Montmartre City Orientation
Top Reasons to Go
Basilique du Sacré-Coeur. The best view of Paris is worth the climb—or the funicular ride—especially at twilight when the city lights create a magnificent panorama below the hill of Montmartre.
Place du Tertre. This bustling square beside Sacré-Coeur teems with crowds of tourists and hordes of street artists clamoring to paint them.
Place des Abbesses. Capture the village ambience that makes Montmartre special by exploring the tiny streets branching out from this picturesque square.
Carré Roland Dorgelès. Bring your camera to this little square overlooking a pair of classic Montmartre sights: the city's only vineyard and the famous Au Lapin Agile cabaret.
Making the Most of Your Time
Devote a day to this neighborhood if you want to see more than the obligatory Sacré-Coeur Basilica. If possible, avoid weekends, when the narrow—and extremely hilly—streets are jam-packed.
Montmartre is in the 18e arrondissement. Take Line 2 to Anvers métro station, and then take the funicular (one métro ticket) up to Sacré-Coeur. Or take Line 12 to Abbesses station and take your time wandering the cobbled streets and staircases that lead up to the basilica. For a scenic tour, hop the public bus, Montmartrobus (one métro ticket). An easy starting point is the métro station Jules-Joffrin (Line 12): the bus winds up the hilly streets, with a convenient stop at Sacré-Coeur. Alternatively, pile the kids onto Le Petit Train de Montmartre (€4.50–€6.50), a bus disguised as a minitrain that runs a circuit every 30 minutes (every hour in winter) from Place Blanche.
Cave des Abbesses. Locals head to this charming retro-looking caviste (wineshop) and wine bar for a glass of something special with a side of oysters, or perhaps La Grande Mixte, a platter of charcuterie, terrine, and cheese (€15). 43 rue des Abbesses, Montmartre, Paris, Île-de-France, 75018. 01–42–52–81–54. Closed Mon..
Le Botak Café. On the eastern side of Sacré-Coeur, at the bottom of the stairs, you'll find the leafy Square Louise Marie and this little café, which serves a small, ever-changing menu of French home cooking. The daily lunch specials (€16 for two courses and a glass of wine) are a great deal, but service can sometimes be slow when it's busy. 1 rue Paul Albert, Montmartre, Paris, Île-de-France, 75018. 01–46–06–98–30. Closed Sun. nights in winter.
Le Progrès. This photo op–ready corner café draws a quirky mix of hipsters, artists, and discriminating tourists. The food is good and includes classics like steak tartare. For a weekday lunch, try the two-course menu du jour (€18.50). If you're craving a taste of home, the excellent cheeseburger comes with a heap of crispy fries. 7 rue des Trois Frères, Montmartre, Paris, Île-de-France, 75018. 01–42–64–07–37.
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