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.
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.
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.
Musée de la Vie Romantique
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.