What is Montmartre like?
As our followers on Instagram probably saw, last week was all about Paris. We (this time me and my mum) had 5 wonderful days in the city of love, fashion, tasty food, outstanding architecture and, of course, Eiffel.
Since I’m still on the move to reach P. and our temporary home in Belgium, I promise, that I will put all of my thoughts about Paris on paper in the upcoming days. However, as my emotions are still running high, I need to share the part of Paris, that I completely fell in love with. Its name is Montmartre and it lives on the hill in the 18th arrondissement of Paris.
What is Montmartre like? As I saw it, it’s a separate republic on the mountain above the city, that never sleeps. In Montmartre, every wanderer will find a place to chill from the lively and dynamic atmosphere, that floats in the air down the mountain.
Why am I telling you all this? Because it’s the place, that has to be highlighted on your map, when you are travelling to Paris!
Some of the (Interesting) Facts
I think from the first 3 paragraphs, you have already figured out, but still… First thing that you have to know, is that Montmartre is located on the hill. Basically, Montmartre is a hill with part of the most cosiest streets in Paris located on it. The name of the hill throughout the history evolved from ‘Mount of Mars’ to ‘Mountain of Martyrs’ and is related to Saint Denis, a Christian saint, who, according to the legend, was captivated on this hill.
What is special about this hill? As our friend on Instagram informed us before the start of our journey, Montmartre is the best place to watch a sunset in Paris. And she was totally right! You can see all the city below you, while sitting on the stairs of marvelous…
…Basilica of Sacre-Coeur. It’s the second thing, that you have to know. Basilica is the main landmark on the top of Montmartre hill. I think, if you would google the word ‘Montmartre’, 97% of image results, would be with this astonishingly white building. The thing, that we enjoyed the most about it, was the space for Parisians and city guests to admire the view of the city. Each step of the stairs is like a bench for the visitors, that had reached the top of the mountain.
Here comes the third thing. How can you reach the top? There are three ways: climb up the stairs, go up with funicular or ride with the bus. If you’re visiting Montmartre for the first time, last option is the worst. You will loose half of the view, that stairs/funicular can offer. However, the hill isn’t extremely high, so we didn’t see a problem to use the stairs.
Fourth thing from my facts cupboard is the most important. What makes this district so exceptional from all the other in this majestic city? It’s the atmosphere. For many decades Montmartre was home for the most famous Europe’s artists and painters: Monet, van Gogh, Dali, Picasso and many others. This means, that starting from the end of 19th century, Montmartre was the place in Paris, where free, creative and a bit bohemian spirit could be found.
Probably, if you ask a true Parisian, due to the flow of tourist, this place lost biggest part of its charm. As I google after our visit there, each year it gets more and more orientated to the needs of tourists. However, for me, as a tourist, that place was awesome. It’s like a charming village inside of the one of the biggest cities in Europe.
Finally, the fifth thing is about the cabarets – Montmartre has the most famous of them. I think, we all know Moulin Rouge. This red mill house is just down a Montmartre hill and looks awesomely extravagant in the modern Paris. In order to this, all of the streets around this place are a bit like Red Light district, considering the shops and their assortment. However, it’s cabaret district, so the comparison with Red Light district isn’t accurate enough. Everything here looks in a bit more classy, retro way, than, for example, in Amsterdam1.
Some of My Experience
What was my experience there? Well, I’m glad, you ask. After our tour through Paris and its main sights on Day 1 and Day 2, we went to Montmartre without having any expectations. Basically, we have heard of the place, have seen Moulin Rouge photos, but that’s it – we didn’t know what to expect there. And this was the best day of our adventures in Paris!
Firstly, we were amazed with the view, that opened up in front of us, when approaching this district. Imagine, that you are walking through the nice, but ordinary streets in Paris and just around the corner Basilica of Sacre-Coeur pops out. And its on the high hill! It even blinds you! Why? Because it is so white, that it shines like a bright, bright diamond.
Secondly, it’s the view, that we found on the Montmartre hill, that shocked us even more. Imagine, that you are climbing up the stairs, surrounded by beautiful tree alley. Then you are walking towards the astonishing Basilica building, and then… Whole Paris opens up under your foot. You feel like conquerer of the world! Except, there are a lot of others like you here.
Thirdly, it’s the atmosphere, that we found just around the corner from this Basilica, that shocked us the most. In a good way, of course. The Basilica, and the view from the hill leaves you with a majestic feeling – you want to admire the things you see. However, the streets in Montmartre leaves you with the cosy, warm feeling – you want to feel the things you see. Yes, there are a lot of tourist there, but it don’t take away the spirit from this place. At least for me.
I don’t want to spoil the things, that you will find there, because half of the charm for me, was not having any expectations. I can only say, that there are artists, cosy cafes, curly streets, street musicians, that are waiting for you.
Whew! As I shared some of the thoughts, that had overwhelmed me after the Paris, I can now peacefully enjoy my last day at home, We’re about to start watching Amelie from Montmartre with my mum! Tomorrow I’m going back to P.! We will continue to explore the world together. Talk to you soon from Belgium. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for our adventures. LIVE adventures!
Have a nice week, Dear Reader!