If you’re looking for a piece of Paris that’s full of the city’s famous charm, then the artist’s village of Montmartre, located in the northern 18th arrondissement, is calling for you. There’s a reason it’s perhaps the most famous district in Paris. There are countless authentic, beautiful spots in Montmartre that paint the perfect picture of Paris for first-time visitors to send home to their loved ones, just be warned that the majority of tourists know about this gem, so it’s often crammed with visitors trying to get the perfect shot of it’s charming village atmosphere, romantic terraced cafes and the neighbourhood’s centrepiece, the Sacré-Cœur. Plus, being on the highest point in the city, the views are to die for. Here are the best things to do and the tastiest places to eat and drink while you explore Montmartre, the most beautiful part of Paris.
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How to get to Montmartre
Getting to Montmartre from the Eiffel Tower
Bus: 50 minutes from Tour Eiffel to Blanche, followed by a 10-minute walk.
Metro: 45 minutes by taking the M6 from Bir-Hakeim to Pasteur, then the M12 to Abbesses. From there, it’s a 7-minute walk to Montmartre.
Getting to Montmartre from Gare du Nord St Christopher’s Inns
Metro: 17 minutes by taking the M4 from Gare du Nord to Barbès - Rochechouart.
Walk: It’s a 23-minute walk from Gare du Nord to Montmartre.
Getting to Montmartre from Canal St Martin St Christopher’s Inns
Metro: 15-minute walk to Jaures where you take the M2 to Anvers. From there, it’s a 10-minute walk to Montmartre.
Bus: 35 minutes from Crimée to Anvers Sacré-Cœur. From there, it’s a 10-minute walk.
Best things to do in Montmartre
Explore the Sacré-Cœur
Standing tall above the rest of Paris is the shining star of the Montmartre district, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. This Parisian landmark can be seen all over the city, but in Montmartre, you can get up close and personal to take a look at its intricate exterior, and explore inside if you want to.
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The Sinking House of Montmartre
This funny little house provides the backdrop to one of the most . Find the Sinking House of Montmartre to the right of the Sacré-Cœur dipping down a street, giving the illusion that it’s sinking behind the grass bank beside it. The building itself is a quaint, truly Parisian block of flats scouted out by hundreds of tourists every day after it was ‘discovered’ in recent years, so we recommend visiting first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Have your portrait done by an artist in Place du Tertre
Just a couple of streets away from the Sacré-Cœur you’ll come across one of the many arty spots in Montmartre, a quaint little square called Place du Tertre. Head to the square to see artists at work and take a look at the pieces they have on sale, or have your portrait drawn in charcoal by one of the many talented artists.
Clos de Montmartre
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle that constantly surrounds the Sacré-Cœur, this secret vineyard in the centre of Paris is a piece of history not too many people know about. Vines have grown in Montmartre and the surrounding area for centuries, but the vineyard you can see today is from 1933 when the City of Paris needed a way to stop developers from purchasing and building on the land. While you can’t walk around the vineyard itself, it’s worth stopping to peek inside from street level and tick off one of the city’s most charming hidden gems.
La Maison Rose
Perched on the corner of a winding cobblestone street is one of the prettiest spots in Paris that’ll make you think of old movies and postcards. La Maison Rose is the pink maisonette, home to a French restaurant, with the green shutters and ivy growing around the outside - you won’t be able to resist snapping up a bunch of photos.
Dedicated to the French music icon Dalida, this square is a peaceful retreat from the swarms of tourists on the edge of Montmartre. Dalida sadly took her own life in 1987 at the age of 54, so a statue of her head down to below her bust was placed there in her honour.
Lost Windmills of Montmartre
Giving you a glimpse into how Montmartre once looked centuries ago are the last two remaining windmills in the district from the 18th Century - the Moulin Radet and the Blute-fin. While the two of them are no longer working, they are home to restaurants and cafes you can dine in, including the cafe from the famous French film, Amelie, where the main character herself worked.
Wall of Love
In Jehan Rictus Square you’ll find a 40 square metre wall covered in love letters and heartfelt graffiti from people declaring their love. The wall famously includes the words ‘I love you’ in all major languages as well as a whole lot rarer ones, too.
Visit the oldest street in the area
Rue Saint-Rustique is one of the many quaint, cobbled streets in Montmartre, but what makes this one special is that it’s the oldest street in the district. Nestled between two cafes, once you start making your way down the narrow path you’ll quickly see a spectacular view of the Sacré-Cœur which is well worth a visit for an incredible photo opportunity.
Best places to eat in Montmartre
La Boite aux Lettres
La Boite aux Lettres is another fantastic French restaurant in Montmartre serving up an incredible menu of classic French dishes. If you’re looking for somewhere with a great atmosphere and an authentic feel, make sure you book in advance for a beautiful meal and wine in the heart of the most beautiful district in Paris.
Le Cabanon de la Butte
Le Cabanon de la Butte is just a 2-minute walk from the Sacré-Cœur with views to die for. Indulge in a stunning plate of steak frites with a glass of local wine and relax in the restaurant’s charming, intimate setting that you’ll absolutely recommend to your friends when you get back home.
Le Cafe de la Poste
When you eat in Montmartre, expect all the busiest places to be fairly touristy, including Le Cafe de la Poste. But while you may not hear too much French chatter across the room, this French restaurant still boasts Parisian charm with both friendly service and a delicious menu. Whether you’d like a taste of traditional beef tartare, or you prefer to stick to what you know and go for a burger instead, they cater to all tastes.
If you’re looking for a great value for money meal in Montmartre, Boullion Pigalle serves up delicious French food at seriously affordable prices. From escargot to beef bourguignon, it’s the perfect opportunity to get a taste of the local delicacies, often only setting you back €5 or less. Boullion Pigalle seats hundreds of people, yet still, it maintains a constant queue of people flowing down the street waiting to be seated for a cheap and delicious meal in the heart of Paris.