A Guide to Montmartre

Montmartre view of Sacre Coeur

A Guide to Montmartre

Montmartre will always have a place in my heart. My first apartment was here back in 2013. I arrived in Paris not knowing anyone in the city with an Airbnb rented for three months. It was one of the best things I have done for myself to grow as an individual and to jump-start my business. Montmartre is out of the center of Paris and isn’t easily reached by foot from the city’s major tourist attractions, such as the Arc de Triumph and Notre Dame. I wanted to share this guide to Montmartre to encourage you to enjoy an afternoon exploring this part of Paris.

Montmartre Paris balcony

When I rented, it was much more reasonable and affordable on my small artist budget. I searched online and found a tiny apartment with two balconies, one with a view of Sacre Coeur Basilica and the other with an inside courtyard view from my kitchen. 

I learned my way around Montmartre by exploring and getting lost. My days were spent walking around Paris, and I only used the Metro to get home at the end of the day. Line 4 dropped off right in front of my apartment, making it easy. A few blogs highlighted Paris, but I made many discoveries by trial and error. Thanks to social media highlighting the area, Montmartre has grown in popularity for visiting and photographing. 

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I always recommend visiting Montmartre when people come to Paris. Once you have seen the Eiffel Tower and a few museums, it is worth spending an afternoon exploring this part of the city. This Montmartre guide is designed to help motivate and inspire a visit to this special place in Paris. 

How to Get to Montmartre

a guide to montmartre everyday parisian

There are a few ways to get to Montmartre. I love walking in Paris, but that isn’t everyone’s favorite. Montmartre is located in the 18th arrondissement. The city is arranged in arrondissements or neighborhoods. There are twenty arrondissements, and each one has a unique vibe. Montmartre has been known as a boho chic artist community in the past. 

I highly recommend comfortable walking shoes for Montmartre. Sneakers are ideal as the cobblestones can be tricky if you walk for a long time. You can see this post on my favorite walking shoes for Paris.

A Guide to Montmartre

A few metro lines lead to Montmartre. Get off at Anvers, metro line 2, or Pigalle, lines 2 and 12. The Abbesses, line 12 metro stop, will drop you at the Place des Abbesses center. Alternatives to the metro: you can use Uber or a taxi to get to the Abbesses metro for a good starting point.

From the metro station Anvers or Pigalle, you will walk up the street just a few minutes to Rue des Abbesses. This is the main street at the bottom of Montmartre. There are boulangeries, cafés, and shops to explore.

You will need a new metro ticket to ride the funicular to the top of Sacre Couer. The stairs are fun but steep—there are 197 of them. I try to take the stairs whenever possible to justify my dessert choice. If you have purchased a Navigo pass or Paris visite pass, you can use this to ride up and down the funicular. A ticket is needed to take the funicular up and down.

how to visit Montmartre Paris stairs

The Main Streets Of Montmartre: A Guide to Paris

One of Montmartre’s charming parts is its cobblestone streets. I highly recommend exploring the area on foot and letting the adorable corners lead you. Set a destination or street as your main point of interest on Google Maps. Along the way, find the perfect place for a coffee or glass of wine at a corner café or bistro. In this post, you can see some of my favorite streets and destinations in Montmartre. 

Main Streets In Montmartre: Guide to Paris

Montmartre Guide to Paris

Rue Lepic Take Metro Line 2 to Blanche. Exit here onto Rue Lepic and explore towards the top of the hill. The cobbled streets will lead you to Place du Tertre in the heart of Montmartre. 

Rue des Martyrs is one of my favorite streets in Paris. It is a food street filled with boulangeries, coffee, and artisan shops. Enjoy a morning or afternoon here, strolling down and stopping in different places to eat and browse. In recent years, the shops have turned a bit more commercial. Walk up to Rue des Abbesses towards Montmartre or down this street as you exit. Right around this area is where they filmed some of the famous Lupin show on Netflix. Can you discover some of the secret spots from the show?

a guide to montmartre everyday parisian

(from my early days in Paris)

Rue des Abbesses is a historic street in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. This is located just off of the Abbesses station on the metro. It will take you right into the heart of Montmartre. You can shop at a neighborhood fromagerie, fruit and vegetable stands, and wine bars. There are also great people-watching cafés like Le Vrai Paris. I enjoy Le Village across the street for a classic Parisian tiny bar and menu. Their chevre chaud salad hits the spot with a glass of wine. 

A Guide to Montmartre

Guide to Montmartre main streets to visit

Rue des Abbesses Paris

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The Paris Guide is filled with insider tips on where to eat, drink, and stay in Paris. It also includes hidden gems and neighborhoods to explore. Download the PDF guide directly to your phone or tablet.

