Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wanderlust Wednesday: Montmartre and Sacre Coeur, Paris

When I went to Paris in 2011, there were two big things I didn't get to do that I was looking forward to doing this time around: the Musée d'Orsay (which I'll be talking about in a future Wanderlust Wednesday post), and Montmartre. For those of you who don't know, Montmartre (meaning 'mountain of the martyr') is in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. It's best known for the gorgeous church in the pictures below, Sacre Coeur Basilica, as well as the fact it was (and still is) a popular hang-out for famous artists in the early 20th century (think Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, Modigliani, just to name a few), plus it's famous for it's Red Light District, including Moulin Rouge (which I'll also be talking about in a future WW post).
Our hotel was quite close to Montmartre, so I was hoping we'd get to do some exploring there on our own, but since we only had two days in Paris, we just didn't have time. Luckily there was a group dinner there the night before our Contiki group parted ways. The tour Krista and I signed up for was London and Paris with possible extensions, so we were all together in London and Paris, but then people could choose to leave after Paris, stay in Paris a few extra days, or go on to Amsterdam or Rome. The last official night we were all together as a group, there was an optional dinner, and everyone went.
We were dropped off and had time to take pictures and get up the never-ending stairs in front of Sacre Coeur. I'm bummed I didn't get to see inside the basilica, but at least I got to see it this time, and it's on my list for next time! It was a beautiful evening, so there were a ton of people hanging out, drinking beer and wine on the steps, and taking pictures. We got to see a bit of the area (beautiful old buildings and cobblestone streets) as we walked to the restaurant. I needed an ATM, so Krista and I got to see a bit more of the area as we wandered around, got lost twice, and then finally found our way. It really is a beautiful area, and I'd love to spend more time there and explore properly next time.

I'm happy I got to eat two fancy French meals in Paris: one at Moulin Rouge, and one at the restaurant in Montmartre. It was a three-course meal and we got to choose between several different appetizers and entrées - I had French onion soup, boeuf bourguignon, and brie and an amazing cake in cream sauce for dessert. It was delicious. Each place setting had a glass of rosé, and then there were carafes of red and white wine on the table. Everyone else at my table was drinking the white, so I may or may not have drank an entire carafe or red wine myself...and then had an awesome buzz while walking through the streets of Montmartre to our bus, which took us to the Eiffel Tower to see the city at night.

Have you been to Montmartre? What did you think? If you haven't been, do you hope to go someday? Let's talk here or on Twitter!


  1. One of these days I'll get to France. The picture with the carousel looks familiar. I think there's a scene from Amelie filmed there.

    1. Amelie was actually filmed in Montmartre, so you're probably right! I started watching it before I went to Europe but never finished it...I guess I should now and point out all the familiar places lol

    2. I thought so.I love that movie. You should finish watching it.

  2. Which restaurant? I made a special effort to try Le Bouillon Chartier which is in Montmartre and it was a great family evening, the food was okay but not fantastic but the atmosphere was really great and the service was really fantastic. We were lucky and it was not to busy so we chatted to waiters who were fantastic. It is a restaurant that has a reputation for hurrying people through as it is a bit of a Paris legend and is always busy. We were there fairly early in the evening on a quite night and had a great time. Tried a few different entrees, including snails. Mostly the food is rustic and filling. Waiters were great and the building itself is beautiful.
    I have visited Moulin Rouge once with husband and daughter, they loved it but I could take or leave it. Ashamed to admit I have never been in the Sacre Coeur but it certainly makes a very visible landmark, maybe if I ever get to back to Paris. Loved seeing your photos and look forward to reading your post on Musee d'orsay.

  3. I live in Europe but never been there. I only visited France once and that was when we went to Disneyland in Paris (as a school trip)


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