Paris’ Hilltop Haven: Montmartre

Tours & Attractions — By on May 11, 2011 at 3:00 pm

By Kayleigh Minicozzi
LG Contributor

Photos by Kristen Putch
LG North American Travel Editor

Ahh Pari, c’est magnifique. The iconic city of love and lights was a must see at the top of my bucket list from the moment I posed for my first passport photo. The history, the lights, the romance, the Eiffel tower; I felt the innate urge to venture out into the city and soak it all in.

In my daydreams of visiting Paris I envisioned myself on a checkered blanket at the base of la tour Eiffel sipping wine or reading a novel amongst smoking café patrons at a busy corner bistro on a rainy afternoon. Admittedly every image my mind painted about Paris was straight out of a cliché postcard. My appetite would have been satisfied by the double-decker bus tour route that looped through the cities obvious attractions. On my first trip to Paris I expected to fall most in love with one of those historic stops but it was in fact an unexpected afternoon adventure that took me to my now favorite beloved Parisian spot.

When I first climbed the hundred or so stairs to the Montmartre, the northern peak of Paris, it literally and figuratively took my breath away. This hilltop oasis felt like a step back in time with its painted villas, winding streets and panoramic views. It never came to my mind when I thought about Paris and in fact I’d never even heard of the area before being introduced to it by a fellow backpacker. I now tell anyone I encounter who’s traveling to Paris to carve out a few days of their trip to roam around Montmartre for an incredible experience they’ll never forget. I could easily ramble for pages about why this nestled neighborhood full of character should be your next travel destination, but instead below is my top five reasons to visit Montmartre.

Panoramic View

Standing along the railing of the Montmartre cliff was an indescribable feeling and I truly don’t believe words or photos can do it justice. The view unveils itself in astonishing climax, like unwrapping a beautifully constructed present. After navigating through tight alley ways and climbing numerous sets of steep stone staircases, you turn a corner and are suddenly met with a bright open air feast for the eyes. 130 meters high, Montmartre overlooks the entire bustling city of Paris and in the backdrop everything from the Notre Dame Cathedral to the winding River Seine dots the landscape.  As beautiful as the sight was in the daytime, I was blown away at the transformation after dark. As the sun goes down, the city is iced in twinkling lights and the entire sparkling city of Paris is visible for miles. Don’t forget your camera and multiple sets of batteries to swap in!

Sacré Coeur

The white landmark basilica is cemented at the summit of Montmartre and at first glance resembles an ornate tiered wedding cake. Uniquely different from the more gothic style Notre Dame cathedral, the Sacré Coeur is made up of a series of layered domes and the very top dome is open to the public for an even more stunning view of the city. Inside the basilica tourist take in towering stained-glass windows, religious relics and historic statures. Haunting choir music fills the halls of the church at different hours of the day and rows of votive candles set a romantic atmosphere. Visiting the Sacré Coeur at any time of day is a must but I recommend trying to catch a mass or boy choir performance for an even more heightened experience.

Artists Community

The Montmartre was a 19th century Mecca for famous painters such as Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh. The area was cheap and many impoverished and struggling artist could afford to have studios in the community. They also benefited from the inspirational and free scenery. Although these famous greats have passed on, the artsy aura remains. In many of Montmartre sprawling squares artists with flimsy canvasses and a kaleidoscope of paints create portraits, landscapes and modern pieces that passers-by can bargain down to a good price. The scene feels like it’s out of a movie as men in paint-stained jeans wearing berets call out to woman and beg to paint them. A great sunny afternoon activity is to grab yourself a crepe and browse through the outdoor gallery and best of all, it’s free of charge.

Tasty Bakeries

Croissants, brioches and macaroons, oh my! If there’s one thing a trip to Montmartre can satisfy, it’s a carb-o-load sweet tooth. Nestled within the hilltops streets are tons of small bakeries and creperies where for a few pounds you can taste some of the freshest delicacies straight out of the oven.  If you’re ambitious enough, I recommend hiking up to the Montmartre in the early morning before the streets are crowded and the shops fill with people. In these early hours, the bakers get busy and the streets fill up with the aroma of their hard work. This is one situation where you need to throw moderation out the window. Get a bag of assorted pastries to sample and watch the sun come up on the steps of the basilica. A priceless breakfast reservation!

