Montmartre and the Sacré Coeur

Montmartre, a Paris neighborhood,

but still a village atmosphère.   

On of the most visited Paris neighborhood – One of the city’s most famous landmarks.

Montmartre is a hill. On its summit : the Sacré Coeur (=Holy Heart). For some Parisians, its nickname is “Paris’ beauty spot

Sacre Coeur – Édouard Leon Cortès (1882–1969)

A village until 1860 and the feeling still nowadays that you’re not totally in Paris.

Cobblestones narrow and winding streets, quaint houses, vineyards (yes : still nowadays ! A Harvest Festival every 1st weekend of October), 2 windmills, romantic alleyways and long stairways, restaurants and cafés that could be located in Provence, quiet squares. The feeling that you’re far from a big city…

And it’s where Amelie, (the movie) was shot.              


And from the Sacré Coeur terrace : a beautiful view over Paris.

Montmartre : the highlight of artistic life 

From the end of the 19th century ,  Montmartre is the center of artistic life in Paris, the model of a free , bohemian existence.  Composers, writers, painters, poets are gathering, lived and worked in Montmartre

Impressionist painters :Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Pissaro, Utrillo, Cezanne, Sysley…

Other painters : Modigliani, Picasso (he painted “Les demoiselles d’Avignon” in Montmartre), Van Gogh, Dali, Braque, Toulouse Lautrec, Seurat, Léger…

Writers, singers, poets, musicians : Appolinaire, , Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Stravinsky, Mallarmé, Verlaine, Proust, Edith Piaf, Boris Vian, Jean Cocteau, Truffaut,  ,, the Surrealists…etc lived  there too.

To enjoy Paris as a local : take a walk in Montmartre with “Ann Jeanne in Paris”

More photos :

My advice :

I’m a bit sad to see visitors going straight up to the top of Montmartre hill, stay for a while near the Sacré Coeur and Place du Tertre, then get back to the Metro stop Abbesses or Anvers. Yes, they’re missing a lot of what makes Montmartre a charming and quiet place, a village with its narrow cobblestone streets, its quaint houses…etc They’re probably missing the most important.

  • Visit Montmartre in the morning so to avoid too much crowd and if possible, plan to stay at least 3 or 4 hours in the neighborhood, the best would be the day with a break in a nice and quite restaurant or café not too close from the most touristic spots.
  • Why not start your walk from the Metro Stop Lamarck Caulaincourt (north of the Sacré Coeur) or from the Metro Blanche ? (see the Metro Map – Menu : Useful informations) – Metro Pigalle or Anvers possible too

Plan de Montmartre

How to get to Montmartre ?

Lamarck Caulaincourt  or Abbesses (line 12)

Blanche, Anvers (line 2)

Buses : 30, 54, 67 or Montmartrobus.


Some addresses :

  1. Le tracteur rouge – 41 rue Caulaincourt – Paris 18 : for a lovely lunch, brunch, or dinner in a charming and very welcoming place. Metro Lamark Caulaincourt (at the bottom of Montmartre hill)
  2. L’Hôtel Particulier – Charming hotel in the middle of Montmartre
  3. L’été en Pente douce – a nice colored tarrace – a quiet village atmosphere – a very pleasant place for a lunch, a drink, a break
  4. Le café des 2 moulins (the café of Amelie (movie)) – 15 rue Lepic – Paris 18 – Rue Lepic : where much of the movie Amelie was shot)
  5. Grenat et Taffetas –  Beautiful vintage jewels – 25 rue Houdon – Paris 18 nearby the Place des Abbesses – Metro Stop : Abesses
    75018 Paris –  0142592249      –   Tuesday to Saturday : 11 am to 7 pm, Sunday : 12 am to 6 pm
  6. Bakery Boris Lumé – 48 rue Caulaincourt – Paris 18

Here is a video shot a rainy winter day in Montmartre

Visit Montmartre, with “Ann Jeanne in Paris”, native Parisian : 

(cobblestones winding streets,  romantic alleyways, long stairways, vineyards, windmills, authentic cafes …)

  • You’d like to feel like a local and having a tour in a Paris neighborhood, but you don’t feel having a tour with a group ?
  • You’d like to discover Montmartre off the beaten path and get a real feel of an authentic Paris ?
  • You’d like to see Paris in another perspective and to know more about Paris lifestyle and Parisians ?    Feel free to contact me

Anne à Montsouris - Format original-2637


  • I’d be delighted to welcome you and show you “my” Paris. And Paris will become “your” city too 🙂
  • The tour is private (with you only or you and the person you choose), at your pace. Duration : Half a day
  • For more details : The tours – Booking and Pricing
  • Feel free to contact me

 Ann Jeanne in Paris’ Private walking tours

La Closerie nowadays

“La Closerie des Lilas” means “Small enclosed lilac garden”. It’s a place, with an enormous charm, calm and elegant, which makes Paris magic. It’s one of the mythical brasseries of Montparnasse neighborhood.  The ambiance of old-world Paris.