What to See in Montmartre 

Visit The Love Wall just off of Rue des Abbesses metro. This art piece has its dedicated park, making it the perfect spot to come solo or with a loved one. The giant mural of ceramic blue tiles is filled with the words “I love you” in 312 different languages. I have been here several times and photographed it in 2010. It became an instant bestseller. Look for your native language and other languages you know on the wall. 

Moulin Rouge: You will find Moulin Rouge on Boulevard de Clichy in Montmartre. This spot is typically visited by tourists for a cabaret show. I have never been, but people who have told me they enjoyed it. The only thing similar I have done is Crazy Horse, and that was over ten years ago. 

moulin rouge paris montmartre

Sacré Coeur is one of the most iconic parts of Paris and a symbol of Montmartre. During your visit, you can spot the cathedral from central Paris and find Sacré Coeur up on the hill. It is a destination for many visitors to the city of light. While I had a view of it from my apartment and lived just steps away, I have yet to go inside.

People come for the view of the Parisian rooftops from the vantage point of the stairs. It truly is breathtaking. You can spot the Eiffel Tower when the trees are bare in the colder months.

A Guide to Montmartre

Montmartre in the winter Paris

The stairs in front of Sacre Coeur are where people gather to meet friends, have a small bite to eat or drink, and watch. Typically, street performers perform various acts for tourists. Keep in mind that this is a very popular place for pickpockets.

A Guide to Montmartre: An Artists Quarter in Paris

Place du Tertre

a guide to montmartre everyday parisian Place de Tertre

This square is the heart of Montmartre if you are coming to explore the artists selling their paintings. You will see a small number of artists covering the square in rain or shine, drawing or sketching portraits, or selling paintings from Paris.

There are strict rules for these artists. Becoming an artist who sells at Place du Tertre is challenging as only a few spots open every couple of years. To apply, artists submit a portfolio, and if accepted, they will be issued a card/permit allowing them to sell their art. Each artist has one square meter to work from. Overall, the area is touristy, but it is worth a visit at least once a month.

My Airbnb host strongly suggested not eating in the main square as the surrounding restaurants are tourist traps. There are several other great places to eat and drink in the area.

Café Des Deux Moulins is famous for the movie Amélie and is located on Rue Lepic. Stop here for a coffee or glass of wine while strolling through Montmartre.

Musée de Montmartre is a perfect spot for history and artist buffs looking for more culture while in Montmartre. Be inspired by Renoir and his gardens and stop at Café Renoir. Admission to the museum is 15 euros.

After Sacre Coeur, make your way to La Maison Rose. I first discovered this beautiful café and restaurant while I lived in Montmartre and never thought to stop. Now, it is one of the most Instagramed corners in the village.

Shop Montmartre Paris Print Here

Where to Eat in Montmartre

Save the Google map to your phone so you can find where to eat in Montmartre while exploring Paris.

Le Village: I mentioned Le Village earlier in this post. It is small and classic French on Rue des Abbesses. During busy hours, an outside table is hard to come by. Their chevre chaud salad is my go-to here.

a guide to montmartre everyday parisian

Le Poulbot Classic French hole-in-the-wall. Classic French in Montmartre, homemade recipes, vegetarian options, and a reasonable lunch menu for under 30 euros.

Fric-Frac Montmartre for a croque-monsieur in a variety of styles. I am often asked where to get a good Croque Monsieur in Paris. Several cafés in Paris offer this as a menu item. This particular spot in Montmartre specializes in them. It is a fun destination spot to add to your Montmartre list. Takeaway options are available, as are vegetarian options.

La Boîte aux Lettres serves homemade seasonal French cuisine in Montmartre. The prices are affordable, and the menu is small and well-balanced. Come for lunch to experience a set menu. Reservations are accepted online.

Le Bimbo was a discovery a few years ago. The restaurant is well situated in the heart of Montmartre and has a wide variety of menu items to cater to hungry visitors. I prefer the outside tables on a sunny afternoon. Dine her for lunch or just afternoon drinks and to rest your feet while exploring Paris.

Where to Eat in Montmartre: A Guide to Montmartre

La Vache et le Cuisinier is a small traditional French restaurant in Montmartre’s heart. They don’t have a website, but you can book a table online via Le Fork.

Bouillon Chartier is a classic spot in Paris with a few locations. The Montmartre location is centrally located. They did not take reservations for years but recently changed this to allow them online. The lines to get inside were often wrapped down the street for lunch and dinner. Bouillon serves classic French dishes at affordable prices. You may have reverse sticker shock when you see the prices on the menu. I highly recommend going with a small group and trying various items.

