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Montmartre: My Favourite Neighbourhood in Paris

I didn’t expect to fall in love with Paris. In fact, I didn’t even plan on going during my first trip to Europe. It was only thanks to a seat sale and the promise of Christmas markets that I wound up in France’s capital city. Then, just a few short days later, I left completely and utterly in awe of the City of Love. But it wasn’t visiting the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, exploring the Notre Dame or walking down the Seine that caused my surprise infatuation. No, I fell in love with the Montmartre neighbourhood where I was staying, which, to me, offers some of the best of Paris. I’ve now been back twice since my original visit, and Montmartre remains my favourite part of the city. Here’s why.

Montmartre Has Best View in Paris

Montmartre, Paris

Believe it or not, the best view in the city is not from the Eiffel Tower. Why? Because you can’t actually see the Eiffel Tower when you’re looking out from it, and it’s kind of an integral part of the city skyline.

So instead, head to the beautiful Sacre Coeur Basilica and look out from there. All of Paris is right in front of, including the Eiffel Tower (though depending on where you are standing, you may need to walk a bit to the right). For the best view, go at night to see everything lit up, and if you time it right, the Eiffel Tower will sparkle too. Oh, and did I mention the view here is completely free.

Find the ‘Real’ Paris on Rue Des Abessess

Local Musicians on the Rue De Abessess

Montmartre’s Rue des Abessess is one of those streets that you wouldn’t know about unless you were told ahead of time (exactly what happened to me) or were lucky enough to stumble upon. It’s not a big stretch, but its cobblestone path is lined with cafes and restaurants, boutiques and art galleries. It’s more of a local neighbourhood rather than a tourist spot. You’ll find local artists and musicians on the streets, and French citizens sipping coffee in the cafes. To me and everyone I know who has been, Rue Des Abessess can only be described as the ‘real’ Paris.

Eat the Best French Macarons…Ever


Ok so this might be a bit of a personal choice, but given my inability to say ‘no’ to any French macaron I like to think I might be a bit of an expert. After three trips to Paris and multiple macaron tastings later, I think that Christophe Roussel just might be the master of macarons. The shop is adorable, with rows upon rows of brightly fresh, colourful macarons in a number of different flavours.  My personal favourite was the raspberry, but do yourself a favour and try a few, they are all delicious.

Christophe Roussel’s shop in Montmartre is located at 5 Rue Tardieu, very close to the steps leading up to the Sacre Coeur Basilica.

Visit the Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge

OK, I know the Moulin Rouge is not at all off the beaten path but, I LOVE it. I’ve been twice now to see the show and each time get totally transfixed by the show. Part of why I love Montmartre so much is because, for me, it’s old world Paris. And, what’s more old-world Paris than this historic cabaret show?

If the Moulin Rouge is on your list, make sure to book your tickets in advance. When I first visited in 2011 I thought I could just show up (I got laughed at). You can book Moulin Rouge tickets in advance here.

Where to Stay in Montmartre

Carousel at the base of Sacre Coeur Basilica in ParisMontmartre is a great place to base yourself. There are a couple of metro stations in the area for seeing the rest of the city and, as I said above, it’s great for walking around and exploring on its own. Plus, it’s not as expensive as some of Paris’ other neighbourhoods. For any visitor to Paris, I highly recommend finding accommodation in Montmartre.

If you are on a budget try: Le Village Hostel (where I stayed)

For a midrange hotel try: The Mercure Paris Montmartre

For a higher end experience try: The Grand Pigalle Hotel

Or check Airbnb to see if you can find a local apartment.

For More Paris Inspiration

*this post was updated in February 2018

Montmartre, Paris

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*Disclaimer: This post does contain affiliate links. Should you book a tour or hotel through these links I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

16 thoughts on “Montmartre: My Favourite Neighbourhood in Paris

  1. Alli

    Oh my, those macarons! I loved your perspective on Paris – Montmartre seems lovely and much more rustic with a lot less tourists 🙂

  2. Lizzie

    Montmartre is my absolute favourite part of Paris, too! I love the arty atmosphere and the cute cafes… I spent most of my time there on a visit a few years back, just watching the artists, sipping coffee, and wandering around – ideal!

  3. Claudia Cerrato

    I love Montmartre. Rue des Martyrs that starts up in Montmartre and leads all the way down into the 9th Arr. is also worth exploring…antique shops, bistors, patisseries, boutiques and really just a true Paris neighborhood. I grew up in Paris and I have to say that Montmartre and the 9th just below are my very favorite areas!

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