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This article is a Montmartre travel guide and lists the best things to do in Montmartre, Paris.
What might probably be the most romantic place in Paris besides the Eiffel Tower, there are many things to do in Montmartre, Paris. This former village was once separate from Paris which is why it still has the older style of thinner lanes, colorful houses and tons of quintessential Parisian cafés. Montmartre is (or was) an artist’s village which means that artists such as Monet and Picasso came together in bars and cafés here to chat, discuss life, arts and most importantly, to take inspiration from Montmartre.
In today’s world, you’ll get all sorts of vibes and experiences in Montmartre Paris. On one hand there are charming lanes, cute cafés, cobblestone steps and quiet lanes. Whereas in another part there’s the Moulin Rouge, millions of tourists flocking there, hungover party go-ers, litter and a strong stench of piss.
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Where is Montmartre Located?
Montmartre is located in the 18th Arrondissement in Paris, France. Just like the rest of Paris, it is well-connected by the Paris metro and by bus as well. In fact, Montmartre is located on a hill – that too the tallest hill in Paris. Which means that once you reach the top point of this hill, where the Sacre Coeur stands, you’ll get an awe-inspiring view of all of Paris. This is why Montmartre is one of the most-visited places in Paris, second to the Eiffel Tower.
Is Montmartre Worth Visiting?
Short answer – yes. Given Montmartre‘s history and how it is one of the few places in Paris that still retains the old world charm, Montmartre is absolutely worth visiting. That being said, a walking tour of Montmartre or even a self-guided walking tour of Montmartre is one of the best things to do here. In fact, you can lose yourself for hours in the history-seeped beguiling lanes of Montmartre.
Why do You Need to Visit Montmartre?
Even though it doesn’t really offer a view of the Eiffel Tower or Hausman architecture or any of the perfectly manicured gardens in Paris, there are one too many reasons to visit Montmartre. Pay a visit to this unique whimsical neighborhood in Paris where not only will you get to see ivy-clad houses or pretty pink cafés but also get to experience the real Paris before the Haussmannian architecture took over the city.
Moreover, Montmartre is the place where you can have an artist paint you live while you sip coffee and croissant at an endearing Parisian cafe. Believe me, I’ve been there and done that.
How Long Should You Spend in Montmartre?
A lot of people do a quick tour of Paris that only involves seeing the Eiffel Tower and some nearby attractions or even some of the instagrammable places near the Eiffel Tower. Sadly, despite Paris being the most visited city in Europe, millions who come here each day miss out on Montmartre – the most charming area in Paris. Coming to the main point, spare at least 4-5 hours to travel around Montmartre. In fact, if possible, then spare at least 1 day to visit Montmartre. You’ll find a simple 1-day Montmartre itinerary at the bottom of this Montmartre travel guide.
How to Reach Montmartre, Paris
Given that Giethoorn is a short distance from Amsterdam, Germany and Belgium, you can get here quite easily with a car or by public transportation. Take a look at the different ways to reach Giethoorn.
Reaching Montmartre, Paris By Train
I personally found the Paris metro extremely convenient and a cheap way to get around the city. To reach Montmartre, I first arrived at the Lamarck Caulaincourt metro station via the yellow line. Not only is this metro station a good place to start exploring Montmartre Paris but it is also one of the best places to visit here. You’ll see this spot in many lists of the best instagram locations in Montmartre. From here, it is a brief walk to the other places to see in Montmartre.
Reaching Montmartre By Bus
To reach Montmartre by bus, you can take the bus lines 30, 54, 68 or 80. To be honest though, I only travelled around Paris using the metro and never once by bus. However, if you find a good and fast connection, then obviously you can ride the bus to Montmartre.
How to Get Around Montmartre Paris, France
Paris is best seen by foot and that stands true especially for Montmartre. Given that it is a small area, you can easily cover all the things to do in Montmartre by simply walking around. Moreover, it is better to walk so that you can ooh and aah at all the sights around you and not miss out on anything! Being able to photograph every cute lane along the way is also an added benefit of walking around Montmartre.
Tips for Visiting Montmartre, Paris
- The Moulin Rouge, a historic cabaret might sound a little too kitsch or tacky or even uninteresting to some but if you have the opportunity then you should definitely not miss paying it a visit.
