Top 10 Best Things to do on Saturdays in Montmartre
Saturdays in Montmartre are a wonderful time. The tourists are out in full force, eager to see what the weekend in this village holds; and the residents of Montmartre are joining in the fun since most of them have this day off work.
Due to this, however, many of the major attractions in Montmartre are considerably more crowded on this day. On Saturdays I try to avoid places like the Sacre Coeur or the Montmartre Museum, purely for the retention of my sanity.
The major attractions being so full, however, means that there are other landmarks in the village that are left nice and quiet. This is where we’ll go on Saturdays!
Here are the top 10 best things to do on a Saturday in Montmartre
1. Visit Montmartre Cemetery on a Saturday in Montmartre
20 Avenue Rachel
You’ll find the Montmartre Cemetery in the western end of the hillside village. Since most visitors to Montmartre on a Saturday will flock to the landmarks in the east, this side of town is usually wonderfully peaceful.
The Montmartre Cemetery is the third largest necropolis in all of Paris. After the Revolution, the city of Paris saw a need for a new burial system around the city to hold the vast amount of corpses piling up in church graveyards.
Large cemeteries were constructed in the north, south, east and west of Paris. Montmartre Cemetery is the one of the north.
The Cemetery is beautiful. It features an abundance of greenery and floral life that blossoms in the spring and summer. As you roam between the gothic style graves you can bask in the nature or even settle in a barren patch with a book for a few hours.
During your Saturday visit, make your way to the southeastern corner of the cemetery. Here you’ll find the tomb of the famous French singer, Dalida. Upon her grave rests a beautiful life-size sculpture of the singer with sun rays beaming out behind her — it’s beautiful to see.
2. Walk Through Marché Barbès on a Saturday near Montmartre
Boulevard de la Chapelle
The neighborhood of Barbès is not technically in Montmartre, but it does touch the boarder of the two districts. It is just a few minutes walk south from the Sacre Coeur .
Every Saturday in Barbès there is the Barbès Market. This takes place directly underneath the Barbès – Rochechouart metro stop. The market is open until 2pm.
This is a great place to do some Saturday shopping for fresh produce to take home for the evening. There are also three fishmongers in the Barbès Market who have a variety of fresh seafood on sale every Saturday.
Barbès is a wonderful area to explore in conjunction with Montmartre. Montmartre represents a historic, artistic side of Paris; a whimsical playground with astounding beauty around each winding road.
Barbès may be attached to Montmartre, but it represents a very different side to this eclectic city. Barbès is a melting pot of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa. It is a far less developed neighborhood but no less soulful as its westside counterpart.
Seeing the two on a Saturday is a wonderful paradox of Parisian culture.
3. Brunch at Le Fusain on a Saturday in Montmartre
3 Rue Durantin
Start your Saturday in Montmartre by riding into the Abbesses metro station anytime before 11am. Across the road is le Fusain, a popular brunch spot. So popular, in fact, that arriving after midday will plunge you into disappointment as the restaurant is usually full by now.
Making a booking for your Saturday brunch is a good idea!
The menu is simple and exceptionally executed every time. I love their granola bowls but I’ve seen diners in awe over their cheese platters, poached eggs and berry compote dishes.
They do fresh baked brioche in house; be sure to order a side of some with whatever your main meal choice is.
On a Saturday le Fusain closes at 3pm, but they will reopen again at 7pm for a dinner service.
Average cost: €35
4. Roam the Halle Saint-Pierre Gallery on a Saturday in Montmartre
2 Rue Ronsard
The Halle Saint-Pierre Gallery is situated in the southeastern tip of Montmartre, near where the village joins with Barbès.
Since most of the museums in Montmartre will be more crowded on a Saturday, this gallery is a hidden gem of the Montmartre art scene where you will rarely encounter hoards of people with the same idea.
The gallery is open between 11am and 6pm every Saturday. Heading here after brunch will give you ample time to explore all the building has to offer.
The Halle Saint-Pierre Gallery is dedicated to Art Brut, also known as “outsider” art. These are usually works created by artists with little to no formal education within the art practice. It is an experimental way of creating art that tests the boundaries of what constitutes true art.
Within the gallery there is also the Musée d’Art Naïf, a museum dedicated to native art by Max Fourny. There are over 30 of his works on display here.
On weekends it is not uncommon to find performances taking place within the auditorium space of the gallery. You can explore their website prior to your Saturday visit to see if there is anything worth reserving time for.
5. Take a Free Guided Walking Tour on a Saturday in Montmartre
Not everyone is able to arrive in a new town and make their way around with little to know guidance. Montmartre is the kind of neighborhood that is best explored by foot; the best way to do this is to join a free guided walking tour through the streets.
Your free guided walking tour through Montmartre will take you up through the hillside streets and past most of the major attractions that are considered unmissable in these parts. You will also have chance to learn about each of the landmarks as well as a brief history of the neighborhood in general.
Due to the vibrancy of the Montmartre streets on the weekend, taking a walking tour on a Saturday will give you an accurate depiction of what this part of town is all about.
Wear sunblock, a hat and your most comfortable walking shoes; you’ll be scaling a hill after all.
6. Picnic by the I Love You Wall on a Saturday in Montmartre
Square Jehan Rictus
The I Love You Wall is a Montmartre landmark also located just across from the Abbesses metro station that will bring you in and out of this district.
The wall is a 40ft tiled panel that displays the words “i love you” in over 250 languages and dialects from around the world. It was originally a passion project by a man named Frédéric Baron.
Back in 1992, Baron began a quest to jot down all the different ways one can express “I love you” from around the world. He used notebooks to do so. He became so invested in the project he was eventually visiting international embassies in Paris in attempt to obtain the correct translations of this phrase.
An opportunity to put these phrases onto a public landmark came about, and this is what you can visit in Montmartre in a small public square.
On a Saturday one can take a picnic along to the square and enjoy it next to the I Love You Wall. There is a children’s play area in the square as well which makes this an ideal family spot.
7. Walk to Each Windmill on a Saturday in Montmartre
During the 18 and 1900s Paris was covered in windmills that worked the grain mills around the city. It is estimated that there were over 300 windmills at any given time in the French capital.
Over time, these structures became redundant and slowly disappeared from service. Today, Montmartre is the only place where one can still view a few of them — none, however, in operation.
Make your way between the Montmartre windmills by foot on a Saturday.
I would begin at the foot of the hill at the windmill atop the famous Moulin Rouge. As you move up the hill be in search of the windmill duo named Le Moulin de la Galette. They are about a two minutes walk from one another; one of them has a cafe built underneath it.
The last windmill can be found if you make your way west from Le Moulin de la Galette into the Montmartre Cemetery. Upon the grave of a deceased soldier is the last windmill of Montmartre, guarding his grave as the days roll by.
8. Buy Fresh Baked Bread on a Saturday in Montmartre
On a Saturday morning both tourists and locals tend to make their way to their favorite or nearest bakery and queue up for some fresh baked bread, still hot from the morning batch.
Many in these parts regard Le Fournil du Village to be the top bread bakers on the hill. The bakery is near the Place du Tertre. Get here early as the baguettes tend to sell out within an hour or so; they open promptly at 7am.
The fromagers of Montmartre also rarely take Saturdays off. After buying their breads, the locals will usually go sample some cheeses at any of the may fromageries around the village streets.
A light lunch of bread and cheese is about as Parisian as it gets. Throw some French wine in the mix and you’ve got quite the Saturday ahead of you.
9. Eat Polish Cuisine on a Saturday in Montmartre
3 Rue André del Sarte
Restaurant Mazurka is a hidden Polish gem right here in Montmartre. I found it by accident while trying to get to the Halle Saint-Pierre Gallery one Saturday; I don’t think a lot of locals even know about this spot.
The inside is what I imagine living inside of Mary Poppin’s carpet bag might be like. The coziest space that is so stuck in the past that it takes you right out of modern day Paris for the duration of your meal.
I also had no idea Paris even had Polish cuisine on offer.
While you diner here on a Saturday evening, you’ll be treated to a traditional Slavic concert performance.
I was unable to recognize anything on the menu, as most will be, but the staff are helpful in talking with you to create the perfect dinner to suit your tastes and meal preferences. Go here with an open mind and let the evening surprise you.
They are open until 11pm; great for late night dining.
Average cost: €20
10. Explore the Dali Museum on a Saturday in Montmartre
11 Rue Poulbot
I don’t think the Dali Museum in Paris has ever been crowded by guests. While the museum is open seven days a week, a Saturday is a good day to visit while other museum fans flock to the Montmartre Museum further north.
The Dali Museum is a collection of over 300 original works by the Surrealist artists ranging from paintings to sculptures to sketches and artifacts.
This is the largest permanent collection of Dali artworks in all of France. It is a one way ticket straight into the bizarre mind of this artists who spent most of his life creating works right here in Paris.
The museum is also ideal for children, due to the weird and wonderful visuals on offer. A great Saturday out for the whole family.