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sacre coeur montmartre
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If there’s one Parisian district I can’t get enough of, it’s Montmartre. With cobblestone alleys, cute little eateries left, right and centre and real vintage stores, walking around Montmartre, Paris is like stepping right into the 1920s. Here’s a guide to the best things to do in Montmartre, as well as what to see, where to eat, and where to stay!

A brief history of Montmartre

Montmartre wasn’t always part of Paris but actually a village in of itself. And you can tell. Unlike other areas of the city that were quickly swallowed by the rapidly growing population, Montmartre has lost none of its village charms.

Whilst here, it’s easy to forget you’re in the capital of France. Instead, it feels like you’re exploring a long-forgotten part of Brittany, or perhaps a small village in the south. After all, when it comes to the 18th arrondissement of Paris, there are plenty of hidden gems to uncover and offbeat locations to explore.

Traditionally a hangout for artists, writers, and other creatives, over the past century life in Montmartre has exploded. There are now cafés, boutiques, small startups and vintage stores around every corner and it’s the one place in Paris you definitely shouldn’t miss.

Parisian neighbourhood guide: Montmartre, 18e arrondissement, Paris, France. Best cafes and bars in the area, things to see and do and where the Parisians really hang out!montmartre

9 Best Things to do in Montmartre

#1 Visit the Sacré-Coeur

When you think of Montmartre, I’m betting one of the first things you’ll think of is the Sacré-Coeur. And you’re not wrong. From its humble beginning as a pagan place of worship, the basilica now towers above the rest of Paris, providing unbeatable views of the city and a quiet place to pray.

Read more: Quirky and unusual places to spot the Sacré-Coeur.

SACRE COEUR carousel

#2 Admire the Sinking House of Montmartre

If you look around enough, then you can find optical illusions in all parts of the city. But it has to be said, without a doubt, that my favourite optical illusion in Paris is the Sinking House of Montmartre.cI swear it took me around 23 visits to Montmartre in order to finally work out where this house lies! To be honest, I’m surprised I missed it so many times before.

To visit the sinking house, walk up the main set of stairs that lead up to the parvis of the Sacré-Coeur. Once you’re on the last set of steps, turn to your right, tilt your camera, and voilá! For more directions, here’s your full guide to visiting Paris’ sinking house.

sinking house in Montmartre

#3 Wander around the Museum of Montmartre and Renoir Gardens

Montmartre museum (otherwise known as Musée de Montmartre in French) may well be one of my favourites of all the small museums in the city of love. Situated at number 12 Rue Cortot, the museum was formerly a residence and meeting place for prominent artists, including Renoir, Bernard, and Valadon.

Founded in 1960, here you can find all sorts of paintings of Montmartre, as well as a history of the area and a glimpse of what the district would have been like when it was filled with farms and windmills rather than cafés and selfie stick-wielding tourists!

montmartre museum and renoir gardens

#4 Marvel at the last working vineyard in Paris (Clos de Montmartre)

Situated around the city are tiny, little, hidden vineyards. If you want to get a real taste of Provence, but stay in Paris, then heading to one of these miniature nature havens is your best bet. Founded in the 19th-century to prevent a plot of land in the heart of the 18th being transformed into a housing development, today Le Clos Montmartre is one of the prettiest vineyards of Paris.

Just behind the Musée de Montmartre, and above Le Lapin Agile, you’ll find the vineyard with the best view. In the summer the entire area hums with the sounds of insects and butterflies. It’s easy to forget that you’re in the centre of one of the most visited capital cities in the world…

montmartre vineyard

#5 Visit Le Refuge Café

I swear I’d seen snaps of this cafe around 29572962 times on Instagram before I finally got a chance to see this iconic eatery for myself. Ironically, it was raining the day I visited and so drinking a coffee here provided a little bit of ‘refuge‘ from the rain (ha)! Little has changed in the interior of the café since the 1930s, making it the perfect place to enjoy a little bit of Montmartre nostalgia…

le refuge montmartre

#6 Snap photos of La Maison Rose

La Maison Rose is the kind of place that you stop and think ‘wow’, I could stay here a while. In the summer, little chairs are placed outside the restaurant and you can eat in ‘plein air’. A meal here is a typical Montmartre experience; an iconic French meal surrounded by the sounds of a city going about its daily life.

