Paris, the city of light, is synonymous with romance, but many honeymooners stick to the city center and miss out on the offerings of other districts, such as Montmartre.
Nobody could dispute the beauty of central Paris and any trip here should involve a stroll along the banks of the Seine and the wide, tree-lined boulevards. But perched above the city in the 18th arrondissement is the bohemian enclave of Montmartre, and it is perfect for a honeymoon.
Enter the World of Amelie
Proof that Montmartre is all about romance is the fact that it is the setting for one of the best romantic movies ever made, Amelie. The Cafe des Deux Moulins sits off Rue Lepic in the heart of Montmartre and this is where Amelie worked, and fell in love. It is a working cafe and a fine spot to enjoy a good French coffee or even a cocktail as Parisian life flows past the window.
The Arrondissement of Art
While the Louvre and Pompidou welcome more visitors, the galleries of Montmartre shouldn’t be overlooked. For instance if you take a walk up the steep, cobbled streets towards the Sacre Coeur cathedral you might come across the Espace Dali, a gallery dedicated to the work of Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali.
Small but important museums like this can be found around the district, but there are also wonderful pieces of public art and street art in squares, streets and on the sides of buildings.
See the Big Sights
The Sacre Coeur basilica is a truly stunning spectacle, sat at the very summit of Montmartre. The interior is dazzling but so are the views from the cathedral’s steps, from which you can look over all of Paris on a clear day and still enjoy a better view of the Eiffel Tower than the tourists who have paid to go up it. At night the lights of the city from here are stunning and well worth walk uphill after dark.
The Moulin Rouge is another popular spot in Montmartre and of course inspiration for another romantic movie. It offers a modernized taste of fin du siecle Paris when Toulouse Lautrec was a regular and the Can Can was all the rage, perhaps watched while sipping a jade green glass of absinthe (which you can still sample).
Explore the Quieter Avenues
Sometimes the most romantic discoveries happen when just the two of you wander off from the crowd and discover some private moments. Perhaps this will happen on a walk among the tombstones and mausoleums of the leafy Montmartre Cemetery, where you can find famous artists and writers like Alexandre Dumas. Maybe it will be at the small vineyard on Rue Saint-Vincent or even sat waiting for a train in the white-tiled Abbesses metro station.
Eat, Drink & Watch the World Go By
One of the best ways to experience Montmartre is to just sit down and take a good look at it. Pick a cafe, bar or restaurant and pull up a chair, order a citron presse, a coffee, a cold beer or a glass of wine and relax. You’re on honeymoon after all! Montmartre is inevitably full of great food and drink so enjoy what’s on offer and let all your senses take in this beautiful Parisian district.
The City is Your Oyster/Moule
If you feel like you’d be missing out on the rest of Paris by choosing to honeymoon in Montmartre, you wouldn’t. The Metro will take you from Abbesses in Montmartre to Place de la Concorde in the center of Paris in just over 20 minutes, which is a great starting point for a tour of the city’s biggest sights. Montmartre is a thriving and exciting area that is full of art, music, food, drink and romance. It has a distinct identity from the center of Paris and is completely unique. What more could you want for a dream honeymoon?
Sam Brown is a writer and editor who looks after the blog at Shelf Edge. Sam lives in the West Yorkshire countryside and loves to travel whenever the opportunity arises.