Are you planning to visit Paris and need tips on the best things to do in Montmartre Paris? The 18th arrondissement, or Montmartre, is known for its artistic atmosphere, romantic feel, and café culture that highlights a distinctly Parisian atmosphere. The iconic Montmartre is one of the highest spots in the 18th district of Paris and offers breathtaking views of the city. Visitors fall in love with its quaint cobblestone streets, little cafes, and charming restaurants, which are few of the many reasons Montmartre is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Paris.
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What are the Three Things Montmartre is Best Known For?
Montmartre is primarily noted for its artistic history, the Sacre Coeur, and the iconic nightclub district of Moulin Rouge. Walking around Montmartre, you will find artists painting in outside on Place du Trétre, in several smaller museums, and on streets where some of these famous artists lived at the start of the 20th century, such as Auguste Renoir and Vincent Van Gogh.
Is Montmartre worth visiting?
There are few other towns in Paris that offer a unique landscape like the 18th arrondissement. The Montmartre district is also considered to be the most romantic area in Paris and countless of popular films such as Amélie Poulin were filmed in Montmartre. There are plenty of fantastic things to do in Montmartre that every traveler must experience when visiting Paris.
How to Get to Montmartre, Paris?
The easiest way to get to Montmartre in Paris is to take Metro, specifically line 12 (metro stop Abbesses) and Line 2 (metro stops Anvers and Blanche).
What are the Things to Do in Montmartre?
What are the best places and things to do in Montmartre? We hand picked all the popular activities and sites you must visit when in Montmartre Paris.
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1. Admire Sacré Coeur
Sacré Coeur Basilica is the crown jewel of Montmartre Paris, and is one of the things to do in Montmartre. Its bright white stone walls, wedding-cake-type tiers, and bumpy domes stand out at the top and makes it one of the most visible landmark in Montmartre. The Sacre Coeur sits high up on the hill Montmartre that is almost ressembles an angel in the Paris skyline. At the top f the hill, visitors can enjoy the breathtaking 360 panorama view of Paris. Take the time time to also visit the interior of Sacre Coeur, where you will see the impressive Nave and golden mosaics all over the Cathedral. If you are feeling adventurous, you may also climb the 200 stairs to the top of dome!
Metro station: Line 2, Abbesses metro station
2. Wander In Cimetière St. Vincent
Some of my favorite unusual things to do in Montmartre include the ever so hidden La Folie Sandrin and the Cimetière Saint Vincent. Aside from Montmartre Cemetery and the Calvaire Cemetery, Montmartre has a third, and perhaps even less well-known cemetery. It was founded in the 19th-century and was constructed after Cimetière du Calvaire had been filled. One of the most notable burials in the Saint Vincent Cemetery is Rodolphe Salis, the illustrator of the iconic ‘chat noir’ poster. Today, Salis’ grave is covered in memorabilia related to the famous illustration. The cemetery is just a short distance walk from Musée Montmartre.
Metro: Lamarck Caulaincourt
3. Visit Saint Pierre de Montmartre
Saint Pierre de Montmartre is high up on our list of things to do in Montmartre because it is one of the oldest Churches in Paris. Saint-Pierre Montmartre dates back to 12th century and is one of Paris’ oldest church buildings, and can be seen from Sacre Coeur. For over 600 years, the Church has been an important place of pilgrimship as both a parish chapel and part of a Benedictine monastery in Montmartre.
Metro station: Lamarck Caulaincourt
4. The Windmills of Montmartre
Back in the day, windmills were all over France as part of its industry. Today, only few windmills remain in Paris, where majority of them are located in Montmartre. Although the windmills are a bit hidden, you may still catch a glimpse the from roadside near Rue Lepic. This Parisian road is among the longest roads in the 18th arrondissement and has a range of independent retail shops. Visiting the windmills is a definite unique experience is a lesser known for travelers when looking for things to do in Montmartre.
Perhaps the most famous windmill in Montmartre is the red windmills of the Moulin Rouge. Although the Moulin Rouge technically isn’t in Montmartre, it is still only one metro station away, or a short distance walk to Montmartre. To be fair, the Moulin Rouge has become a tourist attraction more than anything else, but you may still want to attend a show if you have enough time.
Metro station: Maison Blanche
5. Have Coffee at Le Consulat Café
This coffee house and restaurant stand as a symbol of the old Montmartre neighborhood. The building is one of the oldest houses in Montmartre, and renowned artists such as Picasso, Sisley, Van Gogh, Toulouse- Lautrec and Monet all gathered here. Nowadays, Le Consulat, although an Instagram favorite, continues to inspire today’s generation of artists. Go early in the morning to avoid crowds and get a table. Le Consulat is also great for lunch, dinner, or even a quick snack. They offer traditional French dishes such as snails, onion soup, omelet, and Croque Monsieur. A visit to Le Consulate is one of our favorite things to do in Montmartre!
Address: Le Consulat, 18 Rue Norvins, 75018 Paris
6. Clos Montmartre Vineyard
Did you know Mntmartre is also a place to visit a vineyard? 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.
Metro station: Lamarck Caulaincourt
7. Snap Some Photos at La Maison Rose, or Pink House
This Montmartre style building has an amazing appeal. Maison Rose is situated in Montmartre Paris in an area where coffee is made for over 125 years. The historical building used to be frequented by Picasso and other notable artists in Paris. In the summer, small seating is located behind the restaurant. A meal here offers a typical Montmartre experience with traditional French dishes for you to choose from!
