Montmartre Walking Tour, Paris

Montmartre is one of the most famous and visited neighborhoods in Paris. It has some extremely beautiful plazas and marvelous architectural masterpieces. This tour comprises a few of the most popular places to be visited in Montmartre.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Montmartre Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Montmartre Walking Tour
Guide Location: France » Paris (See other walking tours in Paris)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km
Author: karen
Lapin Agile

1) Lapin Agile

Lapin Agile is an informal cabaret venue established in 1850. It is situated in the center of the Montmartre district of Paris, near the Sacre Coeur Basilica. Originally called "Cabaret des Assassins" in the mid 19th century, it was named so because of a gang of murderers who burst into the building and killed the owner's son. With the passage of time, the name had changed to Lapin Agile. In 1875, the artist Andre Gill painted a sign, featuring the rabbit jumping out of a pan, upon which the locals promptly took to calling it Le Lapin à Gill (Gill's Rabbit). At the end of the 19th century and the outset of the 20th, the Lapin was a favorite spot for artists and writers, such as Picasso, Modigliani, Apollinaire and Utrillo. Eventually, the name of the place has transformed to Cabaret Au Lapin Agile, by which it is still known today.

In 1905, Picasso captured the cabaret on his world famous oil painting, At the Lapin Agile. The picture sold at an auction in the 1980s for many millions of pounds, thus bringing the cabaret a great deal of fame. It is currently displayed at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Over the years, many other artists have captured the cabaret in their works, too. For over one and a half centuries, Lapin Agile has been beaconing light on the northern slope of Montmartre. This somewhat strange looking, but lovely little house welcomes visitors with French songs, some of which date back to the fifteenth century. Its walls are covered with souvenirs, paintings, poems and testimonies. Today, Lapin Agile is just as famous as it was in the past. Initials of its former patrons can still be seen carved out on the wooden tables. This authentic Parisian club is suitable for a family outing, and is usually rather busy, so advance reservations are highly recommended. A good variety of incredible singers and poets perform here live on a regular basis, sometimes taking as long as four hours per show, creating an incredibly warm atmosphere and making the time spent at Lapin Agile well worth remembering.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Musee du Vieux Montmartre

2) Musee du Vieux Montmartre

The Musée du Vieux Montmartre is a historical museum that recounts the history of Montmartre from its very beginning. On display here are old maps, original documents, photographs and many other objects of historical importance related to the most famous district of Paris. The museum is housed in one of the city's oldest buildings, dated the 17th century, that has been blessed with the presence, at various times, of many nationally and internationally recognized artists and other famous personalities. One of them, painter Auguste Renoir, had a studio here in 1876, in which he added finishing touches to one of his most celebrated paintings, “Moulin de la Galette.”

The museum features a pretty courtyard, full of giant fuchsias. There is a beautiful garden around the building that gives the look and feel of the 17th century life. Inside the building, you can see pictures, sketches and souvenirs outlining the true story of Montmartre. There is an extremely rich and diverse collection that has been in existence since 1886, held by the scholars of the Society of Old Montmartre. Exhibits rotate frequently and are devoted to artists of many different styles. The historical display includes sections dedicated to the Revolution of 1789, the Russian invasion of 1814, the Commune in 1870, and the construction of the Sacred Heart in 1875. Here, you can also see the original sign that Andre Gill produced for the cabaret Lapin Agile, along with sketches and posters by Theophile Steinlen. The quiet museum in a beautifully restored 17th century mansion also serves as a cultural centre offering its members a venue for conferences, shows and concerts. For a very nominal fee, you can also become a member and enjoy Montmartre-related shows, talks, conferences and exhibits, held here, completely free of charge.

