Top 5 Museums in Montmartre
Montmartre is the artist’s district of Paris. It makes sense then that the village has a few note worthy museums under its name for visitors to Montmartre to enjoy.
Since Paris is a city known for it’s array of art museums, most tourists tend to flock to the more central arrondissements where one can find establishments like the Louvre, Orangerie Museum and Musée d’Orsay .
This leaves the hilltop village of Montmartre relatively free of museum crowding or long lines just to get into the building. Visit Montmartre any day of the week to enjoy these museum attractions followed by a stroll through the cobblestone streets lined with bakeries, fromageries, bookstores, cafes and the occasional thrift store — Montmartre is magic.
1. The Montmartre Museum in Montmartre
12 Rue Cortot
The Montmartre Museum holds a rich, extensive history in the village of Montmartre.
Back when artists were flocking to Paris in search of the “Bohemian Revolution”, Montmartre became the district where these penniless creators could afford to live. And so the streets and entertainment in these parts began to flourish.
The Montmartre Museum was originally a block of artists studios and residencies. Renoir is the most famous painter to have once resided in the museum grounds.
When the space was transformed into a museum in 1960, efforts were made to acknowledge Renoirs contribution to the grounds. The Jardins Renoir are part of the Montmartre Museum grounds, you’ll gain access to them upon entering the rest of the museum.
The Montmartre Museum’s collection is dedicated to telling the story of the progression of Montmartre as a suburb. There are works spanning throughout the different centuries.
Perhaps the most impressive collection within the Montmartre Museum is the works of Claude Monet. This is the largest collection of Monet artworks in a single space in Paris.
Admission fee: €9.50
OPENING HOURS: MONDAY TO SUNDAY – 10am TO 7PM
ADDRESS: 12 Rue Cortot, 75018 Paris, France
METRO STATION: Lamarck – Caulaincourt
2. The Dali Museum in Montmartre
11 Rue Poulbot
The Dali Museum only recently underwent very necessary renovations before being reopened to the people of Montmartre.
The museum can be found a short walk from the Place du Tertre, the artists square of Montmartre were you can have your portrait painted by any of the 150 artists.
The Dali Museum is the largest permanent collection of Dali works in France. It displays over 300 original pieces ranging from sculptures to paintings, and even old sketch books and multimedia footage of the artist in action.
The Dali Museum is probably the best museum in Montmartre to visit with children. The unique portrayal of the mind of this artist appeals to the youth as much as it does the adult.
There are giant snails on the floor, elephants on stilts, clocks melting from tree trunks. It’s a Surrealist dream world and one that visitors to Montmartre can enjoy seven days a week.
Admission fee: €11.50
OPENING HOURS: MONDAY TO SUNDAY – 10am TO 6:30PM
ADDRESS: 1 Rue Poulbot, 75018 Paris, France
METRO STATION: Abbesses
3. Musée de la Vie Romantique in Montmartre
16 Rue Chaptal
The Musée de la Vie Romantique is in the south of the 18th arrondissement. This is my favorite Montmartre based museum due to it’s whimsical and easy to explore nature.
The museum is built inside of a townhouse dating back to 1830. The collection is concerned with the Romantic Era in Paris.
Through paintings, furniture and ornaments, the museum seeks to set the scene of the 18th and 19th century when romantic art reigned through the French art scene.
In the gardens of the townhouse there is a tea room that serves visitors during the warmer months. The museum also organizes regular activity days for children, so that parents can visit without needing to occupy the little ones the entire time.
Just being on the museum grounds is enough to whisk you away back to a time long before Montmartre was the developed neighborhood that it is today. Everything at the Musée de la Vie Romantique is stuck in the past, even the toilets for museum guests to use — you’ll see.
Admission fee: €9 (Permanent collections are free)
OPENING HOURS: Tuesday TO SUNDAY – 10am TO 6PM
ADDRESS: 16 Rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris, France
METRO STATION: Pigalle
4. Halle Saint-Pierre in Montmartre
2 Rue Ronsard
While this space is technically a gallery, there is a museum situated inside of the Halle Saint-Pierre. The Musée d’Art Naïf is a native art museum that holds 30 original works by Max Fourny.
The rest of the gallery celebrates the genre known as Art Brut, or “outsider art” to some. These are works that test artistic boundaries and what is considered normal in terms of expression.
Many of these artists have never had any formal training or education in the mediums in which they work. It’s a fascinating space and makes a nice contrast to the usually fine art that you’ll get used to viewing around Paris.
The space also showcases live performances and independent exhibitions from time to time. You can read up about the schedule of these via the Halle Saint-Pierre website prior to your visit.
Admission fee: Free
OPENING HOURS: Monday TO SUNDAY – 11am TO 6PM
ADDRESS: 2 Rue Ronsard, 75018 Paris, France
METRO STATION: Anvers
5. Boris Vian’s Apartment in Montmartre
6 Bis Cité Véron
It took many a free guided walking tour right past this alley way before I finally stopped and took notice.
Boris Vian was a French polymath, meaning he was a writer, poet, musician and singer all in one. In Paris, he is remembered mostly for his literary works and the many surrealist plots he was able to conjure up.
He also played a big role in the Parisian jazz scene. He provided hospitality for likes of Duke Ellington and Miles Davis when they came to play shows here in the French capital — performances I’m sure we’d all pay a lot to be able to witness.
Here at 6 Bis Cité Véron not far from the Montmartre Cemetery, down the dark alleyway, is Boris Vian’s old Parisian home.
The museum can be viewed by appointment only. It is highly private and can be hard to make a booking, but well wroth a try.
Boris lived here for many years and shared a terrace with a man named Jacques Prévert. The terrace became known as “Terrace of the Tres Sátrapas” where the two hosted parties. Both Duke Ellington and Miles Davis are said to have attended these right here in Montmartre while in town.
Admission fee: Free although a €10 donation is requested