Spend a great day in Montmartre and experience that particular bucolic village feeling around every corner.
I love certain Paris neighborhoods, and Montmartre is definitely on top of the list. So we decided to once again leave our beautiful city of Nice and head to Paris for the weekend.
Without a doubt, Paris has many significant and beautiful areas, but this time, we narrowed it down so that we could spend a great day in Montmartre.
Although covid has managed to (temporarily) empty Montmartre of its thousands of daily visitors, don’t expect to be alone.
However, do let yourself go back to an age when writers, painters, and bohemians were fueled by passion and willing to sacrifice comfort to create masterpieces. They were idealistic and thought they’d change the world.
Maybe they did?
There are so many ways to spend a great day in Montmartre, so start walking early in the morning and get lost on quaint side streets…
I’m sure you’ll love it 🙂
WHAT CAN YOU DO IN MONTMARTRE?
Sitting on top of the Butte Montmartre, you’ll quickly see how this neighborhood preserved all of its village charms.
From the basilica to cobblestone streets, to artists, writers, and literary legends, it’s all here, from past to present.
Enjoy the view from different angles, stop at some original shops, and taste some delicious French food.
Wander and take it all in.
And if you decide to stay for the weekend, then just repeat the next day 🙂
SACRE COEUR An iconic stop when you spend a great day in Montmartre
Of course, you’ve seen pictures of the gorgeous Basilica de Sacre Coeur, with its pristine white dome hovering underneath the skyline.
Admire the view and try spotting the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, or Les Invalides.
However, the most fantastic moment is how the light changes over Paris as the sun sets!
You can get to Sacre Coeur by taking a funicular or if you’re brave and have enough time, walk up the 300 steps at your own pace.
I prefer walking.
SAINT PIERRE DE MONTMARTRE
Don’t ignore the neighboring 12th-century church, Saint Pierre de Montmartre.
With its sober interior and stained glass windows, it’s one of the oldest Christian buildings in Paris.
Located between the Sacre Coeur and Place du Tertre. Free Entrance
PLACE DU TERTRE
A few streets away on the Butte de Montmartre, you’ll walk right through Place du Tertre.
Ok, it does get busy. And in the summer it gets awfully uncomfortable with crowds of tourists.
So if you have a choice of when to spend a great day in Montmartre, choose to go in the off-season. It’s a little better.
If that’s not an option, then go early in the morning.
Place du Tertre used to be part of the Abbey de Montmartre in the 12th century before it became a public square in the 1600s.
In the 20th century, many famous artists such as Modigliani, Picasso, and Renoir became a part of the Montmartre artist’s community.
Today, place du Tertre is where modern artists line up waiting for your pretty face so they can draw your portrait for a few euros.
You’ll have to use your imagination here.
LE CONSULAT CAFE
When you spend the day in Montmartre, you will inevitably pass by Le Consulat Cafe. You must have seen the photos everywhere on Instagram.
So stop and take that photo 🙂
Then enjoy a coffee, wine, or a typical meal in one of Montmartre’s oldest buildings.
Le Consulat Cafe is only a few minutes away from Place du Tertre.
It strategically sits on the butte and is surrounded by small cobblestone streets waiting to be explored.
Granted, today it’s a bit touristy, but it’ has its charm when you want to spend a great day in Montmartre.
Le Consulat Cafe, 18 Rue Norvins, Montmartre
MUSEE DE MONTMARTRE
When you plan to spend a great day in Montmartre, it inevitably involves a lot of walking.
So why not take a rest and learn a little more about the artists that lived here?
Visit the Montmartre museum and learn through the collection of authentic paintings and photos about various artists’ lives.
Read about the history of the Bateau Lavoir and stroll the beautiful gardens.
Before it became a museum in 1960, it was Renoir’s home and a hotspot for the thriving artist community of the time.
For more info on the Montmartre Museum
RUE DE L’ABREUVOIR
You just can’t spend a great day in Montmartre without walking on this iconic cobblestone street.
It’s one of the neighborhood’s prettiest streets with its ivy-covered homes and a 5 minute to Place Dalida.
LA MAISON ROSE is a must when you spend a great day in Montmartre
Everyone wants to see the pink house on Rue de L’abreuvoir.
It’s earned the high claim of being the most photographed house in Montmartre.
Built around 1850, the pink house changed owners several times in its history before Maurice Utrillo immortalized it in a painting and called it “La petite Maison Rose.”
It was an inexpensive boarding house for many years and served as a meeting spot for aspiring artists, singers, and writers.
Picasso, Modigliani, and later on, Piaf, Aznavour, and Camus, among others, met here for inexpensive meals and great creative discussions.
Today the pink house is a successful restaurant that serves creative French dishes using the freshest ingredients. It also has an old-time charm interior and unique decoration.
Location: Corner of Rue Abreuvoir and Rue des Saules.
A beautiful little square.
An eye-catching view of Rue de l’Abreuvoir from a different angle… And the bust of Dalida.
A calm place to take a small break.
Dalida, a French-Egyptian woman and singer, left us famous songs including “Paroles, Paroles” and “Il venait d’avoir 18 ans”.
LE MOULIN DE LA GALETTE
This is certainly a tourist attraction, but worth a stop to understand its history.
Since the middle ages, the many windmills throughout Montmartre were commonly used to grind materials.
This particular windmill was used by its owners to grind flour and especially make brown bread, known as Galette, hence the name.
