Planning to visit Montmartre and looking for what to do? This guide will give you the best things to do in Montmartre Paris plus practical tips to guide you!
Montmartre is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Paris. Its artistic vibe, romantic feel, and cafe culture brings out the authentic nature of Paris.
Perfectly situated on a hill in the 18th arrondissement on the right bank of the Seine, Montmartre is one of the highest points in Paris offering stunning views of the city.
Its pretty cobblestone tiny streets and small cafes make it feel like you’re walking in a romantic village yearning to be explored.
Whether you want to walk in the footsteps of famous French painters like Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec or those that fell in love with it and called it home like Pablo Picasso, or Vincent van Gogh, admire the famous basilica, or get a glimpse of the only remaining vineyard in Paris, there are so many things to do in Montmartre that it would take you even more than a day to get the bearings of this lovely neighborhood.
To help you discover all the famous and hidden jewels of this lovely area, I will be sharing with you all the best places to visit in Montmartre, where to stay, and tours to take to fully enjoy your time. Basically, the complete guide to Montmartre to make sure you don’t miss anything.
And at the end of the article, I will add a map of all the best places to see in Montmartre to make sure that you don’t miss any.
But before we look at what to do in Montmartre, there are some practical guides you’ll find helpful but if you already know them, you can scroll to the next section.
Practical Tips for Visiting Montmartre
Where is Montmartre in Paris
Montmartre is located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. It is situated in the northern part of the city and on the right side of the Seine or on the right bank as commonly known.
Best Time to Visit Montmartre
The best time to visit Montmartre is any day other than the weekend; well unless you’re just visiting Paris for a weekend, then you’ll have no choice.
The streets of Montmartre are usually crowded on the weekends which can be a bit too much in my opinion. Also, if you can, visit in the morning hours as many people tend to flock here from the afternoons till the evening hours.
If you can visit in the morning hours, then you’ll be able to enjoy the streets a bit more without the crowds. Of course, this also depends on the season. Summer and Spring will always have more crowds than winter or even fall.
How to Get to Montmartre
Getting to Montmartre is pretty easy regardless of where you are in Paris. The easiest way is by taking the Metro.
You can either take line M12 or M2 but where you stop exactly depends on where you want to start your visit.
On M12, you can either stop at the “main” Montmartre metro station at Abbesses station or at Lamarck Caulaincourt station on the opposite side. If you’re visiting Montmartre for the first time, I recommend stopping at Abbesses station.
If you take M2, you can either stop at Blanche station which will put you next to Moulin Rouge, Place de Clichy, or Anvers Station. Regardless of the metro stop you take, you’ll be just a few minutes’ walk from the popular attractions of Montmartre.
Please note that the station you start your journey at may not have M12 or M2 but don’t worry about this as you can just switch lines until you land on either of them. The city mapper app will come in handy in guiding your route.
How to Get Around Montmartre
The best way to enjoy all the famous and hidden gems in Montmartre Paris is by walking.
However, for people who don’t want to walk for long or have reduced mobility, you can book the small tourist train of Montmartre to get you around. I will give more details about this tourist train later in the article.
Best Tours to Take in Montmartre
For people who don’t want to stress with planning, figuring out what to visit next, or those who want a deeper insight into the neighborhood, signing up for guided tours is the best way to see Montmartre. Below are some of the guided tours in Montmartre I highly recommend.
Montmartre Guided Walking Tour
This is probably the best tour if you want to see the major attractions of Montmartre. Starting at Moulin Rouge and going through the cute streets while taking you back in time with historical facts and history, this 2- 3 hours guided tour is the perfect tour if you don’t have a lot of time but want to see the highlights.
Cheese, Wine, and Pastry Montmartre Tour
If you’ve already visited the popular attractions and want to discover Montmartre through food, this guided tour is the perfect choice for you. This 3-hour foodie walking tour will take you on a journey to discover French pastries, and taste various cheeses and wines while uncovering the history of Montmartre.
