All of a sudden the nostalgia kicked in. I want to go back to Paris, to the City of Love, the city where time froze on the pages of the 19th Century’s classical novels.
I don’t know exactly what it is about Paris, but somehow I fall in love with it every time I visit. I heard loads of negative remarks, so I was quite hesitant at first. But you know, as they say – when you look in the puddle, it’s your choice what you see – the dirt, or the reflections of the night time starry skies. Choose to see the stars.
One of my favourite areas in Paris is Montmartre. Coming to Montmartre was a fascinating experience from the first minutes of approaching the district, walking down the street of adult stores and strip clubs. This is actually where the famous Moulin Rouge stands – the red windmill on Boulevard de Clichy, famous for its cabaret performances. But as soon as you walk past this street, the beautiful area opens up, with loads of narrow cobblestone streets, beautiful cafés and gorgeous views of the city. Montmartre, which was once highly populated by artists is now a very popular touristic point of interest. Due to its popularity with tourists, however, you have to be mindful of pickpocketers who operate around the area.
Montmartre still bears the artistic spirit. It is a loud and colourful part of Paris where you can spend the day roaming its narrow streets with endless cafes. Don’t look at the map – just enjoy the area, wander the streets, and you will most likely find loads of hidden gems and tranquil pathways.
POINT OF INTEREST:
I have to mention the majestic Sacre Coeur. Even if you don’t want to go inside the Basilica, you should definitely go up the stairs and take a look at its beautiful architecture. When you are done admiring the beauty of Sacre Coeur, you can then enjoy the view of Paris whilst listening to music played by street musicians. If you are a film lover, you would recognise the steps and the beautiful carousel which appeared in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s film Amélie (2001).
CAFÉS AND RESTAURANTS:
As I’m always lucky enough to come to Paris during the rain, I have no choice but explore its endless bakeries, coffee shops and restaurants. Montmartre is all about exploring, and there are endless options where to eat and drink throughout the day. I would not, however, recommend eating at Le Maison Rose, the famous pink restaurant at 2 Rue de l Abreuvoir – in my opinion there are much better places you can eat at just up the street. However, this is a gorgeous place to take photographs of, so definitely stop by for a picture!
As much as I love Parisian boulangeries, this time I want to prioritise good quality coffee over delicious pastries. Loads of Parisian cafés serve Lavazza coffee, which I’m not that keen about at all, so the quest for good coffee was a must this time.
KB Café on the corner of 53 Avenue Trudaine / 62 Rue des Martyrs serves the most delicious coffee, sandwiches and cakes, and it is great for that late morning pick me up. I loved the friendliest atmosphere and very polite staff who would happily strike a conversation with you in english language. Sit by the window, enjoy the atmosphere and the sight of a quiet Parisian Street.
By the way, if you are feeling more like French pastries than coffee, you can always walk a bit further down to 88 Rue des Martyrs and grab a chocolate pistachio swirl pastry from Pain Pain bakery. This chocolate pastry tastes like heaven! It looks like Pain au Raisin, which you can get at every Parisian bakery, but it’s much much better!
As you walk up towards Place du Tertre, where numerous artists sell their work on the streets, stop by for an ice cream from Tutti Sensi.
For lunch or dinner I would recommend going to Jeanne B at 61 Rue Lepic. They serve very nice french food, and I would recommend getting something from their 3 course menu. This restaurant is remotely located, so it means that you would have to take a little walk from the main points of interest, however I had a very pleasant experience at this quiet restaurant on the side of Montmartre!
But my main point is – explore, explore and explore! Don’t get attached to the map, but go where your feet bring you. This romantic area in Paris is made for wanderers.