This is one of the absolute MUST-DO things when in Paris. I have never been to the city and not seen the first sunset from the top of the steps of Sacré Coeur. The view is the best in the city (aside from the top of Centre Georges Pompidou). Take the stairs (not the Funiculaire de Montmartre) and don't turn around until you are at the very top. Your breath will be taken away.
Take the time to walk around the entire crest of the butte and inside the basilica. You can't spend too much time here.
Ancient review I forgot to post...
We have visited the beautiful Sacre Coeur on many occasions and on each visit we discover something new that we never noticed before.
As others have mentioned be aware of your surroundings and the small gangs of bracelet peddlers, just tell them in not so polite English to go bugger off somewhere.
Sacre Coeur is one of many "must do's" in the Montmartre area of Paris and do not forget to take the staircase up to Place du Tertre.
This is, hands down, the most beautiful cathedral in Paris. While most people are flocking to Notre Dame, you will find Sacré-Cœur is pleasantly less crowded. The architecture is stunning, blending flying arches and stone work with the altitude of the mountain. The views out of the front door are amazing.
All in all this is one of my favorite places to be in one of my all time favorite city's, make sure to get up here while you are in Paris.
Everybody talks about how amazing the view is from the top of the Eiffel Tower or about Notre Dame or the Arcc of Triomphe. But, whatever you do, don't forget this gem. It is quite a trek uphill and you may get a little flustered of you have been sight seeing all day, but as soon as you get to the top, all of the angst will go away. It's a sight so beautiful you just forget to breathe.
The other reviews that may be a bit more negative are all valid. It's out of the way, it's too crowded, blah blah blah. But it is definitely worth the trip here! If you're in Paris for your first trip, do carve some time out to visit this beauty.
Bonus Pro Tip: is you come during a meal, you should also check out Au Pied du Sacre Coeur. Definitely the best restaurant I have ever been to.
I agree that this is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Paris, especially the view from the top.
Ah, what a sight and view. A absolutely beautiful basilica.
We sort of stumbled upon it in a way. My sister was on the quest to finding hand painted artwork with excellent quality. We asked many people, about where to find exquisite artwork. Finally, someone told us Sacre. I somehow got the directions for it from the local train employee (in French...don't know many words...and sign language....)
I know I tease my sister way to much for her persistence in finding that darn artwork. But I'm so glad she did. This place was beyond amazing.
This basilica sits on top of one of the most beautiful views. You can see the city of Paris in all it's magnificent beauty.
We were so enchanted, we did not even notice the trolleys, going up to the basilica.... Yikes, those steps made my legs hurt. But at the end it was worth it.
And yes, we found the art selling people behind/side of basilica. There were dozens of artists and cute cafés there. The quaint size cafés were adorable, wish we had ate there. Oh, well, next time for sure.
Go to this basilica and see it's beauty for sure.
This was a reminder and a suggestion to me to not trust the Christian or Catholic religion. Behavior of panhandlers outside the church was more acceptable than staff within the church. My boyfriend and I were not simply asked to leave, we were shouted at, "Leave!" without any proper explanation, address, or politeness. I asked the reason why, and he pointed to a sign that said "No photos." I cannot help but wonder because of his assertion and rudeness that it was not racially or some other reason motivated rather than his photos excuse otherwise everyone would have been ejected by the scruff and collar from this church. We had no idea we were not allowed to take photos (no signs on the side we entered), and if we were asked to not take photos, we would not have which is the natural politeness we espouse, which this Catholic man did not have.
Being that this is a representation of Catholicism, I am much happier with my nonsectarian atheist beliefs instead of these zealot crazies (does Christianity not ask you to be polite and treat others equally?). I would visit the outside, but definitely NOT support this church in any way which is apparently more wants to sponsor discrimination and money making than base human respect. I deserve an apology from this Church.
Sacre Coeur was the low light of our entire trip. Yes, it was a beautiful view but the view from Notre Dame was more breath taking. The low rate is based on our experience there.
We walked from Gare de Nord to get there. The young men flashing us 'Chanel No. 5' and 'iphones' for sale every step of the way was comical but I didn't feel unsafe.
At Sacre Coeur there were groups of men huddled and blasting music so we avoided using the steps near them When we started climbing up the stairs there were 3 men with smiles halfway up waiting for us. I knew they were going to try to con us but I was not worried until .... They grabbed our arms! They were trying to tie threads around your arm or finger and try to con you out of money. I instinctively started yelling at them 'Eh!, eh! eh!" like when my dog does something bad (you know what I mean dog owners) and pulled my arm away as did my husband. I do not feel safe when someone feels comfortable grabbing not only mine but my 6'5 husband's arm.
Up top it felt sketchy as well. It was obvious men were scoping out people for whatever reason too.
