Discover Montmartre in Paris: Best Things to Do, See & Eat

Montmartre, Paris is a captivating blend of winding streets, artistic flair, and iconic landmarks like Moulin Rouge and Sacré-Cœur. While touristy in parts, if you give this neighborhood some time it will reveal its authentic charm. My guide—based on multiple visits over the last several years—outlines quaint shops, walking tours, museums, must-see sights, eateries, and accommodation options, ensuring an unforgettable experience in this bohemian haven.
Total
0
Shares

*This post contains affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission if you shop through the links on my page. To read more, please see my affiliate disclosure.

Montmartre in Paris is one of the city’s absolute best neighborhoods. And it’s certainly one of the quaintest and most beautiful. It has winding streets, lots of hills that offer nice views, and cute little buildings all over the place. Not to mention that it’s home to the famous Moulin Rouge, Sacré-Cœur, and La Maison Rose.

Every time I visit Paris I make a point to visit Montmartre (or even stay here sometimes!). In all honesty, a lot of Montmartre can be super touristy these days, which is a bummer, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time! In fact, it’s still possible to get off the beaten track and enjoy this neighborhood’s charm.

It’s such a cute area to walk around in, and it puts you nice and close to the Clignancourt flea market—another of my favorite things to do in Paris. I think I’ve explored Montmartre enough at this point to give you some tips to avoid being caught in a never ending tourist trap. 

Today I’m going to give a full rundown of the Montmartre neighborhood in Paris, and cover all the things to do, things to see and places to eat. I’ll also leave you with some options for where to stay in Montmartre.

Delve into France

Complete Guide to Montmartre, Paris

Things to Do in Montmartre

1. Hit the shops

montmartre paris guide vintage shops

Shopping in Montmartre Paris is quite fun because you have almost exclusively independent boutiques and small businesses to choose from! If you’ve been around my blog before, you’ll know that I love thrift shopping while I’m traveling, and Montmartre definitely has a good selection of thrift and vintage shops to choose from. My favorites are Chinemachine, Iglaine Vintage, By Flowers, and SHOPTAPÉPITE.

Another cute shop is Tienda Esquipulas, where you can find Mexican and Guatemalan handicrafts, jewelry, and other cute gifts and pieces. If you want to browse some records, Exodisc and Le Rideau de Fer are great options.

P.S. When you book using my links, you help support Rachel IRL at no extra cost to you. It’s a win-win!

2. Take a walking tour 

montmartre paris guide walking tour

If you want to get a more in depth/historical and local perspective of Montmartre Paris, I highly recommend taking a Montmartre walking tour!

Walking tours can be a really great way to get a local and off the beaten track perspective, if you choose the right one! 

I like to take a walking tour when it’s my first time visiting a city because it helps me get my bearings, check a bunch of the main sights I wanted to see off my list, and give me more context for the areas I’m seeing than I would have if I was doing it by myself. My favorite ones are the ones that include food!

Here are some of my top picks for a Montmartre walking tour:

🚶🏼 This tour which specifically focuses on the lives of the famous artists who once lived in Montmartre (make sure you specifically select the “Montmartre” option!)

🚶🏼 This cheese, wine & pastry tour of Montmartre where you’ll visit 8 hidden gems shops for the best Parisian snacks you’ve ever had!

🚶🏼 This tour which both shows you the main Montmartre sights and gets you off the beaten path to the Clignancourt flea markets

3. Montmartre Museum and gardens

montmartre paris guide musee de montmartre

Situated inside of a historic 17th-century building is one of my favorite museums in Paris—and also a bit of a hidden gem! This museum showcases the history and energy of Montmartre, and allows you to see the historic neighborhood in a more holistic way. 

The exhibition includes a collection of paintings, posters, and drawings that carefully showcase Montmartre’s past, from the artistic crowds and salons to the famed cabarets. You’ll also get to see a recreation of Susan Valadon’s studio, and you can take advantage of the stunning cafe and gardens in the back.

4. Moulin Rouge

montmartre paris guide moulin rouge

You’re likely familiar with this iconic venue because of the 2001 film of the same name starring Nicole Kidman. Even if you’ve not seen the movie (I haven’t), the Moulin Rouge is still one of the most famous and recognizable landmarks in Montmartre (though technically it’s just outside the border, in a neighborhood called Pigalle), and it’s the most famous cabaret in Paris.

This is certainly the type of experience you do because it’s fun and memorable, not because it’s local or “authentic”. It’s definitely a little touristy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun or worthwhile! 

If you want to see the show, I recommend booking in advance, because it’s not uncommon for tickets to sell out. And if you don’t care to see the show, you can still walk by the outside for a quick picture of the iconic building.

