Montmartre: The OG Quartier des Artistes

There are endless places to explore in Paris, especially when seeking out interesting cultural landmarks. But one of the neighborhoods with the most character and interesting history is Montmarte — the original artist’s quarter. From the Montmartre captured in Toulouse Lautrec’s work to Picasso’s studio at Beateau Lavoir to the graffiti that can be found today on Rue D’Orchampt, there are so many things to see and places to visit.

At the very bottom of the post, check out the mapped route I suggest that takes you through the heart of the city on a hill.

  1. Le Musée de la Vie romantique:
    Just a short walk from the Pigalle metro stop, this museum is a quieter gem amongst the more touristy sites of Montmartre. It is a great place to relax and enjoy a cup of tea on their garden terrace. The museum itself is an old converted home and displays artifacts from the literary figure George Sand as well as romantic sculptures, paintings and objets d’art. I helped myself to a sticky bun courtesy of Rose Bakery at their Salon du Thé before touring the museum (which, may I add, is free to all!).

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  2. Le Moulin Rouge
    Le Moulin Rouge, the birth of the can-can and one of the better known tourist destinations in Montmartre, is a must-see. If only to pass by and check out the giant red windmill on the roof of the building. While the original structure burned down in 1915, the cabaret still performs traditional dances and provides plenty of entertainment for those who wish to see a show.

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  3. Cimetière de Montmartre
    The cemetery in Montmartre is a famous burial ground housing the tombs of many well-known artist and historical figures including Alexandre Dumas, Edgar Degas, Vaslav Nijisnky, Francis Picabia, and hundreds of others.

  4. 54 Rue Lepic
    This was the apartment of Vincent Van Gogh during his time in Paris. Van Gogh lived at 54 Rue Lepic with his brother, Théo, until he left Paris for Arles in 1888.

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  5. Bateau Lavoir
    Le Bateau Lavoir was Picasso’s Studio in Paris beginning in 1900. It is where he created one of his most famous works, Les Demoiselles D’Avignon. The space continues to function as an artist’s residence today.
  6. Rue D’Orchampt
    Rue D’Orchampt was once the street where the famous singer Dalida lived. Now, it is known for its graffiti and public murals. There is plenty of street art to see around Montmartre, but D’Orchampt is a great place to see a high concentration at once.

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  7. Le Moulin de la Galette
    Once upon a time, Montmartre was home to many windmills across the area used to crush wheat, press grapes and prepare other materials used in factories throughout the city. Today, only two of the original structures survive, one of them being Le Moulin de la Galette. The windmill was memorialized in several of Van Gogh’s paintings during his years in Montmartre. If you want to spend a little more time with this famous windmill, you can enjoy a classic French meal just beneath the structure at a restaurant of the same name.

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  8. Villa Léandre
    This quiet street is a wonderful place to see several historical homes that were erected in the 1920s in Montmartre au style ‘anglo-normand’. A lush, residential area, it is a treat to stroll down the rue and look at the various homes and gardens on display.

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  9. La Maison Rose
    La Maison Rose is a famous Montmartre landmark that has a rich history, having been frequented by artists such as Dali and Picasso. The building still houses a working restaurant, and is a wonderful touch of color against the quartier’s skyline.
  10. Clos Montmartre
    It’s pretty incredible to have a working vineyard in the middle of a massive metropolis, and this small site has been producing wine since the 12th century. First planted by the Abbaye de Montmartre in 1101, the vineyard has continued to produce wine under the label ‘Clos-Montmartre.’ You can purchase the wine throughout France, and anyone can sign up for a tour of the vineyard online.

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  11. Sacré-Coeur
    This famous Roman-Catholic Basilica sits at the highest point in the city of Paris. It is a very popular destination, not only for its beautiful architecture, but also for the amazing views of the city visible from the base of the church. Bring along some wine, bread and cheese and enjoy a picnic on the hill of the church with views of the entirety of Paris. A pretty unbeatable end to the day.

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If you follow the path on the map below, you will also pass Au Lapin Agile, a long-standing music and cabaret hall, le Musée de Montmartre, and Dalí Paris, an exhibition space of Dali’s work.

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