10x Montmartre in Paris: best things to do & attractions

Montmartre is located in the 18th arrondissement and one of the nicest neighborhoods in Paris. It is a romantic painting district in Paris with a lot of character and many of the most popular tourist attractions. Cobbled streets, historic buildings, Place du Tertre where artists eagerly paint, beautiful views of the city and of course the radiant white Sacré-Coeur.

A walk through the 18th arrondissement of Paris is like going back to the 1920s. The Montmartre district was once a village outside Paris, but has been part of Paris since 1860. Many famous painters and artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Picasso have lived and worked here. The crowds can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, especially in the summer months. Tip: go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and admire the picturesque streets such as rue de l’Abreuvoir.

The Montmartre district has many famous attractions such as Place du Tertre, Moulin Rouge, Cimetière de Montmartre or Musée de Montmartre (which is worth a visit alone for its beautiful garden with terrace). There is even a vineyard in Montmartre (Clos Montmartre). But there is so much more to this neighborhood than these famous sights. In this article the 10 best things to do & see in the Montmartre district, cozy restaurants where you can enjoy delicious food and the best tips. And also discover the best boutique hotels in Montmartre where you can enjoy a wonderful stay.

• Fun to do: Book a Montmartre Food Walking Tour (3h) →

Montmartre district in Paris: best things to do and see in the artists' district, good restaurants & tips
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    The Montmartre district in Paris is a must-do
    The Montmartre district in Paris is a must-do
    Discover the painters and artists' district in Paris
    Discover the painters and artists' district in Paris

    1. Sacré-Coeur: tourist attraction in the Montmartre district

    The Sacré-Coeur is located on the Montmartre hill and is one of the top 10 sights in Paris. The Sacré-Coeur was built in 1871 to commemorate the victims of the French/German war. After the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur has the highest viewpoint in the city.

    Admission to the Sacré-Coeur is free. From the dome (which is subject to a fee) you have a beautiful view of Paris. To reach the Sacré-Coeur you must first climb 237 steps or take the cable car up. There is also an entrance fee to visit the crypt. Keep in mind that there is often a long queue here, even on busy days. Or book a ticket for a guided walking tour in the Sacré-Coeur and then enjoy a great walk through the Montmartre district.

    • Tickets & tours Sacré-Coeur →

    2. Artists at work on the famous Place du Tertre

    The beating heart of the Montmartre district is not the Sacré-Coeur but Place du Tertre, a very famous square a few hundred meters away. Artists, who have to wait ten years to get a coveted spot here, chat by the empty canvases of their easels. Grab a chair and maybe it’s your day for a caricature or sketch. Visiting Place du Tertre is one of the top things to do in Montmartre.

    Good to know: most cafes, brasseries and restaurants on this square are way too expensive and the food is quite mediocre! Go somewhere else for lunch or dinner in Montmartre (read more in this article for the best restaurant tips in Montmartre).

    3. The sinking house in Montmartre: lesser-known attraction

    Do you know the sinking house in Paris? A lesser-known attraction in the Montmartre district, but fun to do and see during a visit to the painters’ district. It’s actually an optical illusion and one of those places that has become very popular on social media in recent years. A bit difficult to find, but the sinking house is actually right next to the Sacré-Coeur. As you walk up the last steps to get to the Sacre-Coeur, you will see a grassy area on your right. Behind this lies the sinking house in Paris. It is hard to miss because it is a dark orange, creamy color and is the only house visible from these stairs.

    4. Eating and drinking in the Montmartre painting district: 10 nice restaurants

    The Montmartre district has many nice restaurants where you can eat and drink. Want to have lunch or dinner among the artists or in the famous ‘La Maison Rose’ in Montmartre? We share some of our favorite restaurants & hotspots where you can eat (honestly).

    Below are 10 of our favorite restaurants for culinary enjoyment in the Montmartre district:
    – La Maison Rose: one of the most famous restaurants in Montmartre
    – Pizzeria Al Caratello: a favorite among the residents of the neighborhood
    – La Moulin de la Galette: classic French dishes in an old windmill
    – Le Consulat: once visited by famous artists, writers and painters such as Picasso and Van Gogh
    – La Bonne Franquette: located in a 16th century house in the heart of Montmartre
    – Le Poulbot: restaurant with traditional dishes such as French onion soup, confit de canard or escargot
    – Signature: classics from French cuisine with Korean flavors
    – LouLou: sharing concept with vegetarian alternatives
    – La Boîte aux Lettres: simple but creative French main courses, salads and desserts
    – L’Annexe: small and cozy restaurant with a good price-quality ratio

    – Pink Mamma: not located in Montmartre, but a well-known and hip pizzeria that we would like to mention!

