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Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip
Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip
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Top 10 Things to Do in Montmartre, Paris

Picture of Jade Cuttle
Updated: 6 February 2018
The cobbled streets of Montmartre are bustling with artists painting breathtaking views, talented street artists, and surprising sculptures. Discover its historic past and exciting present through a pick of some of its best museums and attractions.
Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip
Caroline Peyronel / | © Culture Trip
Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip
Caroline Peyronel / | © Culture Trip
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Musee de Montmartre

There’s no better way to discover the secrets of this quartier than by visiting Montmartre’s very own museum. It stands atop the hill of Montmartre as the oldest house and lays claim to 14 famous personalities having lived within its walls, from Renoir and Valadon to Dufy and Poulbot. Delve into the glorious history of this bohemian corner through original works by Utrillo, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Willette, with authentically rustic ambiance. There’s currently an exhibition dedicated to Montmartre in cinema, looking at how places such as the Moulin Rouge, the Butte, Sacré Coeur, the Place du Tertre, and Le Lapin Agile have worked their charm in film. The exhibition runs until January.

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Espace Dali

This gallery offers an exciting rediscovery of Dali, unveiling an unseen dimension that invites you to fall in love with his work once again. We’ve all seen his soft watch sketches that melt and puddle, but how familiar are you with a collection encompassing theatrical yet thoughtfully crafted sculptures, objects, engravings, and furniture? With a sprinkling of dreaminess and humor, this exhibition is a must-see for surrealism fans. In fact, it’s the largest permanent exhibition dedicated to Dali in Paris. As you leave the exhibition, be sure to stop by the instant photo booth where you can squeeze your face into the frame of a thumb in truly surreal Dali-style, taking away an oddly amusing memory.
Location:

11 rue Poulbot, 75018 Paris

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip

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Montmartre Cemetery

A visit to a cemetery may sound depressing, but in Paris it can be infused with cultural discovery and inspiration. The Montmartre cemetery lays claim to being the final resting place of literary giants like Émile Zola, who penned the haunting famous French novel Thérèse Raquin, and legends and luminaries like Alexandre Dumas and Edgar Degas. What’s more is that most people will head straight to the well-known Père Lachaise cemetery to pay their respects—to the likes of Jim Morrison and Jacques Brel—and so a trip to Montmartre Cemetery is a bit more off-the-beaten track.
Location:

20 Avenue Rachel, 75018 Paris

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip

Macaron Making Class

Mesny is an authentic French home-chef whose Macaron Making Class in Montmartre is hugely popular, with budding chefs and enthusiasts always bursting to have a go. The class offers a unique hands-on opportunity to learn how to make one of the most delicious French desserts, whether as a personal treat or as a gift to take back home to family or friends. It’s located only a few moments from Abbesses metro station, as featured in the much loved film Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amelie Poulain.

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip
Caroline Peyronel / | © Culture Trip
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Musée de la Vie Romantique

Whether you’re visiting with friends or family, especially if with a lover, a trip to Montmartre’s Museum of Romance is the perfect thing to do—it is the city of romance after all. It was back in the early 1830s when Dutch painter Ary Scheffer transformed his home, Hôtel Scheffer-Renan, into a busy salon. It was frequented by a range of artists like George Sand, Frederic Chopin, Eugène Delacroix, and Franz Liszt, explaining why the walls of the museum are adorned with relics of their art. As well as the permanent works on show, the museum also organizes a host of temporary exhibitions, live music events, book readings, and activities for kids. Currently, there’s an exhibition exploring “The Power of Flowers Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840).” Make sure to visit before October when the delightful tearoom is open in the garden’s greenhouse.
Location:

16 Rue Chaptal, 75009

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip

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Musée d’Art Naïf Max Fourny

Musée d’Art Naïf Max Fourny is a great attraction, yet it’s not very well known. If you’ve spent all day taking in the art history of 17th century France, then a change of perspective with a more modern focus might be welcome. This museum places the contemporary Montmartre Art Scene into the spotlight, with more than 500 paintings and 80 sculptures. Originally built to be a marketplace, it’s an exhibition center and hotspot for cultural events. In total there are 1,400 works from more than 55 countries from all the continents.

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Place du Tertre

The charming Place du Tertre is featured on countless postcards, so don’t miss the chance to see it for real. It’s bustling with artists busying over their canvases, colorful stalls, and souvenirs for sale in a cute cobblestone square. There’s no obligation to buy though, with the place posing more like an open-air gallery where the artistically curious can simply marvel than a market. It’s lined with 18th-century buildings reminding of its historic past and cobbled streets, go back even further to medieval times and it was the main square.

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip
Caroline Peyronel / | © Culture Trip
Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip
Caroline Peyronel / | © Culture Trip

Sacre Coeur

It’d be an insult to not include Montmatre’s sacred basilica on this list, the defining architectural beauty of this charming neighborhood. Climb its 222 stairs to the top of Sacré-Coeur and you’ll be treated with the best and most breathtaking view of Paris, sprawling right across the city. The fun of visiting isn’t limited to just inside the monument, as the outside has become a hotspot for some of the city’s most talented street artists. A summer favorite includes football tricksters and an amusing mime artist reaping chaos with local traffic.

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip
Caroline Peyronel / | © Culture Trip
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Le Mur des Je t’aime

The “I Love You Wall” is a love-themed work of art created by calligraphist Frédéric Baron and mural artist Claire Kito in 2000. The love spills out over a surface of 40 meters squared, composed of 612 tiles of enameled lava, on which “I love you” is declared 311 times in 250 languages. It’s a must-see for romantics visiting Paris, the city of romance, and makes for a great selfie-spot. Interestingly, there are splashes of red on the fresco that represent a broken heart, symbolizing the human race that has been torn apart and that the wall now strives to reunite. This beautiful artistic monument is located on the square at Place des Abbesses and is open to public free of charge.

Location:

Square Jehan Rictus, 75018 Paris

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip

Caroline Peyronel / © Culture Trip

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Le Passe-Muraille

All of a sudden, while flaneuring around Montmartre, you’ll sooner or later stumble across La Passe-Muraille. This fabulous statue-sculpture is a surprising find. It’s inspired by the title of a story by Marcel Aymé (“The Passer-Through-Walls”), written about a man named Dutilleul who discovers that he can walk through walls. If you look closely, you’ll notice that his lower hand is shinier than the other one from all of the tourists that try to pull the man out of the wall. The statue is located in a place named after Marcel Aymé.

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