What to Do in Montmartre, Paris

Practise your pastry making in an exclusive patisserie class, enjoy a picnic in a much-loved local park and visit the former home (and studio) of a Montmartre great. Here are our tips for exploring the 18th arrondissement

Most guidebooks will list quaint eateries, Place du Tertre's painters and the city's only vineyard as must-visits in the 18th arrondissement, but if you're seeking a taste of the neighbourhood behind the basilica, we'd recommend sidestepping Sacré-Coeur and heading to the less-trodden Montmartre green spaces like proper Parisians do.


Learn to make pastry with Monsieur Caramel

Learn how to cook exquisite French pastry with a true Montmartrois bohemian. This pastry kitchen/thrift shop is so well hidden that most locals don't know it's there. Yohan Kim, aka Monsieur Caramel, is from Seoul in South Korea, but came to Paris to study art before retraining in fine pastry (our kind of career change). After working in some of the city's most prestigious kitchens, he opened his own shop, offering made-to-measure pastry ateliers. He speaks excellent English. Call or email ahead to arrange a class (minimum two people; maximum four).


79 Rue Duhesme, 75018

Square Marcel Bleustein Blanchet
Photo credit: Marion Feige Muller / Shutterstock.com


Have a picnic in a park tourists don’t go to

The steps in front of the Sacré-Coeur, with their amazing view over the city, are usually pretty busy, especially in the middle of the day. As an alternative, take a boulangerie picnic to the lesser-trodden Square Marcel Bleustein Blanchet, just behind the basilica. It's a proper Parisian hangout, and you'll often find locals doing tai chi on the lawns, or reading on the benches. For a hot lunch, grab some gourmet galettes from nearby Grenouilles (55 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre).


1 Rue de la Bonne, 75018

Musée de Montmartre
Photo credit: Vlasyuk Inna / Shutterstock.com


Visit the Musée de Montmartre and its gardens

This quaint museum was once the studio of Renoir and the home and studio of post-impressionist painter Suzanne Valadon, a Montmartre legend whose workspace and apartment have been lovingly recreated inside. There's an excellent programme of temporary exhibitions, usually with a Parisian theme. Make sure you head out to the gardens, which back onto the famous Montmartre vineyard, for a moment of bucolic seclusion.


12 Rue Cortot, 75018