Famous people of Montmartre

Retrace the steps of well-known figures past and present on a walk through the heart of Montmartre.

Writers, painters, actors, singers … Artists have always loved Paris!

Retrace the steps of well-known figures past and present on a walk through the heart of Montmartre. On the programme: iconic and unmissable places, as well as more under the radar spots where the stars hang out, as well as little-known addresses that were once home to great artists.

Starting point: At Métro Lamarck-Caulaincourt (avenue de Caulaincourt)

1 Au Lapin Agile

Au Lapin Agile, Paris

It is at number 22 Rue des Saules – the doyenne of streets in Montmartre – that Au Lapin Agile, one of the oldest cabarets in the capital, is to be found. A landmark site on the Butte for some 200 years, it belies its age! And behind the scenes, this little house was the gathering point for numerous artists and poets at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century: Verlaine, Renoir, Modigliani, Apollinaire … Picasso, who used to live in the area, enjoyed sitting out on the terrace in summer with his dog Frika. Later on, it attracted famous Americans such as Charlie Chaplin, Vivien Leigh and Rudolph Valentino.

2 La Bonne Franquette

La Bonne Franquette, Paris © DR

In the Rue des Saules, here is another legendary place of Montmartre life: the restaurant La Bonne Franquette, previously called Aux Billards de bois. Many painters and poets (Degas, Renoir, Monet, Cézanne, Sisley, Toulouse-Lautrec …) used to enjoy meeting up here for a drink and a bite to eat. And it was in the shady garden, in 1886, that Vincent Van Gogh painted his famous painting La Guinguette.

3 Musée de Montmartre

Musée de Montmartre, Rue, Paris © Thomas Dupaigne

The Rue Cortot boasts the oldest house in Montmartre. At number 12, here is the Maison du Bel Air, built in the 17th century. The site, which today houses the Musée de Montmartre, was once home to the workshop of Renoir, who painted Le Moulin de la Galette there in 1876.

4 Cabaret Patachou

Vue de Montmartre | 630x405 | © Studio TTG

No longer in existence today, the famous cabaret Patachou once stood at 13 Rue du Mont Cenis. Opened in 1948, this establishment saw the debuts of Brassens, Brel and Aznavour… Édith Piaf also made her last public appearance here.

5 Place du Tertre

Place du Tertre, Paris © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

The picture-postcard Place du Tertre with its portrait artists setting up their easels on the cobbled square is also famous for its café terraces and restaurants which have always attracted artists, writers and poets living in Montmartre or simply passing by on the Butte.

6 Home and workshop of Picasso

Rue de Montmartre, Paris © Fotolia

The spirit of Picasso still haunts many places in Montmartre. 49 Rue Gabrielle houses the first Parisian apartment of the painter (2nd floor), where he lived in 1900. This is where Picasso began his 'blue period '.

7 Bateau Lavoir

Bateau Lavoir, Montmartre, Paris © jsvanstar

The Bateau-Lavoir, the most famous community of artists in Montmartre, was to be found at 13 Rue de Ravignan. This hotspot for artistic life played host to numerous personalities such as Raoul Dufy, Max Jacob, Modgliani … It is also here that Pablo Picasso laid the foundations of cubism and painted Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

8 House of Dalida

Maison de Dalida, Paris © Fotolia

This seemingly tranquil little Rue d’Orchampt has seen the likes of many celebrities: Stéphane Grappelli, Courteline … It is at the end of the street, at 11 bis, in a 1900s-style hôtel particulier that the famous singer Dalida lived until her death in 1987.

9 Le Moulin de la Galette

Moulin de la Galette restaurant, Paris © OTCP - Marc Bertrand

The iconic symbol of Montmartre, The Moulin de la Galette was the last windmill in activity. It was also once a guinguette (open air cafe), where people came to dance and party. Frequented by artists, the place was immortalized on canvas by Renoir and Van Gogh.

10 Avenue Junot

Avenue Junot, Villa Léandre, Paris © Paris Tourist Office - Photographe : Marc Bertrand

Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, the very discreet Avenue Junot is so quiet that time seems to have stood still here. Dotted by numerous artists’ workshops and imposing and pretty townhouses, it has attracted numerous well-known figures. At number 13 is the hôtel of drawer and illustrator Poulbot, the ‘father’ of the needy children of Montmartre. At number 15, one can admire the incredible home of the Dadaist poet Tristan Tzara. At number 11: last house of Suzanne Valandon and at number 47 : home of Jacques Prévert. And tucked away at number 23 is L’Hôtel Particulier, a confidential luxury hotel frequented by celebrities like Frédéric Beigbeder, Emma de Caunes, and even Keira Knightley!

11 Rue Lepic

Rue de Montmartre, Paris © Fotolia

Made famous by the film Amélie of Montmartre, the Rue Lepic is one of the most picturesque in Montmartre. Over the decades, many artists chose to live there. Among them, Vincent van Gogh. After leaving the Netherlands, Vincent came to Paris and moved in with his brother Théo. Since then, the building at no. 54 has not moved and you can still see his apartment on the third floor. It was from his window that he painted his work titled View of the Rue Lepic, on show today at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

12 Le Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge, Paris  © OTCP - Daniel Thierry

The most famous cabaret in the world took up residence at no. 82. It was in 1889 that the Moulin Rouge opened. Some 125 years later, it has seen stars such as Maurice Chevalier, Jean Gabin, Ella Fitzgerald, Liza Minelli, Frank Sinatra, Elton John ... It was also the scene of the encounter between Édith Piaf and Yves Montand in 1944.

13 Cemetery of Montmartre

Path in Montmartre Cemetery, Avenue Rachel, Paris © OTCP - Marc Bertrand

The walk continues in the cemetery of Montmartre, the final resting place of many personalities: Émile Zola, Degas, Gustave Moreau, Sacha Guitry, François Truffaut ... The tomb of Dalida is one of the most impressive and attracts many admirers.

14 Terrass" Hôtel

Terrass’’ Restaurant & Bar, terrasse de jour, Paris © Terrass Hotel

To round off the walk, go up onto the rooftop terrace of the Terrass" Hotel, fully renovated in 2015. The panoramic view of Paris is fantastic and amongst the tourists, you are sure to come across a few local celebrities enjoying a cocktail.