Definitive guide

Place du Tertre

Artists’ easels balance on the cobblestones of Place du Tertre, while the smell of paint mixes with the inviting aromas of nearby cafès and bistros.

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Place du Tertre is a square in the Montmartre neighbourhood, famous for the constant presence of artists, painters, and a uniquely charming atmosphere. The Place - whose name, tertre, actually means hillock, in reference to the Montmartre hill where it is located - acts as somewhat of a central square for the neighbourhood, contributing to the village-like quality of the area.

Our recommendations

If you want to visit at a quiet time, we suggest going in the mornings on weekdays. However, if what you’re looking for is romantic, nothing beats Place du Tertre at sundown.

Starting in the 18th century, Place du Tertre would slowly become a spot favoured by artists, poets, and songwriters of all kinds. This was due to the square’s affordable housing and wine - the neighbourhood was exempt from wine taxes. Soon enough, a thriving and decidedly bohemian artistic community had formed.

By the time the Belle Époque was coming to an end (in 1914), painters such as Picasso, Modigliani, Utrillo, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, and Dalí, had all found comfort, inspiration, and often their home in Tertre Square. Today, although the artists are not as well known, Place du Tertre still reminds us of its past, with hundreds of canvases, brushes, painters, and easels dotting the square.

Nightlife at Place du Tertre
Author: Shadowgate. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Another little interesting fact about the square is that the word bistro (today indicating a small, modest restaurant) is said to have been invented here. Apparently, in 1814, during the Russian occupation of Paris , soldiers would come to the square’s restaurant. In an attempt to get as much alcohol in them in the shortest time possible, they would often urge the waiters with the word “bystro!”, meaning “quick!”.

To enjoy the neighbourhood in all its beauty, a tour is probably the best solution. A local guide will show you around, take you off the beaten track and even point out where all the artists used to live in the area. You can book your guided tour here . And if art is not really what you’re interested in, maybe food will tempt you instead. In fact, Montmartre is known for its gastronomy and local products. Click here to book your food tour.

Location

Place du Tertre, Montmartre, 18th arrondissement

Transport

Method
Lines
Stops
Method Métro Bus Montmartre Funicular
Lines 12, 2 40, -
Stops Abbesses, Pigalle, Blanche, Anvers Montmartre Gare Haute

Nearby sights

Being in the Montmartre neighbourhood, Place du Tertre is close by all the main attractions of the area.

Musée de Montmartre - 200 m (650 feet), 2-minute walk.

Dalí Paris - 140 m (460 feet), 2-minute walk.

Basilique du Sacré-Coeur - 200 m (650 feet), 2-minute walk.

Le Mur des Je t’aime - 400 m (over 0.2 miles), 5-minute walk.

Moulin Rouge - 950 m (0.6 miles), 11-minute walk.

To explore all of them, we suggest you get a walking tour around the neighbourhood.


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Introduction
Place du Tertre