5 Attractions to Visit in the 18th Arrondissement of Paris

Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements which is indicated by the last two digits of the numerical post code. For example, Montmartre is in the arrondissement 18 and therefore the post code is 75018. The arrondissements are laid out in a clockwise direction, from the centre of Paris. Each has its own unique characteristics, here is a look at 5 attractions to visit in the 18th.

Montmartre

The hill overlooking all of Paris can either be accessed by walking up a few stair cases or an escalator which takes you directly to Sacre Coeur. The hill is 130 metres high and from the top there are amazing views of Paris. The hill is named after Mons Martis which means mountain of the martyr after the Bishop of Paris, Saint Denis who was beheaded here in 250AD. Montmatre was originally outside of the city limits which meant it was free from taxes and due to the wine making by the nuns in the area, it became a popular drinking destination. Today, it still attracts a lot of tourists to the area and there are many cafes, bars, restaurants and clubs to go to, one of the most famous – the Moulin Rouge.

Sacre Coeur

The sacred heart which is the direct translation of Le Sacre Coeur, sits at the top of Montmartre constructed between 1875 and 1919 . The Basilica is open daily, from 6:00 am to 10:30pm. The Basilica is made of Chateau Landon stones which secrete calcite when it rains. This calcite acts like a bleach and therefore a natural cleaning product, helping to keep the Basilica looking white. Tourists can climb the dome of the Basilica, which is open daily until 7:00pm in summer.

Les Deux Moulins

This café made famous by the French film Amelie Poulin is located on Rue Lepic, at the junction of Rue Cauchois. Les Deux Moulins means two windmills in French, named after the two historic windmills nearby, the Moulin Rouge and the Moulin de la Galette. The weekends tend to be the busiest but there is not normally a long wait (if going during the off peak season). Inside there are photos from the film and visitors can of course have a crème brulee, one of Amelie’s favourite foods.

Moulin Rouge

The Red Windmill located on Boulevard de Clichy is a cabaret in Paris. It is known as being the birthplace of the cancan which originally was a seductive dance. However, the cancan soon became a popular and entertainment dance which led to many other cabaret shows being open throughout Europe. Built in 1889, Moulin Rouge still retains many of its original features and has shows daily. It is expensive to see the performances (it costs from 50 euros without dinner), but all those who have seen the shows have described it as spectacular and well worth it.

Rue des Abbesses

Situated just one block from the Boulevard de Clichy, many tourists may miss this street. Although quieter than the Boulevard, this street still has many bars, restaurants and boutique shops. Le Saint Jean is a friendly and lively café with a wide selection of typical French food. For those staying in one of the Paris apartments, without internet, head over to Le Vrai Paris which offer free WiFi as long as your order a drink/food.

The 18th arrondissement is now one of the most trendy areas in Paris to live and visit. Rent for some of these apartments in Paris is not as expensive as in the centre but it is slowly rising, forcing many lower income families to head further out of the city.

Written by Jo Turnbull

Related areas
France, Paris