Sunday morning in Montmartre

Montmartre Rue Maurice Utrillo 2

I never go to Montmartre. The Sacré Cœur and its surroundings are must-sees when you visit Paris but because it’s not central and I have no particular reason to ride the subway up to the butte, I hadn’t been since showing a friend around a year ago. What prompted me to return? A picture from the Brassaï exhibition at the Hôtel de Ville showing rue Foyatier, flights of stairs running down the hill with gorgeous lamps. There was an air of mystery to the image telling me that I was missing on something.

Montmartre 1

Montmartre 2

Today was an exceptionally sunny day in an otherwise drab, rainy week, so it was perfect for exploring. I rode the subway up to the Abbesses station on line 12. What is striking about Montmartre is how it reminds one of a village within the city with its cobbled streets, greenery and old charm. This is after all where Amélie Poulain was shot.

Montmartre rue Gabrielle

Montmartre rue Chappe

Walking up the butte and along rue Gabrielle, you will come across a first picturesque flight of stairs on rue Chappe. Then turn around and climb those steps to get your first glimpse of the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur.

Montmartre Sacré Coeur 1

Head towards the grand entrance of the basilica but make a stop just before the funicular on your right: that is where you’ll find rue Foyatier, the beautiful street I mentioned in the introduction.

Montmartre rue Foyatier

You are now on the highest point of Paris so do take in the view. The basilica is surrounded by hordes of tourists but a music player (a harpist today) will probably ease the moment.

Montmartre view 1

Montmartre view 2

Montmartre Sacré Coeur 2

Montmartre Rue Maurice Utrillo 1

With its monumental size and architecture, the Sacré-Cœur is a sight to behold but not really worth visiting several times. Instead I circled the basilica and headed down the charming rue Maurice Utrillo. Once there I turned right down rue Paul Albert.

Montmartre rue Paul Albert 1

Montmartre rue Paul Albert 2

Wouldn’t you want to live there? And doesn’t this building remind you of the Flatiron in New York City?

Montmartre rue Paul Albert 3

Then walk down the rue Ronsard to reach to the bottom of the park with its lovely carousel.

Montmartre Sacré Coeur 3

Montmartre carousel

Montmartre Sacré Coeur carousel

To return to the top of the butte, you can either climb the 222 steps of rue Foyatier or use a metro ticket to ride the funicular.

Montmartre fountain

Montmartre place du Tertre

The place du Tertre is very touristy and honestly I didn’t bother to look at the art, but it’s a reminder of Montmartre’s past as the home of great painters such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Salvador Dali and Claude Monet.

Montmartre Eiffel Tower

There are many other things to discover in Montmartre: vines, tiny cobbled streets and chic houses half-hidden behind gates… Alas, my phone died. So now I suppose I have another good excuse to explore the area?

Have a great week everyone!

2 Comments

Filed under Paris

2 responses to “Sunday morning in Montmartre

  1. Ah, Montmartre. My favorite neighborhood in Paris. All those steep hills and steps are part of the charm (though after a week of climbing up and down the winding Abbesses metro stairwell, I would have welcomed flat ground, ha). I stayed on Rue Caulaincourt last time I was in Paris, and just fell in love. The domes of Sacre-Cœur popping out behind buildings…charmant! Yes now you definitely have an excuse to go back and visit. Have a cup of tea at Au Reve next time, it’s the tiniest little cafe and so darling! xo

  2. Oh Montmarte… I lived in Paris for a while and this neighborhood holds a very special place in my heart as I prayed in Sacre-Coeur and my prayer was answered. :) Your photos are gorgeous and make me wish to live in the city again.

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