18th arrondissement

The 18th arrondissement is going through a revitalisation. It was first developed in the 1840s as a means of providing temporary housing to workers in the provinces, but it quickly grew into the landing area for European immigrants. This created a very colourful, lively and diverse neighbourhood. The shops are exotic and bazaar-like and the food stands offer a great selection of fruits and vegetables.

Some of the main attractions for tourists include Sacré-Coeur Basilica, Montmartre Cemetery and  Le Moulin Rouge. The area still has a rough-around-the-edges reputation – however, locals pride themselves on that edge. The winding streets and the off-the-beaten-track cafés and restaurants offering a fresh spin on French cuisine are what makes the 18th appealing to so many.

Governments and authorities are trying to find a middle ground between cracking down on street crime and gentrifying the area to a point that it is unrecognisable. Clignancourt and Pigalle are two areas where kitsch antique shops and jazz bars can be found alongside various fringe theatres halls, which local residents are fighting tooth and nail to keep.

The Espace Dali in Montmartre, with its many statues and paintings on the walls, exemplifies the love of beauty and playfulness that make up the 18th arrondissement. The quarter, but more specifically Montmartre, is much more than what the tour buses and souvenir shops present. 

The experts say

Butte Montmartre is developing a new city plan that includes a new property development project. Modern buildings will appear and add another level of architecture to the already heterogeneous landscape of the 18th arrondissement.

The luxury property market in 18th arrondissement

As the area is quite varied, prices differ between neighbourhoods. Goutte-d’Or is the more in demand area and has the more luxurious properties to offer; of course, the Butte Montmartre near the Sacré-Coeur cathedral is also a very luxurious and high-demand area.

An 18th arrondissement property for sale, if a new apartment, starts at about €800,000 for a one-bedroom and escalates beyond the €1,000,000 price point to include a second bedroom. Near areas such as Clignantcourt and La Chapelle, properties start at around €250,000 for a one-bedroom, which could be ideal for a Paris property investment.

The area’s reputation as an artful and eclectic neighbourhood makes it highly in demand with a younger demographic of locals and expats, or for a young entrepreneur looking for a Paris commercial property. The rental market is already quite high and constantly increasing.  

  • The area of Montmartre and most of the 18th arrondissement was heavily featured in the film Amélie (2001), which portrayed the neighbourhood in a modern way. Inevitably, it charmed audiences worldwide.
  • Moulin Rouge, in the Pigalle quarter, is where a multitude of French stars made their debut, including Edith Piaf. After many years of a rather questionable nightlife activity in the area, the quarter has started attracting new and modern bars, restaurants and hotels, which have made the 18th one of the trendiest arrondissements to go out to. 

Three insiders tips for 18th arrondissement

GET – lost in the flea market Puces de Saint-Ouen. Since it opened in 1885, it has become the largest flea market in the whole of Europe.

DO – visit the Montmartre Cemetery, a lesser known but as interesting visit as Père Lachaise. It is a chance to pay your respects to many great artists, including painters Edgar Degas and Francis Picabia, and writers Emile Zola and Stendhal.  
SEE – a small obelisk from 1736 on Rue Girardon in the Grandes-Carrières Quarter.

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