Montmartre, Paris Overview

Montmartre, a high-raised village suburb, gives way to some of the most picturesque scenes in Paris. Many artists of the bygone era have been inspired and influenced by Montmartre - from Picasso, Van Gogh to Renoir and Monet. Many painters and artists have lived for a brief time in this rustic neighbourhood and their impressions can still be felt in the Montmartre suburbia. Some of the must visit attractions in Montmartre are Sacre Coeur, Church of St. Pierre, Sinking House of Montmartre, Moulin Rogue, Place du Tertre, Le Mur des Je t’aime and many others.

At quite a distance from all the central attractions of Paris, Montmartre has earned the reputation amongst tourists of being an idyllic, serene and authentically local spot in all of Paris. In every nook and corner, Montmartre holds something surprisingly new and unique - be it less trodden roads or pithy architecture.  It is filled with unique trinkets of Parisian lifestyle - influential artistic past, narrow streets, charming quaint cafes and a rich historical significance trapped in museums, monuments and collective memory of the locals. Montmartre promises to be more than just an afternoon fling; it aims at inspiring tourists to keep coming back to Paris.

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Travel Guide for Montmartre

Montmartre, Paris

Historical Monuments in Montmartre
: Sacre Coeur, Saint Pierre de Montmartre, Montmartre Cemetery, Place Dalida, La Bateau Lavoir

Museums in Montmartre: Musee de Montmartre, Musee De La Vie Romantique, Espace Dali Musée d’Art Naif Max Fourny

Entertainment Spots in Montmartre: Montmartre Carousel, Moulin Rouge, Le Mur des Je t’aime, La Vigne de Montmartre, Sinking House of Montmartre

Cafes in Montmartre: Café Deux Moulins, La Maison Rose, Le Petit Moulin, Le Consulat, Le Refuge des Fondus

Tours in Montmartre: Walking Tours, Polaroid Tours, Food and Bistro Tours, Promotrain - Le Petit Train de Montmartre, Cultural Tours

Shopping in Montmartre: Rue de Steinkerque, Rue des Martyrs, Fragonard Montmartre

History of Montmartre

Montmartre, Paris

The hill owes its religious fame and importance to a particular text from some year before 885. This text was entitled Miracles of Saint-Denis written by Hilduin, and described how Saint-Denis, a christian bishop, was executed by decapitation on the top of the hill, on orders of a roman prefect, Fescennius Sisinnius for preaching Christianity to Gallo-Roman inhabitants.

In the 12th century, King Louis VI bought the Merovingian chapel and had the church of Saint-Pierre de Montmartre built on it, which still stands to this day. He was also the one who founded the Royal Abbey of Montmartre, a monastery with beautiful gardens, buildings and fields that adorned a majority of the Montmartre. During the early 16th century, the slopes of this hill were subject to vineyards, gardens, orchards of peach and cherry trees. Mills were also set up on the western parts of Montmartre, which were used for grinding grains like wheat and rye. After the destruction of the abbey, gypsum mines were dug on the site along with stone quarries and wineries. 

During 1871,for a brief period, Montmartre refused to be a part of Paris and started its own rule under the tag of La Commune. This form of self-government lasted for three months after which Montmartre was reunited under Paris. The hill also served as a strategically important site when it came to wars at that time. During wars such as the Battle of Paris and Franco-Prussian war, the hill proved to be an advantageous site due to its height, and resulted in the Russian and the French armies setting up camp there. The post-war era of Paris witnessed the popularization of bars, cabarets and cafes on Montmartre. It also turned out to be a popular source of entertainment for locals.

Historical Monuments in Montmartre

Montmartre, Paris

Montmartre is a historically rich arena - seemingly life thrived in the streets of Montmartre since the 2nd century or so. Since then and now, Montmartre has added quite a few historical monuments to account for its repository -  a 12th-century Romanesque church Saint Pierre de Montmartre, an early 20th-century basilica Sacre Coeur, a late 20th-century dedication to French musician Dalida and a residential capital for early 20th - century artists La Bateau Lavoir.

Saint Pierre de Montmartre

Address: 2 Rue du Mont-Cenis, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Monday to Sunday - 07:45 AM - 07:00 PM

Sacre Coeur

Address: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Monday to Sunday - 06:00 AM - 10:30 PM

Place Dalida

Address: Place Dalida, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Open 24 hours

La Bateau Lavoir

Address: The Bateau-Lavoir, 75018 Paris, France

Museums in Montmartre

Montmartre, Paris

There are multiple museums located in this idyllic neighbourhood of Paris to preserve the rich historical, artistic as well as cultural artefacts of bygone eras. One can decide to visit any of the museums -  a recreated archive of a historical Montmartre in paintings housed in Musee de Montmartre, Romantic era painting, possessions and memorabilia at Musee De La Vie Romantique, surrealist masterpieces of Dali at Espace Dali and Naive art and folk art exhibitions at Musée d’Art Naif Max Fourny.

