When you think of Montmartre, what comes to mind? Is it the grandeur and beauty of the historic Basilica of Sacre-Coeur? Or rather the seductive Moulin Rouge? These places are without a doubt unmissable but today, we want to expose you to some unmissable areas often overlooked.
- Clos Montmartre
When walking the streets of Paris, it’s easy to get lost. We’ve all had that: “wait… what street am I on? Am I going in the right direction?!” moment and especially in the small, hidden streets of the 18ème arrondisment. I like to think of this as part of the hidden charm of this district; so, what is le Clos Montmartre? Well, if you’re really good at getting lost around back streets then you’ve probably already found this place. It is a small, hidden vineyard in the heart of Paris, home to some of the most beautiful flowers in the city and the last standing vine in central Paris. The vine was originally placed where it is now in 1933 by the council trying to prevent property developers from developing on that site. Would you believe that before the stunning vine and flower beds, this 0.15 hectare of land was a children’s playground and dumping ground?
Unfortunately, it is not open to the public but you can still admire the vines from above and below and once a year they open the gates to the public (by guided tour only) and the money raised from the ticket sales is put towards funding projects in the 18ème arrondisement.
2. Moulin de la Galette
We can all agree that there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the Moulin Rouge… But what about the Moulin de la Galette? These two windmills date back to when grain was being produced on nearby farms in Montmartre. One of the windmills is now a popular restaurant (worth the visit if you have the time), the other can only be spied through the trees. If you happen to find it, snap a photo and tag us on Instagram: @holidayseuroperentals
3. Renoir Gardens
If you’ve bought your ticket to the Musée de Montmartre (which we absolutely recommend) then take some time to find the little hidden Renoir Gardens. Its the perfect escape from the bustling 18ème arrondissement where you can enjoy a peaceful oasis. We recommend taking a book and spending a quiet sunny afternoon drinking in the beautiful surroundings.
4. Place du Tertre
You’re bound to stumble across this beautiful square if you are walking up to Montmartre. It’s the hangout spot for the modern-day Picassos, Monets and Cézannes. If you’re looking for a unique souvenir from Paris, here’s where you’ll find it. There are street artists selling one of a kind, hand painted pictures of Paris in her many forms. There are also many artists who will create a vision before your eyes of your choice and even create charcoal portraits! These aren’t the cheapest of souvenirs but they arepriceless.
5. The Bateau-Lavoir
The Bateau-Lavoir used to be home to a piano factory but as it was poorly heated, artists would come together to warm one another up. This place has been deemed a “melting pot of Modern Art” as it quickly became home to many artists from around the world using the space to cultivate their creativity. In the heart of Emile Goudeu, the Bateau-Lavoir was home to some of the most famous artists of the 20thcentury such as: Henri Matisse, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. Sadly, the original interior burned down in a fire in 1970, however, it was quickly rebuilt, so if you get the chance to head over, check out a comparison of the original interior and the new-build.