closed, don't show money in public...
Again: don't be panic just use your common sense, all big cities around the world have the same problem.
Police Nationale (Accueil Direction Départementale de la Sécurité Publique)
23 bd Embouchure 31200 TOULOUSE
standard tous services
tel : 05 61 12 77 77
télécopie : 05 61 12 77 43
Secteur centre ville :
17 r Rempart St Etienne 31000 TOULOUSE
Tel : 05 61 12 81 97
The hotels around the train station - in the Matabiau area - were cheaper than hotels elsewhere in the city. The area looked fine during the day but at night there were many prostitutes in the area and it might be best avoided.
Keep your wallet or purse on you at all times! I had my purse stolen in a matter of seconds and if you stop to talk to someone (esp in La Place du Capitole at night), keep your hand on it. I almost got my camera taken while chatting with someone in company of 3 other friends, none of us had seen his hand in my purse until I saw the camera pouch on the ground. Very lucky! I learned my lesson, its part of the experience, and if it happens to you, no point getting upset about it, handle it and move on, it happens to all of us.
Another great suggestion would be to keep photocopies of your passport and credit cards stapled to the inside of your suitcase back at the hotel. A good friend hinted that lil idea to me and you do feel much secure after.
Be carefull at night !!! even it doesn't look dangerous at night it is quite dangerous !! There is lot's of violence caused by gangs and youngs from the 'banlieus'; the french gettos. Also lot's of pick pocketing and steeling in a quite violently way.