This Paris Neighborhood Is the Secret to the Full French Experience

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Paris is a dream for every travel lover due to its plethora of small cafés, beautiful views, large shopping streets, and pain au chocolate. It’s not possible to explore the whole city in one visit, but there is one neighborhood where you can completely immerse yourself in French culture:  Montmartre. Here are some secret spots you can enjoy while visiting the city of love.

What to Do

If you’re interested in getting to know the history of the district, it’s definitely worth visiting the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. It’s also known as the “wedding cake,” thanks to its white exterior that gets bleached when it rains due to the locally sourced travertine. The basilica also offers an incredible panoramic view of Paris.

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Montmartre is also home to many museums that will impress you with their gardens and views. Musée de la Vie Romantique is a literary museum where you’ll find the infamous Rose Bakery. At Musée de Montmartre, you’ll get to see some of the district’s artistic legacy. If you’re a fan of art, you’ll be amazed to know that Renoir and French painter Suzanne Valadon had their studios there at one point.

Where to Eat

When in Paris, trying local delicacies is a must. The vintage bistro L’Esquisse is the perfect place to get a taste of French cuisine. You can also try a nice natural glass of white or red.

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There’s no way you can leave Paris without enjoying yummy brunch and taking a photo for the ‘gram. Hardware Société is Montmartre’s most famous brunch spot that serves comforting yet sophisticated dishes such as duck confit with saffron labneh and scrambled eggs with smoked pastrami on a baguette. It’s quite busy though, especially on the weekends.

Where to Stay

The Hôtel Particulier Montmartre used to be the Hermès family mansion and is closely located to Sacré-Coeur. The place is surrounded by a beautiful lush garden and a courtyard. The mosaic-tiled soaking tubs, the view of the Eiffel Tower, and the nearby restaurants further immerse visitors in the atmosphere of Paris.

The Maison Souquet is located just across the street from the Moulin Rouge (also a must-visit place). There are 20 rooms, and in each, you can find items that will remind you of the wealthy hedonists who used to visit the place, such as tasseled lamps and stuffed headboards.

Where to Shop

Make sure you get some French cheese before leaving Paris. In La Butte Fromagère you’ll find a selection of aged Mimolette, creamy Saint-Félicien, and exquisite goat cheese sourced from small French farms.

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If you’re a fan of thrift stores, you’ll enjoy a shopping spree in Montmartre. Explore Numéro Deux, Chinemachine on Rue des Martyrs, and Vintage Inspiration Paris. You’ll find some great vintage dresses and handbags, truly worth the search. The prices are very reasonable too.