Paris is beautiful, the architecture the breathtaking, the artwork is to die for and everyone is in love. Or something like that.
Just up from our hotel, (the one with the best wallpaper in the world; The Hotel Josephine) is the beautiful area of Montmartre which has quickly become my favourite area of Paris. The 18th Arrondissement with its quaint streets, quirky little galleries, windmills, Sacre Coeur and breath taking views, you can wander aimlessly around the cute streets for hours and just soak it all in. Here’s the 10 Best Things To Do in Montmarte and reasons why it is my favourite area of Paris and should be on your must visit list!
1. Sacré-Cœur Basilic or The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris
This Roman Catholic Church and minor basilica is on top of the summit of butte Montmartre, the highest point of the city of Paris. It’s grand, it’s beautiful and it’s incredibly picturesque.
The inside is as special as the outside with the stained glass window and impressive decoration. You can also climb the 300 steps to the top to see the view across the city. If you’re not planning a visit just yet, don’t fear! You can see the view from their panoramic virtual tour too!
Make sure you check it out from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Then you’ll see how high it truly is.
2. Le Mur Des Je T’aime aka the I Love You Wall
Of course the city of love has to have a wall of love! Or more specifically a wall with I Love You written on it 311 times in 250 languages. Created in 2000 and measure 40 square metres, the red shapes can be gathered together to create a love heart.
While we were there, there was a couple who’d just got married having their photos taken which was really cute!
3. Le Passe-Muraille or The Passer-Through-Walls
This quirky statue of a man passing through a wall is based on the title of a story by Marcel Ayme. The statue can be found at Place Marcel Ayme, named after the writer.
Tourists take photos of themselves trying to pull the man out of the wall and because of that he has an extra shiny hand!
4. Moulin Rouge
Ok, so the Moulin Rouge is on the outskirts of Montmartre but a visit to Paris is not complete without a stop by the Moulin Rouge. Although the burlesque show itself appears to be riding on the name, it doesn’t make the outside a non go. In the evening it’s all lit up and the windmill spins and it makes you want to burst into song or do the can-can. I won’t judge you either way!
5. Place du Tetre
This cute little square is home to some incredibly talented artists. They sit with their easels and sell artwork while simultaneously creating more. While most feature Paris, why wouldn’t it with such a beautiful backdrop, you can also sit and have your portrait done in range of different styles. I could have wandered the square for hours watching all of them!
Jack and I buy artwork from local artists when we travel instead of tacky souvenirs so Place du Tetre was definitely on our list. We’re secretly hoping that one of our small time artists will make it big and we’re owners of some of their work when that happens!
Here’s the two pieces we bought in Paris.
6. Square Louise Michel
This pretty garden frames any picture taken downhill of the Sacre Coeur beautifully. This teared space features a performance area where people sit on the steps, a couple of fountains, many trees and a pretty carousel. It’s a beautiful spot for a picnic or to just sit and rest, but the uphill walk back to the Sacre Coeur is not for the faint-hearted.
7. Musée de Montmartre
Housed in the oldest building in Montmartre, this charming museum has been a residence and meeting place for a number of artists over the years including Auguste Renoir, Suzanne Valadon and Émile Bernard. Alongside the gallery is a garden and the cafe Renoir. Definitely worth a little visit.
8. Van Gogh’s house
No 54, Rue Lepic was home to Vincent Van Gogh and his brother between 1886 and 1888. He was featured in exhibitions around Montmartre and across Paris. There is a plaque on the wall outside the house which notes when he lived there and it’s featured on a number of the walking tours of Montmartre. It’s not much to see, but keep an eye out on our wanders.
9. The View
Montmartre is one of the tallest areas of Paris and as such provides a beautiful uninterrupted view down across Paris. At certain points you can see the Eiffel Tower as well. The best view is just in front of the Sacre-Coeur at the top of the Square Louise Michel, but as you wander you’ll find little viewpoints as you turn corners that take your breath away, like this one!
10. Street Art and Small Galleries
Montmartre is FULL of creatives and everywhere you turn are little galleries piled high with any style and genre you fancy. Alongside them and covering some of the buildings you will find some pretty special street art too! Just wander the streets and soak it all in!
Those are the 10 Best Things To Do in Montmarte, My Favourite Area of Paris. Let me know what you are planning to see on your visit to Montmarte, or more importantly what you think I’ve missed and I will just have to go back to Paris to find it! Hard task, I know, but someone has to do it!
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