How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Montmartre, Paris

Go beyond Sacré-Cœur with this Francophile’s guide to Montmartre’s seductive hotels, vintage boutiques, Michelin-star restaurants, and more.

In a city with no shortage of achingly beautiful views, there’s perhaps nowhere as transportive as the cobbled hill of Rue de l’Abreuvoir. Looking past the bus stop and twirling influencers, you can convince yourself you’ve stumbled into Paris’ past — a wisteria-laden marvel that slopes up toward Sacré-Cœur.

Once an independent commune, Montmartre was absorbed into Paris’ city limits in 1860, but the hilltop village has always retained a distinct sense of self. Famed for its religious, artistic, and at times seedy history, the neighborhood’s iconic lampposts, steep steps, and panoramic views have drawn the likes of Picasso, Renoir, and hopelessly devoted Francophiles like myself with its bucolic charm. 

Empty cobbled streets of Montmartre on a sunny morning, Paris, France

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I’ve spent more than a decade wandering the main tourist thoroughfares and beyond, finding secret gardens, romantic museums, retro photo booths, and hedonistic hotels along the way. Here, a curated guide to the artistic haven of Montmartre, Paris’ timeless village.

Top 5 Can’t Miss

  • For a luxuriously out-of-time home base in Montmartre, look no further than Hôtel Particulier Montmartre. Formerly the Hermès family mansion, this charming, three-story home is tucked down a private courtyard and boasts five spectacularly lavish suites. 
  • Visit the famed Sacré-Cœur Basilica, one of the most famous landmarks in Paris, for spectacular panoramic views over the city.
  • Indulge in Michelin-recommended L'Esquisse, a warm and friendly bistro serving inventive takes on classic dishes alongside a well-curated natural wine list. 
  • Find the perfect pair of vintage Levi's at Numéro Deux, an appointment-only boutique tucked into the hills of Montmartre. 
  • Feast your eyes on the spectacle that is Moulin Rouge, Paris' most famous cabaret.
Sacre Coeur

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Best Things to Do

Tour Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

A visit to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica is essential to understanding the area’s history, and it's well worth a trip inside to take in the grandeur of the apse mosaic and stained-glass windows. Known as the “wedding cake” for its impressively white exterior, the domed church is made from locally sourced travertine that releases calcite when it rains, which essentially bleaches the stone and keeps it looking pristine. Note that while the basilica opens at 6:30 a.m. for visitors, the dome — which offers spectacular panoramic views over Paris — doesn’t open until 10 a.m. 

Visit a museum.

There’s no shortage of wow-worthy museums dedicated to Montmartre’s history, and each offers a different angle on the storied quartier. Musée de la Vie Romantique is a literary museum that’s housed in a sage-shuttered home and tucked down a cobbled alley full of rose bushes — utterly fitting, given the museum’s greenhouse cafe has been taken over by the fabulous Rose Bakery. Musée de Montmartre is a tribute to the neighborhood’s artistic legacy: Both Renoir and French painter Suzanne Valadon made their studios there at one point, and the museum’s lush gardens offer magnificent views of the city and Clos Montmartre vineyard. Another worthwhile stop is Dalí Paris, where visitors can marvel at more than 300 works by the surrealist master.  

Musee de la Vie Romantique

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Explore Halle Saint Pierre.

Housed in a former covered market, this space is a must-visit for the magnificent architecture alone. Inside, you’ll find a museum, gallery, cafe, and one of the most beautiful bookshops in Paris. 

Get your portrait drawn in Place du Tertre.

Yes, it’s typically thronged with tourists, but if you’ve never been, the charm of this historic square shouldn’t be missed. While the fringe of restaurants adds to the village-like vibes, they’re overpriced and underwhelming. Instead, come here to admire the dozens of artists who keep the neighborhood’s creative spirit alive by sketching portraits of visitors (for varying fees and degrees of quality, of course). 

Channel your inner Amélie.

Montmartre has been the backdrop for many movies through the years, but none so indelibly iconic as 2001’s "Amélie." Trace the heroine’s journey through some of the film’s most memorable locations, including the Abbesses metro station and along picturesque Rue Lepic, home to Café des Deux Moulins, where she works in the film. All the way up the road, you can spot the Moulin de la Galette, one of the neighborhood’s few remaining windmills, which attracted the attention of Renoir, Van Gogh, and many other artists who spent time nearby. 

Snap some photos at FotoAutomat.

Proper photo booth snaps are a playful souvenir to remember your trip, and luckily, there’s a vintage analogue photo booth just in front of the bucolic Abbesses Garden. FotoAutomat has been restoring the last remaining booths around the world since 2007, installing them in neighborhoods dedicated to supporting the arts. Note that unlike modern digital photo booths, this will take several minutes to print out your shots — which is why there tends to be a long line. But as with all film photography, the quality and wait are worth it.

The Place du Tertre with tables of cafe and the Sacre-Coeur in the morning, quarter Montmartre in Paris, France

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Best Restaurants


Recommended by the Michelin Guide, the food at this intimate bistro is upscale and inventive without feeling fussy. Vintage Tolix chairs and wooden booths warm the space, which turns around an open kitchen where chef and owner Laëtitia Bret works her magic. A well-curated natural wine list further draws a convivial crowd of locals and in-the-know visitors. 

Hardware Société

Montmartre’s most famous brunch spot has earned its reputation for good reason: This cozy Australian cafe sits at the foot of the basilica and churns out comforting yet surprising delights, like duck confit with saffron labne, and scrambled eggs with smoked pastrami on a crunchy baguette. It’s walk-in only, so be prepared to wait on weekends. 

