A Day in Montmartre – Best Things To Do and See

Are you thinking of spending a day in Montmartre, Paris? Discover the best things to do and see in Montmartre, the prettiest neighborhood in Paris.

A day in montmartre - the best things to do and see

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During our last trip to Paris, before heading to the airport, we spent a day in beautiful Montmartre. When I close my eyes I still see and hear Montmartre. Then I immediately search JFK – CDG.

Until visiting for myself, I always envisioned Montmartre as the prettiest neighborhood in Paris, but I never knew how much there truly was to do and see.

You’ve probably heard of the famous Sacré Cœur Basilica, the Moulin Rouge, and the artist’s haven, Place du Tertre. But did you know there’s a Wall of Love, a somewhat secret vineyard, and Paris’ best cookies? Discover small museums, handmade goods, famous cafés, and the most amazing views of Paris during your day in Montmartre.

With so much to do and see, Montmartre will easily become your favorite part of a trip to Paris.

Where is Montmartre and How to Plan Your Day There

Montmartre is a popular neighborhood located in Paris’ 18e Arrondissement, atop a large hill.  A former artists’ village in the northern part of Paris, Montmartre is still very much quintessential Paris.

The best way to plan your day in Montmartre, is to begin at the hilltop with the Sacré Cœur, and walk down. Unless you want to walk uphill the whole day. From the Sacré Cœur, visit the Place du Tertre and map out the other stops you’d like to see in the neighborhood.

Spend a day in Montmartre and discover all there is to see and do in Paris' prettiest neighborhood.

How to Get to Montmartre

The best way to get to Montmartre is via the métro or an uber.

An uber can drop you off at the Sacré Cœur, putting you right at the center of the neighborhood, atop the highest point. Again, this means your day will be spent walking dow through Montmartre, not uphill!

The closest métro to the Sacré Cœur is Anvers on the 2 line. An eight minute uphill walk will put you directly at the footsteps of the basilica. You can also take the funicular up and avoid most of the walk.

Alternatively, you can take Paris Métro line 12 to Abbesses station. From there, you’ll be about a ten minute uphill walk to the Sacré Cœur.

An Afternoon in Montmartre: Best Things to See and Do

one of the best things to do during a day in Montmartre is visit and see the inside of the Sacre Coeur Basillica

Marvel at the Sacré Cœur Basilica

Sitting at the hilltop of Montmartre is the highest point in Paris and second most visited Parisian landmark, the gorgeous Sacré Cœur Basilica.

An active Roman Catholic Church, the Basilica still holds typical services and serves the religious community. And tourists looking to eye its architecture.

I’ve always loved visiting churches for this reason, despite the fact that I don’t practice organized religion. The Sacré Cœur is one of the most gorgeous structures I’ve ever visited, but the inside is equally impressive.

Inside the apse, one of the world’s largest mosaics depicts Christ as he’s risen, surrounded by his adorers. The stained glass windows, pipe organ, and bronze altar are all equally as impressive. Visitors can also tour the crypt.

Look Around Halle Saint-Pierre

Just below the Sacré Cœur, sits Halle Saint-Pierre. Dedicated to unexpected forms of creativity, it is one of the most unique things visitors can see in Montmartre. The center contains a museum, typically with obscure and unique exhibits, a modern art gallery, a café, and a bookstore with diverse finds.

discover all there is to do and see in the charming artists square, the place du tertre, during your day in Montmartre

Wander the Place du Tertre

This charming public square sits just below the Sacré Cœur and provides a hub for artists and authentic Parisian cafes.

Local artists roam the Place du Tertre, hoping to draw caricatures of tourists and sell their original pieces of artwork. There’s also a ton of canvas paintings to browse and purchase.

The art set up in the square’s center comes with a hefty price tag, but if you take a few moments to roam the streets, you’ll find tucked away art shops with more affordable canvas paintings.

The Place du Tertre is also a great spot to grab a cup of coffee at a café and people watch.

Shops and Sweets on Rue de Steinkerque

Rue de Steinkerque is one of the major shopping alleys in Montmartre. Though you’ll find a good amount of tourst-y keychains and tee-shirts, there’s also quite a few gems.

I got a beautiful tin catch-all tray from a vendor here, and I absolutely love all of the Parisian coasters and prints that are sold.