5. People watch at a bistro

montmartre paris guide Place du Tertre

One of my favorite things to do in Paris, aside from exploring aimlessly, is to enjoy a coffee and live in the moment while people-watching from the terrace of a charming Montmartre cafe or one of the neighborhood’s countless bistros. Montmartre just happens to be one of the more ideal places for this!

You can honestly probably just pick any cafe or bistro that suits your taste, but if you want to really be on theme, you could visit the famous Café des Deux Moulins, which serves as the main location for the movie Amélie.

6. Flâneur and explore the less touristy parts

prettiest street in montmartre paris

Flâneur is a French word that literally translates to “stroller”, as in, a person who strolls. 

Frequent readers of this blog (and anyone who came here from my things to do in Paris post) will already be familiar with the word and concept, because it’s one of my top things to do when I travel anywhere—and especially in Paris!

Basically, the idea is to simply stroll without a set agenda, without set hours, and with no plan or destination in sight. Let your curiosity and senses set the path, speed, and agenda. Montmartre Paris is a great neighborhood to be a flaneur in, because it’s so hilly, and full of little side streets and residential areas. Be fully in the moment, and really experience the essence of Montmartre. 

Things to See in Montmartre

1. Sacré-Cœur

montmartre paris guide sacre coeur

Sacré-Cœur, the iconic, white stone, domed church perched atop the hill in Montmartre, is one of the most recognizable sights to see in the city. The church is free to enter, and you can pay a small fee (€6) if you want to climb to the top of the dome to check out the view. 

You can also enjoy the view from the south side of the church as well, and there are stairs which are part of the Square Louise Michele that people often sit on to enjoy admiring the city. 

This is definitely a can’t-miss thing to see in Montmartre Paris.

2. La Maison Rose

montmartre paris guide la maison rose

La Maison Rose is a stunningly cute pink cafe on one of the most beautiful streets in Montmartre, Rue de l’Abreuvoir. The cafe is mostly famous today because it’s an iconic photo op, and it’s situated perfectly on a corner that also has a great view of the city. 

The cafe used to be frequented by many of the artists who lived in the neighborhood in its heyday, including Picasso! If you want you can even enjoy a meal— the food is apparently quite good, though I’ve never personally eaten there.

3. Place du Tertre

montmartre paris guide Place du Tertre

Right in the heart of Montmartre, close to the Sacré-Cœur is the Place du Tertre. It’s a charming and lively square that gives you a glimpse into the past, when Montmartre Paris was an artistic hub. 

The square is full of artists who set up their easels and paint or draw scenes of Paris, and many who do caricatures too. It’s a bit touristy in all honesty, but I also think there’s something charming about it, and I love to at least walk through. It’s a great place to look around and maybe even grab a coffee from one of the cafes that line the square and do your people watching here! 

4. Wall of Love

montmartre paris guide wall of love

The Montmartre Wall of Love, or Le Mur des Je t’aime, is admittedly a tourist trap, but it’s kind of cute, so I like to mention it.

The mural shows “I love you” written in more than 300 languages, and is meant to be a statement of the way that love is a universal language. It’s often really crowded, but you can still walk along it and read all the different languages if you’re patient. 

5. Amélie Locations

montmartre paris guide Amelie locations

Film buffs out there will know that Montmartre Paris was also the backdrop for the cult classic Amélie. I feel pretty ambivalent about this particular movie, but I actually really love visiting locations from books or movies overall, so of course I’m going to mention this one! 

Among the main spots that you should check off your list are Café des Deux Moulins and Au Marché de la Butte. Even if you aren’t a fan of the movie, the market is really cute, and I enjoyed checking it out on my most recent visit!

6. Street Art

montmartre paris guide street art

While you’re wandering through the neighborhood (or should I say flâneur-ing), be sure to keep your eyes peeled for all the iconic street art. It honestly feels like every time you turn a corner while exploring Montmartre Paris you come across a unique and compelling piece of street art. 

I can confidently say that even though I’ve traveled to a ton of places, I always think back to Montmartre when I think about places to see interesting street art. I considered making a little guide with the “coolest” ones, but honestly I think it’s best to just explore for yourself. That’s the spirit of the neighborhood!

That being said, be sure not to miss La Passe Muraille, which is a 3D statue of a man walking out of the wall and is very popular to check out.

Where to Eat in Montmartre

Half of the fun of Paris is all the amazing food, so of course I had to pull together a list for you of all of the Montmartre best restaurants. I’ve separated them by time of day and also offered a little bit of information as to what the restaurant is. The link is to Google Maps (as per usual), which is one of my top travel resources.

montmartre paris guide boulangerie

For Breakfast

montmartre paris guide bistro

For Lunch 

montmartre paris guide bistro

For Dinner 

For Anytime

montmartre paris guide bistro

For Everything Else

Where to Stay in Montmartre

If researching Montmartre has convinced that it would be an adorable place to base yourself for your Paris trip, you’re right! It would be!

