Montmartre is the heart of Paris for everything it represents. This great hill of old lampposts, white houses and legendary stairs is, without a doubt, the center of parisian tourism thanks to its fabulous gastronomy and its great cultural movement. In that sense, many of the places to see in Montmartre have a reflection of street art and, in addition, of the history of this spectacular neighborhood.
Montmartre is the perfect place for lovers of art and everything bohemian: pure paris. In addition, during the 19th century, Montmartre saw the birth and resplendent art of Impressionists such as Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Paul Cézanne, Auguste Renoir, Berthe Morisot and Alfred Sisley.
Montmartre is located on the banks of the Seine river, where the white dome of the Sacré Cœur Basilica stands. Would you like to meet him? What should you keep in mind when visiting Montmartre? We reveal it here in The Happy Traveler!
How to get to the Montmartre neighborhood?
The Montmartre district is located in the 18th district of Paris and the easiest way to get there is by metro. For this, there are several stations, where you can stay and they will leave you very close. These are:
- Blanche and Pigalle: Line 2.
- Abbesses and Lamarck-Caulaincourt: Line 12.
- Obverse: Line 2.
Now, you’re probably wondering how long does it take to visit Montmarte, a key question that will help you define the itinerary of your trip. And the answer is clear: at least one day, so you don’t miss out on visiting any of those amazing places.
10 places to see in Montmartre
This famous Parisian cabaret that has inspired so many stories (most recently the Moulin Rouge movie in 2001) opened on October 5, 1889. The mill was designed by Adolphe Willette, a famous decorator, and built by the Spanish Josep Oller. Among its most famous stars was La Goulue, whom you can see in photographs at the Musée de Montmartre, where you can also enjoy the works of Toulouse-Lautrec, the mill’s official chronicler. A must stop for fans of history, popular culture and cinema!
2. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris
What is Montmartre famous for? For various reasons, but the most popular is the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Paris, which stands out for its enormous dome which can be seen from different points of Paris. Its construction began in 1873 as a tribute to the French citizens who had lost their lives during the Franco-Prussian War. Since then it has been a place of worship and also one of the most visited in the Ville Lumière.
The basilica offers its visitors the opportunity to visit the dome, where you can have great views of paris and to the crypt, where you will see some interesting objects. To get to this place to see in Montmartre you will have to climb about 200 steps, although, if you prefer, you can take the funicular, whose price is quite affordable and becomes part of the experience of visiting this basilica.
You can also take the opportunity to take a look at Saint Pierre church of Montmartre, founded by Saint Dionysius of Paris. Rebuilt in the 19th century, this church is one of those places to visit in Montmartre, Paris. It has an architecture worthy of admiration and is usually surrounded by tourists from all over the world.
3. Place du Tertre
A few meters from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, is the Place du Tertre, one of the most emblematic squares. So if you wonder where to walk around Montmartre you have to go to this place, because it is an opportunity to discover the most folkloric and artistic side of Paris. In that sense, the Place du Tertre serves as a reminder of the Parisian bohemia of the 19th and early 20th centuries. And you will be able to see hundreds of artists doing their works!
4. I Love You Wall
In French “Mur des Je t’aime”, is a mural that offers you one of the most interesting activities to do in Montmartre, especially if you go with your partner. In this way, it was devised by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito and it has become a very famous place and, of course, one of the favorite places to experience love.
What is the I Love You Wall about? It is a wall built on an area of 40 m², made up of 612 glazed lava tiles. In this mural you can read I love you in approximately 250 languages. Going to Montmartre deserves that you pass by this mural, even if you are single. You will also see red sparks on the tiles, which symbolize the pieces of a broken heart. Do you visit it?
5. Cafe Deux Moulins
What to see in the Montmartre neighborhood? The Café Deux Moulins, a spectacular place where thousands of people go every month. Its popularity dates back to 2001, because it was the setting where the protagonist of the film Amélie worked. Where to find it? At number 15 rue Lepic, on the corner of rue Cauchois.
Its current owner, Marc Fougedoire, points out that this establishment opened its doors in the 20th century. At the entrance of this cafe, you are going to see a poster of the movie Améliewhich certainly took his fame to another level, although we must say that this was not the first time he served as a recording set.
6. Maison Rose
La Maison Rose is a restaurant to see in Montmartre that, additionally, offers the most delicious typical French food. It is an impressive place that is not only important from a gastronomic point of view, but it is also a experience in themselves. The dishes have been praised on multiple occasions by specialized critics. However, you should know that reservations are made well in advance, since the popularity of the Maison Rose is so huge that it is always crowded.
Similarly, stands out for being a colorful place full of life, in fact, became famous for the paintings of Utrillo. The history of this restaurant is extensive, it is even said that for some time it was a cabaret. It has also changed owners several times and the current management points out that they are inspired by the history of the town of Montmartre.
One of the most surreal places to see in Montmartre is the Passe-Muraille. It is a rather unusual statue, which decorates many of the postcards of this neighborhood. It is a work in bronze by the artist Jean Marais, which has amazed tourists since 1989. What does it symbolize? A tribute to Marcel Aymé!
In fact, is inspired by one of the emblematic stories for this desk: the Passe-Muraille. It is installed in the Marcel Aymé square. It is about a man who has the ability to walk through walls. And he is inspired by the plot of the aforementioned tale. Visit her!
8. Montmartre Windmills
Montmartre once had up to 15 windmills, but now there are only two in this neighborhood and they are a great tourist attraction. The first is The Moulin de la Galette, a windmill located in a place dedicated to vineyards, wheat fields and pastures. It was later converted into a dance hall and is now closed to the public. But that does not stop some of the most intrepid tourists, who visit its surroundings. On the other hand, there is the Moulin Rougewhich, as we already mentioned in this article, is one of the most symbolic places in this neighborhood.
9. Museums to see in Montmartre
Museums are the best places to see in Montmartre with children. In that sense, you cannot ignore the Montmartre museum, which will give you the opportunity to get to know in depth the wonderful history of this neighborhood. It is interesting, educational and the most amazing thing is that it is located in the former residence of Maurice Utrillo, one of the most famous painters of Montmartre.
The Naïf Art Museum is the favorite of the little ones, which is perhaps due to the fact that it has an aesthetic designed for them. Unassuming, with flat colors and sometimes lacking in complicated painting techniques, this museum is a must on your trip, since It will give you a different approach to the art of this neighborhood.
10. Rue Lepic Street
Rue Lepic runs from Boulevard de Clichy to Place Jean-Baptiste-Clément. It is one of the things to see in Montmartre! In 1852 it received the name of Calle del Emperador, however, in 1864 it was renamed in honor of General Lepic. The most fascinating thing about this street is that it is full of hotels where you can stay without any problem and with the greatest comfort.
It is surrounded by great attractions such as cabarets, which were once the most frequented places in the neighborhood and, even, that is where the Café Deux Moulins is. Also, on Rue Lepic is one of the residences of the painter Vincent Van Goghwith a white facade and blue door, is a quite photographed stop.
Knowing the places to see in Montmoartre is admiring the same landscape that artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, Utrillo and Bonnard observed. Overwhelming for those cultural tourists who appreciate history and art! Have you visited this neighborhood in Paris? Do you have other places to recommend? Share and comment.