Sprawling around the river Tarn, Albi is a bustling town that’s the birthplace of French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The Episcopal City of Albi has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, encompassing the town’s Old Bridge, Saint-Salvi quarter and magnificent red-brick cathedral.
Things to do in Albi
One of Albi’s most famous attractions is the Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, which occupies a 13th-century building that originally served as the Bishop’s Palace of Albi Cathedral. More than 1,000 works by the locally-born artist are housed here, including drawings, lithographs, posters and his final painting, Examination at the School of Medicine”.
The Bishop’s Palace is a destination in itself and is one of several major monuments that comprise Albi’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at its fortress-like medieval architecture and admire the mosaic floors featured in the Keep Tower. The Renaissance Gallery is notable for its ceiling, which is shaped like an upturned boat hull and is beautifully decorated with frescoes.
Dominating the skyline of Albi is the 13th-century Sainte-Cecile Cathedral, a soaring Gothic building housing an impressive mural of the “Last Judgement” and several exquisite stained glass windows. It was designed in a unique French Gothic style and constructed using locally sourced brick, with intricate detailing on its South Portal. While exploring the town, don’t miss the charming Old Bridge that spans the Tarn and offers magnificent views across Albi.
Getting around Albi
Albi is just under an hour’s drive from Toulouse and Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe and North Africa. Regular trains connect from both Toulouse and Rodez to the Gare d’Albi-Ville and buses travel throughout the town. The centre of Albi is compact enough to explore on foot."