Montmartre Overview

Montmartre is an enchanting Parisian district that has managed to retain its old world charm and has become a famous melting pot of art, history and culture of Paris. The winding cobbled streets, relaxed bistros, talented street artists, fascinating sculptures and famous attractions like the Basilica de Sacre Cœur makes this district a must visit attraction in Paris.

With its cobbled streets, artists, bistros and the majestic Basilica, Montmartre is full of charms. Located on the top of a small hill in the 18th arrondissement, Montmartre is one of the most famous Parisian districts. Enhanced by a trip to Europe, the place has evolved from its traditional village atmosphere of the 19th and 20th centuries that appealed to artists so much. Montmartre has been depicted in various popular culture stories as well. It is the highest point in the City of Lights.

Montmartre is an ideal melting pot of art, music and culture. As a tourist, the best thing here is to take a stroll down the roads, visit the museums, art galleries and other such hubs of art and culture here. You should take a wonderful view of the city from the top of Sacre Coeur, the most prominent landmark of the city and a masterpiece of grandeur and grace.

Montmartre is a little green haven that has been mesmerizing its visitors with its beautiful gardens and vineyards. With its gorgeous locales, vibrating nightlife, rich history of art and great archaeological background, Montmartre is a must-visit place for all tourists, especially backpackers.

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• The Basilica de Sacre Cœur is a must visit Montmartre attraction for its architectural style and the beauty of its location.
• Place du Tertre, is the town square near the summit close to the Basilica where you will find street artists painting.
• Moulin Rouge with the famous windmill is located in Montmartre and this is the most popular cabaret in town.
• A food tour of Montmartre is an absolute must for every foodie. The local cafes, restaurants and bistros offer some of the best French flavors in Paris
• Montmartre has several small museums that are a must visit especially the Museum of Montmartre and the Renoir Gardens.
• Shop for some unique gift items, souvenirs, clothes, bags, trinkets and other at the Rue de Steinkerque.
• Le Clos Montmartre is one of the last remaining vineyards in the city and definitely one of the best highlights of Montmartre.
• Montmartre has many beautiful carousels scattered around the area which are truly insta-worthy.
• Chateau de Lys is one of the oldest buildings in Montmartre and according to many visitors the Chateau also functions as a Swinger's Club in the evenings. Suggested Read: Best Things To Do In Paris At Night

How To Reach

Metro: There are three major metro stations of Abbesses, on line 12 and Blanche and Avengers, both on line 2, that are connected to Montmartre. Any of these stations can be reached from the Paris airport Charles de Gaulle. You can transfer to the RER trains and metro from the airport itself and it will take you around an hour to reach Montmartre and cost around 10 euro.

Bus: Air France buses are available from the CDG airport. It will take around one-and-a-half hours to reach Montmartre from the airport by bus and you will have to spend around the same fare as the metro.

Car/bike: This is the fastest means to reach Montmartre from the airport. You can hire cabs directly from CDG which will charge around 70 to 80 euros and take 30 minutes to ferry you to the hill district. You can also hire bikes and cars to be driven by yourself from various agencies available at the airport facility. This will be slightly cheaper.

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Best Time To Visit

Montmartre is a village on a hilltop, so there is no skirting around. The best time of the day is to visit this popular destination in the middle of the afternoon on weekends. If you settle in the place by evening, aim to venture out in the charming cobblestone alleys and stone walls draped with colourful flowers in Montmartre first thing in the morning.

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Other Essential Information

History About Montmartre Paris

According to the archaeological excavations, the heights of Montmartre were occupied from the Gallo-Roman times. Scriptures from the 8th and 9th century mention the names of Mount Mercury and Mount Mars. Saint Denis, a Roman missionary, was martyred on top of the hill here in 250AD.

After being beheaded, Paris’s first bishop picked up the head and walked for six miles next to the city of Saint Denis. The first mention of a church dedicated to the miracle can be found in the 8th century texts. King Louis VI built the church of Saint Pierre de Montmartre in the 12th century. Paris was very small and Montmartre was an isolated country village with croplands and nuns before the revolution of 1789. It was an outing spot for Parisians with great bucolic aspirations.

Since the nineteenth century, Montmartre started enjoying its worldwide popularity. With Baron Haussmann’s administrative reforms in 1860, Paris welcomed the district within its own walls. However, with its rich rural identity, Montmartre resisted the impending industrial urbanization for a long period of time. Montmartre started to imbibe the revolutionary spirit of freedom in 1889 with Paris magnetism at its peak. Since then, tourists started pouring in here from all over the world. The picturesque landscape, the sparkling pubs, cabarets, watering holes, the cultural rich heritage and warm people have been drawing thousands of tourists to this hill district for years.  

