Our Very Good Guide to Montmartre
Whether you're looking for somewhere to eat, drink or sleep in Montmartre, we've got you covered.
At the fin de siècle, Montmartre was famed as a bohemian hub, home to some of Paris' greatest artists and writers. Among the most popular neighbourhoods in Paris, Montmartre's winding, cobblestoned streets still play host to many must-visit spots, even beyond the renowned Sacré-Cœur. Discover them all with this Plum-approved guide to Montmartre.
Pigalle is hipster central, today welcoming a new generation of bohemians, and is home to more than its fair share of artsy joints. To sound like a true local, bear in mind that the area of South Pigalle is now affectionately known as SoPi. Theatres and cabarets line Rue des Martyrs and the boulevards, with adult video shops and classical music venues sat cheek by jowl beside each other – a neighbourhood of contrasts, indeed. Vintage and oddities shops line the steep back streets that head north to the Sacré-Cœur, making this mini-quartier a must-visit for anyone hoping to bring home a unique souvenir.
Catch sunrise and sunset at the Sacré-Cœur
There’s a special feeling that hits the second you see the white travertine stone of the Sacré-Cœur peeking out from over the Parisian rooftops. As well as a useful point of reference when finding your way home, the basilica is a superb vantage point come sunrise and sunset. With its striking Romano-Byzantine features, the Sacré-Cœur is one of the city's most famous architectural masterpieces and an inevitable feature of any guide to Montmartre. Stay in an apartment close to the basilica like Montmartre's Villa so you can head out early and experience one of the best sunrises you'll ever see.
People watch around Place du Tertre
Around the corner from the basilica is the Place du Tertre: a square populated by easels and artists in flat caps and berets, and lined with galleries and cafés. Staying close to the Place du Tertre means you'll be able to experience it in the evening, when the square really comes to life.
Enjoy cabaret at Au Lapin Agile
Take a left on your way south from Sacré-Cœur and in minutes you'll be on Rue des Saules. This picturesque road is on the incline next to the only remaining vineyard in Paris. On a nondescript corner, you'll see a small, dusty pink cottage that looks plucked from the French countryside. This still-functioning cabaret once catered to Montmartre's poverty-stricken artists. These days, it's a little less "I'll give you a painting if you give me some absinthe” and more of a traditional cabaret experience. La vie Bohème will be alive and well so long as Au Lapin Agile is around. Remember to make a reservations. They aren't mandatory, but the floor can fill fast.
Le Bateau-Lavoir - named by poet Max Jacob - once served as something of a Chelsea Hotel for the Montmartre crowd. While the original building on Place Émile-Godeau burned down many years ago, it has since been rebuilt. Notable guests to have stayed in this Montmartre hotel include Picasso and Matisse.
Van Gogh's House
An easy five-minute walk from Le Bateau-Lavoir, you’ll find Rue Lepic – once home to Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Théo. This Montmartre home offered the impressionist artist a view of the Parisian skyline, which inspired many of his artworks. These include, you may not be surprised to know, the aptly titled View from Vincent's Window.
The Moulin Rouge
No guide to Montmartre would be complete without mentioning the Moulin Rouge. Baz Luhrmann had one thing right: at the Moulin Rouge, you can-can-can. The courtesans of the Moulin Rouge are credited with coming up with the dance as a means of seduction. Exactly as you’d imagine it to be, this place is a little sexy, a lot silly, and very very frilly – right down to the decor. Toulouse-Lautrec was the Moulin Rouge's most infamous patron and most of its classic posters can be attributed to him. Take in dinner and a show during the winter or early spring before the swathes of tourists descend. Paris in November, for example, is always a good idea.
Enjoy classic French cuisine at La Bohème du Tertre
Online reviews don’t do this charming restaurant's atmosphere or delicious food justice. La Bohème stands where the historic Hotel du Tertre once did. Renoir's muses and girls from the nearby Moulin Rouge would sit outside of the hotel, attracting wandering clientele, while today the brasserie has an artsy vibe. The brasserie is open until 2am, making it the perfect stop for a late dinner in Montmartre.
Check out Chinemachine for amazing vintage finds
On a back street at the corner of Rue des Martyrs and Rue la Vieuville, one of the best of the best vintage boutiques in the city is waiting to be found and is a must on any guide to Montmartre. Chinemachine has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it quality from the outside. Inside there’s always classic records playing, the walls are adorned with framed prints of Bowie and Prince, and hiding in the racks, you'll find some of fashion's greatest couturiers - from Maison Margiela to Chanel. Head back to your wonderful Plum home to decide on which of your new pieces you'll be donning for dinner.