Musee de Montmartre

Address:  12 Rue Cortot, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Monday to Thursday - 10:00 AM - 07:00 PM

Musee De La Vie Romantique

Address: 16 Rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris, France
Timings: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM; closed on Monday

Espace Dali

Address: 11 Rue Poulbot, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Monday to Sunday - 10:00 AM - 06:30 PM

Musée d’Art Naif Max Fourny

Address: 2 Rue Ronsard, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Monday to Friday - 11:00 AM - 06:00 PM; Saturday - 11:00 AM - 07:00 PM; Sunday - 12:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Entertainment Spots in Montmartre

Montmartre, Paris

The suburb of Montmartre is not short of entertainment when it comes to enjoying a day off and relaxing for both locals and tourists alike. Some of the entertainment stops at Montmartre that are famous for refreshment and joy are - enjoy the amusement park ride at Montmartre Carousel, or get your portraits painted at Place du Tertre, view posh cabaret performances at the Moulin Rouge, recreate lovely moments against the Le Mur des Je t’aime, visit the oldest vineyard La Vigne de Montmartre or hunt down the instagram-famous Sinking House of Montmartre and capture it.

Montmartre Carousel

Address: Place Saint-Pierre, 75018 Paris, France

Place du Tertre

Address: Place du Tertre, 75018 Paris, France

Moulin Rouge

Address: 82 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Varied show times

Le Mur des Je t’aime

Address: Square Jehan Rictus, Place des Abbesses, 75018 Paris
Timings: Monday to Sunday - 08:00 AM - 09:30 PM

La Vigne de Montmartre

Address: Rue des Saules, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Open 24 hours

Sinking House of Montmartre

Address: Left to Sacre Coeur, visible from the front steps

Cafes in Montmartre

Montmartre, Paris

Montmartre sets the mood for pinterest-inspired Paris cafe images with its narrow streets and quaint yet charming cafes. Most of these cafes have either featured in movies or were the favourite hangout spots for the artists in Montmartre - both increasing the appeal for cafes in Montmartre. Visit Café Deux Moulins to recreate the scenes from Amelie film of 2001 or the dusty-pink, Picasso favoured cafe La Maison Rose, or try the weekly and seasonally changing-menu at Le Petit Moulin, or stop by at the rustic, old-charm imbibing cafe Le Consulat and the graffiti-covered cozy cafe Le Refuge des Fondus. 

Café Deux Moulins

Address:  15 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Monday to Sunday - 07:00 AM - 01:30 AM

La Maison Rose

Address: 2 Rue de l'Abreuvoir, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Friday to Sunday - 11:00 AM - 11:30 PM; Wednesday - 06:30 AM - 11:30 PM; Thursday & Monday - 12:00 PM - 11:30 PM; closed on Tuesday

Le Petit Moulin

Address: 17 Rue Tholozé, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Tuesday to Sunday - 05:00 AM - 11:00 PM; closed on Mondays

Le Consulat

Address: 18 Rue Norvins, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Monday to Sunday - 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Le Refuge des Fondus

Address: 17 Rue des Trois Frères, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Monday to Sunday - 07:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Tours in Montmartre

Montmartre, Paris

Montmartre suburbia is a huge location to be covered such that there are various tours designed to make the most of the place. Most of the tours offered in Montmartre are walking tours because half the charm of the place comes from its narrow cobbled streets and tall defining buildings. Other quirky tours that are offered at Montmartre are - Polaroid Tours wherein you are offered 10 polaroids to capture and keep while touring Montmartre, Food and Bistro Tours that focuses on enjoying a gastronomic experience, Promotrain - Le Petit Train de Montmartre which entails travelling around all attractions in montmartre on a local, small train, Cultural Tours that focus more on historical, artistic and cultural explorations of Montmartre.

Shopping in Montmartre

Montmartre, Paris

Shopping in Montmartre is a famous activity enjoyed equally by locals and tourists. Some of the best shopping streets of Paris are located in Montmartre. The two major streets to try out are Rue de Steinkerque and Rue des Martyrs. The famous fragrance shop, Fragonard Montmartre, is located at the base of Saccre Coeur.

Rue de Steinkerque

Highlights: Small local stores, souvenir shops, clothing stores, clothes lined outside the shop for tourists to rummage through, antique shops
Attractions: Sympa Store (clothing), La Cure Gourmande (biscuits), Maison George Larnicol Chocolaterie (chocolates), Petit Musee de Chocolat (chocolates)

Rue des Martyrs

Highlights: 200 shops and restaurants, cafes, bars, bakeries, florists, street style clothing stores, libraries, vintage clothing
Attractions: La Chambre aux Confitures (fruit preserves),  Sébastien Gaudard (patisserie), Mesdemoiselles Madeleines (gourmet), Zeit Paris (clothing), Librarie Vendredi (library), Chinemachine (vintage clothing)

Fragonard Montmartre

Address: 1 Bis Rue Tardieu, 75018 Paris, France
Timings: Monday to Thursday - 10:30 AM - 07:00 PM; Friday to Sunday - 10:30 AM - 07:30 PM

Tips while Visiting Montmartre

  • Try to make it to Montmartre in the early morning hours to avoid rush and crowds.
  • Wear comfortable footwear because most of Montmartre includes a lot of walking.
  • Montmartre has become famous for pickpocketers so beware of your belongings.
  • Bring a refillable water bottle as there are many fountains to fill water from.
  • Bracelet Scam/String-People of Sacre Coeur - Many scammers wait around near Sacre Coeur and streets of Montmartre to tie a barcelet or string around your hand under the pretext of shaking hands or so and then don't let you leave until you pay up money. Preferably, don't shake hands or try anything readily.

How To Reach Montmartre

Lines 2 and 12 of the metro system are the best ways to reach the foot of Montmartre hill. Blanche, Pigalle and Anvers are three main stops on Line 2 that allow the most convenience to reach Montmartre.

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