At the same time, you get what you pay for and a meal here does not come cheap! Eateries further down the road will provide a more budget-friendly meal (but albeit with less atmosphere). La Maison Rose itself has been in operation for well over a century, with artists like Picasso frequenting the establishment during his day.

maison rose montmartre

#7 Enjoy coffee at Le Consulat coffee shop

Probably one of the most adorable cafés in Paris, you should check out le Consulat, even if it’s just to snap a quick photo! This cute brasserie is one of those places that has been here as long as Montmartre has been visited by tourists. Le Consulat is situated in the very heart of what was once ‘la Butte Montmartre’ and coffee here should definitely be on the cards…


#8 Enjoy Place Dalida

If there’s one place you should head to escape the crowds in Montmartre, make it Place Dalida. Situated on what is easily the cutest road in Paris, the square is named after famous singer Dalida, who made her home in Montmartre before her death. Oh, and the view up the road isn’t bad either (you can even see a little bit of the Sacré-Coeur peeking out from behind the buildings)!

#9 Embark on a walking tour of Montmartre

If you’re looking to get to know Paris, and more specifically the 18th arrondissement, on a more local level, then I recommend taking yourself on this free and self-guided Montmartre walking tour. Filled with all the usual Montmartre attractions, you’ll also discover plenty of lesser-known locations and where all the locals hang out.

Enjoyed reading about the best things to do in Montmartre? Pin it now, read it again later:

Must see attractions in Montmartre, Paris, France. A neighbourhood and arrondissement guide for the French capital's prettiest district!quick guide to montmartreguide to montmartre

montmartre paris guide

Montmartre travel guide. Here's your itinerary of the best attractions and things to do in the 18th arrondissement of Montmartre, Paris, France

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  • Reply
    S hanis
    5th February 2019 at 7:35 pm

    Very enjoyable to explore Paris with you! I will actually visit next week!

  • Reply
    8th August 2018 at 12:17 am

    I loved exploring Monmartre!

  • Reply
    Eileen cintula
    31st March 2018 at 12:39 am

    I went to Montmartre in 1996 for World Youth Day and I stayed in a hotel in Montmartre. I would love to go back.

  • Reply
    Karen Joan Fahri
    21st January 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Please keep me informed. Love remarks‼️

  • Reply
    13th December 2017 at 3:51 am

    Thanks you information

  • Reply
    9th October 2017 at 12:11 am

    Great post! Wish I read this before my trip! But, at least my list contained many of the same places.

    xo, Amanda

  • Reply
    6th October 2017 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Sophie! Heading to Paris next month and planning a whole day in Montmartre, so this was very helpful! Thank you!! Also, what did you use to edit your photos. They’re beautiful!!

    • Reply
      Sophie Nadeau
      13th October 2017 at 10:46 am

      Hi Sarah, Thanks for the comment! 🙂 Montmartre is always lovely to visit so it’s great that you’re planning to spend an entire day there! I use Lightroom to edit the majority of my photos. However, I used to use SnapSeed for everything (including the photos for this article). It’s a free app on your smartphone! I still use it quite frequently as it’s so easy to use and produces beautiful results 🙂

  • Reply
    Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad
    18th September 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Love all these suggestions! I can’t get my head around the sinking house haha.

  • Reply
    9th August 2017 at 4:46 am

    Thank you! Were staying here in the fall Ana can’t wait to explore!

  • Reply
    Jeesun Kim
    24th June 2017 at 7:33 pm

    So glad that I found your blog. I will definitely visit Montmarte.

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    15th January 2017 at 1:30 am

    Wonderful and insightful will be visiting here on my next small trip in April thank you

  • Reply
    10th January 2017 at 11:48 pm

    This is a beautiful post! Now I want to go back to Paris for a third time!

  • Reply
    7th January 2017 at 9:52 am

    Thank you for these tips! The next time I am in Paris I will definitely explore Montmartre!

  • Reply
    6th January 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Totally agree, I love Montmarte!

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