The best Montmartre hotels are some of the cutest in all of Paris. Below are my top Montmartre hotel picks for a range of different budgets.

Note: Some of these are actually just outside of Montmartre at the bottom of the hill in Pigalle, a nice little neighborhood in and of itself. Pigalle might be an even more convenient place to base yourself because it’s walkable to Montmartre and slightly more easily connected by metro to the rest of Paris.

Check out my full list of the best boutique Paris hotels in other neighborhoods!

Paris Hotel Rochechouart  in Montmartre chic bedroom

Hôtel Rochechouart

€ | 4 Star | Art Deco | Chic Restaurant

Every corner of the chic, cozy Hôtel Rochechouart right on the edge of Montmartre (technically in Pigalle) calls back to the Paris of the 1920s. The rooms and suites here carefully incorporate lacquered wood, plush carpets, and perfectly curated furnishings to transport you to Montmartre’s heyday—and a few of them even have a stunning Sacré-Cœur view. I haven’t had the chance to stay, but a friend of mine does every time he’s in Paris and recommends it highly.

Photo: Booking.com

grand pigalle hotel on the edge of Montmartre in Paris

Grand Pigalle Hôtel

€€ | 4 Star | Balconies | Near Metro

Any hotel from the Experimental Group is automatically on my list, and the Grand Pigalle Hôtel is no exception! Situated steps from Montmartre proper, this hotel oozes class. Not only will you find meticulous design choices in ever direction, but the small touches—elevated toiletries, late check-out, and 24/7 room service—mean you’ll no doubt have a luxurious experience to match.

Photo: Booking.com

Edgar Suites hotel in Montmartre, Paris

Edgar Suites

€€ | 4 Star | Aparthotel | 2-6 Guests

If you’re travelling with a group or need access to a few home-y amenities (kitchen, washing machine, etc.) on a longer trip, Edgar Suites is quite the lucky find. Typical European “aparthotels” are a bit drab—more functional than fun. This place bucks the trend, though, and mixes exciting decor choices throughout. Plus, it’s less than 500m from Sacré-Cœur!

Photo: Booking.com

Lobby of Hotel Monsieur Aristide in Montmartre, Paris

Hôtel Monsieur Aristide

€€€ | 4 Star | Secret Garden | Eclectic

Not only is Hôtel Monsieur Aristide perfectly located in the heart of Montmartre in Paris, it’s also charmingly bohemian in every sense of the word. Furnishings sources from Paris’s own flea markets and terrazzo floors made from the waste material of the building’s demolition perfectly complement the 18th century building the hotel calls home. The onsite bistro and musical instruments available for guests’ use are just the cherry on top.

Photo: Booking.com

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it worth visiting Montmartre Paris?

Short answer: yes. It’s definitely worth it to visit Montmartre in Paris while you’re in the city. In all honesty, I think it’s a must do Paris activity.

Despite being in the 18th arrondissement, in the northernmost part of the city, it’s not hard to get to and it doesn’t feel too far out of the way. 

The area dates back to the Middle Ages, when the Abbey of Montmartre brought religious significance to the area, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that Montmartre really came to be known as the hub for artists, writers, and musicians that we associate it with today. Now, you can also draw inspiration from the cobblestone streets, stunning hills, and buzzing bohemian energy of Montmartre!

It’s perfect for anyone who loves history, quaint streets and houses, and anyone who wants stunning (and FREE) views of the city. It’s also great for thrifting, food and drinks! There’s really something for everyone in Montmartre Paris.

montmartre paris guide prettiest street in montmartre

How much time do you need at Montmartre?

I think you could easily make a full day out of exploring Montmartre, but if you’re trying to pack a lot into your schedule, you can also easily have a nice time in half a day or so.

The main thing you’ll want to see is the famous Montmartre church, Sacré-Cœur, which shouldn’t take too long even if you choose to go inside. There’s also a nice viewpoint outside the church, so you can spend a bit of time here too. If you want to visit the Musée de Montmartre it will take you probably about an hour, give or take, but if the weather’s nice I would recommend spending some time at the museum garden café as well. 

Aside from that, there are also the more obvious sights to see: the Wall of Love and the Place du Tertre, which also shouldn’t take too long. You can easily achieve all of the above in half a day, but if you want to take your time, I recommend doing some people-watching at a cafe, enjoying some amazing food, and even thrifting a bit (there are some great vintage stores in the neighborhood!).

montmartre paris guide viewpoint

What is the prettiest street in Montmartre?