Beautifully breathtaking catholic church with beautiful views of the city as Sacre Coeur sits atop the highest point in Paris. It's a catholic church so be respectful of mass if it's happening, respect the nuns, dress appropriately aka cover up the private parts and leave nothing to the "imagination". You can even donate money to light a candle in several stations of the church in honor of specific saints. There is even a station dedicated to Pope John Paul II's visit here, I love him! That's cool.
BEWARE walking up to the church however! There are pretty aggressive street vendors, pickpockets, gypsies preying on tourists and visitors. 0 stars to deal with all that nonsense. Like old gypsy lady, how you gonna beg sitting BY the church door and harassing people who do not give you money with your little side kick nearby ready to pickpocket?! Seriously pickpocket in front of a church?!! Are you a heretic pagan heathen? Do you have NO morals?! pssh People, just be street smart and remain vigilant!
While the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame get all the attention (and rightfully so), do not forget to make the trek up to Sacre Coeur for an amaaazing view of Paris!
You'll get one of the best view of the city from the steps of it after you dodge sixteen people trying to sell you beer, water and plastic Eiffel Towers. If you are into fitness, take the steps up; it will challenge you.
The inside of Sacre Coeur is beautiful and the history is interesting, but you can't take pictures and you'll be elbow to elbow with a million people. The man checking bags and telling people to put camera's away at the door felt like a bouncer and it didn't feel particularly inviting to go inside.
You have to go and see it once, but don't expect the kind of experience you'll get at Notre Dame.
Beautiful church that you can see from a distance at most scenic points in Paris. It's all white and stands majestically on top of a hill that could be quite a climb if you take the direct stairs up! We luckily took the back streets from a local cafe, so it wasn't TOO bad. It's free to view, but if you want to climb up the highest tower of the church they charge a fee. We went in and marveled at the beautiful interior.
Warning to men and women -- dress appropriately. It is a church after all. Nothing too stuffy like your Sunday best, but something that covers your cleavage and butt please. We had two women trying to walk in with super duper short miniskirts and their male companion got into a shouting match with the doorman because he wouldn't let the women in for their skimpy dress. It got very tense and the women and man were escorted off the property because they were threatening the worker.
Anyway, back to the drama-free part of the visit. The view from Sacre Ceour is beautiful. It's one of the highest points in Paris so you can see the spread of the magnificent city below you. Great for photos! I paid 2 euro inside to light a candle and make a wish/say a prayer. There were many people who did the same. My friend that I went with lit a candle with a prayer and her prayers were answered the next month! Pretty cool. I'm not super religious or anything, but I thought that was really neat. It fulfilled something for her, and made her happy, so I was happy.
Also beware of gypsies asking you to sign clipboards and pickpockets. There's quite a bit here. Just be aware of your surroundings.
You can take a train or the lift... or both like we did. The town is quaint but full of people. Lots of people go here so bea careful since so do pick pockets and gypsies. A few guys were selling beer to anyone and the police got them (felt better). Some guy stands outside the lift trying to sell you tickets but dont pay any attention to him as they are fake or already used. We watched him for a good 20 min take advantage of people, when the police came for the other guys he split too. You can also take the stairs too if you know how to get to them.
We found some good places to eat at per Tripadvisor but some of them didn't have any English so you decide. this was nice but if your limited on time its not the first thing I would do.
If you want a view of Paris, go to the top!
The Basilica of Sacre Coeur is the highest point in Paris. It's the most beautiful church on the outside to me. The sight is so picture worthy and definitely a must when you visit Paris.
The journey to Sacre Coeur is just as important as the destination. In many ways it sets the tone for your experience. For us, we did not take the steps up but went the back way from the bottom and hiked our way up the hills of Montmartre. We got to experience the little neighborhood, saw the Moulin Rouge, and traced the steps of Amelie. We found some cool graffiti along the way and finally met up with all the other tourists.
The church itself inside is like all the rest. Be respectful. Pray. Don't be loud. Watch out for beggars. I saw one beggar thrown out of the church by a guard. She was harassing the tourists for money. The dome is a must if you are into the views. The entrance is a little tricky to find. It's actually around the back on the side like most other tower entrances. At Sacre Coeur you can also visit the crypt. I hear it is beautiful but most people bypass it. Don't make the mistake of buying the wrong ticket. One family did and it was a nightmare as they held up the line and argued for admittance into the dome.
The climb to the top of the dome is an easy one and if you go at an off peak hour, it will be practically empty and you will have the space almost all to yourself. This view trumps all as it is the highest and you also get to see gargoyles. They are not unique just to Notre Dame. I was happy to find this out as we did not have a chance to go to the top of Notre Dame or any of the other observation decks in Paris.