Pink Mamma

This oft-Instagrammed Italian joint from the popular Big Mamma Group delivers on both decor and decadent dishes. Go for the portrait-lined stairwell that leads to a glass enclosure with views over the city; stay for the twirls of truffled pasta, Neapolitan-style pizza, and pillowy tiramisu.

Bouillon Pigalle

Red banquets, bustling waiters, carafes of house wine on every table: For a classic French feast that will fill you to bursting without breaking the bank, there’s no place like Bouillon Pigalle. Part of a chain of homey brasseries around the city, this two-story location offers views over the bustling avenue below, and ladles out generous servings of French specialties like boeuf bourguignon, escargot, and hearty French onion soup. It’s open from noon to midnight every day, making it an excellent spot to stop off for late-night cravings. 


Those looking for a Michelin-starred meal to remember won’t be disappointed by the seasonal tasting menu at this elegant eatery on Rue Lamarck. Here, classic white tablecloth ambience meets a modern gastronomic journey that’s perfect for a special occasion. 


Three or four ingredients per dish — that’s all it takes to craft sublime creations like lamb ravioli with black garlic jus and cucumber, creamy mushroom and parmesan polenta, and decadent chocolate mousse at Mokko. The wooden, warmly lit space is as pleasing to look at as the dishes themselves, and the natural wine list isn’t to be missed. 

Lush interior dining room at Hotel Particulier Montmartre

Courtesy of Hotel Particulier Montmartre

Best Hotels

Hôtel Particulier Montmartre

There’s simply no place more charming to stay in Montmartre than this jewel-sized hotel. Formerly the Hermès family mansion, the three-story home is less than a 10-minute walk from Sacré-Coeur, yet it feels like a world of its own. Tucked away down an out-of-time alley, it’s wreathed in by a lush green garden and a sculpture-studded courtyard. Each of the five unique suites are a design lover’s dream — think mosaic-tiled soaking tubs and art deco murals in one, leopard print walls in another, and a view of the Eiffel Tower from the Prestige Suite on the top floor. A visit to the sultry cocktail bar and delightful French restaurant downstairs are a must even if you can’t nab a room at the hotel. 

Maison Souquet

Just across the street from the Moulin Rouge, the marvelously lavish Maison Souquet offers a sensual retreat that pays homage to the hideaway’s former reputation as a discreet brothel for wealthy hedonists. The 20 rooms and suites are appointed with more than 120 different silks, as well as tasseled lamps, stuffed headboards, and fabric-cocooned walls that inspire as much envy and desire as the famous courtesans they’re named after. Couples seeking true privacy and indulgence are in for a treat here — and should be sure to request the key to the celestial swimming pool and hammam.

Hôtel Arvor

Halfway between Palais Garnier and Sacré-Coeur, this 30-room boutique hotel is infused with the genuine artistic spirit of Montmartre — something that feels impossibly rare to come by these days. During the pandemic, Russian-born artist Nina Koltchitskaia took up residency in the hotel, turning it into her own canvas with museum-worthy murals on the walls of each room. Now a haven of creativity, the hotel itself is built around an old-school spiral staircase, and rooms are nicely appointed with cozy bedding and otherwise minimalist decor. 

Hôtel Monsieur Aristide

If you can’t make it to the famous Saint-Ouen flea market during your trip, a visit to the exceptionally curated Hôtel Monsieur Aristide will offer a glimpse at what you’re missing. Full of vintage finds — think plush velvet chairs, mirrored vanities, and framed works of art — this 25-room guesthouse channels the bohemian spirit of the neighborhood. Beyond the upcycled furnishings, the cheery terrazzo floor — crafted from the rubble of the building site during renovation — is another eco-friendly hallmark of this freshly updated space, which has operated as a hotel for more than a century under previous ownership.

Best Shopping

La Butte Fromagère

Just thinking about this tiny artisanal cheese shop makes my mouth water. It boasts a superior selection of aged Comté and Mimolette, creamy Saint-Félicien, and goat cheese for every palate, primarily sourced from small French farms. 

La Cave des Abbesses

Part bottle shop, part wine bar, part pâté purveyor, La Cave des Abbesses is a gourmand’s heaven. Open since 1986, this local institution is the perfect place to tuck into a platter of cheese and charcuterie at apéro hour, or to grab a bottle for a picnic overlooking the city from the steps of the basilica. 

Vintage Stores

Amid Paris’ kilo shops and overwhelming thrift stores, there are a few exceptional places for one-of-a-kind vintage finds. For expertly curated denim, head to Numéro Deux, an appointment-only showroom dedicated to vintage Levi’s, with a focus on 501s. At Chinemachine on Rue des Martyrs, prepare to sift through racks and descend the spiral staircase into the basement for designer picks and ‘60s party dresses — they’re well-priced and worth the search. A bit farther afield is one of my favorite boutiques in the city, Vintage Inspiration Paris. The store’s quirky owner will gleefully help you try on YSL blazers and Hermès handbags; the selection isn’t cheap, but it’s divine. 

Rock Bottles

Natural wine lovers shouldn’t miss this epic cellar, which several French sommeliers have recommended to me as their personal favorite in Paris. The wine shop is small but mighty, with a selection of spectacular organic and biodynamic producers, both well established and little known. 

Mouline Rouge Sign and red windmill

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Best Nightlife

Moulin Rouge

This legendary cabaret was once the pinnacle of Parisian nightlife, and while ticket prices are steep for the "Féerie" show, how many times do you get to see a proper French cancan in your life? The spectacular is a mesmerizing tribute to Paris’ past, and well worth the price of admission. 

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