Montmartre and Surrounding Areas: Paris’ 18th Arrondissement
The 18th arrondissement, located on the Right Bank, is best known for the bustling tourist area of Montmartre, including Sacre Coeur (the hilltop white domed basilica) and the famous (now quite seedy) Pigalle district, home to the Moulin Rouge. The 18th is also home to the multiracial area called La Goutte d’Or or ‘Golden Drop’ (also the name of a white wine). La Goutte d’Or also extends into the 10th arrondissement.
Place de Clichy, Blanche, Pigalle, Anvers, Barbès-Rochechouart, Pigalle, Abbesses and Chateau Rouge are some of the most commonly used metro stops in the 18th arrondissement.
What to do in Paris’s 18th Arrondissement
Light a candle in Sacré-Cœur. La Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city. Its gleaming white dome can be seen from almost any point in Paris. The Catholic basilica was constructed between 1875 and 1914 as an homage to Romano-Byzantine architecture. I recommend tackling the long climb up to the top of the dome—the views of Paris are spectacular. Be forewarned that photography is not allowed in the basilica. Also, this area is known for pickpockets and scammers, so it’s best not to talk to anyone, especially if they approach you in an urgent manner.
Place de Parvis du Sacré Coeur
rue du Chevalier-de-la-Barrre
Métro: Abbesses / Anvers’
Take a macabre stroll through Cimetière de Montmartre. Montmartre Cemetery is the final resting place of many famous French people and international figures. The flamboyant mausoleums and grave sites are not to be missed. Some of the many famous people buried here are: Hector Berlioz, Edgar Degas, Alexandre Dumas, Jean Foucault, Vaslav Nijinsky, and Emile Zola. In recent years, Montmartre Cemetery has become overrun with feral cats. Best to admire them from afar.
rue de la Barrière Blanche
Métro: Place de Clichy
Le Moulin Rouge
Enjoy dinner and a show at Le Moulin Rouge. Made famous to international audiences by the eponymous film, Moulin Rouge is a burlesque theater that offers two dance/comedy/magic shows per night. Tickets can be purchased for just the show or dinner and a show. Be prepared to shell out at least 100 euros per person for an evening at Le Moulin Rouge.
View Surrealist art at Espace Dali (11 rue Poulbot, place du Tertre, Métro: Anvers, Abbesses). Espace Dali is one of the hidden gems of the 18th arrondissement. The small museum contains both original works and reproductions as well as historical information about the artist and the Surrealist movement.
Where to shop in the 18th Arrondissement
Clignancourt Flea Market
Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen. The Clingancourt Flea Market holds the title of the largest flea market in Europe. The expansive market is comprised of over 2,000 permanent and temporary stalls selling everything from upscale antiques to plastic knickknacks. Brush up on your bargaining skills—it’s expected!
Porte de Clignancourt
Métro: Porte de Clignancourt
Spree is a design-conscious store that features home goods, art, clothes and accessories from every corner of the globe.
16, rue La Vieuville
The 18th is home to a variety of open-air markets as well. The most notable of these are:
Boulevard de la Chapelle
Hours: Wednesdays from 7:00 am to 2:30 pm and Saturdays from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm
Boulevard Ney, between Rue Jean Varenne and Rue Camille Flammarion
Hours: Thursday from 7:00 am to 2:30 pm and Sundays from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm
Metro: Pte de St-Ouen, Pte de Clignancourt
10 rue l’Olive
Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm; Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm; Sunday from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm
Metro: Marx Dormoy
Written by Jen Westmoreland Bouchard for EuropeUpClose.com