Operation hours: daily 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Church of Saint Peter of Montmartre

3) Church of Saint Peter of Montmartre

The Church of Saint Peter of Montmartre, founded by Saint Denis, is one of the two main churches in Montmartre, Paris. Historically, the church is important for being built on the site of a Roman temple and a 7th-century Merovingian church. The structure formed part of a Benedictine nunnery, established by Adelaide de Savioe, mother of King Louis VII, in 1134. The nunnery moved downhill to a new location in the 1680s. During the French Revolution, Saint- Pierre-de-Montmartre was demolished and a tower was built upon its apse for sending arm-, flag- and pole signals. The last abbess of the nunnery was guillotined in 1794. Nothing of the original convent, except a few columns, has survived until today. The 1670s and early 1680s marked a special moment in the building's history. Then, in 1675, music came to play an important role in the abbey's religious services. It happened after Marc-Antoine Charpentier wrote devotional music to be performed there.

The church's architecture reflects a traditional, Latin-cross plan with three naves, a transept, and a tangle of medieval and later styles. The apse was rebuilt in the late 12th century. The facade dates from the 17th century, and the windows are filled with the stained glass produced in the 20th century. Behind the altar is the tomb of Adelaide Savioe, founder of the convent. For many years, the church had served as a resting place for pilgrims heading to Saint-Denis Basilica. In 1875, it was somewhat overshadowed by the newly built Basilique du Sacre-Coeur nearby. Although largely refurbished during the 19th century, the Church of Saint Peter is still acknowledged as one of the oldest places of worship in Paris. Numerous tourists come here every day and pay homage to, among other things, the marvelous pillars of Roman origin.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Sacre Coeur Basilica

4) Sacre Coeur Basilica (must see)

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France. The inspiration for the Basilica originated in the wake of the division in French society that arose in the decades following French Revolution, between devout Catholics and legitimist royalists on one side, and democrats, secularists, socialists, and radicals on the other. Architect Paul Abadie designed the basilica. With delays in assembling the property, the foundation stone was finally laid 16 June 1875. The overall style of the structure shows a free interpretation of Romano-Byzantine features – an unusual architectural vocabulary at the time, which was a conscious reaction against the neo-Baroque excesses of the Opéra Garnier, which was cited in the competition. Many design elements of the basilica symbolize nationalist themes.

Why You Should Visit:
The beauty of this landmark is best appreciated as you climb the stairs to the top. There is also a quaint little village area beyond the basilica.
Once at the top, the inside of the church is exquisite and beautiful. And, if you are lucky to climb the stairs on a clear day, you will witness one of the city's most glorious views!

You will need a level of fitness to climb the stairs; however, you can also get inside a cable car (for the cost of a ticket). Alternately, you can hop on the free mini-train which starts from opposite the Windmill Theater in Montmartre (Red Light District) and stops behind Sacre Coeur.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8:30am-8pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Place du Tertre

5) Place du Tertre

The Place du Tertre is a square in Paris' XVIIIe arrondissement. With its many artists setting up their easels each day for the tourists, the Place du Tertre is a reminder of the time when Montmartre was the mecca of modern art. At the beginning of the 20th century, many penniless painters including Picasso and Utrillo were living there. Prominent in the square is a cafe, Au Clairon des Chasseurs, which is famous for its reasonably priced local cuisine, and as a bonus, its constant live music which is in the style of Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France. L'Espace Salvador Dalí, a museum principally dedicated to the sculpture and drawings of Salvador Dalí, can be found a few steps from Place du Tertre.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Place du Calvaire

6) Place du Calvaire

Place du Calvaire is where you can come to get a panoramic view of Paris. It is the place where the famous artist Maurice Neumont once lived. His house is right next to the little square.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Espace Dali

7) Espace Dali (must see)

Salvador Dalí is one of the world's most acclaimed artists of the 20th century and a recognized master of surrealism. He was born in Spain in 1904. Initially an Impressionist, Dali discovered Cubism in 1921. His works comprise, apart from paintings, three-dimensional sculptures and engravings. L'Espace Dalí museum in Paris is situated right next to the picturesque Place du Tertre in the Montmartre area. This unique permanent exhibition is dedicated solely to the art of Salvador Dalí and houses over 300 original works of the artist – the largest collection of Dalínian sculptures and engravings in France.

