Top 10 Best Things to do on Sundays in Montmartre
Montmartre is pretty much open for business seven days a week; on Sundays it is only a few of the food retailers that close their doors to rest.
What I love about Montmartre on Sundays is that many of the usual attractions that are overrun by tourists are now shared with locals as well. Most of the locals of Montmartre work during the week and can’t spend their days riding the funicular or tasting cheeses in fromageries.
Sundays give everyone in Paris the opportunity to enjoy the vibrant street life of this neighborhood. I’ve gone ahead and listed all of the best things to enjoy in Montmartre on a Sunday and divided them into different times of day, so you can really make the most out of these 24 hours — read on!
1. Eat Breakfast at Soul Kitchen in Montmartre
33 Rue Lamarck
Tucked just next to the Montmartre steps, Soul Kitchen is the favorite breakfast spot for the locals in this area.
It is a canteen style space that is run by three inspiring women with a passion for people and food.
On a Sunday morning you can come here to enjoy a traditional breakfast fry up, fresh pastries and coffee or a range of creative breakfast dishes perfected by the chef. I love their fresh granola and oats.
The best part about Soul Kitchen is probably its location. It is situated a two minute walk from the Lamarck – Caulaincourt metro stop. This stop brings you up and around the Montmartre hill — saving you having to do the hike first thing on a Sunday morning .
Once you’ve refueled in the restaurant and are ready to face the day then you can think about scaling the hill. First, coffee!
2. Brunch at The Hardware Société in Montmartre
10 Rue Lamarck
If you want to do Sundays in Montmartre like a true Parisian, then you’re going to have to skip breakfast all together and go straight to brunch.
This is the number one Sunday pastime for the locals of Montmartre; sleeping in and then making their way to their nearest brunch spot late in the morning. Throughout the district you’ll see people flocking to cafes between 10 and 11am looking to get a table.
The Hardware Société is a French and Australian owned establishment. There is a branch here in Montmartre, Paris and one in Melbourne, Australia.
If you want to eat brunch like a local then this is the spot. Eggs and salmon, compote pancakes, fresh baked breads, seared tuna — I could go on…
One of the best meals you’ll have in Montmartre and a beautiful way to start your Sunday. I recommend the French toast — obviously.
3. Walk Through the Market on Rue des Martyrs
The Rue des Martyrs is known amongst the locals of Paris as a sort of one-stop-shop; a single street where everything you need is likely available at any given time.
This has a lot to do with the incredible length of the Rue des Martyrs. It actually begins down in the 9th arrondissement by the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette metro stop. The road runs all the way up through the 9th and into the 18th, where it comes to an end in Montmartre.
On Sunday mornings on the strip of the Rue des Martyrs that falls under Montmartre there is a market that takes place. It has been part of Montmartre for years and is run by locals. The products on offer are mostly fresh produce but there are sometimes curios as well.
Its wonderful just to walk the street and take in all the colors and smells in the space.
4. Enjoy Lunch at La Maison Rose in Montmartre
2 Rue de l’Abreuvoir
Since the Montmartre locals have the day off from work, Sunday lunch is also a big deal in this part of town.
Most of the morning bakeries and fromagers will begin to close their doors around this time, having made most of their sales earlier in the day. Sunday lunch in Montmartre calls for a proper restaurant experience.
Nothing say lunch in Montmartre quite like la Maison Rose. Even Pablo Picasso himself considers this the only cafe worth eating in on a Sunday afternoon and was frequently spotted alone in a quiet corner.
La Maison Rose is the famous bright pink cafe that sits at the foot end of the beautiful Rue de l’Abreuvoir. In the summer, the street is lined with thick greenery and layered vines — getting a spot at the sidewalk tables of the cafe would be the most ideal.
The cuisine in this cafe ranges from oysters to steak to cakes galore. There is something for everyone and vegans & vegetarians are easily catered to.
5. Get Sketched in the Place du Tertre in Montmartre
Once you’re finished with lunch you’re in prime position to walk one block south into the historic Place du Tertre.
For artists in Paris, there are no days off. Even on Sunday’s business begins as just another day for the 150 painters and sketch artists who work within this public square.
They are not here by accident. The district of Montmartre carefully manages the schedules of these artists to ensure that the Place du Tertre is a consistent and thriving tourist attraction year round.
The history of this square is that it was once the meeting point for the artists who moved into Montmartre after the revolution. The likes of Monet, Renoir, Picasso and even Dali were often spotted in the space wither creating works or waiting for inspiration to hit.
You may not think that sitting back and having a stranger stare at you for an hour while etching your soul into paper could be enjoyable — but it’s actually quite a relaxing experience, ideal for a Sunday afternoon.
You also have the option of simply sending the artist an image of yourself or the person you’d like painted and then collecting it at a later stage.
6. Roam the Montmartre Museum in Montmartre
12 Rue Cortot
The back end of the Place du Tertre is actually the southern boundary for the Montmartre Museum. You can understand why free guided walking tours through Montmartre are able to cover so many attractions in such a short space of time.
The Montmartre Museum is interesting because it holds as much artistic history as the public square does.
Back in the day, this property was actually the studio spaces of the same artists who were seen hanging about in the Place du Tertre. Renoir was the most famous of them to make this his official work space; he also lived on the property for a number of years.
The Montmartre Museum is quite an experience when you consider how much there is inside the grounds. Firstly, the museum itself is an extensive display of artwork that shows the progression of Montmartre as a villages. Also as part of the collection you’ll witness the largest collection of original Monet artworks anywhere in the world.
As you make your way to the grounds you’ll be able to enjoy the Renoir Gardens, Renoir’s swing, Cafe Renoir (lots of Renoir), wine tasting on the lawns and a panoramic view over the Montmartre Vineyard that is not accessible any other way.
7. Italian Dinner at Babalou in Montmartre
4 Rue Lamarck
As Sunday begins to come to an end, there is nothing better than a hearty, feel good meal to warm the stomach and the soul.
The restaurant is cosy and small, making a reservation would be preferable.
The restaurant are happy to cater to vegans and will do any of their pizza options without the cheese and with extra sauce; it’s juicy and delicious if I do say so myself.
Since it’s Sunday in Montmartre we’ll eat dessert elsewhere; try resist the temptation to order the pannacotta or tiramisu after your meal.
8. Visit The Lapin Agile in Montmartre
22 Rue des Saules
The Lapin Agile is officially the oldest cabaret in Paris. Back when penniless artists were still flocking to this neighborhood, Picasso would sit here and sketch pictures of the performers in exchange for food and drinks.
In a modern sense, the word cabaret can be used loosely. It is not like the kind of cabaret we’ve come to know thanks to the Moulin Rouge. Today, the Lapin Agile is more of a group musical performance that takes place night after night in this small tavern.
The show starts at 9pm and lasts about four hours, though you don’t have to stay for the entire duration. It is a cash only space; arrive early to get a good seat and prepare to be entertained by a troupe of performers.
The performance is in French and there will be one or two songs you recognize particularly if you’ve ever watched French films before. It’s a fun way to spend an hour or two on a Sunday evening in Montmartre — where else in the world would you rather be?
9. A Crepe and a Nightcap at Le Consulat in Montmartre
18 Rue Norvins
Le Consulat was one of the first cafe/bistros to open in this neighborhood back when Montmartre was nothing more than a rolling hillside covered in windmills.
It is considered an unmissable attraction in this area and is thus usually packed with people all trying to get their experience in.
Arriving early or late are your best bets. On a Sunday, come later in the even for a nightcap and something sweet to end the day. Le Consulat does wonderful crepes and tarts.
If you can, pick a table that is out on the street so you can observe the buildings unique exterior while you dine. It is a stand alone building that was constructed between two roads so that nothing could be built attached to it.
Le Consulat is open seven days a week from brunch until dinner. Despite the many tourists it is still loved by the local people of Montmartre who mix into the space particularly on Sundays.
10. Night Walk up to the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Montmartre
To end your Sunday in Montmartre; a late night walk up to the Sacre Coeur Basilica.
You wont be able to view the inside of this monumental church at this time, but the stairs and panoramic view over the city is open to the public at all hours of the day.
It is from here that you will get a real understand of the phrase “the city of lights”. Seeing Paris from this high up puts a lot of the city into perspective.
Take time to try spot identifiable landmarks within the city skyline such as the Eiffel Tower and Tour Montparnasse. This is much easier to do during the day but with a little creativity you’ll see them by night.
Oh, and you should definitely turn around at some point as well. The Sacre Couer church may not be accessible by night but it is lit up so that visitors may marvel at the exterior — magnifique.