There’s no doubt about it, Montmartre is one of Paris’s most vibrant, colourful districts.
Its pretty cobbled streets – bustling with street artists, charming boutique stores and quaint cafés – are the perfect way to while away those extra hours during the day.
Once home to renowned artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso, it’s no surprise that the district retains a distinctly bohemian vibe that appeals to art lovers and culture vultures alike.
From its museums and galleries to historical landmarks, here’s our pick of the top things to do in Montmartre. Don’t miss the chance to explore Montmarte and visit many of the sights mentioned below on one of our fabulous Paris tours from London.
Montmartre’s skyline is dominated by the 83-metre tall Sacré-Coeur, otherwise known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. Outside this architectural gem, you’ll find – as you might guess – plenty of street artists displaying their hard work. If the exterior view of the Sacré-Coeur isn’t quite enough for you, head inside to climb its 222 stairs. You’ll be rewarded with some of the best panoramic views of the French capital.
Place du Tertre
The Place du Tertre is one of the most postcard-perfect cobblestoned squares in Paris. Surrounded by 18th-century architectural masterpieces, its streets are bursting with artists trying to sell their sculptures, paintings, and souvenirs. If you don’t want to buy anything, you don’t need to. Place du Tertre is more of an open-air gallery than an outdoor market.
Think you’re familiar with the works of Dali? You might change your mind after exploring the Espace Dali gallery. This museum is home to Paris’s largest collection of Dali’s works. Exhibitions feature theatrical structures, random objects, items of furniture and engravings. If you’re a fan of surreal art, the Espace Dali Gallery in Montmartre is a must-visit attraction. Don’t forget to visit the photo booth before leaving. You’ll have a memento of your adventure in true Dali-surrealism style.
Musee de Montmartre
The Musee de Montmartre is a spectacular example of the bohemian architecture that defines the character of the district. It’s also the best place to learn about the history and culture of Paris’s premier art quarter. During its lifetime, the museum has provided a home to famous names like Renoir, Dufy, Poulbot, and Valadon. Thanks to its hilltop location, it’s also an ideal place to absorb the sights of the city from above.
Pay a visit to Montmartre Cemetery, and you’ll see the French really do know how to make anything beautiful. This garden cemetery is home to a variety of late artists and literary legends, including Émile Zola. It’s also just a short distance from the famous Père Lachaise cemetery, which attracts over 3.5 million visitors annually. Who knew that a trip to the graveyard could provide such an opportunity for cultural discovery?
Musée de la Vie Romantique
Paris has long been hailed as the City of Romance. So, it only makes sense to visit Montmartre’s Museum of Romance while you’re here. Back in the 1830s, this building was transformed from a hotel into a salon by Dutch painter, Ary Scheffer. The busy salon attracted some of the biggest names in art, including George Sand, Franz Liszt, and Frederic Chopin. Their works are permanent features of the museum, though temporary exhibitions include book readings and live music events.
If you’re visiting us here in London, don’t forget that Paris is only a short train journey away. Head out in the morning to explore all of the major sights in the City of Light and be back in London time for dinner – that’s what we call facile!