Paris: In and Around Montmartre

Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world which I’ve been fortunate to visit several times over the last 30 years. My first trip was when I was 11 on a school trip that my mother chaperoned. I saw most of the major sites on this trip including the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Champs-Élysées. In my 20s and 30s I often went for work or girls trips and explored areas like Marais and Montmartre focusing my time on vintage shops and enjoying local cafes.

Below are some of the highlights from a recent trip to Paris. I stayed in Montmartre on this trip and discovered a slew of new restaurants, celebrated France’s World Cup semi-final win and visited some of my favorite shops.

Montmartre

Montmartre is one of my favorite areas to stay in Paris. It’s part of the 18th Arrondissement and its most notable sight is the Basilica du Sacré-Coeur, constructed from 1876 to 1912. This area is very popular due to its rich history, winding narrow streets and its collection of charming restaurants and shops. It was once an artists village where famous painters like Dali and Picasso lived and worked. On the edge of Montmartre you can also find the famous Moulin Rouge Cabaret.  From the top of Montmartre, near the Sacré-Coeur, you can enjoy spectacular views of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.

WHERE TO SLEEP

Due to the areas affordability and attractions be sure to book accomodations early.  A few moderately priced hotels options in Montmartre are Hotel Basss and Hotel Bonsejour. The Terrass Hotel is another option with a slightly more upscale and luxurious feel.

Hotel Basss

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Hotel Bonséjour

Terrass Hotel (Great Rooftop and Brunch)

WHERE TO EAT

Hardware Société

Great spot for breakfast or brunch near the Sacré-Coeur especially if you are craving an eggy dish or french toast. It’s well known and has great reviews on travel sites so you may need to wait for a table if you’re in a large group. You can also get coffee and pastries to take away.

Le Sancerre

On my last trip this summer I had my first meal of the trip here. If the weather is nice be sure to ask for a table outside to people watch. The food is solid typical French fare with reasonable prices for Paris.

The Rooftop at Terrass Hotel

Enjoy views of Paris while dining on the 7th floor of the Terrass Hotel. This rooftop restaurant is great for breakfast, weekend brunch or sunset dinners.

THINGS TO DO

Musée de Montmartre

The permanent collection includes works from Toulouse-Lautrec, Modigliani, Kupka, Steinlen, Valadon, and Utrillo.

Convertible Tour of Paris

I had a magical time on a champagne filled convertible tour of Paris. I started the tour near Montmartre and after driving through the narrow streets and popping open our champagne, our tour guide took us around all of Paris’ famous site including the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. I highly recommend going just before sunset.

Dali Museum

A museum in Montmartre completely devoted to Salvador Dalí with over 300 pieces of  his sculptures and engravings. Nice spot for something to do on a cold or rainy day.

Moulin Rouge Cabaret

This one is on my wishlist. Shows are at 9pm and 11pm in the evening. Take in a show and check out one of Montmartre’s many restaurants and cafes for dinner before or after. They also have dinner and show options and menus that cater to various dietary needs. For early birds there’s a lunch and show option at 1pm and a show option at 2:45pm.\

TIPS

Groceries

If you are getting an AirBnB or rental in the area visit Monoprix (near Blanche subway station) and the local cheese shops, produce markets, boulangeries and patisseries for snacks. Monoprix is great for groceries and toiletries if there’s something you forgot to pack. There’s also a health food store nearby by the Pigalle subway station called Bio C’ Bon.

 

 

 

 

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