Best of Paris: Montmartre & Rue Cler
In the classic movie Casablanca, Rick, played by Humphrey Bogart says goodbye to Ingrid Bergman's character Ilsa by saying, "We'll always have Paris."
They had driven by the Arc de Triomphe, in the 8th district of Paris and took a boat cruise down the Seine, presumably picking up the ride in the 7th district, which is home to the Eiffel Tower and the Orsay Museum.
The city of Paris, as you may know, is broken up into 20 of these districts, or arrondissements, as they’re known. Ask someone to meet and they might mention a cafe “in the 11th,” or a park in the “19th.”
If you’ve ever wondered just what photo gems lie in each district, I complete the PhotowalksTV in Paris series today with three new videos for you:
—A guide to each of the 20 districts, and what to expect there. (As you can tell from the street sign below, each post will tell you exactly which district you are in, with a listing atop. This does make it easy to navigate your way through the city.)
—We also visit two of the best districts: Montmartre, easily the most photogenic area of the City of Light, and Rue Cler, the most magical, remote and walkable section of Paris.
The 7th not only has the Eiffel Tower but also that glorious Alexander III bridge, along with, of course, Rue Cler, that great walking street full of open-air markets, cafes, cobbled streets and more.
In the Montmarte episode, I meet up with local Parisian Nicolas Gauthier, the country manager for the social magazine Flipboard, who was born and bred in the area and is a hoot with a really dry wit.
His neighborhood is how you might imagine the Paris of yesteryear, with the cobbled streets, strolling sketch artists, the stunning Sacré-Coeur church, the view from the top of the mountain. If you remember the 2001 movie Amelie, you’ll recognize Montmartre as it was filmed there.
The area has a special place in Paris history as an artists gathering place since the 19th century. It was once home to artists ranging from Renoir, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Latrec and Picasso.
In the Montmartre episode you’ll also meet my newfound friend Najib, who explains why it’s the no. 1 photo spot in Paris (after the Eiffel Tower, of course.) Najib works at our favorite Rue Cler hotel, the du Champ de Mars, where manager Celine Gourgal offered her insights on the neighborhood in the Rue Cler episode.
Meanwhile, if you missed part 1, please check it out: