An Insider’s Guide To Montmartre

Guide

An Insider’s Guide To Montmartre

Moving to Paris was never my plan, but here I am sharing some tips for the most artistic neighborhood in Paris - Montmartre. Your visit here should give you a bit of the feel of Paris in the 1900s with cabarets, hillside windmills, and streets that seem untouched by the time. Montmartre comprises a large part of the 18th arrondissement and is famous for its distinct differences from the rest of the city. Traditionally a hangout for artists, writers, and other creatives like Auguste Renoir, Picasso, and Dali, “home” for many famous residents including the singer Dalida and Vincent Van Gogh over the years, but over the past century life in Montmartre has grown increasingly popular. There are now cafés, boutiques, and vintage stores around every corner and it’s the one place in Paris you definitely shouldn’t miss...

Yana Riabtsun
Aug 3, 2022

Montmartre used to have a reputation for being sketchy (and to be fair, the 18th still have pockets you’ll want to avoid), but now it's home to the new bohemians—those artists, writers, and thinkers who flock to libertarian Paris. With its wealth of rich history, there’s nowhere else in the city quite place like the 18th arrondissement.

I am staying in an 18-century building right on the charming Place du Tertre and can definitely say that the beating heart of Montmartre is not the basilica, but a little square to be found a few hundred meters away. Place du Tertre has been featured on countless postcards, so don't pass up the opportunity to see it in person; it's where you'll find artists painting in open air, several small museums, and storied streets where the Parisian artists of early 20th century used to roam. A visit to Montmartre would be incomplete without a stop here. Artists can wait up to 20-30 years for a coveted approval; the French government first must check if they are selling artists, if they present their artworks in museums, galleries, and so on, and only then they can grant official permission to create in this place. There is no obligation for consumer's to buy art as the Place du Tertre is more like an open-air gallery than a market, for viewing and experiencing.

Boulangeries

  • Shinya Pain, opening Thursday to Sunday 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 41 Rue des Trois Frères
  • Pain Pain 88 R. des Martyrs
  • Aleph House Parisian pastry and grocery house with Levantine influence. 63 Rue des Abbesses
  • Boulom Boulangerie & Restaurant. 181 Rue Ordener
  • Boulangerie Du Square the 18th-century bakery for a look at the beautiful interior, try classics, or one of their original creations, like the seasonal pesto, garlic, and squash seed bun. 50 Rue Herme

Where to eat

  • Le Consulat - coffee house and restaurant stand, it is a symbol of the old Montmartre neighborhood., and the building is one of the oldest ones in the area. Renowned artists such as Picasso, Sisley, Van Gogh, Toulouse- Lautrec, and Monet all gathered here. Can you imagine?! Go early in the morning to avoid crowds and get a table. Don’t go too early, it doesn’t open until 11 am. 18 Rue Norvins
  • Le Café du Commerce 13 Rue de Clignancourt
  • Etsi it's a certain relationship with Greece, a certain idea of cooking too. Greek bistro. 41 rue du Ruisseau
  • La Mascotte 100-year-old brasserie still serves up gorgeous seafood, especially a plate of fresh oysters perfect for a sunny afternoon. For a company, they recommend Le plateau Mascotte or Le royal Mascotte. Ask for Franck. 52 Rue des Abbesses ©Gilles Gandara
  • Seb'on a casual, chic atmosphere, this place is truly the definition of a hidden gem. 62 Rue d'Orsel
  • LouLou Montmartre on weekends, this is a great spot for brunch, with the most charming view of the Parisian skyline. During the week, LouLou's is 100% natural including a beautiful list of natural wines and artisanal beers. 8 Rue Lamarck

Where to drink

  • Le Très Particulier the hotel bar in the Hotel Particulier, there are two places ideal for cocktails, the outdoor terrace in the garden is perfect during the day with a good book and a very generous mimosa. Meanwhile, the indoor bar is lush, sensual, and sexy. Cocktails are served from 6 p.m. – 2 a.m.
  • HIRU is a nod to the Basque origins and childhood memories in Japan of the two founders. Warm, cozy, well selection of wines and cocktails. Ask for Alexandre, he's one of the owners and always greets guests personally. His brother is an interior designer of Hiru and Le Très Particulier so, these two are my favorites, you'll never find the same here, they are different, believe me. 14 Rue Duc

