Guide Tour of the 18th arrondissement of Paris, France

The 18th arrondissement of Paris is one of the 20 arrondissements of the capital city of France. It is mostly known for hosting the district of Montmartre which contains a hill known for its artistic history, the Bateau-Lavoir where Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Amedeo Modigliani lived and worked in early 20th century, the house of music diva Dalida, the Moulin Rouge cabaret, other historic features, and the prominent Sacré Cœur basilica which sits atop the hill.

The 18th arrondissement of Paris, also known as Butte-Montmartre,. located on the right bank of the Seine, it includes part of the former commune of Montmartre and the former commune of La Chapelle, which were attached to Paris in 1860. It is the third arrondissement of the city by population, after the 15th arrondissement and the 20th arrondissement. The eastern half borders Saint-Denis and Aubervilliers while the western half borders Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine. The northern boundary of the arrondissement is the Boulevard Périphérique, between the Porte de Saint-Ouen and the Porte d’Aubervilliers.

In the North of Paris, the 18th arrondissement is a multicultural, dynamic, and family-oriented district in full mutation. The districts that make it up seduce as much as they surprise, with the emergence of many innovative and unusual projects. Lively and cosmopolitan, the Goutte d’Or district is renowned for its patchwork of haberdashery, its exotic grocery stores, but also for its new, very cutting-edge fashion boutiques, its organic canteens, and its cultural venues.

Cinemas, performance halls and concerts … Many of Paris’ mythical cultural venues have taken up residence in the 18th arrondissement. There is notably the Moulin Rouge, a famous cabaret founded in 1889, La Cigale which has seen hundreds of talented artists pass by or Studio 28, a high place of the 7th art that many personalities have frequented (Jean Cocteau for name just one). There is also the Théâtre de l’Atelier, one of the few 19th century Parisian theaters still in operation today.

The hill of Montmartre which was the centre of the Communard uprising of the late-nineteenth century, but is also perhaps better known as the centre of the flourishing artist community of the period from around 1907-1914. Picasso, Dali, Duchamp, Toulouse-Lautrec, and others from the vibrant early modern period lived and worked here.

The 18th arrondissement also contains the North African and African district of Goutte d’Or which is famous for its market, the marché Barbès, where one can find various products from the African continent.

Montmartre district
Montmartre is a district of the 18th arrondissement of Paris dominated by the Sacré-Coeur basilica. Since the 19th century, it has hosted many artists such as Picasso or Modigliani and has become the symbol of a bohemian way of life. Until 1860, Montmartre was a commune in the Seine department. That year, under the capital extension law, the commune was annexed by Paris. Montmartre today has no precise geographical limit: it is a historic Parisian district and not an administrative district.

Montmartre is located on a hill, the Butte Montmartre. Montmartre is an old village which has kept a particular side within the capital. Known for its narrow and steep streets flanked by long stairways, this very touristic area in the north of Paris is home to the highest point of the capital on the Butte Montmartre, one of the gypsum -bearing mounds formed on either side of the Seine and called the ” hills of Paris “. At 130.53 metres, the altitude of the natural ground inside the Calvaire Cemetery, it adjoins the Church of Saint-Pierre de Montmartre.

Montmartre is one of the most beautiful free panoramas of Paris. On the top of the Montmartre hill, there is a building created on the site of the massacre of the communards, and by their enemies. Place du Tertre, where there are many painters and caricaturists. This place attracts many tourists. There is also the house of Érik Satie, the vineyards of Paris.

To the west of Montmartre, the Montmartre cemetery, where a few celebrities are buried, including Berlioz and Offenbach, the Goncourt brothers and also Dalida (tomb located at the back of the cemetery, to the right at the top of the steps on entering). A little further down, there is a fabric market, the Marché-Saint-Pierre. And if you continue to descend from the south, you find the Place Blanche and the world famous Moulin Rouge, always full of tourists.

Pigalle district
Pigalle is an area in Paris around the Place Pigalle, on the border between the 9th and the 18th arrondissements. It is named after the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (1714–1785). Pigalle is well known to tourists who want to experience “Paris by night”. It is home to some of Paris’ most famous cabarets (the Moulin Rouge, for instance, was immortalised by artist Toulouse-Lautrec as well as Hollywood), as well as night shows.

Pigalle is famous for being a tourist district, with many sex shops, theatres and adult shows on Place Pigalle and the main boulevards, summed up with more or less by a succession of sex shops and striptease bars where is the famous Moulin Rouge, the theater of the two donkeys. There are also a lot of street performances next to the Antwerp metro.

The area to the south of Place Pigalle is devoted to the retail of musical instruments and equipment, especially for popular music. A section of the rue de Douai consists solely of stores selling guitars, drums and musical accessories. Henri Toulouse-Lautrec’s studio was here. Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh and Maurice Neumont also lived here as did Andre Breton, and in 1928 Josephine Baker opened her first night club next door to Breton’s apartment.

Goutte d’Or district
The Goutte d’Or is a neighbourhood in Paris, located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. The neighbourhood has large numbers of North African and sub-Saharan residents. It is known for its open-air market, le marché Dejean. This neighborhood is amazing and truly exotic. The prices of the articles in the stores are low, the avenue Barbès is known to be made up of shops with “business” (in particular the famous “Tati” of the 18th).

“Château-Rouge” is known for its many exotic shops in which you can find African, West Indian or Asian products. You will also find the cosmopolitan Dejean market, where prices are very low and attractive for many communities. The square Léon, the rue de la Goutte-d’or, the boulevard Barbès are all places to visit, also worth seeing is the large flea market at Porte de Clignancourt.

Quartier de La Chapelle district
The Quartier de La Chapelle is a neighborhood of Paris, in the eastern part of the 18th arrondissement. It was originally the village of La Chapelle on the outskirts of Paris and a commune in its own right, separated from the commune of Paris by the wall of the Farmers-General. As part of the city’s major 19th-century expansion, the former village was absorbed by Paris in 1860.

Main Attractions:
Dynamic and in full mutation, the 18th district seduces as much as it surprises with the emergence of unusual projects.

Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Paris
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica in Paris, France, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sacré-Cœur Basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. This wedding cake-white church rises visibly above the north part of Paris. The view over Paris from the dome and from the square before it (200 m above sea level) is unsurpassed. It is a popular landmark, and the second-most visited monument in Paris.

It is considered as both a political and cultural monument, representing a national penance for the defeat of France in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War and for the actions of the Paris Commune of 1871. Sacré-Cœur Basilica was built in a neighborhood which witnessed significant events by the Paris Commune of 1871.

Sacré-Cœur Basilica has maintained a perpetual adoration of the Holy Eucharist since 1885. The basilica was designed by Paul Abadie. Construction began in 1875 and was completed in 1914. The basilica was consecrated after the end of World War I in 1919.

The overall style of the structure shows a free interpretation of Romano-Byzantine features, which was a conscious reaction against the neo-Baroque excesses of the Palais Garnier cited in the competition. Many design elements of the basilica symbolize nationalist themes. The basilica complex includes a garden for meditation, with a fountain. The top of the dome is open to tourists and affords a spectacular panoramic view of the city of Paris, which is mostly to the south of the basilica.

Saint Joan of Arc Basilica
The Basilique Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc is located on the Rue de Torcy and the Rue de la Chapelle in the quartier de la Chapelle of the 18th arrondissement of Paris. Its design was the subject of a contentious design competetition. The winning, partially completed design was eventually scrapped in favor of a more modest modernist design.

The stained glass windows in the church are made by the painter Léon Zack, while a bust of Joan of Arc is made by Maxime Real del Sarte. The full-length statue of the Saint (cast iron from the Denonvilliers foundry), located outside, is by Félix Charpentier.

Red Mill
Le Moulin-Rouge is a Parisian cabaret founded in 1889 by the Catalan Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler, who already owned the Olympia. It is located on Boulevard de Clichy in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, at the foot of the Montmartre hill. His style and name have been imitated and borrowed by other cabarets around the world.

