Montmartre is by far one of the best-loved spots in Paris for tourists, but also for Parisians.
The cobbled streets, the numerous stairs and the artsy vibe of Montmartre take you on a journey where time has somehow frozen.
The village atmosphere of Montmartre is what makes it a very charming location where you can explore every street. You will also get incredible views of the city from the top of hill. It is a must do when in Paris.
Montmartre is located in the 18th arrondissement in Paris, reachable by taking metro line 2 and stopping at Anvers. From there, it is a ten minute walk to reach the top of the hill, either by stairs or by taking the funicular which costs as much as a single metro ticket. You can also get to Montmartre by getting down at the station Abbesses (line 12) and Blanche (line 2).
During the 19th century, many artists came to settle down in Montmartre, making it a symbol of bohemian lifestyle and turning it into the artsy area of Paris.
Montmartre being one of my favorite spots in Paris, I came up with this itinerary, so you don’t miss out on anything during your visit.
Full itinerary at the end of the article.
The best time to visit Montmartre is early morning, as it gets crowded quickly after 10 am. I would recommend getting there between 7 and 9 am for best experience.
1) Start from the metro stop Anvers
From Anvers metro station, go to Rue de Steinkerque and continue straight until you get to the bottom of the Sacré Cœur. From there, take a left and look for the staircase to get you upstairs. You can also use the funicular for a single metro ticket fare.
At the top, you will see the magnificent basilica, which is free to enter, and you can admire the beautiful interior. You can also visit the dome of the basilica, but you will need to pay for a ticket.
2) Sacré Cœur
The Sacré-Coeur Basilica is one of the most important religious monuments in Paris along with the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. The decision to build it was made by the National Assembly in 1870, and it was built between 1871 and 1873. This decision was taken following the defeat of Napoleon III, upon which the inhabitants of Paris found themselves in poverty and famine. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart remains a major place of pilgrimage for many disciples, since there are more than ten million pilgrims and visitors per year.
The parvis of the basilica has one of the most beautiful views of Paris!
3) The sinking house
First of all, don’t be frightened by the name, it is just an optical illusion done by a simple camera trick. When walking up the final set of steps to get to the Sacre-Coeur, on your right-hand side, there will be a bank of grass. Behind this is the sinking house in Paris.
4) Montmartre staircases – Rue Mont Cenis
The area is filled with staircases, most of them are open to the public and be easily found when walking around Montmartre. Go down to Rue du Chevalier de la Barre and take a right at Rue Mont Cenis, and you’ll arrive at the top of a staircase with an interesting view.
Walk all the way back on Rue Mont Cenis to reach Place du Tertre
5) Place du Tertre
With plenty of bars and restaurants, Place du Tertre is one of the most active places in all Montmartre. You will also find many artists painting in the open air and selling their work as well. It gives you a great vibe of the artsy atmosphere of the area.
6) Rue Norvins – Rue des Saules
After Place du Tertre take the Rue Norvins all the way down until you see the café on your right.
These two streets merge on the famous café called Le Consulat. Le Consulat Café and restaurant has been open for decades, and as a result, has witnessed plenty of changes in the surrounding district over the years. But in spite of change, the café has remained opened and can be visited today. Here, in Montmartre, you can really walk in the footsteps of the greats.
7) La Maison Rose
After Le Consulat, take a right on Rue des Saules and continue straight till Rue de l’Abreuvoir. There you will find la Maison Rose.
Another landmark of Montmartre is la Maison Rose. It is a very cute little house all in pink, you cannot miss it. It’s a small restaurant offering French and Italian cuisines. It’s worth a try !!!
8) Rue de l’Abreuvoir – Outstanding view of Sacré Cœur
As you go down the street, don’t forget to look behind you. That street gives a real vibe of Montmartre, which makes it a great location for photography.
9) Man in the wall – Place Marcel Aymé
Again, don’t panic, there is no real man stuck in a wall. It’s a sculpture of a man coming out of the wall which has become quite famous over the years. It’s worth a look.
10) Dalida House
If you are interested in French music culture, you can pass by the house of Dalida, one of the most famous singers in French history. She was adored by all French people.
11) Mur des "Je t’aime"
The « I love You » wall has become a landmark in Montmartre. Well, Paris is known as the city of love, so having an « I love you » wall makes sense, I guess. That spot gets really crowded, so getting there in the morning will make it easier to enjoy the location.