10 Clothing Items You Should Wear in Montmartre
Alright, so you’re headed to Paris’ hilly Montmartre neighborhood and are wondering what to wear. The best way to explore the charming neighborhood of Montmartre is on foot. Which means you’ll be doing a lot of walking (maybe on one of our guided tours), and you’ll definitely want to be comfortable. The area is very hilly, and many of the streets are narrow, uneven and cobbled which can create a challenge.
So here are 10 clothing items you should wear in Montmartre.
1. Comfortable Shoes
Now, when I say comfortable I’m not talking slip ons, loafers or Uggs here. Yes, these are all cozy options, but if you’re exploring Montmartre, you’ll also need support. This isn’t to say you need to go out and get something fancy or extra sporty (please, no hiking shoes.. or sticks), just use your best judgement. You’re most likely going to be clocking several kilometers on uneven terrain so, keep that in mind.
I’ve found that basic trainers or sneakers work best; especially ones with a high top that provides extra ankle support. Personally, I love the Converse All-Stars high tops, or even Adidas Stan Smiths for a long day of walking. But in most cases, your every day sneaker should be fine as long as they have some kind of support.
Montmartre seems to be in its own microclimate, meaning it can be rainy in Paris and yet blindingly sunny in Montmartre. Or vice versa. I’m not sure how this works, but I’ve experienced it myself countless times! You’ll want to make sure and have a pair of sunglasses handy, especially if you’re planning to take some photos.
A hoodie is one of the 10 clothing items you should wear in Montmartre. Again this is because of the microclimate issue mentioned above. But also, when is it not a good time to wear a hoodie? I think you can always use one. So, if it starts raining, simply pull up the hood and you’re good to go. And if it’s too hot? A hoodie isn’t too cumbersome. Just simply tie it around your waist and keep exploring.
4. Windbreaker/Rain Jacket
Alright, so if you’re not a hoodie fan then you should definitely bring a windbreaker, or some kind of waetherproof jacket to wear in Montmartre. As you know by now, the weather in Paris, and especially this neighborhood can be unpredictable. And you never know when you could be hit with a sudden rain shower or cold bout. Dressing in layers is absolutely the way to go for exploring Montmartre.
5. A Scarf
No matter what season it is, a scarf is one clothing item you can always wear in Montmartre. You’ll spot Parisians sporting scarves all year round, and inventively transitioning them for multiple uses.
Whether you go for lightweight like silk or a heavier, warmer material like wool, a scarf adds a little something to any outfit. Of course, the great thing about a scarf is that it’s such a versatile piece of clothing. In warmer months, try incorporating a silk scarf into your look. This could be tied in your hair or on a handbag for ladies, and simply tied around the neck or added to the brim of a hat for men.
6. A Good Pair of Socks
While this may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised at how often people forget socks when they travel! This one goes back and ties in with the first item on my list, comfortable shoes. And since you’ll be doing some walking, a good pair of socks is one thing you should definitely be wearing in Montmartre.
A good pair of socks can make all the difference between having sore feet or not at the end of your day. Really! You want to choose a material which is breathable and also provides some cushioning.
Your average athletic ankle sock will do the trick during most of the year. But depending on the temperatures, perhaps in Wintertime you’ll want to find some insulating wool socks to keep your feet nice and warm.
7. A Hat
Not only is a hat one of the stylish clothing items you could wear in Montmartre, it’s practical too! If you’re looking for some hat fashion inspiration, look no further than Montmartre. Locals can be seen sporting classically cool hats any day of the week.
So hat’s are great for aesthetic, but what can they do for you, really? Well, a hat can help keep your hair in place and your head warm while you’re sightseeing in windy Montmartre. Plus, wearing a hat shields your face from the sun’s rays on warmer days! A win-win if you ask me.
Jeans or long pants are the go-to clothing item you should wear in Montmartre. Pants can be worn all year round, and nowadays jeans are everywhere in Paris. So we could say the city has gotten a little more casual in its dress, but the average Parisian still dresses up compared to the global average.
This means, if you don’t want to be immediately spotted as a tourist, don’t wear workout gear, or sweatpants in Montmartre. Or Paris, at all. A nice pair of dark denim jeans, or some classic slacks can be paired with just about anything. And you can easily dress them up for a night out or down for a day of exploring.
9. Reusable Water Bottle or Water Pack
While this is not necessarily a clothing item per say, a reusable water bottle or water backpack is definitely something you’ll want to have in Montmartre. Exploring this neighborhood requires quite a bit of walking, and a lot of it is uphill, too. It’s important to stay hydrated. Plus the great thing about reusable water bottles is that they keep your water nice and fresh, and it doesn’t contribute to plastic waste!
There are plenty of places to refill your water bottle in Montmartre for free! From the Moulin Rouge to the Sacré-Coeur, keep any eye out for the ornate, green Wallace fountains. These fountains date back to the 1800s and continue to provide fresh drinking water for Paris.
Find the complete list of Wallace fountains and their locations here.
10. Fitness Tracker
Alright, well this last one isn’t exactly an item of clothing either. But, I really think a fitness tracker can be such a great thing to have in Montmartre. By now you know that the neighborhood is very hilly, the streets are uneven, and there’s a lot to see. In order to explore Montmartre, you’ll definitely need to spend several hours, and walk a lot.
And did I mention all the staircases in Montmartre? Yes, the workout isn’t over yet, many streets actually turn into staircases halfway through. Charming but definitely a good workout. So if you’re going to be doing all this exercise, why not keep track of your progress?
Fitness bands like Fitbit, or apps like the Health app on iPhone, help to track your movement, count your steps and in some cases even monitor things like heart rate and sleeping patterns. Wearing one of these (or simply keeping your phone with you) while exploring Montmartre can be a fun way to track your fitness.
Bonus: An Umbrella
Well again, this one isn’t quite something you wear, or even an item of clothing at all. Regardless, if you’re planning on visiting Montmartre anytime of year except the height of Summer, I recommend you bring an umbrella.
As I mentioned several times above, the weather in Montmartre is notorious for changing in a split second. One moment you’re enjoying a walk in the sun, the next you’re hiding under a café awning waiting for a downpour to pass. Trust me, an umbrella is so worth it in Montmartre. Most hotels have them on courtesy loan, so you can just borrow an umbrella for your rainy day explorations and then return it.
An umbrella is especially useful if you’re planning to take some photos in Montmartre. You don’t want the rain to soak your precious camera equipment! And if it’s not raining, an umbrella can also be used as a light deflector to create artistic shadows. Basically, all I’m saying is you’ll be happy you brought one.