A walk in Montmartre
If you’re coming to Paris, you absolutely need to take a walk in Montmartre! This area is the most romantic and awesome place you’ll find in Paris. To visit Montmartre will positively inspire you and wake the artist in you up. The truth is that usually people that visit Paris go straight to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica (read more about the Sacre Coeur) or to Place du Tertre, where street artists do tourists portraits and illustrations of the neighborhood. But there’s so so much more about Montmartre than these! Its narrow alleys, its windmills, its little details, its soul are some of the things that make Montmartre so unique. A walk in Montmartre is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s a walk you won’t be forgetting anytime soon. I’ve already heard people say that Montmartre was the reason why they fell in love with Paris. Montmartre will turn out to be one of the reasons why you will want to come back to Paris.
Walking in Montmartre
A walk in Montmartre is very physical because it is uphill! If you want to fully enjoy Montmartre and visit the most important landmarks, you will have to do a lot of walking (maybe with a walking tour?). My advice would be for you to pick some comfortable shoes when coming to Montmartre and if you happen to come with a baby, prefer a baby carrier rather than a stroller.
If you’re interested in the history of Montmartre, you should know that for a long time it was in conflict with Paris. It was separated from Paris. In 1871, the inhabitants of Montmartre rebelled and created a new system of their own. It was called “La Commune” and they were kind of independent from the city of Paris for about three months. The true Montmartrois are pretty different from the common Parisians. They are revolutionary, free and talk what comes to their mind. If you get the chance to meet a Montmartrois (Learn more about our free walking tour with a Parisian), you will know about the history of Montmartre and how they feel about it.
As you walk in Montmartre, you will quickly understand how it has inspired so many artists such as Picasso and Van Gogh. As you walk up the hill, you need to look at the buildings, the walls, every corner. Because in Montmartre, you are likely to find many surprises all through the walk. Montmartre is a place where artists feel more at ease to speak their minds and share their thoughts and feelings with the world. Sometimes, they do it by leaving their mark on Montmartre walls. They spread their messages thanks to their paintings and productions on walls. In Montmartre, you will find many different kinds of art and style. The point is to send strong messages. It can be about love, politics, freedom, life in general.
These are so many little details Montmartre has to offer, but many times people miss these little gifts because they head straight to the major landmarks such as the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. To be honest, if you’re adventurous and want to understand our lifestyle, you should join our tour. You will learn all about this area and discover everything there is to discover about Montmartre and the mindset of the people. Only the locals will show you the best of Montmartre, away from the typical touristy stuff.
Then, if you want to taste the most amazing traditional French food, the most delicious pastries, the best cheeses paired with an award-winning baguette, and many other treats along the way. I highly recommend you to join our Montmartre food tour, and even better, our Vegetarian food tour! One learns a lot about a foreign culture through its customs and traditional food habits.
What to see in Montmartre
- Whenever you’re coming to Montmartre, the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret is unmissable! It is, undoubtedly, the most famous cabaret in the world! Its architecture inspired and keeps inspiring many other cabarets all around the world, from many cities in Europe to Las Vegas. Its name is also universally known, thanks to the 2001 movie by Baz Luhrmann starring Nicole Kidman. The Moulin Rouge is sexy, fun and unique! Tickets can be difficult to obtain at the door. You can buy tickets in advance with Viator.
- Have you ever seen the movie Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain? If you haven’t, you really should! Add this movie to your to-do list! It’s so charming and part of French culture! In my guess, there’s not a single Parisian who has not seen this movie. You’ll love it! The story is simple and very nice. There are so many beautiful scenes in Paris. In the movie, Amélie Poulain moves to Montmartre, so you’ll be seeing a lot of Montmartre! And one place in particular is the Café Deux Moulins where Amélie works! It’s a typical Parisian café where the movie was shot! Definitely, a place you should see during a walk in Montmartre!
- Another great place for you to see when walking Montmartre is Place du Tertre. It’s very close to Basilica of the Sacré Cœur. If you like authentic art and appreciate looking at artists at work, you need to go to this square. Montmartre artists gather in Place du Tertre, do portraits and illustrations of the neighborhood. Many of them live from their art. Also, in case you’re looking for a different type of souvenir from Paris, you can buy little paintings and illustrations of Paris and Montmartre. Buy the paintings directly from the artists, not from the little souvenir shops around the Place du Tertre because they’re fake!
- Le Mur des Je t’aime means The wall of “I love yous” in English. It is located at Place des Abbesses. It’s one of the highlights of a walk in Montmartre because it’s so fun, original and romantic! The words “I love you” are written on the wall in more than 300 different languages. You should go there with your lover and take a picture together! I’m sure it will make a great photo to frame in your living room back home!
- Basilique du Sacré Cœur is obviously one of the things you absolutely need to see during your walk in Montmartre! It is on top of the hill and offers one of the bests views over Paris. When you reach the top and stand in front of the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur with Paris at your feet, it feels as if the time had stopped. It reminds you of how little you are in this world and that life is to be enjoyed. Every moment needs to be cherished. Everytime I go there, I feel like I’ve found the meaning of life! (joking).
- Another great place to see during a walk in Montmartre is the Montmartre cemetery. If you happen to go to there, you will quickly realize that there are plenty of cats wandering there. Well, it is actually their home. In the twentieth century, many cats were abandoned in the cemetery. Municipal services used to capture them and put them down, until a few persons stood up and struggle for animals rights. Cats needed to be fed, treated and castrated. The “L’école du chat“, which means cats school, association was born. Since then, the assocation kind volunteers feed the cats that live in the Montmartre cemetery and take care of their well-being. Their work has to be rewarded, so don’t hesitate to donate or even to adopt and go back home with a new Parisian friend!
Before reaching the top of Montmartre, there are still so many things to see and visit. For instance, the Place Dalida, the Montmartre Cemetery, Montmartre vineyard and many more places! If you want to see all the surprises Montmartre has to offer, join us in a walk through the area! Walk Montmartre with locals.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my article about a walk in Montmartre! And I hope I’ll see you very soon in Montmartre!