It became a popular guinguette – a place to enjoy a drink, a simple meal, and a dance. Many artists would meet here for a good time!
Renoir painted Le Moulin de la Galette. (1876). It depicts a “guinguette” scene.
Today people stand outside and snap pictures of one of the last remaining windmills in Montmartre.
If you want to have a meal here, make a reservation.
Location: 83 rue Lepic
For more info on the Moulin de la Galette
BATEAU LAVOIR a worthy stop
Just a few streets down from Place de Tertre is the iconic Bateau Lavoir.
If you want to spend a great day in Montmartre, you can’t miss this important artist’s landmark.
In 1889 the owner rented out small rooms that became art workshops for many aspiring and later famous artists in Montmartre.
When you arrive at the small square – Place Emilie Goudeau – take a seat on a wooden bench.
Do you see those green doors?
That’s the Bateau Lavoir.
Now imagine that painters, writers, actors, and poets are all busy creating something unique behind those doors.
Most of them aspired to express their art, despite their deplorable living conditions.
“I know we’ll make it through the Bateau Lavoir. There we were truly happy, we were considered as painters and not as curious animals”. Picasso
That’s where the great Picasso, Gaugin, Modigliani, Max Jacob, and many other artists lived, struggled, and created in 25 small art studios,
As a side note, here is where Picasso gave birth to his masterpiece Demoiselles d’Avignon.
THE WALL OF LOVE
Wander into the small courtyard and try to find I love in your language on Le Mur des Je T’aime.
Search through 250 languages and dialects written on 600+ enamel tiles, which make up the amazing blue wall.
Be delighted and enjoy just being there.
Other people are admiring the wall just like you, so be patient.
Located on Jehan Rictus Square, just outside of the Abbesses metro station, on Place Abbesses.
It’s not really a thing to do during an afternoon in Montmartre but this is a special metro station.
It’s worth admiring the beautiful Art Nouveau architecture designed by Hector Guimard, with its glass roof and green wrought iron arches.
When we think of Paris metros, this is the image that comes up.
Metro Abbesses is also one of the deepest stations in Paris with an endless circular staircase (even a lift).
Before its renovation in 2006, the walls leading underground were covered in tags.
Today they portray images of Paris. It’s also the only metro that gets you to Montmartre.
Note: Due to covid, shows are suspended until further notice. But you can start planning for when travel is possible again!
Although too touristy, there’s no getting around this famous landmark at the foot of Montmartre.
Le moulin rouge, in Pigalle, is the birthplace of the French cancan. With its red windmill and elaborate dancers in magnificent costumes, you must drop in for a show if you want a unique experience ton your night out in Montmartre.
For more information on Le Moulin Rouge
BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Spend a wonderful day in Montmartre and explore where famous artists spent their best years writing books and creating art that we still admire today.
Please don’t forget that in any city, even in the small village of Montmartre, you should keep an eye on your stuff.
Always Be aware of your surroundings and take a few precautions with these Safety Tips.
WHERE TO EAT IN MONTMARTRE:
Located in Pigalle 10 minutes from the Wall of Love and Place Abbesses.
Excellent Italian food on 4 floors, all designed in a different style in a hip and cool environment.
The last floor has an amazing skylight with gorgeous views.
The wait is quite long, so get there early, give your name and go for a walk.
Good Restaurant close to Sacre Coeur. Excellent french dishes, especially the delicious boeuf bourguignon. Simple, warm, and friendly environment
6 Rue Lamarck, Montmartre
Sandwiches, crepes and a glass of wine for a reasonable price. On a busy street, there are a few high tables if you want to eat on site.
If you like melted cheese, then give their raclette baguette a try!
55 rue de Chevalier de la Barre,
Cozy and homemade. Coffee, cakes, as well as gluten-free and vegetarian options. For a small break or a real meal. Great breakfast and lunch specials for less than 20e.
33 rue Lamarck, Montmartre
All the way up, almost on the corner of a side street,
Small interior full of charm and delicious food prepared by top chefs. Preset menu or menu specials of the day.
A bit pricey, but if you’re looking for an authentic French meal, it’s the place to go.
3 rue Pouliot, Montmartre
MORE THAN 1 DAY IN MONTMARTRE?
We stayed at the Timhotel Montmartre. A small very cozy hotel right on Place Emilie near the Bateau Lavoir.
Its location is perfect to walk around and there are many restaurants just a few minutes’ walk.
The room itself is very small but nicely decorated with original touches. The view is amazing depending on your room, and it makes up for the lack of space for your suitcse.
Did I say the view is amazing? It is. Make sure to ask for a room with a view.
Maison Souquet is a more luxurious option. Plus you’ll get an amazing experience in the hotel.
Private spa, gorgeous decoration, excellent location. Everything you can imagine.
Very close to the Moulin Rouge, this hotel has professional and very friendly staff, ready to answer any of your questions and make your stay memorable.
Location: 10 Rue de Bruxelles, 9e arr. Paris
IF THESE AREN’T A GOOD FIT, YOU CAN CHECK OTHER HOTELS IN PARIS
HOW TO GET TO MONTMARTRE
You can take a bus from Gare du Nord to Pigalle and then walk upwards into the Montmartre neighborhood.
Or take Metro Line 12 until Abbesses station, and you’ll be right onto abbesses square, right in front of Le Mur des Je T’aime.
Uber is also easy and practical, depending on where you’re coming from.
Spend a great day in Montmartre and make it memorable with the above walking itinerary.
Have Fun walking in Montmartre!
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