The charming Montmartre district is the most romantic and amazing place in Paris. Every tourist visits the famous hill, often heading straight to its main attraction, the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur.
But there’s so much more to see and do on Montmartre hill! Its narrow streets, the windmills, lots of little details – they are the soul of the place and what makes Montmartre so unique. A walk through Montmartre is a special experience that will surely awaken the artist or poet inside you, and you won’t forget those magical hours for a long time to come. Perhaps Montmartre will be the reason you fall in love with Paris!
» See more – Montmartre’s 10 best tourist sites
4 ways to explore the quiet streets of Montmartre and learn about its history
The most Parisian way to explore the city is on foot. Leave the narrow streets of the hill to investigate whatever interests you. View the surroundings, take pictures, get lost and find yourself.
For lovers of independent walks in silence, we have prepared a map that will take you to the iconic places of Montmartre. The walk will take 3-4 hours, from the Lamarck/Caulaincourt metro station to the Abbesses metro station. Take your time and enjoy yourself!
If you don’t like to get lost, take an audio guide with you! Just download it to your smartphone and you can listen offline. Our young artist friend Pierre will take you through the picturesque back alleys and tell you all the local tales.
Visit the Sacré Coeur “Sacred Heart” Basilica, the Place du Tertre with its artists, the Salvador Dali Museum, the Montmartre vineyards, the cabaret of Lapin Agile and the Moulin Rouge, the Montmartre Museum, and Je t’aime “the Wall of Love”. Or maybe you will get lost and suddenly find yourself in the small cozy cemetery of Montmartre in the company of wonderful but now deceased residents of the hill.
Do you prefer a responsive guide and pleasant company? A tour with a professional guide is another option.
The Montmartre bus – route number 40
Even if you have a busy schedule and little time for sightseeing, you don’t have to limit yourself to the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysées. You can enjoy the beauty of the Parisian streets from the window of a city bus. The route number 40 runs between Le Peletier and the Mairie du 18e – Jules Joffrin. A standard city ticket or pass is suitable for the trip.
Of course, such a trip is no substitute for a full walk. But you will be much less tired!
Not everyone will like the idea of storming Montmartre via the steps in front of the Sacré-Coeur, especially in hot weather. We suggest you take the funicular. In just a minute and a half you will be at the foot of the church. The descent down the two hundred steps is less tiring and you can take great pictures with a view of the basilica.
The Montmartre funicular opened back in 1900. At that time it was hydraulic, but since 1930 it’s been run by electric motors. Two independent cars with 60 passengers travel on parallel tracks, climbing to 36 meters. Each cabin of the funicular works independently, like an elevator (unlike many funiculars, where each cabin is a counterweight to the other).
You can use a standard subway ticket or pass to ride the cable car. If you do not have a ticket or pass, you can buy one at the upper or lower station.
The closest subway station to the funicular is Anvers.
» See more – Navigo transport card in Paris
The Montmartre tourist train
A great way to explore the neighborhood is to travel on the cute little Montmartre train. It’s a 40-minute guided tour that explores the picturesque village of Picasso and Van Gogh, from the Moulin Rouge to the Sacré Coeur, with stunning views of Paris.
An adult train ticket costs 6.50 euros, and a children’s ticket costs 4.50 euros. The route consists of two parts:
- From Place Blanche to Place Tertre in 15 minutes.
- From Place Tertre to Place Blanche in 25 minutes.
You can start the walk from either of the squares, stay there as long as you want, and return back to the train for the second part of the route on the same day.
See Paris from the best vantage point
There’s no bad time to boldly climb the hill and enjoy a stunning view of Paris! The early morning hours are especially nice, and there are so few tourists at this time! With a little luck and patience, you will see a magnificent sunrise! Or a sunset… Or Paris at night… As you wish!
» See more – Where to go to see Paris from above
Listen to the street musicians
There’s a lot of street talent to be found in Montmartre. The area right in front of the Sacré Coeur is always crowded and fun. People sit right on the steps and relax, enjoying live music and a stunning view of Paris.
It was in Montmartre that the singer ZAZ came to fame and glory. Take a closer look at the musical talents, support them with a few coins, buy a CD as a keepsake. These performers selflessly create a special atmosphere of Paris. And maybe you’ll see a future star in front of you!
Lunch at the Mill
Moulin de la Galette in the heart of Montmartre is a small windmill transformed into a chic restaurant. One wall was completely replaced by floor-to-ceiling windows, and at the entrance you can see the remains of the old building. Sit on the sunny terrace and taste the traditional French cuisine.
You’ll have more than 140 menu items to choose from, along with an excellent wine list. Among a stock of 2,000 bottles, you will find interesting options for all tastes, from 25 to 1,400 euros. But this is for an evening – during the day you’d be better off limiting yourself to a glass of wine, which is just 5 euros!
Address: 83 rue Lepic.
Climbing the Sacre-Coeur
The only way to get above Paris is by balloon or airplane. However, there are still places to enjoy the breathtaking view. You have to be patient with the cramped stairs, and be prepared for the 300 steps of ascent. You will not climb the bell tower, but stop under the dome of the cathedral. The cost of the ascent is 7 euros.
Take a ride on a merry-go-round
At the foot of the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur, there’s a park where you’ll find an incredible carousel with beautiful horses. It’s free, so be sure to ride it and get some fantastic pictures!
