Often times when people think of Paris, they think of the Eiffel Tower. While planning our first trip to Paris, it dawned on me how many districts, or arrondissements, the city really has. Montmartre is Paris’s 18th arrondissement filled with artistic history and a revolutionary past. With its cobbled streets, stunning Basilica, artists, and bistros, the neighborhood is full of timeless charm.
Things to do in Montmartre
To me, Montmartre feels like one of the most authentic parts of Paris. The hilltop neighborhood is quaint yet bustling with noise and people. I loved how the district has maintained the architectural elements of old Paris in Montmartre. It’s truly a melting pot of art and inspiration. Here is a list of things to do and see while in Montmartre.
Visit the Sacré-Cœur Basilica
I would recommend being mentally prepared for the amount of people at Sacré-Cœur. Like most museums and attractions in Paris, crowds of people come to the Basilica everyday. If it’s your first time visiting Montmartre, definitely come here to experience it for yourself. If it’s your third or fourth time, I would probably skip it.
The best part about the Basilica is that it sits on a hilltop where you can overlook a huge part of the city. I noticed a lot of artists with sketchpads sitting on the grass and people having picnics with their families. It’s chaotic, it’s breathtaking, and it’s overwhelming all at once.
Grab an afternoon drink at a café and people-watch
Cue the Aperol Spritz. One of the best things you could possibly do in Paris is stop at a café in the afternoon when everyone just got off of work. Take a seat outside and order a couple of drinks. Soak in the atmosphere of Parisians talking to one another, chain-smoking their cigarettes. Enjoy the moment of realizing you’re in PARIS, sipping on your cocktail as the people walk by.
Catch a show at Moulin Rouge
Simply walking through Moulin Rouge was magical in itself. If time is of the essence or you can’t fit a show into your budget, I still recommend walking by as it’s one of the busiest parts of the district.
Wander through the back alleys of Montmartre
One of my most memorable moments from my Paris trip was wandering through the back streets of Montmartre without a destination really in mind. As you walk through the cobblestone streets, there’s art everywhere on the walls and store with fun trinkets to discover.
Check out some art pieces at Place du Tertre
I loved roaming through the main square of Montmartre, otherwise known as “The Artist’s Square”. Artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, and Pissarro roamed these streets at one point in time. Many artists set up their art easels each day and you can ask for a caricature to be drawn of you.
Is Montmartre Safe?
From my experience, I thought Montmartre was totally safe! We walked through town during the day and also came back for a few drinks at night. I can see why Montmartre may get a bad rap but I think they have made progress in keeping it a safe neighborhood.
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