Paris is a stunning city. There can be little argument with this – every corner you turn reveals more beauty, more style, more history. Just more of everything. Divided into twenty arrondissements, each one offering something different, it’s hard to select a favourite but Montmartre, the 18ème, ranks very highly with us.
Because of its location, it also seems like a separate entity. Part of Paris, but not quite. It just feels a bit different – and that’s not because of its reputation. Rather than feeling like another area of a bigger city, it has a large village feel – contained and with its own identity. We also love the Latin Quarter -5ème – but if I was to be honest, I couldn’t identify anything specific that I loved in this quarter because it blends into other quarters.
So, I guess the magic of Montmartre is that it feels like a little principality of its own – helpd by its lofty position, looking down on the rest of the city. We love the cobbled streets, the gorgeous apartments which must obviously still be occupied by struggling and penniless artists, the bars and resturants, the uber-cool residents and event the tourist traps of the Sacre Coeur and the Place du Tertre, filled with easels and artists of varying abilities.
On our last trip to Montmartre we stayed at Hotel des Arts on Rue Tholoze – and would highly recommend. Boutique style, but affordable. We also discovered the gorgeous Restaurant Marcel and Le Pain Quotidien – amazing breakfasts!
Top tip – make sure you don’t hop on the Paris Metro, with huge travel bags (we’d been travelling around Italy) and not read the map, and decide that getting off at Abbesses (“Amelie” fans will know this one) is a good idea. And not realising there is a lift. And forgetting it’s the deepest station in Paris. And then having to climb over 200 stairs…
My entrance to Montmartre was not my most attractive moment 😉