La Closerie des Lilas

“La Closerie des Lilas” is located in Montparnasse neighborhood which was, between WWI and WWII, the heart of the artistic and intellectual Parisian life (after Montmartre and before Saint Germain des Prés heydays). On the corner of Boulevard Montparnasse and Boulevard Saint Michel. A bit off the beaten path. Most regulars are Parisians.


A bit of History : 

You can’t forget the richness of its past… La Closerie des Lilas is over 100 years old. It has entertained visitors from all over the world. And many writers and artists met up at the Closerie des Lilas.

Here, you can feel the presence of Hemingway

The only decent café in our neighborhood was La Closerie des Lilas, and it was one of the best cafes in Paris. It was warm in the winter and the terrace was lovely in the spring and fall,” Hemingway – A Moveable feast

Also the hang-out for : Verlaine, Apollinaire, Beckett, Man Ray, Sartre, Baudelaire, Cezanne, Modigliani, Oscar Wilde, Emile Zola, André Gide to name a few.

A revered haunt for the Lost generation writers  : Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Hemingway who used to come here to write. La Closerie des Lilas was one of Hemingway’s favorite cafés, where he wrote parts of “The sun also rises here”, and where Scott Fitzgerald showed him “Gatsby” for the first time. Behind the bar, one can find a picture of young Hemingway in an army uniform form WWI.


A warm and cosy ambiance.

A restaurant with a pleasant terrace, a quaint little tree-enclosed patio, a brasserie, and a bar.

The bar : a gorgeous setting, low-lighted, with furniture made in polished mahogany, red-leather confortable banquettes, A brass and chrome bar. There are one-by-three-inch brass nameplates on the corner of the tables with engraved names of literary figures who supposedly sat there. The bartenders are dressed in white jacket. They will serve you a customized cocktail. Live music most evenings and the sunday afternoon too make the place even more special…. and a wonderful Art Deco bathroom. Probably the most beautiful bathroom in Paris  … and a wonderful Art Deco bathroom. Probably the most beautiful bathroom in Paris.                                                        

Practical details :

  • La Closerie des Lilas – 171 boulevard Montparnasse, Paris 6 –  Hours: 12 noon – 1:00 a.m.  Web site :    Tel. : + 33(0)1 40 51 34 50
  • Metro : Vavin (line 4) or Raspail (line 4 and 6) (Both metro stop at about 7 min walk) RER : Port Royal (just beside the Closerie des Lilas), Bus : 38 (a bus stop just nearby)

My advice :

  • a must-go on your visit to Paris,
  • Why not a drink (a cocktail, a coffee, a hot chocolate or whatever) in the gorgeous bar, where the bartender will serve you a customized cocktail if you wish to !
  • When you have a drink , you can have a pastry too. The “assiette gourmande” is delightful (An “assiette gourmande” is an assortment of a few very littles pastries). 
  • Or for a lunch or dinner either at the restaurant (but quite pricey, an upscale restaurant) or the brasserie.
  • After a lunch, you can either go for a walk in the Observatoire garden, (nearby –   ) then the Luxembourg garden (10 minutes walk from La Closerie), or go for a walk in the Montparnasse neighborhood (around Vavin) then to the Luxembourg garden (an entrance nearby Vavin street)
  • … And don’t miss the bathroom, which is really gorgeous ! Beautiful Art Deco style. 
  • The 4 other popular literary cafés/brasseries in Montparnasse neighborhood are : “Le Select’, “La Rotonde”, “Le Dome” and “La Coupole”



01 - Photo Hemingway - a moveable feast


1918 – La Madeleine (Metro : Madeleine)

First place for Hemingway in Paris : in 1918, Hemingway, a U.S. Red Cross volunteer at the time, found himself in front of the damaged façade of the church.

Hemingway in Saint Germain des Prés :

  • In 1921, Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, arrived in Paris and stayed in the “Hôtel d’Angleterre” ( room 14 – 44 rue Jacob – Paris 6) – Metro Saint Germain des Prés), recommended by the American writer, Sherwood Anderson, who also gave him letters of introduction to Gerturde Stein, James Joyce, and to the publisher Sylvia Beach.
    Hemingway often enjoyed coming to “Le Pré aux Clercs”, a cafe located nearby the Hôtel d’Angleterre, (30, rue Bonaparte – Paris 6 – Opening hours : 7/7 8am – 2am)
  • Brasserie Lipp (151 boulevard Saint Germain – Paris 6 – Metro Mabillon)  Hemingway was very fond of this place.
  • Michaud (= now called : “Le Comptoir des Saints-Pères”) in Saint Germain des Prés (corner of rue Jacob and rue des   Saints-Pères) – A restaurant
  • Cafe de Flore, 172 boulevard Saint Germain Metro Saint Germain des Prés: After the war, Hemingway used to come to the Coupole regularly.
  • Les Deux Magots, 6 place Saint Germain des Prés – Metro Saint Germain des Prés : One of the oldest cafes in Paris. Among its regulars : Verlaine, Rimbaud, Stéphane Mallarmé, Picasso, Oscar Wilde, André Malraux and Antoine de Saint Exupéry.