Where to Stay in Montmartre
Located on the famous street of Rue Lepic as given away by its name, Hotel 29 Lepic is a gold mine when it comes to budget accommodation in Montmartre. The rooms are designed in a simple yet modern way and it is just a few meters away from Moulin Rouge and Sacre Coeur. This hotel has all the basic amenities in the room, a mini bar and if you’re lucky, you might get a room with a balcony to enjoy the views of Montmartre.
With a mid-range budget, you can’t go wrong at Hôtel des Arts Montmartre. This boutique hotel is not only classy but also decorated in bold colors to create a charming environment. Some rooms offer views of Montmartre and Paris roofs and it is less than 10 minutes away from Sacre Coeur on foot. Besides the amenities including a gym, this hotel serves a buffet breakfast every morning to start your day right.
If luxury is the language you speak, then Maison Souquet understands your language. Housed in a Parisian townhouse, this luxury hotel features an indoor swimming pool, and a spa with a hammam, and is decorated in a unique way that screams luxury. The general ambiance of this place is cozy and romantic just like the Montmartre neighborhood it’s set in.
If you want to have that homey feel even when in Paris, then Odalys City Paris Montmartre is the perfect home away from home stay. This large studio apartment features a kitchenette if you want to make some quick meals, a dining area, and all the amenities you’ll need for a comfortable stay including an onsite spa and sauna. It’s set on a quiet street but also very close to all the action in Montmartre.
Where to Eat in Montmartre
Montmartre has a number of cafes and restaurants that it can be hard to choose one. To make your choice easier, here are some of the places to eat in Montmartre plus where to find them.
- Le Consulat: Great for lunch, dinner, or even a quick snack. Address: 18 Rue Norvins, 75018 Paris.
- Le Cabanon de la Butte: Serves French foods with a view. Address: 6 Rue Lamarck, 75018 Paris.
- La Boîte aux Lettres: Creative French meals. Address: 108 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris.
- The Hardware Société: Great for breakfast. Address: 10 Rue Lamarck, 75018 Paris.
- Le Coq & Fils: For all your poulet (chicken) cravings. Address: 98 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris.
- La Bossue: Great to pick up some delicious French pastries. Address: 9 Rue Joseph de Maistre, 75018 Paris.
Now that we’ve covered all the practical tips, here are the best things to do if you’re going on a Montmartre self guided walking tour.
Best Things to do In Montmartre Paris
Whether you’re spending a day in Montmartre or just an afternoon, here are the charming Montmartre attractions not to miss.
1. Visit Sacre Coeur
Sacre Coeur is probably the most famous attraction in Montmartre. Standing atop a hill clad in white with domes soaring through the skies, Sacre Coeur is one of the most beautiful churches in Paris.
While the exterior architecture is imposing, the interior is equally impressive. A step inside will treat you to the biggest Mosaic in France and a glimpse of one of the heaviest and largest bells in the world.
You can visit its crypt, admire its architectural details including the statues at the front, or wander around its well-maintained gardens, but the highlight of any visit is to climb up to its dome to get some of the most stunning views of Paris.
Please note that entrance is free but you’ll need to pay a few Euros to be able to climb to the dome.
You can also book this guided tour of Sacre Coeur if you prefer to go with a knowledgeable and friendly guide to learn more history about this landmark.
But before you go, be sure to check out these interesting facts about Sacre Coeur.
2. Snap a photo of the sinking house
Just right next to Sacre Coeur is the sinking house or the greatest illusion in Montmarte village.
When you look at the colorful building, it gives an illusion that it’s sinking and hence the nickname but in reality, it is just a camera trick.
While some people write it off, I believe it’s one of the cool things to do near Sacre Coeur.
3. Say I love you at The “wall of Love” (Le Mur des Je t’aime)
There is no doubt that one of the Paris nicknames is the “city of love” and the “wall of love” truly brings it out.
Located in Jehan Rictus garden square, this 40 square metres (430 sq ft) wall depicts 311 “I love yous” written in 250 languages from all across the world.
You’ll be able to recognize common languages like English and French but there are also “smaller” languages you’ve probably never even heard of before.
4. Peep at the only remaining vineyard in Paris
Being a city known for wines, Paris once had a number of vineyards but as the city grew and became urbanized, most vineyards didn’t survive, but there is one that did.