What to see

  • Musée de Montmartre - one of my favourites in Paris. There’s no better way to discover the secrets of this district than by visiting Montmartre’s very own museum. This museum, housed in one of the oldest houses in Montmartre, is a place where artists including Utrillo and Renoir, once lived. The garden holds a version of the swing, where Renoir painted his famous painting “Le Balancoire.” 12 Rue Cortot
  • Vineyard Clos Montmartre - is the oldest vineyard in the capital. It consists of the most classic varieties of the wine-producing regions of France as well as a selection of vigorous and fertile hybrids. It was created in 1933 and comes to life every second weekend of October with the Grape Harvest Festival, when streets across the 18th arrondissement are packed with concerts, parades, and artisans selling local products It’s not usually open it to the public. A tour of the vineyard followed by a wine tasting can be booked on the website of the Museum of Montmartre. Rue des Saules
  • Dalí gallery offers an exciting rediscovery of Dalí, unveiling a previously unseen dimension to his work that invites you to fall in love with it once again. If you’ve seen his soft watch sketches that melt and puddle, you may not be familiar with this collection, encompassing theatrical yet thoughtfully crafted sculptures, objects, engravings, and furniture. With a sprinkling of dreaminess and humor, this exhibition is an unavoidable tip for Surrealism fans and is the largest permanent exhibition dedicated to Dalí in Paris. 11 Rue Poulbot
  • Saint Pierre de Montmartre the oldest church in Montmartre, is visible from Sacré-Coeur. Dating from the beginning of the 12th century and is one of the oldest churches in all of Paris. It only opens its bronze door to the public once a year, on 1 November. 2 Rue du Mont-Cenis
  • Sacré-Coeur - truly recommend you to visit Sacré-Coeur and marvel at the domes from within. At Vespers-time (6 in the evening CET) you might get lucky and hear the mystical voices of the Bénédictines Sisters of the Sacré Cœur it gives you a time-machine kind of feel back in the 18th century.

What to do

  • Go early morning to explore Montmartre, it buzzes during the day as it is one of the most popular tourist destinations. Parisians will be out with their dogs, jogging up and down endless stairs, chatting at corners and the artists are setting up before the crowds roll in. Magic.
  • Visit the oldest street in Montmartre, for those who are looking to be charmed by the history of the 18th arrondissement, there is perhaps a no better place to visit than rue Saint-Rustique.
  • Relax in the park of Square Marcel-Bleustein-Blanchet - for one of the more unusual things to do in Montmartre, you simply need to escape the crowds and enjoy the charm of this hilltop village all to yourself. Perfect for a picnic during the summer months and is also a beautiful place in Montmartre to sit and read a book.
  • La Maison Rose iconic and historic pink building has seen Picasso who was good friends with the owner, Camus and other greats gather. The plaque on the side of Le Consulat indicates that the artist Maurice Utrillo was born here. It has been serving coffee for over 100 years. 2 Rue de l'Abreuvoir
  • Good to know. Cubism was invented in Picasso’s Montmartre studio "Le Bateau Lavoir". Today, if you are an artist, you can rent a studio inside the complex! There are 25 different studios in the structure to work on your own masterpieces. 13 place Emile Goudeau
  • Marche Aux Puces De Saint-Ouen since 1870 Paris' largest flea market, it's a fantastic display of antiques. I wish you don't miss my new friend Marc, he is a true tastemaker and collector who presents the interior furniture Space Age, as well as decorative arts from the end of '60s to the beginning of '70s. Fantastic, futuristic, can't be missed. Take a cab right to the market, I don't recommend to get there on your own, the area is not safe, surrounded by fake brand market, and always crowded. Open Sat-Mon. Porte de Clignancourt

Where to stay

  • Secret Room in the Moulin Rouge Windmill is booked quite often, but who knows maybe you are the one who will be lucky enough to catch this unforgettable opportunity next. For the first time ever, guests will be able to stay inside the never-before-seen interior space of the iconic red windmill.
  • Through a private passage lies a secret countryside in the city. Hôtel Particulier Montmartre is a five-room chic and unusual, built into an old 18th-family residence hidden behind lush greenery. This is the hotel of preference for many international celebrities who want to visit Paris but remain under the radar. One of the best luxury hideaways. 23 Av. Junot Pavillon

How to get

  • Montmartre is very easily accessible by public transport, which services all areas of the city. Depending on where you are staying, you can make connections by bus, metro, uber, or even hire a bike/scooter for your journey. Keep in mind that it is a hill, and so for the last one you will need to be feeling extra motivated. Be prepared to get your exercise. Staircases abound.
  • Ride on the Funiculaire de Montmartre. Asides from the grand steps leading up to the Sacré-Coeur, another way to reach the basilica from the road below is via the funicular.

What to watch

It is not only Amelie and Moulin Rouge that can teleport you to the right atmosphere. Try Midnight in Paris and it will elicit the appropriate emotions for sure.

Follow Yana on Instagram @yanariabtsun.

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