The outstanding exhibit reveals hidden sides of the Catalan Master’s imagination. The museum also displays some of his clothing design and a film. The film is shown deep inside the corridor, something one doesn't get to see very often at an art gallery. Famous original sculptures, such as Space Elephant and Alice in Wonderland, are featured here alongside some of Dalí's works on paper, including Moses and Monotheism, Memories of Surrealism, etc. Visitors will also get a chance to have a detailed look at the creative process behind some of Salvador Dalí's most celebrated works. L’Espace Dalí is a great place to visit for the whole family and a pleasant escape from the crowd of Montmartre.

Why You Should Visit:
A fascinating exhibition, perfect for Dalí aficionados or for anyone wishing to understand the motivations and meaning behind Dalí's work.

There is a lovely gift shop at the end and even the opportunity to buy some of the artwork if you feel like spending some serious money.
The area around the museum is lively with various artists doing caricatures, cartoons, paintings, etc. Lots of good places to eat and spend some time.

Operation Hours:
Daily: 10am-6:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Le Bateau-Lavoir

8) Le Bateau-Lavoir

Le Bateau-Lavoir is the place in Montmartre, the area in northern Paris, on the hill above the River Seine, which was once densely inhabited by artists and people of literature. Originally a piano factory, the building was later made into several art studios. French painter, Max Jacob, in the early years of the 20th century called it Le Bateau (the boat) for its resemblance to a laundry boat. Later, the small square in front of the building was named Place Émile Goudeau after the eponymous French singer. Painter, Maxime Maufra, was the first tenant at Le Bateau in 1890. From 1904, it was predominantly occupied by emerging artists and writers, as well as actors, art dealers and even inquisitive strangers, most of whom were extremely poor and unappreciated. After Maufra, Kees van Dongen and, later, Pablo Picasso lived here. Picasso quartered from 1904 to 1912, and produced here his world-famous “The Third Rose” and “Les Demoiselles d' Avignon.” Othon Friesz painted “The Reclining Nude” whilst staying at Le Bateau in 1905.

It was at this informal art club that Picasso voiced for the first time the concept of cubism. Daily discussions took place in the studios of Picasso and Juan Gris, and spilled out into the neighboring cafes. Slowly, the old style of painting was abandoned and a new aesthetic doctrine started to emerge. The First World War, broke out in 1914, forced many artists to leave Montmartre for a more comfortable, calmer residence. In 1970, the original Le Bateau-Lavoir building was destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt several years later. Today, the birthplace of Cubism is no longer open to the public, but its front window, filled with old photographs, vividly depicts the eventful history of the place. If you have a flair for art, you must absolutely not miss it!
Sight description based on wikipedia
Moulin de la Galette

9) Moulin de la Galette

The Moulin de la Galette is the name of a windmill and associated business in upper Montmartre, also known as Blute-fin (“sifting flour”) Windmill. It was built in 1622, and eventually gained much popularity, and not just for its milling service. Owned by the Debray family, in the 19th century it earned reputation for the extremely tasty brown bread galette (sea biscuit) sold with a glass of milk, to which the place owes its name. In 1830 the milk gave way to wine, a particular Montmartre brand, and thus, the windmill turned into a cabaret. Parisians frequented the place to enjoy the freshly baked galettes with a glass of wine, and enjoy the panoramic views of Paris and the river Seine from the top of the hill.

During the Franco-Prussian War, Montmartre was invaded by 20,000 Prussian troops. Pierre-Charles Debray, owner of the windmill, was brutally murdered while trying to defend his property; his body was nailed to the windmill's wings. A communal grave for those died in the battle was made near the Moulin de la Galette. In 1833, the Debray family converted the place into a viewing tower and a dance floor. The idea proved successful and the owner's flair for dancing and enthusiasm soon drew more visitors. A number of old-time shops, orchards and two windmills are still present in Montmartre. The Moulin de la Galette was declared a monument in 1939. Restored in 1978, it is now a private property and, sadly, no longer open for the general public. The windmill, however, marks the entrance to a bistro named Le Moulin de la Galette.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Montmartre Cemetery