And luckily for us, we can still get a glimpse of it. Known as Clos Montmartre, this vineyard is still functioning and it produces over 1000 bottles of wine every year.
And if you visit Paris in the fall, specifically in October, you can attend the fun annual harvest party organized at this vineyard.
5. Take Some Pictures at La Maison Rose
Also known as the Pink House, La Maison Rose has become a sensation among Instagrammers!
This pretty house on Rue de l’Abreuvoir is famous for having been frequented by artists like Pablo Picasso, Suzanne Valadon, and French writers like Albert Camus, who used to come here to share ideas and drink coffee.
Hundreds of years later, it’s still famous, though not as an artists hub but as one of the best Instagrammable places in Paris. It’s also a working restaurant, so you can go there to grab lunch, dinner, or even brunch.
6. Stop at Place Dalida
While still on Rue de l’Abreuvoir, make a stop at Place Dalida at the end of the street. This place is famous because of the life-size sculpture of Dalida, commonly known as Buste de Dalida or Bust of Dalida.
If you don’t who she is, Dalida was (and still is) one of the most celebrated and famous French singers.
Though she lived a successful and glamorous life as a musician, she suffered a number of misfortunes in her personal life and suffered depression until she took her own life.
As a way of paying tribute to her, Paris city decided to name this area Place Dalida, and installed this sculpture. Today, so many people come here to pay homage to her.
7. Shake hands with the man Walking Through a wall
Continuing with the theme of sculptures, one of the places to stop at while exploring Montmartre is Le Passe-muraille along Rue Norvins.
The idea of a man walking through a wall was based on a character named Dutilleul (who realized that he had supernatural powers of walking through walls) from one of the novels of French novelist Marcel Aymé but it was Jean Marais who sculpted this artwork as a way of paying tribute to the novelist.
There is not much to do here other than taking a picture but knowing the history behind it before your visit will make it more interesting.
8. Explore art at Montmartre museum
Commonly known as Musée de Montmartre, before it became the Montmartre museum, it was once home to many famous artists like Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Émile Bernard, Suzanne Valadon, and many others.
In fact, this is where Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted Le Bal du Moulin de la Galette (Dance at Le moulin de la Galette) and La Balançoire (The swing) which went on to become some of the most famous French paintings.
The museum houses paintings, writings, and manuscripts that tell a story of Montmartre’s history.
After exploring the museum, step outside to see the beautiful garden known as Renoir’s garden which offers views on the Montmartre vineyard, or grab a bite at the onsite cafe also known as cafe Renoir.
With all the various things to see and artistic history in this place, visiting Musée de Montmartre is truly one of the best things to do in Montmartre.
To get access to the permanent and temporary exhibitions of the museum, the gardens, and the cafe, you’ll need to buy this Musée de Montmartre skip-the-line entry ticket.
9. Pay your respects at Montmartre cemetery
One of the rather unique quotes about Paris is that “Paris is the only city in the world where starving to death is still considered an art”.
Though dying in its own right is not art, cemeteries in Paris showcase art in form of artistic gravestones and statues, and the Montmartre cemetery is no different.
Considered to be the third-largest cemetery in Paris after Montparnasse Cemetery and Père Lachaise Cemetery, the Montmartre cemetery is one of the unusual places to visit in Paris.
Like other big cemeteries, this one is also a final resting place for some of the famous people who lived in the neighborhood of Montmartre including Dalida, Edgar Degas, Théodore Chassériau, Alexandre Dumas fils, Émile Zola, and many others.
10. Dine at Le Consulat
One of the cafes in Montmartre that have become a household name is Le Consulat. It is actually regarded as one of the cutest cafes in Paris and it’s not hard to see why.
The colorful red and green colors plus its old charm makes it Instagram-worthy, the history it harbors makes it intriguing, but the delicious meals it serves will make you want to pull a chair and dine.
Many famous artists like Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, and Van Gogh often met here to wind down and catch up.
You can either go to take that perfect Instagram shot or make a reservation to try some of the delicious French foods like Onion soup, escargots, Duck confit, etc.
