Let's climb up and up the hill...
Montmartre is a place known by all the Paris lovers out there. Who has never seen the iconic Sacré Coeur Basilica and its white domes? The building overlooks the City of Lights, and can be seen from pretty much everywhere around, if you look hard enough.
Today I will be taking you around Montmartre, along the cobbled streets and the narrow alleys of this very unique and peculiar part of Paris. We'll start at the bottom of the stairs leading to the Sacré Coeur, of course!
To reach the stairs of the Sacré Coeur, stop at the métro stop Anvers on line 2, and just follow the crowds of people climbing up the busy street perpendicular to the stop. On the way, avoid falling in the numerous tourist traps; keep your pennies to do an offering at the Basilica. Once you arrive at the top of that long street, probably breathless (or is it just me?), look up: the Sacré Coeur will be greeting you in its beautiful, fairytale-like glory. Oh, and don't be surprised: the place will be buzzing with people, selfie sticks and street sellers. The place is only ever empty in postcards or at five in the morning.
Before you climb all these stairs, why not going for a spin in the Carousel? I can't resist a pretty, old-fashioned ride. Do I need to mention that my friends Julie, Céline and myself were the only adults in the Carousel that were not parents accompanying their children? Whatever. We were the children.
After the ride, it's finally time to climb these stairs! As much as a photo there would look awesome, chances are you won't be able to get a decent shot as dozens of other people are trying to get their photos taken at the exact same spot. So forget that selfie mode for a bit and look at the view!
Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the inside of the Sacré Coeur, but you should definitely go in and have a look around. Churches have that aura about them that I find entrancing, and if you're willing to make extra effort to climb to the tower, you'll be rewarded with a beautiful view of Paris.
Although the view from the outside of the Basilica isn't too bad either.
Once you've had a proper look at the Sacred Heart and wish to move away from the noisy, busy crowds, go around the left of the building. A few streets later, you'll arrive at the top of a big staircase. Look at the view, and you'll realise how high up above Paris you are standing!
After that just turn in the street where the Maison Rose is - I am sure you've seen a thousand photos of it already - and just have a look around. Montmartre is all grey stones and green façades. With a little bit of colour thrown in!
Montmartre is also the haven of the many artists that find inspiration in Paris. You'll quickly notice that as you get lost in the meander of small streets full or Art galleries and restaurants. Look up at the façades and shop signs: it'll feel like you've stepped back in time. Art appears in the shops, on the walls (as this funny sculpture of Marcel Aymé shows well enough!), and in the streets are artists will ask you to draw your portrait, or sell their artworks in their little corner of Place du Tertre.
The Place du Tertre is wonderful. My friends and I walked around, having a look at the paintings hanging on the easels, and glancing curiously at the artists at work. You can buy beautiful art and support the artists in a much more relaxed and friendly way than by just buying in art galleries. Some artists do portraits, others paint dreamy landscapes of Paris, and there was this one artist who did the cutest paintings of cats. Surprisingly (or not), they were my favourite!
This art nook was our last stop in Montmartre, and as the afternoon advanced we went back down the hill, spotting a few street art pieces on the way.
In life I have loved and I have been loved now I am tired I am taking some rest.
Montmartre really is a place in Paris that's like no other. It is inspiring, peaceful and buzzing at the same time, old and modern. This is the perfect place to visit on a sunny afternoon with friends.
Did you know about Montmartre? What is a place in Paris that you'd like to see?