Rue de l’Abreuvoir—the street that the famous pink cafe, La Maison Rose, sits on—is in my opinion the prettiest street in Montmartre. It’s mostly quiet, with not too many businesses, so while you do get some traffic from people wanting a picture at the cafe, the rest of the street isn’t teeming with tourists. 

The street is full of quaint buildings, many which are covered in ivy, and it sits on a hill, which not only makes it really aesthetically pleasing, but also gives some opportunities to take in a view over the city. You can also stop in at the Musée de Montmartre on this street.

montmartre paris guide sacre coeur

How do you spend a day in Montmartre?

If you want to spend the day in Montmartre I recommend first starting at the Abbesses metro station, which will put you right in front of the Wall of Love, a multilingual art installation that is admittedly a bit of a tourist trap. But, since it’s right there and you can check it out quickly, you may as well take a look.

From there you can walk up to the Place Emile Goudeau, where you’ll find a replica facade of the Bateau Lavoir, an important home and artist hub in the 19th century, once sat. There’s also a great vintage store on the corner called SHOPTAPÉPITE.

No visit to Montmartre is complete without a trip to Sacré-Cœur, and to get there you can take a stroll through the Place du Tertre to see all the artists. I don’t think you necessarily need to go inside Sacré-Cœur, but if you’re interested in seeing the inside it is free and open to the public!

Personally, I prefer to just admire the outside because I’m not much of a church person. I also like to take some time to admire the must see Paris view from the south side of the church, or from the stairs just below that.

From there, I recommend heading back into the neighborhood, towards Rue Cortot. You can first stop into the Musée de Montmartre, which should only take you about an hour or so. If the weather is nice I also highly recommend enjoying the gardens out back.

If you keep going down that street you’ll come to the famous pink La Maison Rose, where you can get a great view of Paris, a cute photo op, and even a quick bite if you want to try the food! 

Once you’ve continued down the street you can, and should, spend the rest of the day exploring all the winding side streets in the neighborhood. Chinemachine, Iglaine Vintage and By Flowers are a few more vintage shops that might be worth visiting while you explore. 

montmartre paris moulin rouge

What is Montmartre in Paris known for?

Montmartre in Paris is known mainly for the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, an iconic domed church which sits up on the hill, and offers a stunning view of Paris from its steps. Montmartre is also well known for being home to the Moulin Rouge, an iconic cabaret club that you may be familiar with because of the famous movie! Amélie, another iconic movie, was also filmed in Montmartre.

Some other things Montmartre is known for are the quaint buildings and hilly topography, which are very unique compared to most of the rest of Paris. It’s also well known as a bohemian and artistic hub, both from its 19th century legacy of artists like Van Gogh and Picasso spending time here, but also due to the artists who frequent the neighborhood today!

montmartre paris guide viewpoint

Is Montmartre a good area to stay in Paris?

Yes, Montmartre is a great place to stay in Paris! I would go so far as to say it’s one of the best Paris neighborhoods to stay in. So long as you choose a hotel or apartment that isn’t on one of the more touristy streets or squares, it’s really ideal. Montmartre is out of the center, but well connected.

PS: If you want to know what all my other top picks for where to stay in Paris are, be sure to check out my Paris best neighborhoods to stay in post!

It’s a hilly neighborhood, meaning you’ll have an easier time finding a place to stay with a nice view, and it’s so quaint that you’re sure to be in a cute neighborhood. There are loads of local shops and cute cafes as well, so you can have a cute and local experience!

P.S. When you book using my links, you help support Rachel IRL at no extra cost to you. It’s a win-win!

Ready to explore Montmartre Paris?

Writing this has honestly made me jealous that you’ll be in Montmartre soon! I need to plan another trip. Until then, be sure to tag me in any and all travel content, and let me know in the comments if there’s anything you think I missed!

If you’re still planning, be sure to check out all my other posts about Paris so you can have the best trip ever.

Liked this post? Pin it for Later!

montmartre paris pin
montmartre paris pin 1

Keep in touch!

Sign up below to receive my monthly newsletter, featuring tips for how to travel smarter and more authentically.

I’ll share stories from the road, suggestions for where to travel next, and much more!

Total
0
Shares
L'Hotel luxury Paris hotel in Saint-Germain

30 of the Best Boutique Paris Hotels for Every Budget

Paris, one of my favorite cities in the world, boasts an almost endless array of adorable boutique hotels with distinct (yet always on-point) vibes. I've sifted through the many gems to present the best of the best options, whether you’re looking for luxury, history, budget-friendliness, or an Eiffel Tower view.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like