If you’re ever in the Parisian neighbourhood, do me the favour and visit my favourite district: Montmartre.
For those who have seen the movie Amélie, it’s the area where many scenes were shot. As I wandered the quirky, artsy streets I could only imagine myself as her (I’m clumsy, and spontaneous). If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s amazing and you should get on that. I will probably write another blog post about all the French movies I love.
Montmartre was and still is used as a painters paradise. Probably 80% of all those paintings you see of Parisian streets and cafés were painted in Montmartre. These artists set up their easels in the morning and end the day with an absolute masterpiece in hand.
I thought I would talk about the major things Montmartre has to offer and perhaps when you go one day — you’d visit them too!
1) See the Moulin Rouge.
Whether you decide to pay a pretty penny to get in, or just get a picture; it’s an awesome experience.
Being a fellow “Moulin Rouge” fan…well, I just has to get a picture in front of the famous red windmill! All I needed was Ewan Mcgreagor to serinade me.
2) Stroll up the main hill and pop into shops.
Some of the best souvenir shops are here in Montmartre. Yes, they carry all the same shit, but I love it! There are also great little quirky boutiques that will dazzle your eyes! I bought a few rings at this jewelry shop!
Montmartre, as mentioned before, is known for its artisan feel. You will notice how that comes into play while window shopping.
If you have climbed the Eiffel Tower, or stood at a lookout over Paris, the tall dome-like cathedral in the distance is Sacre Couer. It’s massive, and even more beautiful up close! Since it’s based on a plateau and the highest point on Montmartre; it’s not hard to find.
When you enter that cathedral, straight area if you is the dome. It’s naturally lite by the stained glass and dances with colour. The mosaics that decorate the dome make you stop in awe. It doesn’t take long to go through, and no pictures are allowed (they are very strict on that).
Also! Guess what…it’s free!
4) Pretend you’re a bohemian French person and people watch from a cafe.
There is nothing more fun than pretending to be a local. One of the things I’ve most enjoyed doing as a solo traveller is having the freedom and doing whatever I want. Trying to fit in as a local is one of the things. I have been able to use more French than I even have been able to as well dress the dress and not have to care what others think!
So grab that cafe au lait, or thé and munch on that fresh pane au chocolat, and watch the locals. Before I left for Europe, staring aimlessly at people seemed really weird and I felt as though I was “prying” for some reason. Now, I couldn’t give a shit! I can just hear a cinematographic narration of Benedict Cumberbatch in the background describing exactly what I’m doing.
“As she brings her croissant to her mouth, a poodle taking a shit takes up her field of view.”
“Quickly she wipes the hundreds of crumbs off her black skirt, and attempts to act elegant; but that never seems to happen for Charlotte.”
5) Have a picnic.
With all it’s great shops, comes even more amazing food stores. Cheeses, general groceries, bakeries, etc! So go and buy a baguette for 1 euro and some yummy cheese. I suggest some olives, avocados and grapes to go along.
If you stroll the tiny streets you might find a grassy area to plop down on, but if not, then head on over to Sacre Coeur. There, you will find lots of steps to sit on.
Last but not least….
6) Visit the Erotic Museum
Not much to be said about this, but it’s definitely something you can check off your bucket list. It’s one of a kind– that’s for sure. The museum is 5 levels, so expect to spend about 45 minutes inside. You start off on first floor which dates back a few hundred years and ends on the top floor with present day. Throughout the museum are statues, carvings, pictures, videos and contraptions. I felt so bad bursting into laughter or giggling. When I reached each floor. In the corner there was always this sophisticated French couple staring at me.
The last time I came to Paris I was 12, so yeah…I had to see this place. Honestly, I had no regrets on spending that 10 euro to get in.
Well, there is Montmartre for you! I hope I made it sound as amazing as it is!
Have you ever been to Montmartre? What did you think of it?