I have a confession to make. Even though I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life exploring Paris, I’d never dedicated ample time to discovering Montmartre. Sure, I’d seen all the “must-see” spots – I had climbed the endless steps to Sacré-Coeur, bought a still-wet canvas at Place du Tetre, gazed upon the moulins, and even visited Amélie’s favorite spots. However, it wasn’t until this past trip that I truly experienced the neighborhood (thanks to a stay at this incredible apartment), and subsequently fell in love with it. Here are my favorite addresses for an ideal day touring the famed butte.
Cafe Marlette, Cuillier
Start your day at Pain Pain and grab one of their award-winning fresh baguettes. If you’re lucky, snag a seat by the window (and wild wallpaper). If not, take your treats à emporter and head a few blocks over to caffeinate at Cuillier. The interior is swoon-worthy, the seating is ample, and their noisette the best I’ve had. Another local favorite is Coquelicot, right next to Place des Abbesses.
From there, take your time meandering through the winding cobblestone streets. Ensuring you’re headed towards Sacré-Coeur is simple – walk uphill. Follow the signs (and tourists) all the way to the top. I encourage you to take the stairs – burn off the pastries from the morning, and make room for more later! Catch your breath, admire the view… exhale.
Sacré-Coeur, Place des Abbesses
That’s as much touristing as I’ll recommend, as it probably won’t be long before you’re ready to return to peace and quiet. Follow the rue du Cardinal-Guibert for a different (and also stunning) view of the iconic basilica away from the crowds. Walk downhill to discover the last remaining Parisian vineyard, Clos Montmartre, and the picturesque La Maison Rose. You’ll soon find yourself at Place Dalida, where you simply must pause to take in the beauty.
Hunger will soon kick in, if it hasn’t already, and a leisurely déjeuner à la française (I’m talking at least two hours) will give you time to rest and refuel. I highly recommend Café Marlette. Ok, full disclosure – it’s just a hair outside of the 18th, in the 9th. However, it’s only a short walk from the Montmartre Hideaway apartment, so it just makes sense. The staff are friendly, the food organic and wholesome, and the atmosphere super cozy. Be sure to pick up some organic bread and cake mixes on your way out!
Le mur des je t’aime at Place des Abbesses, Pain Pain
Be sure to pop into KB CaféShop (formerly Kooka Boora) down the street to caffeinate for your afternoon adventures. May I suggest some shopping? Get lost in the Marché Saint-Pierre, one of the largest fabric stores in the world, as well as Tissus Reine across the street. If that’s not your thing, lose track of time (like I did) vinyl hunting at Le Rideau de Fer. Or, if it’s a rainy day, catch a film at the iconic Le Louxor theater!
Place des Abbesses
Admire the sunset, exhaust your memory card during golden hour, and meet a friend for dinner at Buvette. Alternatively, if you’re feet are understandably crying uncle, head back to your cozy apartment, make use of the beautiful, fully equipped kitchen, and dine solo in your robe (as I did, more than once). Nothing beats a glass of wine on the balcony, looking out at the rooftops of Paris, and reflecting on the amazing day you’ve had, and the adventures to come. Rest and repeat, mes amis!
For more of my Montmartre, head over to Steller.
Cuillier -19 Rue Yvonne le Tac, 75018. Métro: Abbesses. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 74 95 37
- Cuillier, one of our favorite cafés, has three Paris locations. Read Kate Robinson’s in-depth review here.
- HiP Paris’ founder, Erica Berman, has called Montmartre home on and off for over 20 years. Read about some of her favorite spots here.
- For more of Susan’s Paris adventures, head to her blog, Fleurishing.