11. Watch Painters or Get Painted at Place du Tertre
Place du Tertre is one of the most famous places to visit in Montmartre in Paris. For years, this square has been a gathering place for famous artists to sell their paintings, and fast forward to today, it’s still a hub for present-day artists.
You’ll find hundreds of artists painting various sceneries of Paris or portraits of people. You can stay a bit to admire their work, buy a few of the already painted pieces and if you’re up for it, get a portrait of yourself painted.
The square is lively almost all the time with vibrant cafes, restaurants, and bakeries! If you want to fully immerse yourself in the artistic side of the neighborhood, visiting “The Artist’s Square” is one of the best things to do in Montmartre.
12. Search for the Prettiest Streets in the Neighborhood
While there are so many pretty streets in Paris worth discovering, many of them are in the Montmartre neighborhood.
As you plan your Montmartre itinerary, be sure to add pretty streets like Rue Norvins which offer stunning views of Sacre Coeur, Rue De L’Abreuvoir, Rue Lepic, Rue Saint-Vincent, a charming and calm street, Rue Saint-Rustique which is believed to be the oldest road in Montmartre, and so many others.
Since Montmartre is best discovered on foot, you’ll definitely find yourself in one of these streets without even realizing it since they harbor some of the popular Montmartre sights.
13. See the Remaining Windmills in Paris
Before Montmartre became the bustling neighborhood we see today, it used to be covered in fields and thus the need for windmills to help in grinding flour and pressing grapes.
During the 17th century, Montmartre had close to 300 windmills but today, only 2 can be found.
Though collectively known as Moulin de la Galette, they’re actually 2 windmills in this spot; Moulin Radet and Moulin de Blute-Fin. Moulin de la Galette can be found on Rue Lepic on top of a fancy French restaurant.
This windmill inspired a lot of paintings including the famous Dance at Le moulin de la Galette by Renoir.
14. Tour Montmartre on The Little Tourist Train
Montmartre being a hilly place and full of stairs, it might not be easy for everyone to walk from one end to another, especially for people with reduced mobility.
But, this doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the charms of Montmartre! Luckily for you, there is a small tourist train (also known as Le Petit Train de Montmartre) that goes all around the neighborhood making stops at various points of interest.
This train ride also comes with live commentary so that you learn a bit more about the neighborhood and the places you’re visiting. You can find more about this Promotrain ride from the official website.
15. Make a Stop at Lapin Agile
Located next to the Montmartre vineyard, Lapin Agile is a colorful 19th-century building known for cabarets.
While Moulin Rouge, Lido de Paris, Paradis Latin, and Crazy Horse Paris are the most famous cabaret places in Paris, Lapin Agile is one of the lesser-known ones.
However, even if you don’t enter to watch any show, I still find the building quite charming with its orange and green vibrant colors.
16. Watch a Cabaret at Moulin Rouge
One of the top things to do in Montmartre is to watch a cabaret! You just can’t go to Paris and miss out on an evening of fun.
While there are many cabaret places like I mentioned above Moulin Rouge wins them over by miles.
With talented can-can dancers exceptionally dressed in beautiful costumes, singers, and instrumentalists, a night at Moulin rouge will be one you’ll never forget.
Since most of the activities we looked at are daytime activities, this is one of the things to do in Montmartre at night.
There are 2 different times for the show, one starting at 9:00 PM and the other one at 11:00 PM with the latter being a bit cheaper.
Since this show is popular among tourists and locals alike, you’d need to book way in advance to be assured of a spot. You can either book this show that comes with dinner or this one with just champagne which is slightly cheaper.
17. Visit the Musée de la Vie Romantique
Though not technically in Montmartre but rather at the foot of the neighborhood in the 9th arrondissement, Musée de la Vie Romantique is one of the free museums in Paris worth visiting.
The museum is set in a lovely house and houses objects from the Romantic era including house objects, paintings, and personal items from George Sand.
Access to the permanent collection is free making it one of the best free things to do around Montmartre.
The premises also have a lovely garden with a little cafe, so you can grab a coffee after your visit.
