October 20, 2014

As the nights are drawing in and the weather is taking a turn for the worse, my family and I have found ourselves spending more time staying in together during the evenings. One of the things we enjoy most as a family is re-watching our favourite films, and one that stands out in particular is Amélie , or Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain , as it's called in French!

For me, being French, I have a strong connection with Paris, and spent a lot of time there myself when I was growing up, as well as it being a place that I've taken my kids to visit. The cinematography in Amélie is just beautiful, and is set in the Montmartre region of Paris, which just happens to be one of my favourite areas of the city. I love recognising streets that I've walked down and cafés that I've frequented, which inspired me to put together this little guide for all you other fans of the film to start exploring the Paris of Amélie Poulain!

Rue Saint Vincent

The opening scene of the movie is a shot of a bluebottle fly landing on the Rue Saint Vincent, so why not start your tour of Amélie's Montmartre from here, too. This little street is just behind the Sacré-Cœur, which makes it ideally located for exploring all the other locations featured in the movie. And whilst you're walking around the streets of Montmartre, keep your eyes peeled for Amélie inspired graffiti on the walls!

Rue des Trois Frères

A little further down the hill, amidst the maze of winding streets you'll find the Rue des Trois Frères. This street is the setting for Amélie's beautiful apartment, the entrance of which that featured in the movie was number 56. The set for her home was actually built and shot in a studio in Germany, but you can visit the real-life location of the greengrocer Au Marche de la Butte, which was the setting of Maison Collignon in the film.

 Au Marche de la Butte
Visit the real-life greengrocers Au Marche de la Butte

Café des Deux Moulins

If there's only one place from Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain that you visit, make it the café where Amélie worked, the Café des Deux Moulins. To this day, you can still take a seat at one of the tables that she waited on, and even order a delicious crème brûlée, which Amélie famously loves to crack open with a spoon. In fact, the crème brûlée is now even named after Amélie on the menu!

 Café des Deux Moulins
Pull up a chair at the Café des Deux Moulins

Sacré-Cœur

The Sacré-Cœur is the setting for a particularly memorable scene in the film, in which Amélie sends her love interest, Nino Quincampoix, on a mysterious treasure hunt to find his missing photo album. He follows blue arrows that she painted on the floor leading him from the musical carousel, up the hill to the observation level and a pair of binoculars, which are pointed at her returning his photo album to his bike satchel. The hunt continues from here for him to discover her identity.

 Sacré-Cœur
The Sacré-Cœur is always worth a visit

Paris Métro

I won't give away any more spoilers, just in case you still haven't seen this beautiful, whimsical film. I will say, however, that while you are in the area, pay attention to two of the local Métro stations, Lamarck - Caulaincourt Métro and Abbesses Métro. Lamarck - Caulaincourt, known for its iconic double staircase, features in a charming scene in which Amélie brings to life the happenings of the street market for a blind man. And Abbesses is famous for being one of only two surviving Métro stations with an original Art Nouveau awning, as well as featuring in the film - and on some days, you can even find an accordion player playing some of the music from the Amélie soundtrack!

 Abesses
The beautiful Art Nouveau Abbesses Métro station

Explore Paris with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, it couldn't be easier to explore the Paris of Amélie Poulain. It takes just 35 minutes to cross the Channel from the UK, and from our Calais terminal, you can drive to Paris in as little as three hours, so you'll be tucking into a crème brûlée at the Café des Deux Moulins before you know it! What's more, having your own car gives you the freedom to explore as much of Paris and the surrounding French countryside as you like. And with no luggage restrictions on Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, you can shop 'til you drop, and fill the car with as many souvenirs as you like! Bon voyage!

Photo Credits:
Amelie © Piutus
Maison Collignon, Amélie Poulain - Paris 18ème oct.2013h © xkidx
Café des deux moulins © Adrien Leguay
Sacré Couer © Valdiney Pimenta
Abbesses Metro © Andrea

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