Montmartre rivals the Great Wall of China I think in the amount of steps I had to climb at a tourist spot.
Well, actually, come to think of it, there was a temple in Nepal that was supposedly 1000 steps to the top that I tried to climb, but it ended up getting dark before we made it up more than a few hundred. To be honest, I’m not sure I could’ve made it up all 1000, so I was grateful for the sunset giving me a valid excuse to bow out from the hike.
This was actually the second time I visited Montmartre within my first week or two in Paris — the first time, though, it was dark and I was there with my Welcome Programme group to visit a bar. I didn’t even bother trying to see Sacré Coeur, the grand church atop the hill, because I figured there wasn’t anything to see in the night.
The second time, though, I visited in the day — a much more appropriate time to visit, in my opinion. For one, you’re at much less risk of tripping and twisting your ankle as you climb up the steps. And secondly, you can actually see the beautiful surrounding neighborhood.
I wouldn’t call Montmartre the most spectacular view of Paris, as you can’t clearly see the Eiffel Tower, which is, of course, the most famous landmark of the Parisian skyline. Unfortunately, however, since my time in Paris was cut short due to COVID and I wasn’t able to make it to all of the tourist spots I’d wanted to visit (including the top of the Arc de Triomphe or the Eiffel Tower, where some of the best skyline views of the city can supposedly be had), Montmartre ended up being the only skyline view I got.
More impressive than the skyline view (or the Sacré Coeur Basilica, in my opinion — Sacré Coeur seemed to be more spectacular from the outside than I think it really was inside), was the cute little artist community that the neighborhood is known for. People talk about the Montmartre area of Paris for its small town feel in the middle of a big city, and I think that description is deserved.
I wouldn’t call Paris a “hustle and bustle” kind of a city — not like New York — but it certainly can be overwhelming at times. It can be crowded and dirty in places and full of tourists. That was what I liked best probably about my short visit to Bordeaux the previous weekend — that I was away from the business of the city. While Montmartre was certainly still busy and full of tourists (what a world pre-COVID times were), it still felt a little more charming and cozy than downtown Paris. Paris is beautiful and elegant and glamorous — but “cozy” it really is not, save for a few places like Montmartre.
That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life during my semester abroad in the Paris, France. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Jacket: Thrifted (Free’p’star Paris)