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Places to Eat at Montmartre

Montmartre is also a place for foodies. Some of the great French cuisine dishes can be tasted here in these following restaurants.

1. Babalou: Located at Rue Lamarck 75018 Paris, this is a fine restaurant that serves excellent starters such as artichauts, tomates sechees, roquette, tomatoes cerises with parmesan, in the main course you can relish on the delectable thin crust basil tomato, cheese pizzas and some excellent tiramisu. This is a very cosy, small and neat place for families and couples. A meal for two would cost around 30 to 40 euros.

2. Restaurant Le Poulbot: Located at 3 Rue Poulbot in Paris, this is all about great food and an exotic warm ambience. Here you can start your meal with Rillette d’oie and Soupe à l'Oignon. Plato del dia is a popular main course here. The meat dishes cooked in traditional French style are simply awesome. A meal for two would cost you around 30 euros. The staff of the restaurant are hospitable and chefs are a class apart. 

3. The Hardware Société Paris: Situated at 10 Rue Lamarck, The Hardware Societe is famous for its lip smacking desserts. Don’t forget to taste the cheesecake here. Some of the best gluten free vegetarian and non-vegetarian Australian and European dishes are available here at a very reasonable rate. A meal for two would cost you around 45 euros. 

4. L'Arcane: This fine dining restaurant is situated at 39 Rue Lamarck in Paris. In the starters you can get some amazing three, four or five types entrees, while in the main course, you can order from the popular choices such as saumon juste nacre, surprise de tomate, burrata et gaspacho de Noire de Crimee among other delicacies. A meal for two would cost you around 50 to 60 euros here.

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Places to Stay near Montmartre

Montmartre is a relatively small area in comparison to other neighbourhoods in Paris. However, this whimsical district of Paris has a plethora of stay options, including luxury hotels, budget accommodation, home stays and hostels among other such facilities. Here are some of them. 

1. Hôtel Regyn's Montmartre: This hotel is located right in the heart of Montmartre on Place des Abbesses near Saint Jean Church. Each room is soundproof, cosy with all facilities like internal heating, WIFI, private washroom, elevator, TV among other things. The hotel staff are friendly and they speak English. The hotel is nicely connected to the metro and all famous tourist spots are around. A standard room here will cost you around 70 euros.

2. Hotel Des Arts: If you are looking for a luxury stay in Paris, then this facility is an ideal one. With soundproof rooms, blackout curtains, excellent housekeeping, friendly staff, well-equipped bathroom, big cloakrooms, this hotel is perfect for couples and families. A premium room here will cost you around 120 to 150 euros.

3. Timhotel Montmartre: This is a classy hotel located at 11 Ravignan in Paris. Here you can get all decked up cosy rooms with breakfast, laundry, air conditioning, extra bed, room service, 24x7 front desk, free wifi among other such facilities. You can roam around Montmartre from this place via cycle, cab or on foot. A standard deluxe room here will cost you 100 euros.

4. Vintage Paris Gare du Nord: Located at 73 Rue de Dunkerque, this place is a great hostel facility that is a 15 minutes walk from Moulin Rouge. You can get friendly and round the clock front desk here. In the lounge, there is free wifi, table football, TV among other stuff. Each guest room has a private bathroom, while the dormitories have shared facilities. You will have to pay around 20 to 30 euros per room here.

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Fun Facts to Know About Montmartre

For the Parisians, Montmartre is a haven of peace. Once it was the artists’ quarter with famous personalities like Vincent Van Gough and Picasso among others calling it home. Here are some fun facts about Montmartre:

1. The name’s origin: There are two popular theories about the name Montmartre. As per one theory, Montmartre was named Mons Martis, meaning the Mount of Mars. Later, it was renamed Montmartre, meaning the Mount of the Martyrs.

2. Rebels’ home: Montmartre has always been a safe haven for rebels. If you focus on the place’s history, you shall see that the place has always been in conflict with the rest of Paris. This may be because Montmartre was geographically separated from the mainstream Paris. Therefore, in 1860, Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann decided to change the setup of the city entirely. Still, Montmartre carries its own unique rural ethnic set up, a beauty that has been attracting tourists for ages. 