Picturesque Bohemian Streets

The streets circling the Sacré Coeur are a days worth of exploring on their own. There is no set destination and I don’t have recommendations of walking tours or guide books to navigate through them but simply suggest you start walking and get lost. Within minutes of strolling, the crooked cobblestone pathways, ivy and flower laced houses and small lantern posts lining the curb will engulf you. Every little detail of the scene will transport you to a different time and for a few hours make you feel like a true Parisian. Playing a voyeur, you can sometimes mingle in the routine lives of locals while they bring their children to school, get the groceries or have idle chit-chat with neighbors.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

    39 Comments

  • Hi,

    This is Matthew with Christian Media Corporation. Could we please have a moment to discuss these advantages!
    Reach: 7 million (ChristianPost.com)
    I found the organization you represent quite exciting and I believe that there could be a great fit between us.
    I would like to talk with you soon in details regarding to the prospect of a mutually beneficial relationship with you and to opportunities the future may bring.
    Through CMC’s advertisement services, we help organizations with:

    • Branding opportunity with the most influential Christian media network in the US.
    • Custom solutions, such as advertorials, channel pages, and exclusive ads to meet your campaign objectives.
    • Social media creates a buzz for your campaign.
    • Ideal mix of loyal readers and first time visitors to maximize your results and exposure.
    • High percentage of pastors and community influencers increase opportunities for group sales.
    • Geo targeting, Demo targeting, Contextual targeting by keyword and condition, retargeting available.
    • Transparent reports for in-depth campaign analysis.

    I hope also that you’ll feel free to call me with any questions, challenges or problems I may be able to help you or your team work out. Thanks a lot!

    Matthew Hayes
    Account Executive
    Christian Media Corporation
    Phone | 202.450.4602
    Direct | 202.538.4148
    Fax | 202.280.1313
    Email | Matthew@christianpost.com

    National Press Building, 529 14th St., NW, Suite 440, Washington, DC20045

    ****************************************************************
    CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This E-Mail is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you have received this communication in error, please do not distribute and delete the original message. Please notify the sender by E-Mail at the address shown. Thank you for your compliance.

  • Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when
    I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI,
    just 3G .. Anyhow, wonderful blog!

    Take a look at my weblog: Camping Knots tent

  • Kiera says:

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I
    provide credit and sources back to your website? My blog site is in the
    very same area of interest as yours and my visitors would really benefit from a lot of the
    information you provide here. Please let me
    know if this okay with you. Thanks!

    Feel free to surf to my web site: Kiera

  • great put up, very informative. I’m wondering why the opposite specialists of this sector do not understand this. You should proceed your writing. I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

    My site – folding backpacking Utensils

  • Wow, that’s what I was searching for, what a information! present here at this webpage, thanks admin of this site.

    my homepage :: walkie talkie app

  • Hello everyone, it’s my first go to see at this web site, and piece of writing is truly fruitful in favor of me, keep up posting these articles or reviews.

    Also visit my web site … garmin gps sd card size

  • Dorothea says:

    Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this site. It’s
    simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appeal. I must say that you’ve done a great
    job with this. Also, the blog loads super quick for me on
    Opera. Outstanding Blog!

    Feel free to visit my blog post: garmin nuvi gps for truckers
    Dorothea

  • Hello i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere, when i read
    this post i thought i could also make comment due to this good paragraph.

    My webpage: sleeping bag at target

  • Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your
    website is wonderful, as well as the content!

    Stop by my page car battery keeper

  • Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

    Feel free to surf to my weblog; car battery on sale

  • Hi there, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious
    if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you stop it,
    any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately
    it’s driving me insane so any assistance is very much appreciated.

    Also visit my web page; vacuum cleaner kenmore parts

  • With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into
    any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My website has a lot of
    exclusive content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any methods to help stop content from being stolen? I’d really appreciate it.

    My blog post – gas grills home depot

  • Fabulous, what a website it is! This web site provides valuable information to us, keep it
    up.

