Plan Your Visit to the Charming Paris Neighborhood of Montmartre

People sitting at a cafe in Paris

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

One of Paris's most charming, mythical, and quirky places to wander, the Montmartre neighborhood crowns the city, perched on a hill overlooking the rest of the city. It oozes poetry and charm: Come here for winding cobblestone paths, ivy hanging from wooden window panes, views of the majestic Sacré Coeur from cafe windows, and local shops selling cured meats or delicious pastries and breads. Shop for quirky, handmade clothes and jewelry, visit museums, or simply brave the snaking, often precipitously hilly streets until you reach the top.

Once at the summit, you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Paris: These make the thigh-busting walk up the hill completely worth it. Of course, if you prefer to take the funicular at some point up to the very top, no one will fault you!

The Best Things to Do

There are so many great places to explore in this neighborhood that it would prove tough to cover all of them. Here are just a few of our picks. See our guide to the 18th arrondissement for more ideas on where to head in the area. 

  • Catch a Show at the Moulin Rouge: When this now world-renowned cabaret first opened in 1889 and introduced the French can-can, it was little more than a seedy joint for courtesans to entertain their male clients. Painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a regular patron, and later produced a series of famous illustrations of the Moulin Rouge and its iconic red windmill. Now, the dance hall is more of a tourist attraction, offering nightly shows at some of the steepest prices in town. Metro Station: Blanche.
  • See the Works of Salvador Dalí: This permanent exhibition hall, situated near the ultra-touristy Place du Tertre and its eager open-air artists, is entirely devoted to eccentric Spanish artist Salvador Dalí. Home to 300 of his most compelling works, from paintings to sculpture to rudimentary sketches, the gallery holds the largest collection of the artist’s work in France, though the Dali Theatre and Museum in Catalonia holds most of the zanily mustached artist's prized oeuvres. Metro Station: Abbesses.
  • Visit the Resting Places of Famous Parisians: Sitting west of the area's hilly heights, near Rue Caulaincourt, the breathtaking 25-acre Montmartre Cemetery is in the hollow of a former quarry on Avenue Rachel. Famous artists who lived and worked in the area are buried here, such as French painter and sculptor Edgar Degas, Heinrich Heine, Gustave Moreau, and filmmaker François Truffaut (of "Jules and Jim" fame). If you're feeling overwhelmed by the hordes of tourists in some of the area's busier stretches, stop here for a bit of peace and tranquility. Animal lovers will appreciate this detail: a pack of feral (but tame) cats live among the graves and can often be seen stretched out trying to get a bit of sun, or pawing at sparrows. Metro Station: Blanche.
  • Stroll Down Rue des Martyrs: Although this street technically leads out of Montmartre proper, its offerings in terms of clothing, food, and gifts should be part of any visit to the area. The sloping avenue is the essence of the French “bobo” lifestyle—bourgeois bohemian. Take your pick between fresh flowers and fish, cured meats and cheeses, upscale Parisian bakeries (Montmartre has some of the city's very best), secondhand clothing, and bookshops piled high with the latest reads. If you want to feel like a local for a day, hit this area on a Sunday, when locals meander the area for hours. Make sure to save room for carrot cake at the unfussy, laid-back Rose Bakery (at number 46), a favorite of the anglophone foodie community. Metro Station: Pigalle

For more great strolls and street finds, check out our guide to the Best Permanent Market Streets in Paris.

Stairs in Montmartre
TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

What to Eat and Drink

Like the rest of Paris, Montmartre is full of must-try restaurants and cafes, and visiting all of them in a single trip is nearly impossible. For more ideas and recommendations, check out our guide to the best restaurants in Montmartre.

  • Café des Deux Moulins: This once somewhat ordinary French café was made instantly famous after its appearance in the film "Amelie". Now, you may be hard-pressed to get a table here on a Saturday night. However, the afternoons are a great time to stop in for a coffee, and if you’re up for wine, the selection is really quite nice. Plus, you’ll never have so much fun going into a Paris restroom, where a glass cabinet holds a garden gnome and other film memorabilia. Metro Station: Blanche.
  • La Fourmi: If you’re looking for a true neighborhood bar, La Fourmi—literally translating to “The Ant”—offers an undeniably authentic Montmartre/Pigalle experience. This spot is perfect for getting a morning or afternoon coffee when the place is nearly empty, or a light meal and drinks in the evening hours. Offerings include large salads and open-faced sandwiches ("tartines"). If you do come after 9 p.m., however, be prepared to fight for a table with the locals. Metro Station: Pigalle

Where to Stay

Staying in Montmartre is a good choice. The quarter is a bit separate from the rest of Paris, being set on a hilltop, giving it a real home base feeling, not to mention its timeless charm. The cobbled streets and bohemian vibes make it a cozy neighborhood to post up.

  • Maison Souquet: Located opposite the Moulin Rouge, this five-star boutique hotel has an elite elegance that carries all the way to the 20 rooms and suites. A reminder of the building's former life as a brothel, each room is named for famous courtesans. Amenities include Hermès toiletries, a private bar, and private spa access. Breakfast is served daily in the garden.
  • Hôtel Regyn's Montmartre: Hôtel Regyn's Montmartre is a more affordable, yet still solid option. It's located atop Place des Abbesses, lending amazing views. Breakfast is complimentary, and the concierge desk is open 24/7.
  • Déclic Hotel: Déclic Hotel is a photography-themed hotel. The 27 guest rooms are each decorated with distinctive photographs, including one that is adorned with Polaroid snaps. It's a 15-minute walk to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris.
View of buidlings on a street in montmartre, paris at sunrise. There is a road in the middle of the image with romantic ivy-covered buildings on the left side of the road and a stone wall with trees peeking out on top on the right side of the street

Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

Location and How to Get There

Montmartre is located on the city's right bank in the 18th arrondissement, just south of the periphery leading into the northern suburbs, and north of the Pigalle area, which is infamous for its red-light district.

To reach the area, the easiest solution is to hop on lines 2 or 12 of the Paris metro and get off at any of the following stops: Anvers, Pigalle, Blanche (line 2), Lamarck-Caulaincourt or Abbesses (line 12).

Getting Around

Rue des Martyrs, rue Lamarck, rue Caulaincourt, and rue des Abbesses are the best thoroughfares to stroll. Also make sure to walk around the tiny, charming streets behind Sacre Coeur, which retain a distinctively village-like quality, including Rue des Saules, where Paris' only remaining vineyard can be found. It was planted in 1930, and the vines' Clos Montmartre wine is enjoyed every fall during the wine harvest festival. At Rue Ravignan, Pablo Picasso's primary studio, "Le Bateau Lavoir," sits at the corner of place Emile-Goudeau. 

Money Saving Tips

  • Do free activities: Montmartre has many offerings at no cost: simple, breathtaking sightseeing. View artists' work in the round Place du Tertre, rimmed with shops and cafés. Or, find solace in the Montmartre Cemetery, the third-largest in Paris, after Montparnasse and Père Lachaise.
  • Picnic: Dining out in Paris is very expensive. Why not gather a baguette, some cheese, fruit, and a bottle of wine for lunch with a view at Montmartre instead?
  • Get Moulin Rouge tickets for a little less: The French cancan show is iconic, but you can find deals if you plan ahead: The cheapest day to get tickets is Tuesday, and the 11 p.m. show is usually cheaper than the 9 p.m. performance.