Montmartre is by far my favourite area in Paris, when I used to live in Dijon i would make my way to Paris and try go to Montmartre as often as I could, that was back in 2003 though so I was looking forward to visiting 13 years on!
Not only is it beautiful towards to Sacré Coeur but there is a lot of history in Montmartre. Sex shops, strip shows and all sorts is also found in abundance... Whilst that's not why I go to Montmartre it was interesting to learn the history of the area on a free walking tour. So many famous artists would live in this neighbourhood, its a place for romantics, music and art lovers.
The walking tour started with a talk in Pigalle outside the famous Moulin Rouge, I was lucky to be going for a show there later that night. I love the famous red windmill and it looked awesome against a blue sky. Mitul had reserved our place on the free tour on this website: http://www.discoverwalks.com/tour/paris-walking-tours/montmartre-tour/
We carried on walking around, slowly making our way to the Sacré Coeur, but lots of stops on the way (its a steep hill, but even someone as unfit as me didn't mind it!)
We were stopped outside a café which I quickly recognised was the famous Café des Deux Moulins which is the café filmed in my favourite French movie Amélie. On the way back Mitul and I stopped for a vin rouge here. Van Gogh once lived with his brother here on Rue Lepic and you can see the plaque at no.54z
We then walked to Rue Des Abbesses and saw the famous Le Grenier a Pain which is where Mitul and I went for lunch the previous day. There is the Red Saint- Jean de Montmartre Church here too.
Although this isn't included in the walking tour, you are right by a park the has the recently famed 'Mur Des je t'aimer' which says I love you in about 250 languages, this is where Mitul and I stopped and ate our baguettes for lunch from Grenier a Pain!
We then arrived at Dalida's house, a famous Egypitian/Italian singer who recorded in many languages. Dalida killed herself in 1987 and now they say when you pass her house, you are cursed with never being loved again....
From here, I just loved the walk on Rue de L'Abreuvoir and the Maison Rose. So pretty!
We then went to Rue des Saules and saw the last vineyard of the hill, apparently the wine from this vineyard does not taste very good, but the setting gives a picture of what Montmartre looked like back in the 1800's. The old artists favourite cabaret would take place at 'Au Lapin Agile' which you can see here too!
Our wonderful guide Quentin is a keen walker, and he never stops walking around Paris so he knows loads of good spots which are covered in tourists- and so he took us to Parc Marcel- Bleustein- Blanchet. This small park boats the best view of the Sacré Couer! I love the Sacré Couer and would come to see it regularly in 2003, this is by far the best view point! We had the view to ourselves, a total highlight for me!
This walking tour showed me new parts of the beautiful Montmartre. This area feels more crowded with tourists now but ignore that and look at the old romantic charm that still exists. Its no wonder this area is so popular.. I'm no artist, but even I felt wistful and inspired here!
This was the end our walking tour, but Mitul and I carried on discovering Montmartre and you can read about it here.