Make sure to stop at La Cure Gourmande for authentic French biscuit cookies. You can stuff a gorgeous tin full of these cookies. Eat them own or take home as a thank you for family that watched your toddler for free!

Maison Georges Larnicol sells French chocolate and macarons. You can’t go wrong with either. Or both!

You'll want to take a break to rest at a famous Montmarte Cafe

Stop at the Famous Montmartre Cafes

Montmartre has no shortage of beautiful cafés. Grab lunch, a coffee, or a glass of rosé and enjoy a break during your exciting day in Montmartre.

I refuse to call them instagrammable but many of them are famous for their gorgeous facades and do frequently make social media appearances…

  • Café des Deux Moulins
  • La Maison Rose
  • Soul Kitchen
  • Le Consulat Café

Visit a Museum

There are quite a few small, unique museums located in Montmartre:

  • Musee de Montmartre: A depiction of Montmartre and its history, housed in two centuries old buildings. On the grounds of the museum is a garden and a vineyard, rumored to make wine so terrible that we actually skipped it!
  • Dalí Paris: A permanent exhibition dedicated to Salvador Dalí, particularly his sculptures and engravings.
  • Musee de la Vie Romantique: One of Paris’ three literary museums, featuring works and possessions of romantic literary figures, Ary Scheffer, George Sand, and Ernest Renan.

Admire the Wall of Love

Le Mur des Je T’aime is a literal mural of love in Jehan Rictus square in Montmartre. A wall within the park displays over 300 ways to say I love you in over 250 languages.

Frédéric Baron, the artist, is rumored to have begun collecting phrases used to say I love you by wandering around Paris with a notebook. He likely collected over 1000 ways, and only the most poetic made their way onto the art istallation.

Find Montmartre’s Secret Vineyard

One of the most unique things to do in Paris, is find the hidden vineyard in Montmartre. Near the Musee de Montmartre, sits an urban, hillside vineyard – the last remaining in Paris.

Since I was pregnant the last time we went to Paris we didn’t go in or try the wines, but it’s something we’d love to add to our next trip to Paris.

after a day exploring, visit the Moulin Rouge in Montmartre and see a show.

See a Show at The Moulin Rouge

Famously known for its red windmill and for being the birthplace of the can-can, the Moulin Rouge still operates as a cabaret. 

Though a major tourist attraction, the Moulin Rouge still embodies its original turn of the century feel. Prices for the show run steep, starting at close to $100 American and skyrocketing to almost $400 for the full VIP experience.

You Can Also Book Your Moulin Rouge Tour Here:

Or Consider These Tours that Cover a Full day in Montmartre So You Can Do and See More of the Popular Neighborhood:

Have you spent a day in Montmartre? What are your favorite things to do and see in Montmartre?

Let us know what you’d add to this list or if you’re looking forward to your first trip to Montmartre!

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a day in Montmartre - best things to do and see

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  1. October 23, 2019 / 7:41 pm

    I went to Paris for the first time with my husband last May. Montmartre was our favorite part. It reminded me of the Paris I saw in movies. Sacré Cœur Was just amazing!

    • Tori
      October 24, 2019 / 11:07 am

      I agree! The Sacré Cœur is just incredible. One of the most beautiful churches we’ve ever been to. Montmartre in general is amazing – it’s my favorite part too. It just seems so Paris, right!?

  2. November 12, 2019 / 10:08 pm

    I desperately want to visit Montmartre! I want to relive the entire movie Amelie! Have you seen it? I mean Moulin Rouge is cool and all….but Amelie! I am pretty sure the Café des Deux Moulins is the one featured in the film – did you visit that cafe?

    • Tori
      November 14, 2019 / 12:35 am

      Ahh! AMELIE! Love that movie. That’s the right cafe, and we went passed it but since it was crowded we ended up sitting somewhere a little quieter. We had an ideal of enjoying one more glass of wine in quiet, old fashioned Paris and, as much as I love that movie, something under the radar served us better. We always say that when we go back to Paris we’d find an airBnB in Montmartre and enjoy so much more of the neighborhood. It’s amazing and you’d absolutely love it! I’m with you on the Moulin Rouge too – one day I’d like to say I saw a show there, but it’s not a priority.

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