Montmartre is one of my favorite places, and partly because of this church. The whole neighborhood looks like a village (cute shops, lots of brick work, and little streets). Every once in a while, I'd look up and see the Basilique du Sacré Coeur.
I say this is a must see, and climbing up is a must do! After climbing all those stairs to get in front of the church, it's "only" 300 steps to get to the top. €6 takes you to a 360 panorama of Paris that you can't miss. When you're back down, enjoy the street performers or have some of those very French sugar coated peanuts at a nearby stand. Lots of people sitting on the grassy hill sides and stairs; it's the Parisian Piazza di Spagna.
Basilique du Sacré Coeur or known to us silly Americans as Sacred Heart is absolutely gorgeous. It can be seen from many spots in Paris as it sits on a hill in Montmartre a bit out from the main city area.
What makes this church so beautiful is it's travertine stone throughout - all white and looking pristine. There is a tram you can take up to the top of the stairs. If you already have a metro pass it works for the tram so don't bother buying a trip.
As it's a church there is no charge except for donations and it's open from 6-1030 each day. During the day there are various acts outside like a man climbing up a lightpole bouncing a ball around, different musicians, it's chocked full of various street performers.
There is a little convenience store right at the foot of Sacred Heart with the most friendly and handsome man working that I saw during my whole trip in Paris!
No pictures can be taken inside so get a bunch of great ones of the church before going in!
Although the interior of the church and the view from the top of the staircase is spectacular, I did not understand the outrageous hype with visiting this place.
The journey to the Sacre Coeur was a mission. We visited this area in mid-July, when tourist numbers seem like the highest. We got off at the Blanche metro stop and had to walk a couple of blocks to the cathedral. Not only were the little streets at the bottom filled with what seemed like a million of tourists, there were many pick pockets and people playing gambling games in the narrow streets, making it hard to navigate through and fear for your purse/money being stolen to get to the final destination.
Then, we decided to take the funicular up to the top of the hill to save some walking. However, to even get to the queue for the funicular, we had to pass through what seemed like 20-30 of those men who try to tie the string onto your hand. Although I crossed my arms while walking past them, they still tried grabbing my hand which was just an uncomfortable experience. I felt very unsafe in this area.
Finally, when we got to the top, the view of Paris was amazing and unforgettable. If you walk to the side of the church, you can also catch a great view of the Eiffel tower and explore the Montmartre area with the artists painting on the streets.
When we got into the church, it is definitely a sight to see. The art on the ceiling, the architecture, the people solemnly praying, and the essence of the church is just a great experience. There's no photography allowed, so it is very peaceful to sit inside and soak it in although I didn't see them enforcing the no photography rule because there were some jerks who snuck in their DSLR and shuttered away.
Overall, if you have the time in Paris, definitely visit the place. If you have a limited time in Paris, I honestly think it can be skipped. The whole experience with the pick pockets made my experience a little sour. I would recommend the Notre Dame is more than the Sacre Coeur if you get the chance!
You should come here at 7 in the morning!
Oh Sacre Coeur, you broke my heart.
How I wanted to love you. After reading about you in countless guidebooks and seeing you from a distance, I finally made the venture up to Montmartre to see you up close in all your splendor. In addition to the countless tourists, were relentless (and even one violent) street hawker.
Sacre Coeur is definitely a Paris must-do that you should only do once and only once. It reminded me of San Fran's Fisherman Wharf and New York's Times Square - places no local would ever be caught dead visiting. Take the prerequisite wide beauty shots and get out!
We visited Sacre Couer on an unfortunately muggy and rainy day. The climb up the stairs is very high, but it was made even worse by large groups of African men at every landing harassing us, offering "free friendship bracelets." At some points, they were actually cutting me off from my boyfriend and grabbing at me - it was an absolutely awful experience.
I had encountered the same around the Duomo in Milan, so had done my research and knew to avoid them. DO NOT STOP and give these low-lifes the time of day - it is a trap - they will either want a "donation" or will distract you to pickpocket. There are also groups of young women walking around major tourist attractions - in Montmartre and around the Eiffel Tower - asking if you speak English and wanting you to sign a petition. Just ignore them and don't reply - they will want a "donation" as well.
Once you make it into the Basilica, it makes the climb somewhat worth it. It is a beautiful monument and cathedral, with spectacular architecture inside and out.
When leaving, we took the staircase that runs alongside the Funiculaire, and we were not bothered at all. It really is unfortunate that the local authorities do not have control over the landmark, and an otherwise beautiful place is being spoiled.
During my short visit to Paris, my visit to the Sacre Coeur was probably the most sublime. On the same note, the negative reviews prior to mine are all valid and accurate.
