Montmartre, once a rural village outside of Paris, is a tourist haven perched 1,300 feet above Paris capturing magnificent panoramas of the city. The most famous attractions are the beloved Sacre Coeur Basilica with impressive Roman Byzantine architecture, the artists' square Place de Tertre where Picasso, Braque, Toulouse Lautrec, Renoir and Degas used to paint their masterpieces in the early 20th century, and the charming cafes and buildings.
Beyond the tourist attractions mentioned above, we found another side of Montmartre most visitors never venture to. Here’s what we discovered.
Museum of Montmartre
Once the home of artist Auguste Renoir, the Museum of Montmartre is the oldest building in Montmartre, dating back from the 17th century. The home also housed the ateliers of painters Suzanne Valadon, Émile Bernard, Emile Othon Friesz and Raoul Dufy.
The museum has a rich permanent collection of posters, paintings and drawings of Toulouse-Lautrec, Modigliani, Kupka, Steinlen, Valadon, and Utrillo. Travelers can take a stroll in the serene Renoir garden and admire the view of the vineyard of Montmartre and views of the northern tip of Paris.
12 rue Cortot, 75018
Showcasing the eccentric and multi-talented artist Salvador Dali, Espace Dali has the largest private collection of Dali’s works in France. The museum features an annual temporary exhibit and the permanent collection has over 300 works including sculptures, drawings, furniture and objets.
11, rue Poulbot, 75018
Ave Junot is one of the more exclusive streets of Montmartre, with mansions and large private homes ranging from the Art Nouveau to the Art Deco period, 1890-1930. Try taking a walk through the Villa Leandre, a cul du sac with the most adorable three-story fairy tale-like cottages overflowing with ivy and rose bushes.
A hidden romantic getaway awaits you in Montmartre. Hôtel Particulier Montmartre is a former house and garden transformed into a small boutique hotel. The highlight of the hotel is the beautiful 9,0000 ft. flower garden where in spring and summer guests can enjoy a cool drink, tea, snacks or cocktails. Inside is a formal restaurant with inventive cuisine from chef Thibaut Spiwack, who creates three and five course dinners, plus afternoon tea and snacks plus Sunday brunch.
The hotel has five suites, all individually designed by different artists.
23 Ave. Junot. Pavillon D, 75018
A visit to Montmartre wouldn’t be complete without a stop at one of its renowned boulangeries. Gontran Cherrier is a favorite of the neighborhood with his delicious selection of organic breads, pastries, sandwiches, tarts and quiches.
22 rue Caulaincourt 75018
As you approach Place Dalida, a quiet square at the intersection of Rue Girardon and Rue de l'Abreuvoir, you will notice a sculpture of a beautiful woman with long flowing hair, high cheekbones, and full lips.
Dalida was one of the greatest superstars of France. Singer, performer and actress, she sold over 170 million records, sold out concerts all over Europe and Asia, and recorded 70 gold records in a career that spanned over 40 years.
Despite her enormously successful career, Dalida’s personal life was marked by tragedy: her first husband committed suicide, followed by the suicide of her lover and then her best friend, Dalida herself succumbed to suicide in 1987 at the age of 54.
Dalida was a long term resident of Montmartre, finding peace and solitude in the hilltop village.