Montmartre… who doesn’t know this charming district in the 18th arrondissement? The place where artists like Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Utrillo and Van Gogh spent their days with painting, drinking and making love with their models. These days Montmartre is a popular place for tourists with the Sacré-Coeur and the place du Tertre. But Montmartre has much more to offer.
If you want to experience Montmartre in a different way, take an early morning stroll through the neighborhood. At this hour you will only meet locals on their way to work or to the boulangerie for a fresh croissant or baguette.
Start at the Abbesses metro station and walk to Le mur des je t’aime. This wall is composed of 612 tiles of lava, on which the phrase I love you is featured 311 times in 250 languages.
Walk through the Rue des Abbesses and turn right into the Rue Ravignan. Walk up towards the Place Émile-Goudeau. On your left you see Le Bateau-Lavoir, a former art studio where Pablo Picasso and Modigliani has lived for a few years.
If you walk further up through the rue Jean-Baptiste Clément, on your right hand you’ll see the famous Le Consulat in the rue Norvins. Then walk through the rue des Saules where you can find on your left La Maison Rose. These two restaurants are one of the most photographed in Paris.
Continue walking and stop by the only vineyard of Paris, the Vignes du Clos Montmartre. It’s a small vineyard, but it has the capacity to produce 27 varieties of wine. The white building on the top is Musée de Montmartre, definitely worth a visit. If you look across the street you will see Au Lapin Agile, an old cabaret that dates from about 1860. Next to the cabaret you will find the two cutest doors of Paris.
Walk back and turn right onto the rue de l’Abreuvoir. When you are at the end of this street, near the Buste de Dalida, turn around and take some pictures of this photogenic street.
Then walk along Rue Girardon into the Rue Lepic and walk back to the Rue des Abbesses. Walk past the Moulin de la Galette, and don’t forget to look around for those beautiful views over the city, there are plenty of them.
Take a stroll further through the meandering medieval streets of this neighborhood where you can find the cutest cafes and restaurants, like Le Petit Moulin.
When you’re done strolling, take a seat on one of the many terraces in the rue de Abbesses and enjoy a delicious French breakfast. I’m sure that after this morning walk, you’ll be as much in love with the neighborhood as I am and never want to go home again.