- Dining leisurely, Parisian style, is one of the best things to do in Montmartre simply because of how many amazing cafes there are. Not just that, but the small but rather colorful Parisian lanes here bring back some of that 20s charm. I’ve mentioned some of my favorite Montmartre cafes at the bottom of this guide of the best things to do in Montmartre, Paris.
- When in Montmartre, don’t miss out on the ten thousand instagrammable places in Montmartre, Paris. Okay if I’m being honest, there’s only about 15-20 photographic places in Montmartre but that’s still a lot to cover and each one is well worth a visit.
- Walking is the best way to cover all the places to visit in Montmartre. Moreover, this way you’ll get to see all of Montmartre up close and lose yourself to its charm.
- Although the streets of Montmartre, Paris are super charming, there are millions in those lanes at any point of time, having read one too many Montmartre travel guides. Apart from tourists, even pickpockets love to roam the streets of Montmartre and rob the clueless visitors. Lucky for you, you have read my guide and now know to beware of these pickpockets and keep a close eye on your belongings.
- Guess who else, apart from tourists and pickpockets, loves to visit Montmartre? Scammers! If you see a bunch of people playing an interesting game, a child asking you to sign a petition or clean your shoes or if someone coerces you into buying something, then run, scream or cry but don’t let anyone touch you or your things or place something into or onto your hands because it’s all a scam.
- Obviously, the place with the most iconic cabaret in the world will also be famous for the nightlife. For electro music, head to La Machine du Moulin Rouge which is located right next to the Moulin Rouge itself. La Cigale and La Boule Noir are great places to listen and dance to live music. Lastly, Corcoran’s and Le Tagada Bar are great places to catch something to drink.
- Climb on top of the Sacre Coeur to get the best view of Paris! Come super early in the morning to skip the long queue to enter the Sacre Coeur.
Hotels in Montmartre Paris, France – Where to Stay
Having stayed at a hotel in Montmartre during my first time in Paris, I can guarantee that it is a good and romantic idea to find a hotel in Montmartre. Take a look at some of the best budget-friendly and well as luxury hotels in Montmartre Paris below.
A wonderful, high rated hotel with rooms that are quite spacious by Parisian standards. Furthermore, they have a nice breakfast spread that can be delivered to your room. Additionally, the hotel is just a short walking distance from Sacre Coeur which means that it has a prime location.
A beautiful boutique hotel which is also located at a short walking distance from the Sacre Coeur. In addition to lots of facilities like air conditioning, free wifi, a fitness center and soundproofed rooms, they also serve a scrumptious breakfast. It’s highly recommended to book a stay at this family-owned charming hotel.
Best Western le Montmartre is a conveniently located hotel which is only a few minutes walk from both the carrousel near the Sacre Coeur and the Sacre Coeur itself. Apart from being close to a metro station, their clean, modern rooms come with a view of the Sacre Coeur.
Having stayed at hotel Mercure Paris Montmartre for 4 nights during my trip to Paris, I can highly recommend this hotel for families and couples. Our spacious room came with a bathtub and a view of the Sacre Coeur. The hotel also serves breakfast and provides air conditioning and free wifi. Moreover, it is just a few steps from the Moulin Rouge and a 10 minute walk from Sacre Coeur.
Cost of Visiting Montmartre, Paris
No Montmartre travel guide would be complete if it didn’t mention the cost of visiting Montmartre. Let’s assume for the sake of this guide that you’re spending 1 day in Montmartre. And so, a it will cost around €8 for a breakfast of croissant and coffee at one of the cute Montmartre cafes. Next, lucily for all of us, every Montmartre attraction and the things to do in Montmartre that I’ve mentioned in this guide are free of cost. Therefore you can spend a few extra bucks for a leiseurely lunch at one of the many Montmartre restaurants. This will set you back around €40-50 for a lunch for 2 people in Montmartre.
Best Things to do in Montmartre, Paris
Given the beauty of this tiny region and the number of sightseeing places, you never have to wonder about what to do in Montmartre. Apart from the best things to do in Montmartre that are listed below, walk around and discover more hidden gems for yourself.
