People have asked me what is my favorite neighborhood in Paris, and my answer has been ‘Montmartre’. This district’s architecture is one reason I love this section of the city, but most importantly is what Montmarte has represented to the history of art and culture in Europe.
Montmarte is situated on a large hill (430 feet high) in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, and is part of the Right Bank in the northern section of the city. The long stairways lined with black iron and lamp posts, the winding cobblestone streets, all mixed with Parisian architecture, windmills, and a village type atmosphere set a lovely stage for the feel of old Paris. It is charming, alluring, and saturated with artistic history.
The most endearing part of Montmarte for me is that this picturesque district has been a melting pot for artists, writers, and cinematic inspiration. At the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, Montmarte was the epicenter of art and culture for many famous artists. This is the neighborhood where Claude Monet, Pierre-Aguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gough, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and others lived and worked.
Montmarte was the center of the “Golden Age” or the Belle Époque, a period of European history that was characterized by cultural innovations and optimism. France’s cultural and artistic climate in the arts flourished in Paris, and a variety of masterpieces of visual art, music, theatre, and literature gained much recognition. It must have been a glorious time to live in while in Paris.
The neighborhood of Montmarte has several significant and historic locations including the the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur on its summit, and its night club district, which includes the famous Moulin Rouge. There are also lovely bistros, cafes, markets and fromageries that can be found throughout Montmarte.
One of my favorite places for lunch is quite touristy but I love the simple French dishes, and the charming atmosphere. The Moulin de la Galette, which is located inside one of Montmarte’s historic windmills is a traditional Parisian restaurant.
While lunching at Moulin de la Galette with my daughter, we both chose the classic French dish of boiled beef and vegetables. The beef was tender and served with a flavorful tomato sauce, seasoned green beans, and a small salad. It was simple but ever so delicious!
For restaurant information and reservations- Mouiln de la Galette
The neighborhood of Montmarte is a magnificent way to spend time in Paris, and is a lovely location to to stay in as well. Taking the metro into the rest of Paris including the Gard du Nord railway station, is convenient and simple. Additionally, there are plenty of flats to rent and staying in this Paris neighborhood is pleasant, and full of excellent bakeries and bistros.
Wishing you an enjoyable Paris visit!
I’ve left my heart in so many places…
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre