Montmartre Sightseeing

When most people think of the bohemian Paris, they think of Montmatre. It was the home to so many artists, writers and musicians - and been at the heart of so many movies - that it's sometimes hard to think of it any other way.

Unfortunately, that legacy has turned some of Montmatre into a vulgar tourist trap.

That doesn't mean it's not worth visiting - it has much to offer - it just means you need to know how to avoid the 3rd rate tourist stuff and find the real heart of what makes it such a special place.

So, what's so special about Montmartre?

Firstly, there are the views:

View From Montmartre

Secondly, once you get away from the busy tourist sites - those are from Anvers metro station up to Sacre Coeur and through to Place du Tertre - it's actually quite quiet and a nice place to walk and take in the everyday life in Montmartre.

Thirdly, there are a number of things to see in the area.

There's the unique sculpture in Place Marcel Ayme. The cemetery of Montmatre is home to the likes of Francois Truffaut and the singer Dalida (who has the most striking tomb in the cemetery).

Pigalle - Montmatre's Slutty Sister

What can I say about Pigalle?

If you walk along the Boulevard de Rochechouart from Montmartre, you know you've arrived at Pigalle when you see the huge lettering of the multi-story "Sexodrome" sex shop.

On the opposite side of the street is the Moulin Rouge. But, the Moulin is a rare touch of class - though, frankly, over-commercialized and tacky - to the quartier.

However, I can't say I detest Pigalle. In between the sex shops and the live sex clubs, there are some good bars and cafes... and it's entertaining to watch the other customers and wonder what sort of sleaziness they've been up to...

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