10) Montmartre Cemetery

Montmartre Cemetery is a famous cemetery located at 37 Avenue Samson, in Paris, France. Cemeteries had been banned from Paris since the shutting down of the Cimetière des Innocents in 1786, as they presented health hazards. Several new cemeteries replaced all the Parisian ones, outside the precincts of the capital, in the early 19th century: Montmartre in the north, Père Lachaise Cemetery in the east, Passy Cemetery in the west and Montparnasse Cemetery in the south. Located west of the Butte, near the beginning of Rue Caulaincourt in Place Clichy, the cemetery in the Montmartre quarter of Paris is built below street level in the hollow of an old quarry with its entrance on Avenue Rachel under Rue Caulaincourt. The cemetery epitomizes the artsy, quixotic, gentle, almost whimsical Paris that every romantic visitor secretly cherishes. A popular tourist destination, it is the final resting place of many famous artists who lived and worked in the Montmartre area.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Moulin Rouge

11) Moulin Rouge (must see)

Moulin Rouge, Red Mill, is a cabaret built in 1889 by Joseph Oller, who also owned the Paris Olympia. Close to Montmartre in the Paris red-light district of Pigalle on Boulevard de Clichy in the 18th arrondissement, it is marked by the red windmill on its roof. Today the Moulin Rouge is a tourist destination, offering musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world. Much of the romance of turn-of-the-century France is still present in the club's decor. The main feature of an evening at the Moulin Rouge is the performance. The venue has become internationally famous as the home of the traditional French can-can, which is still performed there today. The Moulin Rouge lost much of its former reputation as a 'high-class brothel' and it soon became fashionable for French society to visit and see the spectacular cabarets, which have included a can-can ever since.

Why You Should Visit:
Beautiful French women. Great acrobatic performances. An old-era glamour that sucks you right in.
Even if you don't feel like watching a show at Moulin Rouge, the district itself is very lively and colorful, especially at night. Visiting it immerses you into what Paris nightlife is famous for.

Try to turn up three-quarter of an hour early if you book the Moulin Rouge as you're likely to get a better seating spot.

There are two shows every night at the Moulin Rouge: at 9pm and 11pm (only on Fridays and Saturdays at 11pm until the end of March).
Those who choose dinner are expected at 7pm, with the Moulin Rouge live orchestra.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cafe des 2 Moulins

12) Cafe des 2 Moulins

The Cafe des 2 Moulins (French for "Two Windmills") is a cafe in the Montmartre area of Paris. It takes its name from the two nearby historical windmills, Moulin Rouge and Moulin de la Galette. The interior consists of a bar area and multiple small tables. The cafe has gained considerable fame since its appearance in the 2001 film, 'Amélie', in which it is the workplace of the title character. It has since become a popular tourist destination.

The cafe where Amelie works is located at 15 rue Lepic. The interior of Cafe des 2 Moulins is exactly like it was in the movie and the window on the side street is decorated with Amelie memorabilia. The photos of lead actress Audry Tautou smiles at us from behind the glass. The owner has sold the café after much thought under the condition that the interior remains intact.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Paris, France

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Create Your Own Walk in Paris

Creating your own self-guided walk in Paris is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Louvre (1st Arr) Walking Tour II

Louvre (1st Arr) Walking Tour II

This is part 2 of the 1st arrondissement tour of Paris exploring one of the smallest and oldest districts of the French capital, home to some of Paris's major landmarks, as well as business and administration offices . This itinerary includes Pavillon de Flore, Tuileries Gardens, Musée de l'Orangerie and many other prominent sights.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
Religious Sights Walking Tour

Religious Sights Walking Tour

Paris is one of the cities that can fairly be considered a religious destination because of the number of churches that one is able to visit here. Reports show that, for instance, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, recorded 13.65 million visits in 2006, and the number is increasing every year. This is a tour that includes some of the most beautiful Christian relics located in the center of Paris - the Latin Quarter.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
The French Revolution Landmarks Walking Tour

The French Revolution Landmarks Walking Tour

The French Revolution had a huge impact on France's history as it gave rise to a radical democratic republic and resulted in violence during the Reign of Terror. A lot of Paris' buildings were damaged beyond repair in the course of the Revolution. The sites they occupied are of a great historical value now. This guide is to highlight the landmarks of the French Revolution that remain.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.4 km
Le Marais Walking Tour