There is another carousel in Montmartre near the subway station Abbesses. This one is great for children and their parents.
Visit the Montmartre Museum
There’s no better way to learn all the secrets of this bohemian neighborhood than to visit Montmartre’s own museum. Dozens of famous personalities, from Renoir to Dufy, have lived on these streets over the years. Dive into the glorious history, learn why artists lived in the “laundry ship,” and see original works by Utrillo, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Modigliani.
The museum has a whole room devoted to the French cancan, where it will become clear how the Moulin Rouge and Lapin Agile achieved their popularity. An attentive visitor will also notice rare zinc plates from the fabulous scenes of Le Chat Noir shadow theater.
Address: 12 Rue Cortot.
Ticket price: 13€. Book a visit in advance here.
» See more – Paris museums you have to see
Enjoy some local wine and French delicacies
Au Clairon Des Chasseurs
Not far from the Sacré-Coeur, on Place du Tertre, you’ll find the Au Clairon Des Chasseurs restaurant. You’ll recognize it by the deep blue color of the interior. Sit on the terrace overlooking the snow-white basilica and try the exquisite French wine, cheeses, snails, onion soup or other dishes. Watch artists at work or even order a portrait of yourself.
Address: 3 Place du Tertre.
La Maison Rose
La Maison Rose is arguably the most recognizable ristorante in Montmartre. Since 1905 it has been a rendezvous for many historic figures, including Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein and even Camus. Perhaps the local treats will unleash your creativity as well.
In any case it’s a nice place to have a rest after a long walk through the city. The menu changes all the time according to the seasonality of products.
Address: 2 Rue de l’Abreuvoir.
Cafe Deux Moulins
Who doesn’t remember Audrey Tautou’s Amélie Poulin? The famous movie was filmed in Montmartre itself. The café where the main character worked can be found at 15 Rue Lepic, just a short walk from the center of the hill.
If you still haven’t had the courage to try snails, now is the time! Grab a daily menu with appetizers and dessert. The prices in the world famous cafe are a little high, but complete immersion in the atmosphere of the movie is guaranteed.
Monsieur Colignon’s vegetable shop is also preserved nearby. Dip your hand into a bag of beans, then cross the road and take a photo in the photomat.
» See more – The 10 best cafes in Paris to relax with a coffee
If you want something a little more modern, we suggest heading to Restaurant Miroir. It is located closer to the bottom of the hill, by the Abbesses metro. Based on many rave reviews, the octopus ravioli are a must try!
Address: 94 Rue des Martyrs.
La Bonne Franquette
Another restaurant with an excellent selection of wines and French cuisine. Despite the fact that famous French people and artists can often be found here too, the restaurant is very cozy and family-oriented. The owners often like to serve the visitors themselves.
Address: Angle 2 rue des Saules / 18 rue Saint Rustique Montmartre.
» See more – 10 affordable places to eat in Paris
Les Caves du Roy wine store
For more than 30 years, boutique owner Jean-Luc has been selecting the finest French wines for his store with rigor and curiosity. Here you can buy a souvenir to bring home that could easily be served in an expensive restaurant. Even at less than 10 euros, you’ll be able to choose from more than 80 items!
Address: 31 rue Simart.
Stay at a hotel with a view of both the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré-Coeur
Montmartre is located in the 18th district of Paris. It is not the center of the city, and if you stay here, you’ll have to get to other attractions by subway. But here you can choose a hotel with an unusually scenic view of Paris. If the idea of taking morning and evening walks to the observation deck in front of the Sacré-Coeur appeals to you, it is also convenient to stay nearby.
Be sure to reserve rooms in advance.
» See more – The 10 best hotels with a view of the Eiffel Tower
Have a real Parisian picnic
Especially during the warm season, a small picnic at the top of the hill is a great idea. Place Louise-Michelle in Montmartre has enough garden space for all visitors. There are usually more tourists during the day, so an evening picnic is also a good idea.
Bring plenty of food with you, especially if you’ll be climbing the hill on foot. After an energy-intensive hike, everyone will want to be properly nourished. The evening chill can also play a part in whetting your appetite.
Relax and enjoy a carefree evening on a rooftop in Paris!
» READ MORE – Famous french desserts: where to try them in Paris
See the cancan at the Moulin Rouge
We won’t bore you with history here – you probably already know that the Moulin Rouge is the most famous cabaret in the world and the birthplace of the cancan dance. If not, hurry up and read our article about it!
Today, the cabaret show isn’t considered explicit, but it’s still a fun, engaging theatrical performance. Book tickets in advance so you don’t miss the opportunity, because the tickets go fast. Book without any additional fees at this link.
Take a walk down the red light street
Is there a street? Many tourists confuse Paris with Amsterdam and enthusiastically search for the red light district. And he who seeks will always find. We usually direct those interested to the Pigalle district.
» See more – Is There A Red Light District in Paris?
Even if you haven’t wondered about it before, now there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Go for a walk in the area! Do you want juicy details? We’ll share them all in our audio guide for adults in Montmartre!
Montmartre is full of secret gems. It’s sure to meet and exceed your expectations. When planning a trip to Paris, be sure to make time to take a leisurely stroll through these streets and breathe in the air of Montmartre.
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