Other windmill
The windmill Moulin de la Galette is now part of a restaurant of the same name, and is easily visible from the street. The windmill Moulin Blute-Fin, is within fenced private property, and may be difficult to see from the street expecially if there are leaves on the nearby trees. It is near the more visible Moulin de la Galette.

Place Pigalle
The Place Pigalle is a public square located between Boulevard de Clichy and Boulevard de Rochechouart, near the Sacré-Coeur, at the bottom of Montmartre hill. It is the best known place in the Pigalle district. By 1900 the square and the surrounding streets were a neighbourhood of painters’ studios and literary cafés of which the most renowned was the Nouvelle Athènes.

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Dalí Paris
The Espace Dalí is a permanent exhibition in France devoted to Salvador Dalí consisting mainly of sculptures and engravings. A fantastic and undeservedly little-known collection of the great surrealist artist’s often overlooked sculptural works. The museum, near the Place du Tertre in the Montmartre district of Paris, has around 300 original artworks. The collection features mainly three-dimensional sculptures of Dalí’s best known surrealistic paintings. However, some of works Dalí exhibited here are reproductions.

The collection exhibited is part of the Dalí Universe collection, curated by Beniamino Levi, Italian gallerist and collector. Sculptures such as Space Elephant and Alice in Wonderland are presented, and the visitor can also see other aspects such as Moses and monotheism, Memories of Surrealism, Don Quixote, etc. Music plays in the background, and there are creative workshops for children to give them the opportunity to become familiar with Dalí’s art. Adjacent to the museum are two art galleries: the Galerie Dalí which presents a selection of some of the artist’s works (sculptures, engravings and lithographs), and the Galerie Montmartre, which shows the works of several contemporary artists.

Musée de Montmartre
The Musée de Montmartre is located in Montmartre, at 8-14 rue Cortot in the 18th (XVIII) arrondissement of Paris, France. It was founded in 1960 and was classified as a Musée de France in 2003. The buildings were formerly the home of several famous artists, including Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Suzanne Valadon.

The museum is located in a 17th century house with a garden, and features the history and culture of Montmartre. It was home to many famous artists and writers such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir who painted his celebrated La Balançoire and Le Bal du Moulin de la Galette here in 1876.

The collections of the museum belong to the association Le Vieux Montmartre, created in 1886, and contains paintings, photographs, posters and manuscripts that depict the history of the neighbourhood, its effervescence, the bohème and cabarets from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection includes Le Cabaret du Chat Noir by Steinlen, Bruant au Mirliton, Le Divan Japonais or Le Moulin Rouge by Toulouse-Lautrec, La Place Pigalle by Maurice Utrillo, L’Autoportrait by Suzanne Valadon, Parce Domine by Willette, L’enseigne du Lapin Agile as well as the magnificent Théâtre d’ombres by Henri Rivière.

Culture space
Opposite the square Léon, hides an extraordinary associative gallery: the Echomusée (21 rue Cavé) which is a center of artistic resources related to the district. Around this committed project are gathered volunteers from all walks of life: local residents, street art artists (Jérôme Ménager, Monsieur Chat, Misstic, Popay), or even musicians, etc. (Denis Lavant, Fantazio).

The Villa des Arts, a city of artists since the end of the 19th century, still hosts around fifty workshops today. Among these most illustrious boarders we can cite Paul Cézanne, Paul Signac, Raoul Dufy and Francis Picabia.

Still Butte Montmartre, Studio 28 is an arthouse cinema with decor by Jean Cocteau. On display in this charming room: current films, great classics and thematic evenings. Do not miss its pleasant winter garden.

Rue des Martyrs, the Divan du Monde – Madame Arthur hosts concerts of rock, pop or electro music and clubbing evenings while the cabaret part offers a musical show led by a troupe of transformist singers and dancers.

The Saint-Ange bridge which spans the railway tracks of the Gare du Nord now offers passers-by an open-air exhibition space. A selection of large format photographs is presented quarterly. At Les Libraires Associés (3 rue Pierre Lhermitte), collectors from all over the world flock to find rare books, and even vintage books for children.