Boillon Chartier Paris where to eat in Montmartre

Al Caratello Italian has multiple pizza and pasta locations. It has always been my go-to recommendation for those visiting Montmartre and looking for Italian food. I have eaten here many times, and it has always been consistent. They have a few locations of pasta and pizza in the neighborhood. The restaurant is extensive, and Al Caratello uses fresh ingredients.

Amico Italian, a Japanese chef, serves Italian food from a tiny spot in Montmartre. There are only 12 seats and two tables. It is for the foodie looking for something new and unique.

Le Cabanon de la Butte classic French dishes with incredible city views. Reservations are accepted online.

Hardware Societe, enjoy this spot for brunch, lunch, or coffee in Montmartre. They do not take reservations.

hardware societe Paris. where to eat in Montmartre

Café Francoeur was a discovery when I first lived in Montmartre in 2013. This classic French café is a little out of the way from the center of Montmartre. If you want to explore off the beaten path, set this location on your Google Maps and walk.

For something sweet, stop at Gilles Marchal. Their sablés and madelienes are delicious.

a guide to montmartre everyday parisian

Where to Drink Coffee in Montmartre

Clove Coffee has excellent coffee and they serve incredible pastries from Babka Zana. A perfect rainy day afternoon or morning activity.

Kozy Café has a few locations. The newest in Montmartre is located just off of the metro Abbesses by the love wall. They serve brunch and coffee to enjoy there or take away and stroll Montmartre.

Hardware Societe 

Les 5 Marches – café cantine Grab a coffee here as well as something to eat. They use organic and local ingredients for their breakfast and brunch items.

Café Pigalle opened back in 2021 and serves a great coffee to go. The space is small and it is best enjoyed on the bench outside or on a walk in Montmartre. Try one of their pastries with your coffee.

Boris Lumé Boulangerie coffee shop 

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Boulangeries in Montmartre 

Pain Pain has a big following for an adorable shop and delicious pastries. I always feel so overwhelmed with choices when I step inside here. There are too many good items to choose from.

Le Grenier à Pain Abbesses typically does their breads and croissants a bit more bien cuit (well done) than I prefer. I will say, their chocolate croissants are divine and worth the wait.

Boris Lumé Boulangerie is a bit out of the way of central Montmartre but worth the walk if you plan on exploring more than Rue des Abbesses. The exterior is stunning and photo worthy.

La Boussue Patisserie shop is located at the end of Rue des Abbesses towards Rue des Martyrs. I found myself here for breakfast a few years ago and enjoyed an outside table and delicious pastries. Everything is homemade with quality ingredients.

Explore Montmartre

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Photo Opportunities in Montmartre

An adorable photobooth is located at 53 Rue des Trois Frères. Take a few retro photos in this booth to remember Paris. 

Terrass Hotel has an incredible view of Montmartre from the rooftop. Come here for drinks and soak up the view. It is a unique perspective of Paris and a view of the Eiffel Tower.

The Love Wall 

love wall from montmartre by rebecca plotnick

Rue Lepic 

Rue Lepic Montmatre

The Stairs of Sacre Coeur 

a guide to montmartre everyday parisian

Shop Montmartre Paris Print Here

a guide to montmartre everyday parisian

I hope this inspires you to spend an afternoon in one of my favorite parts of Paris, Montmartre.

The talented Katie Donnelly Photography took photos of me in this post

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  1. Il Caratello is fabulous and we go there every time we are back! I also recommend the little tiny crepe stand just up the street from there on Rue Joseph de Maistre

  2. What a great post, Rebecca! Your photos and recommendations have me reminiscing of my solo trip to Montmartre, discovering the tiny vineyard behind the breathtaking Sacre Coeur and meandering the windy roads you expertly suggest. Street musicians with their accordions and acoustic guitars playing La Vie en Rose or whatever popular American song is big at the time. Such talent! The artists in the plaza and the buzz of creative energy is unique to this neighborhood. Montmartre has retained its village sensibilities which can be a breath of fresh air after pounding the central avenues of Paris. This makes it so special to experience and breathe in. Sunset on the wide steps at SC are not to be missed. Watching the locals and tourists enjoy the spectacular beauty over the rooftops of Paris together, side-by-side, was a moment I’ll never forget. Montmartre is one of those areas where Paris really lives up to its reputation. You’re so lucky to have lived there! ps The chevre chaud at Vrai is also pretty great — and don’t forget the glass (or two) of rose to go along with it! 😉