1. Rue de l’Abreuvoir
One of the prettiest streets in Paris and not just in Montmartre, Rue de l‘Abreuvoir can be the starting point for your visit to all the places to visit in Montmartre. Walk up this romantic lane in Paris to get a feel of Paris during the golden ages.
However, this place is now a popular tourist hotspot thanks to bloggers such as myself advertising it as one of the best “instagrammable” spots in Montmartre. Unfortunately, your romantic walk along this lane will be overshadowed with tourists in berets and dresses fighting for a spot to get a picture here.
2. La Maison Rose
La Maison Rose – one of the prettiest or “instagrammable” cafés in Paris lies on one end of the street listed above. This pretty pink café is one of the most iconic and unmissable things to do in Montmartre. However, the owner is known to get annoyed with tourists who click photos whilst ruining the vibes for those dining here. Thus, try to be respectful and discreet when you click pictures. Better yet, order a coffee and enjoy this café as a customer!
3. Le Consulat
Yet another instagrammable spot in Montmartre, Le Consulat is just a few steps away from La Maison Rose. Painted in hues of cream and red, this café is not only an unmissable place to visit in Montmartre, but it is also a good place to get breakfast. They also serve French specialities during lunch and dinner, if you’d rather come here for a meal.
4. La Mère Catherine
In my list of the best places to visit in Montmartre Paris, you’ll notice that I’ve mentioned quite a few cafés. While all of these cafés are instagram worthy places, they also serve good food, have incredible vibes and have that cliché Parisian look and feel that we non-Parisians crave when we visit Paris. So don a beret and pop over to La Mère Catherine, a beautiful café with views of the Sacre Coeur.
5. La Virgule
If you’ve seen my Paris pictures on Instagram (@thespicyjourney), then you’ll notice that I have many pictures at instagrammable places with a view of the Sacre Coeur. One of these photo-worthy spots is a simple bar/restaurant called La Virgule. While this bar in itself has nothing to brag about, it does have the most incredible up-close view of the Sacre Coeur. Be warned though, that it can get super crowded even in the mornings.
6. Sacré-Cœur – Best Thing to do in Montmartre
Now, let’s talk about the best thing to do in Montmartre, which is paying a visit to the Sacre Coeur. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris aka the Sacre Coeur is a magnificent monument located on the highest point in Paris – the butte Montmartre. And so you’ll get a breathtaking view of Paris city from here. Given that it is the second most visited attraction in Paris, it gets crowded soon – even early in the morning. Therefore it is advisable to watch your belongings in the crowd.
7. Carrousel de Saint-Pierre
To get a good view of Sacre Coeur with fewer people around and to find an Instagramable place in Montmartre to photograph the Sacre Coeur, walk down through the steps directly in front of the monument and keep walking down till you reach the Carrousel. The carrousel is open from 10:00 to 19:00 every day. Come here before the opening time for photography.
8. Square Louise Michel
The Square Louise Michel is located directly in front of the Sacre Coeur at an incline. The square is a part of the pleasing gardens that lay in the frontside of the iconic monument and is an unmissable thing to do in Montmartre. Apart from the beautiful flowers and a good view, you can even get some very cliché touristy photos in front of the Sacre Coeur here.
9. Square Marcel Bleustein Blanchet – Offbeat Place to Visit in Montmartre
Coming to offbeat places to visit in Montmartre, the Square Marcel Bleustein Blanchet is a small but incredibly beautiful park located just behind the Sacre Coeur. Despite its proximity to the famous monument, a surprisingly low number of people visit the park itself. However in my opinion, not only is this one of the best things to do in Montmartre Paris but it is also one of the most instagrammable places in Montmartre.
10. Rue du Chevalier-de-La-Barre
Given how Instagram and Tiktok have taken over our lives, I’m fairly certain that you must have come across some offbeat places in Montmartre such as this lane with cobblestone steps, quintessential Parisian houses and an instagram worthy staircase. Because of its convenient but hidden location just behind the park mentioned above, you can drop by here at any time of the day and not expect to see many people around.