Hemingway in Montparnasse :

  • 1924 – Hemingway moves in a flat near the Luxembourg Gardens (113, rue Notre-Dame-des -Champs – Metro Vavin)
  • La Rotonde (105, boulevard Montparnasse – Paris 14 – Metro Vavin) : That’s where he sometimes meets Henry Miller, Scott Fitzgerald and George Gershwin
  • Les Blés d’Ange (boulangerie) – 151 boulevard du Montparnasse – Metro Vavin : That’s where Hemingway was buying his pastries. It was easy for him to get there as it was opposite his house by Notre Dame des Champs.
  • La Closerie des Lilas**   Article about the Luxembourg Gardens : coming next°°° (171, boulevard Montparnasse – RER : Port Royal or Metro : Vavin) He wrote that it was “one of the best cafes in Paris” and it became his “home cafe”. Others writers used to come at the Closerie des Lilas such as Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Oscar Wilde, Verlaine, Gide, Aragon, Fitzgerald, Sartre, Beckett. Earlier, other famous regulars used to come in this cafe such as : Zola, Gautier, Baudelaire, Honoré de Balzac… That’s where Hemingway wrote his short stories. That’s also where he used to come after splitting up with this first wife, Hadley.
  • Le Select°°°° (99 boulevard Montparnasse – Metro Vavin) – Ernest Hemingway often start his day with breakfast at the Select. He also set several scenes in his novel “The Sun also Rises” (1926) here
  • The Dôme ( 108, boulevard Montparnasse – Paris 14 – Metro Vavin) : Hemingway loved this cafe because often frequented by writers, painters, and artists’ models, such as Gauguin, Modigliani, Kandinsky, Picasso, Miller, Nin and Man Ray.
  • La Coupole, 102 boulevard Montparnasse Paris 14 – Metro Vavin
  • The Dingo Bar ( = today : “Auberge de Venise” – 10 rue Delambre – Paris 14 – Metro Vavin) : That’s where Hemingway met Scott Fitzgerald for the first time. Where Picasso, and Jean Cocteau used to go as well
  • Hotel Venitia (no longer exists. Now, t’s a travel bookshop) 159 boulevard Montparnasse – Paris 14– Metro Port Royal, Vavin or Raspail
  • Ernest-Hemingway-quote
  • Hemingway and the Luxembourg Gardens** and museum (Metro : Luxembourg or Vavin)

    • This was Hemingway’s favorite place to walk. That’s where he would  often meet Gertrude Stein (The American writer, poetess and feminist) who was walking her dog there.
    • He also enjoyed admiring the impressionist paintings in the Luxembourg museum.  In “A moveable feast” he wrote : “I was learning something from the paintings of Cezanne that made writing simple true sentences far from enough to make the stories have the dimensions that I was trying to put in them. I was learning very much from him…”


Hemingway in the Latin quarter :

This neighborhood inspired ‘s greatest early works.

  • 1922-1923 : Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Hadley rented a very modest 2 rooms flat on the 3rd floor at 74, rue Cardinal Lemoine (Paris 5 – Metro Cardinal Lemoine). Hemingway described this place in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”.
  • Then he rented a studio, (39, rue Descartes – Paris 5 – Metro Cardinal Lemoine) in the attic in a four-story house. There was a small restaurant Chez Verlaine, on the ground floor.

About that time, Hemingway wrote : “I was always hungry with the walking and the cold and the working”.

  • Café des Amateurs (today “Café Delmas”, 2 place de la Contrescarpe – Paris 5 – Metro Cardinal Lemoine).  Hemingway wasn’t very fond of the place because regularly frequented by drunks from the neighboring houses, but started “A moveable feast” with the description of the Amateurs : “The Cafe des Amateurs was the cesspool of the rue Mouffetard, that wonderful narrow crowded market street which led into the Place Contrescarpe.”

(Nearby, the Rue Mouffetard”, one of the Paris’s oldest and liveliest streets, with a number of cafes, restaurants and a famous open market.)

  • Shakespeare and Company :  Sylvia Beach, the owner, gave him a borrowing card allowing him to take as many books as he wanted. In “A moveable Feast” Hemingway writes : “She had pretty legs and she was kind, cheerful and interested, and loved to make jokes and gossip. No one that I ever knew was nicer to me.”hemingway_bookshop devant Shakespeare


Other Hemingway’s locations 

Hotel Ritz 15 place Vendôme – Paris 1 – Metro Tuileries : The bar at the Ritz was one of Hemingway’s favorite place. He spent  many evenings there with Scott Fitzgerald. To commemorate its guest, the bar was named after Hemingway.

69 rue Froidevaux – Paris 14 – Metro Gaité or Denfert Rochereau : The second apartment where he lived with his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer.






 Article about La Closerie des Lilas 

**   Article about the Luxembourg Gardens : coming next

°°°° Article about Le Select coming next