    Also visit my weblog … lose weight eat less

  • Wilson says:

    Simply wish to say your article is as astounding.
    The clarity in your post is simply nice and i could assume
    you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to
    grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

    my page candy crush saga cheats – Wilson

  • slotomania says:

    You made some decent points there. I checked on the web for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

    Also visit my site slotomania

  • memory foam mattress queen walmart memory foam mattress bamboo memory foam
    mattress uncomfortable memory foam mattress lawsuit memory foam
    mattress reviews ikea memory foam mattress pad

    Visit my web page :: memory foam mattress delivered to france

  • Wonderful beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend
    your web site, how can i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I had been a little bit acquainted of this your
    broadcast provided bright clear concept

    Here is my website – Msr mutha hubba

  • memory foam mattress pros and cons memory foam mattress sam’s club memory foam mattress xl silver memory foam mattress overstock memory foam mattress expansion time memory foam mattress topper reviews

    my website silentnight memory foam mattress in a box

  • I got this web site from my buddy who shared with me regarding this web page and at
    the moment this time I am visiting this site and reading very informative articles at
    this place.

    my page: tent manufacturers

  • Wonderful post however I was wanting to know if you could
    write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thanks!

    Here is my blog post; toothbrush News

  • Angelika says:

    I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also go to see this blog on regular basis to obtain updated from hottest information.

    My page … metal detector sales (Angelika)

  • You are so interesting! I don’t suppose I’ve read through a
    single thing like that before. So wonderful to find somebody with a
    few unique thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously..
    thank you for starting this up. This site is something that is needed on the web, someone
    with some originality!

    Also visit my weblog – force factor one weird trick

  • I’m not sure where you’re getting your info,
    but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for wonderful information I was looking for this info for my mission.

    Look at my web site – camping stove power generator

  • I do not even know how I stopped up right here, but
    I believed this put up was once good. I do
    not recognize who you are however definitely you’re going to a famous blogger in the event you aren’t already.
    Cheers!

    my website :: Masterbuilt 40 Electric Smoker With Window

  • Good article. I am dealing with some of these issues as well..

    My blog post: tea party ideas baby shower

  • I must thank you for the efforts you have put in
    penning this site. I’m hoping to see the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own site now 😉

    Feel free to surf to my site – toothbrush life cycle

  • Katie says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about artists. Regards

    Feel free to visit my homepage :: force factor how to cancel (Katie)

  • I constantly spent my half an hour to read this website’s content daily along with a cup of coffee.

    Here is my web blog – cuisinart burr grinder bed bath beyond

  • We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in
    our community. Your site offered us with valuable information to work
    on. You’ve done a formidable job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

    Feel free to visit my page: best inexpensive coffee grinder for french press

  • Hi there to every one, since I am actually keen of reading this weblog’s post to be updated on a regular basis. It consists of good material.

    My web site :: sleeping bag with built in pad

  • Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m
    thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an
    aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for inexperienced blog writers? I’d
    definitely appreciate it.

    my weblog juicer Reviews

  • Gonzalo says:

    Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

    I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m
    a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a
    free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any recommendations? Appreciate it!

    Here is my blog boston tea party kids encyclopedia :: Gonzalo ::

  • Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be
    book-marking and checking back often!

    Feel free to surf to my blog :: Camping Stove youtube

  • Hello! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a
    blog article or vice-versa? My blog addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe
    we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested
    feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Fantastic blog by the way!

    Look into my web site … vacuum cleaner extension wands

  • Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m going to start my own blog
    in the near future but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  • Hi I am so grateful I found your site, I really found you by accident, while
    I was researching on Askjeeve for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say thanks
    a lot for a fantastic post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please
    do keep up the excellent jo.

    My webpage; force factor vitamin world

  • This article will assist the internet viewers for creating
    new blog or even a weblog from start to end.

    Also visit my page; pasta maker for zucchini

  • My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on a variety
    of websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform.
    I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I
    can import all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be
    greatly appreciated!

    Feel free to visit my web-site :: vacuum cleaner extension wands

  • Link exchange is nothing else but it is just placing the other person’s weblog link on your page at proper place and other person will also do similar in favor of you.

    Here is my website :: pasta maker game