11. Place Dalida
A square built in honor of Dalida – a singer who loved and lived in Montmartre, this is a good place in Montmartre to get a nice view of the Rue de l‘Abreuvoir. In all honesty, there is really nothing much to do here. I passed by this spot while starting my walk through Montmartre.
12. Lamarck – Caulaincourt Metro Station
You can’t visit Montmartre and miss out on Lamarck Caulaincourt – the most instagrammable metro in Montmartre and even in all of Paris. You can even see the best things to do in Montmartre by starting your Montmartre walking tour here at this metro station. The green line number 12 passes through the Lamarck-Caulaincourt metro station in Montmartre.
13. Moulin Rouge
The Moulin Rouge is a highlight of and one of the best things to do in Montmartre. Not a single person can write a Montmartre travel guide and skip this iconic place in Paris. Founded in 1889, this historic cabaret house is one of the main attractions in Montmartre. At any time of the day, you can expect to see loads of people huddled outside, taking selfies and touristy photos, not that I’m complaining!
14. Montmartre Sinking House
One of the more fascinating offbeat places to visit in Montmartre, the sinking house is a cool illusion that has now become an “instagram” attraction in Montmartre. To make things even better, this house is actually located right next to the Sacre Coeur so you won’t need to go out of your way to find it. When you’re looking at the Sacre Coeur, look towards the right hand side to find this cool house.
15. Montmartre Walking Tour
Although I spent 10 days in Paris during my visit to the city of lights, one of the highlights for me was a walking tour of Paris where I learned so much about the mind boggling history of this amazing city. Montmartre, although a small region in Paris, also has so much history seeping through its picturesque corners. To fully enjoy your visit to Montmartre Paris, I recommend taking a walking tour.
Where to Eat in Montmartre Paris – Restaurants and Cafes
Given that there are many things to do in Montmartre and therefore it is a tourist hotspot, there are many great restaurants and cafés in Montmartre. I have listed some of the best, most instagrammable cafés in Montmartre below.
1. Le Consulat
Le Consulat is not only one of the most instagrammable places in Montmartre, but it is also a great place to grab some of that famous French food. Open from 11 am to 10 pm, this place can fill up easily so make sure you come here as soon as you can and grab a spot on the terrace.
2. Au Cadet de Gascogne
One of the best places in Montmartre for breakfast or brunch, Au Cadet de Gascogne is located on the most romantic street of Montmartre. The sandwiches here are to die for and the views of the Sacre Coeur don’t hurt either! Given its prime location, the restaurant fills up fast so get here early to grab a good spot on the terrace.
3. La Taverne de Montmartre
La Taverne de Montmartre is one of the top rated places to eat in Montmartre. With a rustic exterior and interior, this tucked away spot serves traditional well-presented French dishes. Visit this quaint Montmartre restaurant to get an authentic taste of French cuisine.
Montmartre Itinerary : How to Spend 1 Day in Montmartre?
Start your self-guided walking tour of Montmartre by arriving at the Lamarck-Caulaincourt Metro Station – which is a popular instagrammable location in Montmartre Paris.
From here, walk a mere 160 m to the Buste de Dalida. From here, you’ll see the prettiest street in Paris – the Rue de l’Abreuvoir towards the left in front of you. Walk through this pretty lane to reach the most instagrammable café in Montmartre – La Maison Rose. You can spend a few minutes admiring and photographing this famous Instagram location or even sip café and gorge on pastries.
For the next part of your Montmartre itinerary for 1 day, walk towards the East side (right perpendicular to Rue de l’Abreuvoir) on the Rue des Saules. At the end of the lane, you’ll see the legendary Le Consular Café – which is one of the best cafes in Montmartre. You can stop here for a meal or continue down the road as there are many more pretty cafés coming up!
Continue walking north to arrive at Place du Tertre which is lined with the most beautiful Parisian cafés and artists who are painting live. From here, you’ll see Sacre Coeur, your next stop.
After visiting the Sacre Coeur, you can either walk through the gardens directly in front of it, called Square Louise Michel and visit the carousel or visit the garden behind the Sacre Coeur- Square Marcel Bleustein Blanchet.
Lastly, to top off your 1 day in Montmartre, explore around and try to find the offbeat places in Montmartre – some of which are mentioned in this Montmartre travel guide.
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