About Toulouse Blagnac Airport (TLS)
Address: Hall D'arrivées, Hall D'arrivées, Blagnac, 31700
Toulouse Blagnac Airport (TLS) is located 3.6 miles (6.7 km) northwest of Toulouse, the fourth largest city in France. Airport car rentals from Sixt, Europcar, Avis, Enterprise, Budget, and Hertz are located in the Public Area of Hall C.
Although it’s technically a big city, Toulouse maintains a laid-back vibe and much of its Old World historical charm. That’s great for sightseeing in the city center, since most attractions are within walking distance of each other. But it’s not great news for visitors who plan to rent a car during their visit. Parking in central Toulouse is “pas bon” (not good), as the French would say. Big city = big city prices.
You’ll encounter traffic congestion during rush hours in Toulouse and the motorway toll roads are not cheap, either. The two-hour, 224 km (139 mi) trip to Bordeaux will set you back more than a day’s rental rate. Meanwhile, the complicated series of winding alleys in the city center eventually gives way to a standard grid pattern in outlying areas. Either way, you’re going to want a GPS in your car hire.
That said, renting a car is a must if you intend exploring the gateway to this beautiful tourist region, of the Pyrenees mountains, bordering Spain, the Atlantic SW France coast, and the Mediterranean region.
Choosing your car
With a range of attractions consolidated in the city center, many visitors have exhausted their sightseeing activities after a day or two in Toulouse, and decide to explore the Pyrenees Mountains. Choosing the right car may involve a combination of travel plans. A compact Renault has the perfect combination of city driving size and highway performance. You can tour the region in a standard Citreon and still squeeze into those tight parking spaces in the city center. Families and groups will appreciate the spacious comfort of a Peugeot 7-9 seater minivan. And a BMW SUV with 4WD offers the best of all worlds with room for 5 passengers and all their gear.
Tips and advice
For visits to the historical city center, locals recommend driving to a metro station on the outskirts of central Toulouse, find parking there, and hop the train downtown.
Believe it or not, there’s nothing terribly outstanding about driving in Toulouse — that is, if you’re already familiar with driving in France. Otherwise, visitors will need to educate themselves about the ins and outs of French motor transportation.
Most (TLS) airport car rentals come with manual transmission.
Unless otherwise posted, national default speed limits in France are 50 km/h in developed areas, 80 km/h on national roads, and 130 km/h on the motorways.
The French government posts daily traffic density forecasts. Black means heavy congestion — everywhere. Orange means it’s congested, but only in some places. Red means busy, expect delays at major interchanges. And Green means no worries, have a nice day.
A most significant portion of motorways (autoroutes) in France are toll roads. Most designated A roads (i.e. A16) are not free. National roads designated N are arguably decent alternatives to paying tolls. However, word on the street says that for longer road trips over two hours in any direction, it’s generally worth the money to pay the toll and save yourself the heartache of getting lost in the French countryside.