    • Read also: 10x Trendy & coolest restaurants in Paris right now →


    5. Admire the last vineyard in Paris ‘Clos de Montmartre’

    Le Clos Montmartre is one of the last remaining vineyards in the center of Paris. In total, around 1,000 bottles of ‘Clos Montmartre’ are produced and consumed every year. The wine bottles are auctioned during the annual harvest festival in Montmartre and the profits made are used to finance projects in the 18th arrondissement. The vineyard is unfortunately usually closed to the public but a few guided tours are available during the year (usually during the autumn period).

    TIP: during autumn in Paris, visit the famous wine festival ‘Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre’ with tours, performances, tastings, etc… A unique way to experience the Montmartre district and also learn everything about how French wine is made is becoming.

    6. Wander around the Musée de Montmartre and the Renoir Gardens

    The Musée de Montmartre is one of our favorite museums in Paris and definitely worth a visit. This small museum is spread over two historic buildings that have been homes and studios for Renoir, Raoul Dufy and Suzanne Valadon, among others. It now houses a collection of works of art that tell the story of Montmartre’s artistic life: cabarets, studios and cafés. Permanent collections are displayed in a beautiful house (the oldest house in Montmartre). The exhibited works tell the history of the district. With souvenirs from the cabarets whose history cannot be separated from that of Montmartre: Le Chat Noir, Le Lapin Agile or Le Moulin Rouge.

    There is also a beautiful garden (Renoir Gardens) with a lovely terrace and a great viewpoint over the last vineyard of Montmartre. Don’t miss this museum when you take a walk through Montmartre!

    Tickets Musée de Montmartre →

    The best things to do in Montmartre
    The best things to do in Montmartre
    Montmartre is a famous district of artists
    Montmartre is a famous district of artists

    7. Visit Cimetière de Montmartre

    Cimetière de Montmartre was inaugurated on January 1, 1825 and is the third largest cemetery in Paris, after those of Père-Lachaise and those of Montparnasse. It has more than 20,000 concessions and today covers approximately 11 hectares (Père-Lachaise is 43 hectares). Many famous people are buried there: singers, dancers, actors, politicians and composers such as Dalida and France Gall. Other well-known names include the Russian dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky and the writer Emile Zola, whose body has since been moved to the Pantheon. The cemetery is spanned by the Pont Caulaincourt, a metal bridge dating from 1888, and surrounded by opulent or modern buildings, which gives the cemetery a special character.

    8. Le mur des je t’aime: famous love wall in a romantic park

    Montmartre is proud of its monument to lovers: Le mur des je t’aime. The love wall was inaugurated in 2000 and has become a must-see in the neighborhood. Designed by Frédéric Baron, it brings together more than 300 “I love you” words in almost every language in the world. The creation of the wall was entrusted to Claire Kito (calligrapher artist) and Daniel Boulogne (art constructor and specialist in painted walls).

    On an area of 40m2, the 612 enamelled lava tiles invite you on a tour through the world of love. Be sure to visit this famous wall of love in Montmartre, located on the Place des Abbesses, a stone’s throw from the photogenic Abbesses metro station.


    9. Relax in the park of Square Marcel-Bleustein-Blanchet

    A bit hidden behind the Sacré Coeur (and away from all the tourists) you will find a green oasis in the artists’ district of Montmartre: Square Marcel-Bleustein-Blanchet. The square undoubtedly offers one of the most beautiful views of the Sacré-Coeur. In spring and especially during the summer months, this small park in Montmartre is the perfect place to take a rest or enjoy a nice picnic. Recommended!

    10. Experience a great show at the Moulin Rouge

    The Moulin Rouge in Paris, located at the foot of Montmartre, is the most famous cabaret in the world. A great show filled with special effects and beautiful costumes. With its signature bright red windmill, the Moulin Rouge is the top-rated cabaret in Paris. Exactly as old as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, a visit to the Moulin Rouge should definitely be on your to-do list. A place where the famous French cancan was born during a wonderful period in French history: the Belle Époque. Visiting a show at the Moulin Rouge in Paris is a real party with delicious food, champagne & dancing.

    • Tickets Moulin Rouge (with champagne) →

    • Tickets Moulin Rouge (with dinner) →

    Montmartre in Paris is a vibrant neighborhood with numerous attractions, things to do and trendy places to eat and drink. The painters’ district is also a nice place for shopping with many vintage shops. Still looking for a nice hotel in this artists’ district? Discover the 5x Best boutique hotels in Montmartre Paris.

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