The Institute of Islamic Cultures (ICI) is both a contemporary art center and a space for dialogue and learning. Language courses and artistic practices are also offered there: modern literal Arabic, calligraphy, Wolof, and Arab-Andalusian singing. It also has an associative restaurant-tea room: the Open Table. Open to all, the latter works on the mode of the social and solidarity economy (one meal purchased = one meal offered).

Dating from 1850, the Lavoir Moderne Parisien is a small theater that highlights contemporary creation and young emerging talents in a multidisciplinary program (dance, theater, performance, music, theatre, etc.). It is also the only one in the Goutte d’Or.

At 14 boulevard de la Chapelle, Chapelle XIV has the particularity of bringing together in one place an art and design gallery, a record store and a printing workshop. A unique concept imagined by the electro music production collective Yoyaku.

Public space
The 18th arrondissement Parisian sliding space, located on Boulevard Ney, it is the largest covered skate park in France. It offers 3,000 m² of sliding space for indulging in rollerblading, skateboarding or BMX.

The Cemetery of Montmartre
The Cemetery of Montmartre is a cemetery in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, France, that dates to the early 19th century. It was built below street level, in the hollow of an abandoned gypsum quarry located west of the Butte near the beginning of Rue Caulaincourt in Place de Clichy. A popular tourist destination, Montmartre Cemetery is the final resting place of many famous artists who lived and worked in the Montmartre area.

In the mid-18th century, overcrowding in the cemeteries of Paris had created numerous problems, from impossibly high funeral costs to unsanitary living conditions in the surrounding neighborhoods. The Montmartre Cemetery was opened on 1 January 1825. It was initially known as le Cimetière des Grandes Carrières (Cemetery of the Large Quarries). The quarry had previously been used during the French Revolution as a mass grave.

Located north of the 18th arrondissement, Paris Saint-Ouen flea market straddling the municipalities of Paris and Saint-Ouen, this flea market is the largest in the world. Its 1,500 merchants display a unique collection of antiques over nearly 7 hectares: furniture, decorative objects, lighting, clothing, jewelry, records and much more. Allow a minimum of 2 hours to browse the aisles of the 11 themed markets in a magical atmosphere. Dining areas and bars allow you to prolong the experience and taste the spirit of the flea market.

Rue Myrha is the ideal place to enjoy a vegan burger or shop the Afro-streetwear creations of the Château Rouge brand. Nearby, rue des Gardes, known as the “Rue de la Mode” concentrates a large number of ethical and responsible designers.

The covered market of La Chapelle, also called the Olive Market, completely renovated in 2010, has around twenty traders offering a varied range of fresh products (fruits, vegetables, creamery, cheese, world cuisine, etc.). What to find happiness in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. A stone’s throw from the market, the En Vrac shop (2 rue de l’Olive) is reviving the sale of bulk wine. The best natural wines are offered there.

At the Laiterie de la Chapelle, all the cheeses are 100% organic and made in Paris: Tomme La Chapelle, Dormoy and Pajol are made and matured on site. A real treat, and a great success for this dairy which only works in a short circuit, with the Launay farm (Vexin).

Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or also sells the products it manufactures. Pioneer of the craft movement in Paris, the brewery draws from this multicultural and festive district, the taste influences necessary for the development of its craft beers, spicy, hoppy or collaborative.

At the beer bar Les Mah-Boules (14 rue de Jessaint), regulars and all the curious can enjoy a beer while throwing the jack. A long sandy pétanque track is the originality of this unique place, located a stone’s throw from the Bouffes du Nord.

Natural space
The Urban Farm in the square Alain Bashung and the Urban Farm in the Eole garden are an opportunity for a green and fun stopover for young and old alike. Meeting all kinds of animals: chickens, sheep, rabbits, is the highlight of the visit. The Urban Farm of the René Binet garden, for its part, makes its visitors aware of urban agriculture and livestock farming in the city.

The disused railway line of the Petite Ceinture with wild vegetation and high biodiversity is a real nature path in the city, ideal for strolling. Le Hasard Ludique, located in one of these former stations (128 boulevard de Saint-Ouen), is a hybrid place that is both bar-restaurant, performance hall and workshop.

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