18. Look for filming locations for Amélie
One of the best French films ever made, Amélie stole the hearts of many. This rom-com was filmed in Montmartre and on top of showing how this lovely girl juggles life and falling in love, Paris lovers couldn’t avoid but drool over all the cute places featured in the movie.
If you were one of those, searching for Amélie filming locations is one of the cool things to do in Montmartre.
Café des Deux Moulins which was Amélie’s workplace in the movie is probably the most popular. Since now it’s touristy thanks to the movie, you may want to order a meal or coffee instead of just entering to take photos.
Other places include Funiculaire de Montmartre, Canal Saint-Martin, (though not in Montmartre, walking down the canal or people-watching is one of the fun things to do near Montmartre), Sacré-Coeur and of course, Rue Lepic.
19. Admire Sculptures at Espace Dalí
If you’re into sculptures and engravings, Espace Dalí or Dali Paris as sometimes known as is one of the unique spots in Montmartre worth checking out.
The museum is dedicated to the works of Salvador Dalí, a famous Spanish surrealist artist. It consists of around 300 original sculptures and engravings by Dalí.
A visit to this place is sure to blow you away as you admire his techniques of sculpting life-size sculptures.
20. Visit Église Saint Pierre de Montmartre
Located right next to Sacre Coeur, Église Saint-Pierre de Montmartre is one of the oldest and still functioning churches in Paris.
Though most people just visit Sacre Coeur and move to other places, this is one of the non-touristy places to visit in Montmartre yet it’s still quite beautiful.
Step inside to admire its nave and detailed columns or take in its beauty on the exterior.
21. Sip on Cocktails with a View at Terrass’ Hotel
After a long day of exploring Montmartre, there is no better way to unwind than sipping on a cold cocktail with a view of the Eiffel Tower from the rooftop terrace of Terrass’ Hotel.
The rooftop is beautifully decorated for your comfort and is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 3:30 PM – 00:30 AM.
Whether it’s catching up with friends or watching the Eiffel Tower shimmer from a distance, you can be assured of a great evening at this place.
More Useful Tips For A Perfect Day in Montmartre
- Wear Comfortable walking shoes: Montmartre is a hilly place as you might know already, so there will be a lot of climbing especially around Sacre Coeur. Healed Boots or any kind of heels will be such a bad idea but your running shoes or sneakers will work well.
- Be aware of pickpockets or any other scams: Montmartre is very touristy, there is no going around that! And with huge crowds come canning people who prefer taking what is not theirs and Montmartre is no different. Keep your items safe at all times and wear your bag in front instead of behind.
- Don’t feel compelled to see everything: While there are so many things to do in Montmartre, sometimes it’s just impossible to see everything, especially if you’re visiting for a few hours. Prioritize and start with the must-sees (FOR YOU), and if you run out of time, it’s still ok. It’s better to actually enjoy the places you’re visiting instead of just rushing through everything with the goal of ticking them off your Paris bucket list.
Map of the Best Places to Visit in Montmartre
To make sure you locate all these places with ease, here is a map of all the things to do in Montmartre that I’ve talked about above.
How to Use this Map: Just click on the Camera icon on the map above and the location will be displayed on the left side of the screen.
You can choose to either “view on google maps” and save the location for later or click on the itinerary arrow to get directions on how to get there.
Final Thoughts on the Best Things to do in Montmartre
There is no neighborhood in Paris that is as charming as Montmartre! With hundreds of years worth of art history, every turn in Montmartre is as impressive as the previous one.
Whether you choose to follow in the footsteps of the fallen artists, immerse yourself in the cafe culture and just wander its pretty streets, the list of things to do in Montmartre is endless but I hope that you find this article useful as you plan to visit Montmartre.
But if you’ve already been to this beautiful village, share with me in the comments how you found it and what you liked (or not liked) about it.
Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris
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- Famous Paintings in Paris
- Where to Find the Best Macarons in Paris
- Famous Paintings at the Louvre Museum
- Best Covered Passages of Paris
- Most beautiful neighborhoods of Paris
- Fun free things to do in Paris
- Famous Churches to Visit in Paris
- Best Museums in Paris
- Tips for Visiting the Eiffel Tower
- How to spend One day In Paris
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