At first blush, Paris’s Montmartre neighborhood might seem little more than a sad neon strip, lined with peddlers of souvenir windmills. But idle away a few hours in its intricate back streets and you’ll likely find more local color than you would in the center of Paris. Trace the maple-dappled paths of Montmartre and you will discover a whole other side of Paris.
Montmartre is talked about by Parisians the way New Yorkers talk about the Village… Also picture Shoreditch, London and Newtown, Sydney
Montmarte was the home of Van Gogh, Picasso and other great artists of their time. You can still feel the creative flair today as you walk thru the streets. The place is riddled with street art which you could Instagram the sh*** out of for hours.
What to do in Montmarte? There are two ways to approach this. The first is to follow the herd instinct and stampede your way up the famous hill, take a picture of yourself on the steps of the basilica, buy an overpriced crepe at the Place du Tertre, get conned into having your portrait sketched, and walk back down clutching newly bought key-rings, postcards, gaudy T-shirts feeling a little mystified about what all the fuss is about.
The second method is to keep amap in your pocket (just in case) and try to lose yourself in the steep and cobbled streets of one of the most historic and interestingneighborhoods in Paris. Remember that the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur (the big white church) sits on the crest of the hill, so as long as you are heading uphill there is little possibility of being lost for long. At the bottom of the hill is the Boulevard de Clichy which is lined with bars, shops, and more sex shops and peep-shows than you can possibly pretend you are not looking at.
How to get there? Abbesses is your closest metro to Montmartre It’s about a 100m walk to Sacre Coeur. You can also get on the Montmartrobus on rue Lepic (minibus, runs every 15 minutes) with all the locals and take that right to the top too.