Le Marais Walking Tour

The district Le Marais used to be a bourgeois area in the past and a major center of the Paris Jewish community that still exists today. Here, you will find different bookshops specializing in Jewish books, restaurants with traditional Jewish food and a synagogue. You may consider taking the self-guided city tour presented below to visit all the important attractions in Le Marais.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Luxembourg (6th Arr) Walking Tour

Luxembourg (6th Arr) Walking Tour

This tour takes you to explore the 6th or so-called Luxembourg arrondissement, one of the most expensive districts of Paris, home to posh boutiques, eateries and iconic cafes once favored by legendary writers, the likes of Hemingway and Camus. The area is particularly renowned for its unique architecture, rich history, and deeply rooted intellectual tradition. On this tour you will visit Jardin du Luxembourg, Le Palais de Luxembourg, Saint-Sulpice Church and other notable sights.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Pantheon (5th Arr) Walking Tour

Pantheon (5th Arr) Walking Tour

The city of Paris is divided into twenty "arrondissements municipaux", administrative districts, more simply referred to as arrondissements. The twenty arrondissements are arranged in the form of a clockwise spiral, starting from the middle of the city, with the first on the Right Bank (north bank) of the Seine. The 5th arrondissement of Paris (also known as "arrondissement du Panthéon") is the oldest arrondissement in Paris, and was first built by the Roman. Take this tour to visit Musée de Cluny, Panthéon, St-Séverin Church and many others.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Paris for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Paris has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Paris's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Paris Pass, Paris Explorer Pass, Paris Museum Pass, or Paris Night Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Paris' top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Paris hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: Novotel Paris Les Halles, Les Rives de Notre-Dame, 9Confidentiel.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Paris, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Paris typically costs from around US$20 up to US$200 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Paris from the open top of the bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get off at any of the stops along the two interconnecting routes (your ticket is valid for both).

- Alternatively, you can cruise along the river Seine on a similar hop-on hop-off sightseeing boat viewing Paris's top attractions from a different angle, able to get on and off as often as you want at any of the eight stops along the Seine riverbanks. The ticket is valid for one day (24 hrs) and may be upgraded to two days (48 hrs).

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour – this usually lasts about 3 hours and allows you to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have done by walking.

- Pedal your way around Paris on a bike tour. In the course of 4 hours you will visit the city's most spectacular sights stopping at each of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the city from an informative group leader.

- Take a walk around Paris with a knowledgeable guide for an alternative view of the French capital. Over the course of this 2-hour walking tour you will get insights and hear stories about every major classic sight of this fascinating city. A complete overview of Paris from the ground up!

- Come see the best of the French capital in just one day in a combo of a Seine river cruise and historical walk of Paris. You may start either with the Eiffel Tower or the Notre-Dame Cathedral making your way around the iconic sights of the city: the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Grand Palais, Alexandre III bridge, Invalides, Concorde Square, Orsay Museum, etc.

- Missing out on the French food, whilst in Paris, would be worse than a crime – it would be a mistake! If you don't want to make such a mistake, consider a private 3-hour food tour of Paris complete with a set of 10 unforgettable tastings the memories of which will last you a lifetime. Just make sure to bring along your appetite to make the most of the savory treats awaiting!

- Live a chocoholic’s dream right at the heart of Paris! Follow your sweet tooth sense on this 2-hour guided “chocolate walk” in central Paris visiting some of the best chocolate boutiques of the French capital, learning about peculiar chapters in the history of the city and the place delectable chocolate played in it. Adding to the excitement is a round of free tastings.

Day Trips

If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Paris, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations, like Versailles, Fontainebleau, Champagne region, Loire valley, Normandy, or a combo of Honfleur and Giverny. For as little as US$90+ to US$200+ per person you will get a chance to discover highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, see the favorite residence of the French royalty, world-famous vineyards, charming castles, and historic battlefields of World War II. For any of these tours you may be picked up either straight from your hotel or any other place in Paris, and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned minivan or train (whenever applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.