Perched on a steep hill north of the city center is Montmartre and the beautiful Sacre-Coeur church. Montmartre remains a contained and slightly sullied throwback to a bygone era, with winding streets, ivy-clad houses with exquisite gardens, and artists’ studios that one could picture Picasso slaving away in.
Sacre Coeur is endlessly besieged by bus tours, as is the Place du Tertre, the main artist hub adjacent to the church. As soon as you get off the main thoroughfares though, the area is surprisingly village like. The tiny 12th-century church of St-Pierre de Montmartre is one of the oldest in the city, while the quiet streets, cafes and squares have a character quite unlike the rest of Paris. It is a lovely neighborhood. It isn’t surprising that the area is one of the most popular tourist attractions if Paris.
For a total change of mood, head down to Pigalle, the neighborhood along Boulevards Clichy and Rochechouart. Once known as an area consisting primarily of neon-lit peep shows, Pigalle is increasingly the center for music, lively nightclubs and quirky late night bars, as more and more former cabarets reopen as modern clubs and bars.
The area can still be a little rough at night so be careful.
Montmartre and Neighborhood Ratings
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(“Five Towers” is the highest rating possible)