Top 5 Reasons to Visit La Maison Rose
One shouldn’t really need excess reasons to make their way into the magical realm that is the 18th arrondissement of Paris — but I’ll give you five more anyhow!
Montmartre is undoubtably one of the most charming cities in Europe — and arguably the world. Narrow, cobblestone streets take visitors to this town up and around Montmartre hill — with the Sacre Coeur church at the very top, like its crowning glory.
In terms of things to do in this neighborhood there are enough to fill at least a few days with excursions.
Aside from the Sacre Coeur, there area a few iconic attractions that bring people here in their droves; the Montmartre Cemetery, vineyard and Montmartre Museum amongst them. La Maison Rose is another — the small, pink house on the corner of Rue de l’Abreuvoir halfway up the hill.
Thanks to its bright overall color, this restaurant is hard to miss; and here are five good reasons not to.
1. Experience the Structure of La Maison Rose
Most people are astounded to learn that La Maison Rose actually existed before Montmartre did. Wrap your head around that for a second; this landmark of Montmartre was a landmark before it even had a district to which to put a name.
It is estimated that La Maison Rose was constructed in 1850, though the exact date is largely uncertain. Montmartre was only officially classed as a community in Paris in the 1860s.
The building in which La Maison Rose exists is still the original architecture and construction from back in the day. It was built strategically to withstand the curvature of the sloping roads that make up the Montmartre hill.
You really need to see it in person to understand it. As you arrive on Rue de l’Abreuvoir and view the bright pink property from the eastern corner you’ll see how the buildings and roads that surround the establishment have been made to carefully fit around the tiny old house — it’s wonderful!
2. Drink Coffee With Picasso at La Maison Rose
To put things into perspective: La Maison Rose has been serving coffee and other things for over 100 years. That’s 100 years of service to the district if Montmartre and the millions of visitors who make their way here each year.
It’s no surprise then that this old coffee shop was once frequented by some of the great artists who called Montmartre home during the different revolutions.
Picasso was the most loyal patron at this establishment. He had a long standing friendship with the owners and thus made La Maison Rose his preferred hangout spot and occasional work space.
Years may have gone by but the authenticity of the cafe has remained the same. Sitting down for a cup of coffee here will closely represent the experience Monsieur Picasso enjoyed so regularly.
3. Explore the Surrounding Neighborhood of La Maison Rose
The hilltop nature of Montmartre makes it a neighborhood that is best explored with breaks every so often. Moving from attraction to attraction, with significant resting periods in between, makes the hike up and down more bearable.
In this sense La Maison Rose becomes the ideal stopping point on a day of Montmartre explorations.
East of the cafe you’ll eventually come to the Sacre Coeur church; absolutely unmissable during ones first visit to Paris, a true beauty of the city.
On the same road as La Maison Rose, just one block down, the Montmartre Museum runs out of an old 17th contrary house where the renowned painter Renoir once lived.
One the same block as the cafe, but around the back end, is a small cemetery that most people don’t even know exists. Saint Vincent’s is a smaller vicinity compared to the main cemetery of Montmartre. It is almost always quiet and features many nooks where one can laze in the sun with a book or small picnic.
4. Take a Photo for Instagram at La Maison Rose
Yes, this is somewhat of a cliche now isn’t it? But that pink exterior of the cafe is just screaming for someone to photograph it.
La Maison Rose is probably the most photographed landmark in the district of Montmartre. The unusual exterior makes for interesting content when trying to conjure up jealousy in the poor folks back home.
The front side of the building is the most photogenic. Be sure to tell your photographer to stand far enough back so as to include the green window panes that feature on the top story.
Take note that this is a very popular attraction in the Montmartre area and you’re likely going to have lingering souls somewhere in your photo — which isn’t very Instagram worthy, I know.
La Maison Rose only opens to the public around 11am each day — if you get here an hour or so before you may be able to avoid the crowds and free guided walking tours that come through here. Ample time to create some soulful content from a variety of angles.
5. Eat the Best French Onion Soup in Paris at La Maison Rose
I won’t divulge too deeply into this but I am somewhat of a self proclaimed soup connoisseur — and La Maison Rose has the best French onion soup I’ve tasted in Paris.
If you, like me, don’t enjoy your soups to leave you feeling ten times heavier than when you sat down then you’ll probably agree with my conclusion about the French onion.
Perfectly balanced, never overpowering and served piping hot regardless of the season or day of the week. The only soup I’d hike up a hill for.
Are you ready for a visit to the little pink house on the hill?