Montmartre, originally Roman word, meaning Mount of Mars, is a hill and district of Paris. It is the highest point and overlooks the entire city of Paris. While there are many things about Montmartre, these 5 things are must do while you spend your day there.
1. Join the free walking tour with Discover Walks
Join the 1.5 hour free walking tour which starts at 11:00 am, 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm every day from Blanche station, Paris Metro Line 2, near Moulin Rouge and ends at famous Basilica du Sacre Coeur. The tour guide shares tales of artists who lived there while one explores the rich artistic history of Montmartre. The strenuous ascend on the cobblestone streets rewards one with the picturesque view of the city.
The famous French movie, Amélie, was shot in Montmartre. The movie is about a girl, Amélie, who makes everyone happy without letting them know. Passing by the greengrocer Au Marche de la Butte, part of the movie, makes one feel a part of movie too.
The vineyard stretch on the hill produces variety of wines which the locals don’t really prefer to drink. The locals say, “C’est du vin de Montmartre; Qui en boit pinte en pisse quarte”. (‘The wine of Montmartre; Whoever drinks a pinte pisses a quart’).
2. Visit Place du Tertre
Place du Tertre, heart of Montmartre, is a street packed with colourful artist stalls. The vibrant art work of the painters brings inspiration to many for its liveliness. Located within a picturesque cobblestone square, this open-air art gallery is always bustling with locals, tourists, musicians and painters who love their art. Many tourists halt here to get their portraits painted. For French artists, it’s not about the Euros that they care, but, it’s all about their art being appreciated and valued by people.
3. Visit Basilica du Sacre Coeur
Just like Notre Dame, the back view of Basilica du Sacre Coeur is more beautiful than the front view. Sacre Coeur, refers to the sacred heart of Jesus and is made of white wash stones which cleans itself when it rains. This Basilica was built in honour of 58,000 Parisians who lost their lives during the war. This Roman Catholic Church has been a place of worship since dawn in Montmartre. Take the free audio guide to discover its rich history and remarkable architecture.
4. Eat at Le Gernier à pain
Le Gernier à pain, a bakery which won prize for best baguette in France. Winning prize for best baguettes means that the bakery wins exclusive rights to deliver bread to French President for a year. Baguette tradition, a long, thin loaf of French bread from this place is a must-try. While I can’t eat plain bread, but I really don’t mind eating this bread having crispy exterior crust with soft chewy interior, every day.
5. Spend evening at Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge, the first cabaret in France, was built in the same year as Eiffel Tower in 1889. This was the first building to be equipped with electricity. Moulin Rouge literally means Red Mill and is all about can-can dancers, fabulous costumes and music. Make yourself comfortable and watch this most popular show in the evening for a truly magnificent experience.