8. Have A Portrait Drawn In Place du Tertre
A visit to Montmartre Paris is not complete without stopping by lively Place du Tertre. Artists, who can wait up to ten years to get a coveted spot here, chat by their easels’ blank canvasses ready for whoever comes their way. All in all, Place du Tertre is quintessentially Montmartre. It’s the place you should go if you want your portrait or caricature taken. Of course, it is very touristy, but when a place is so charming you quickly forget about everything else. This is a busy square with lots of cages, souvenir shops and artists. You can have your portrait drawn or sit and sip on a glass of wine and watch the artists at work under one of several canopied Cafes. This square is located on the funicular side of Sacre Coeur.
9. Discover the Château des Lys of Montmartre
Considering that there aren’t many castles in Paris, we are including Château des Lys as one of the things to do in Montmartre. Chateau des Lys is a historical heritage lasting for more than three centuries.
10. Enjoy Place Dalida
Place Dalida is one of the lesser known things to do in Montmartre. Pay your homage to one of the most famous Parisian singers, Dalida. Born in Cairo from Italian parents, she lived in Montmartre and is buried in Montmartre Cemetery. Make sure to go to Place Dalida, where you will find a statue representing her. It’s a lovely small square at the end of the cutest of streets and the views from there are stunning. Legend goes that if you rub her breast you will soon find true love. You may want to give it a try, because you never know.
11. Admire the Sinking House of Montmartre
Just right next to Sacre Coeur is the sinking house, or the greatest illusion in Montmarte village. When you look at the colorful building, the ‘sinking house’ gives an illusion that it’s sinking and hence the nickname, but in reality, it is just a camera trick.
Address: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre
12. Enjoy the Montmartre Carousel
During your visit to Montmartre, you’ll soon discover that the area contains many beautiful carousels. The Montmartre carousel has incredibly great views of Montmartre and is only a short distance away from the Sacre Coeur. Try to catch the Montmartre carousel on a bright and sunny day to get that picture perfect view of the white Sacre Coeur against the blue sky.
13. Take a Walking Tour of Montmartre
If you want to see Paris from the perspective of a local, then a free guided walking tour is one of our must things to do in Montmartre. During the tour, you will find plenty of other lesser-known spots and and popular places for locals in Montmartre.
14. Visit Le Refuge Café for a Montmartre Café Experience
If it’s a unique and kitschy experience in Montmartre myou’re after, Le Refuge des Fondus is here to deliver with cozy communal seating, pots of hot cheesy fondue, and wine served in baby bottles. A visit to Le Refuge is a unique experience when looking for things to do in Montmartre.
Metro station: Lamarck Caulaincourt
15. Find Amelie Filming Locations
Of the many fun activities and things to do in Montmartre is to spot famous scenes from iconic French films. The 18th arrondissement is famous for the movie French whimsical flim Amelie, where many of its scenes were taken in Montmartre Paris.
16. Visit Lapin Agile
Au Lapin Agile has been a Paris institution since it first opened its doors in 1860. Originally, the cabaret was known as the “Rendez-Vous of the Thieves” and later on the “Cabarat des Assasins”(it does hint that Montmartre was a rather tougher spot, doesn’t it?). Au Lapin Agile , opened in 1860 as a hot-spot for criminal types; by the turn of the 20 th century, and was frequented by Picasso. Today it serves drinks and is a more affordable option for a French cabaret experience. For something a little different, consider Cabaret Michou , the home for nightly drag cabaret shows
17. Visit the Montmartre Museum and the Renoir Gardens
Wander around the Museum of Montmartre and Renoir Gardens. The Montmartre museum (otherwise known as Musée de Montmartre in French) may well be one of my favorites of all the small museums in Paris. This museum was formerly a residence and meeting place for prominent artists such as Renoir, Bernard, and Valadon. 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).
18. Observe Parisian Life In Square Suzanne-Buisson
Square Suzanne Buisson is a quiet little hidden gem of Montmartre where you can truly escape the crowds and tourists.
Metro Station: Abbesse
19. Examine The Mur Je t’Aime
The Wall of I Love You, or Mur des Je T’aime, is made of 600 tiles and covers a surface of around 40 square meters. Put together by artists artists Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito it displays how to say I love you in 250 languages. It’s for the romantic couples, really. But also for the single ones who have not lost hope.
20. Funiculaire de Montmartre
Alternatively in our list of things to do in Montmartre, you can ride the Montmartre Funicular. Originally built in 1900, it is the only remaining funicular in Paris. The ride itself is short, but it gives a great view of the city. The cars are small and often crowded, but the Funiculaire de Montmartre still provides a unique experience while your visit in Montmartre Paris.
When should I visit Montmarte?
Montmartre is absolutely amazing at any time of the year. It may be in spring where flowers bloom, or in the summer where the you may have a picnic outside the Sacre Coeur during warm days, or in the Autumn with its beautiful leaves, or during the winter months where you can stroll its cobblestone streets with a with a cup of wine or hot chocolate at hand.
Is Montmartre Safe?
Montmartre has been an important destination for tourists for many centuries, but also been a target by many scammers. Although there are pickpockets and scammers lurking the area, particularly within the Sacre Coeur district, it should also not stop you from visiting Montmartre. We list below the common scams to look out for in Montmartre Paris.
It is a little bit of a sneaky trick that forces you to buy something. Typically, there will be men around Sacre Coeur who will approach you to tie a bracelet in your wrist. Simply say no and move along, but make sure you pay attention to your belongings.
This is an ongoing scam in Paris. There are guys waiting to take a ride in TukTuks. You may see a sign in Montmartre stating the cost of the ticket is per person, not per ride.
Some girls ask for your signature and sometimes pretend they were deaf. During the time you sign the petition, your wallet may be targeted by these scammers, where they usually congregate on or around the stairs of the Sacre Coeur.