3. Montmartre is the hub of artists: With its rich artistic background, Montmartre is like a Mecca to varied types of artists and creative people. The place is replete with museums, galleries, art centres and archives among others. One of its many charms is Picasso and a cabaret called Au Lapin Agile where the artist used to visit regularly.

4. Montmartre has its own vineyards: Just next to Au Lapin Agile, there is an unmissable spot in Montmartre that is the Clos Montmartre vineyard, the only vineyard left in Paris. The Montmartre wines are very expensive; however, the taste experience differs from person to person.  

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Point of Interest for Montmartre
Wander around the Museum of Montmartre and Renoir Gardens

Wander around the Museum of Montmartre and Renoir Gardens

Nestled into narrow hillside roads, Montmartre museum is truly a hidden gem. The museum is situated halfway up the hill, right corner of the Montmartre Cemetery. You can get a heavy dose of Parisian culture at the museum. There is no queue to enter, the exhibits are impressive, to say the least. 

The Renoir Gardens have been set up in memory of famous artist Pierre Auguste Renoir around the Montmartre Museum. It is like a fairytale type of small garden with a host of gorgeous blooms, lush green grass, a terrace, a pond and of trees. 

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Rue de Steinkerque – A Destination for Smart Shopping

Rue de Steinkerque – A Destination for Smart Shopping

One of the top places with highest footfall in Paris is Rue de Steinkerque. This 150 metres long narrow alley is replete with stalls of varied items such as gift items, bags, caps, scarves, tees, trinkets, souvenirs, trendy clothes, bakery among other things.

You have to trudge amid the crowd here as the pathway always remains busy with hundreds of tourists. Most items at cheap rates are available here, though you can find some branded goods as well. You can do some last minute shopping here and collect something for all loved ones back home.

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Snap Photos at Musée de Montmartre

Snap Photos at Musée de Montmartre

Taking snapshots of anything and everything at Musee de Montmartre are one of the best things you can do to make the most of your Paris visit. This awesome little place is steeped in history. Click some photos of the great works of artists like Renoir, Picasso, Van Gough, Toulouse – Lautrec preserved here.

Capture a photo of the cool 3D model of the Montmartre miniature here. Roam around in the Renoir garden and pose as you like. Take photos of the flowers, the tiny pond, trees and the doors and corridors here. This altogether is a unique experience for any tourist.

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Enjoy at The Moulin Rouge

Enjoy at The Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge is almost synonymous with the emblematic Parisian culture and lifestyle. It is located alongside the Place Blanche on Boulevard de Clichy on the outskirts of Montmartre.

The colourful cabarets, the lights, the night spirit are some of the essential features of Moulin Rouge that draws thousands of eager and diverse population to Montmartre to experience what then was a typical Parisian neighbourhood. The Bohemian and artistic spirit of the place keep the place still charming.

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Tourism Board Alliances

Montmartre FAQs

Why is Montmartre Paris famous?

Montmartre is primarily famous for its rich artistic history and heritage. The signature white-dome Basilica of the Sacre Coeur on its summit, beautiful rural village type atmosphere, serene locals, brilliant art and culture hubs and its animated nightlife have been drawing travellers from across the globe to Montmartre since the 19th century onwards. It is a melting pot of different art and cultural avenues. Montmartre satiates one’s creative soul with all its offerings. This is the place to be if you have an artist in you.

Is Montmartre worth visiting?

Yes, Montmartre is definitely one of the must-visit spots of the world. This is the place that brings you closer to the eternal works of some of the best known artists and musicians of the world. The abundance of museums, art centres, galleries, libraries, parks, gardens, pubs, vineyards and simple yet beautiful narrow alleys reckon every traveller to this place.

Is the Montmartre area of Paris Safe?

Yes, Montmartre is generally a very safe place for tourists. The place is well patrolled by the local administration. At night, some areas near Place Pigalle get seedy but that shouldn’t be a major reason for concern. Montmartre is not dangerous at night. However, con artists are around, so don’t act gullible while visiting the place.

How long do you need in Montmartre?

As per the popular recommendation, you should spend at least 4 to 5 hours in Montmartre and visit the famous tourist destinations. If you are planning to focus on knowing the city better, then a day’s tour to Montmartre will be absolutely ideal.

What are the other attractions in Paris that I can book via Thrillophilia?

Here are some of the top attractions in Paris you can book tickets for via Thrillophilia:

  1. Musée d Orsay Tickets
  2. Arc De Triomphe Tickets
  3. Moulin Rouge Tickets
  4. Louvre Museum Tickets
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