Yes, the hike up through Montmartre is steep, so I would recommend spending the money to ride the funicular. Yes, the exterior of the basilica is teaming with tourists, as well as the pushy African men trying to sell you stuff, so be aware and avoid.
However, stepping inside the church, all of that melts away. If there is a mass going on, you are in luck, especially if the nuns are there singing.
The evening I was there, I missed the hours to climb to the top of the dome, so I decided to sit and rest a bit in the church. I am not sure what kind of ceremony was going on, as it did not appear to be a traditional mass. There were benedictine nuns singing for quite a long time. Whether you are a religious person or not ( I happen to be not), this is a lovely and peaceful place to visit if you can put everything outside of the church aside.
This is one of the select few places in Paris that is great for a panoramic view of the city. It is one of the best, in fact.
Since admission is just a suggested donation, your entry fee is only as high as your Catholic guilt!
Ha. Just kidding. Not Catholic here, but I tossed a few Euros because I'd feel guilty seeing all this kickass art for free. I respected the signs and didn't snap any photos of the inside (my friend did, I'll post those). It also felt way serious with all the pews reserved for people who want to pray. At least a thousand people at any given time with their heads lowered in front of some impressive murals and a huge pipe organ.
The gift shop was full of rosaries, candles, and custom coins. The print on the candles are a bit...rudimentary for my taste. Work doesn't even look professional. You can't even tell it came from here...what a dumb souvenir!
Getting up here takes some effort. You can either hike up tons and tons of stairs, or pay the normal metro price for some 30-second trip uphill. Gotta love the convenient infrastructure. Sacre Coeur isn't a place worth spending much time in, but it's short, sweet, and inexpensive. Very beautiful, too, so don't pass it up.
Fantastic place to visit for a panoramic view of Paris. If you can make it up the 300 steps I highly recommend going all the way up to the dome because the views are even better up there. We visited first thing in the morning when the dome opens so there wasn't a line, not sure what it is like later in the day. I'm sure the views with all the lights at night would be fantastic! There is no cost to go into the church itself, but going up to the dome or to the crypts will cost a few euros. If you don't want to climb all the way up and/or pay the fee, the church itself and the views from there are still worth a visit.
*Side note: Although you need to be very careful of pickpockets everywhere in Paris, we noticed quite a bit of pickpocketing attempts on the lower stairs here. Don't stop and talk to anyone, guard your wallet, phone, etc, and just keep walking!
Gorgeous walk to the top, the church itself was so-so. If you don't want to be accosted by 100s of people trying to sell you stuff, walk up the back way.
I know it isn't the locals most favorite place, but it is absolutely stunning. You can't take pictures inside, so be sure to take your time and really soak in how beautiful it is. Definitely worth a visit. After you go, stay and enjoy Montmarte.
Montmartre is one of the most beautiful and romantic places in Paris, to me at least, and it is easily my favorite place to go. I love the little shops and restaurants everywhere and the Basilica is stunning. When you're here, the views of the city are just breathtaking, especially if you go at night when the city and Eiffel Tower are all lit up. Beware of some of the vendors at the foot of the Basilica steps, near the carousel...they will offer you to try bracelets on and end up tying an unbreakable knot so that you are forced to buy....but as long as you are aware and avoid them or exit at the back of the basilica like I did, then you'll be OK. Don't forget take a photo of or walk down the iconic steps made famous by the photographer Brassai. Also, be wary of the neighborhoods when leaving the Montmartre area and as some of the adjacent neighborhoods can be quite sketchy.
My favorite site in Paris ever and close to the subway station (north east part of Paris, but still central). Diverse neighborhood, great sweeping views of Paris, the basilica itself is peaceful and beautiful, and there is a lot of people watching to do here. You must come here during the daytime when it's full of life. Also, where else can you buy five Eiffel Tower keychains for 1 Euro? Ignore the people trying to sell you a lanyard on your finger and the hustlers on your way up (they start at the merry-go-round). They are used to rude tourists so you saying no is nothing in comparison.
**ONE OF THE BEST SPOTS AND VIEWS IN PARIS**
We stayed in the Montmartre area and so this was a MUST-visit.
Located on the highest point in Paris.
Super touristy, so BEWARE of your belongings and harassing vendors.
*STAIRS AND VIEWS
*GIFT SHOP (I purchased some beads)
*MOSAIC, entitled Christ in Majesty (among the largest in the world)
*Buses 30, 31, 80, and 85 can be taken to the bottom of the hill of the Basilica.
*Line 2 or 12 of the metro can be taken to Pigalle station where visitors can change to the Montmartrobus and disembark at Norvins.
Open from 06:00 to 22:30 every day. The dome is accessible from 09:00 to 19:00 in the summer and 18:00 in the winter.
Use of cameras and video recorders is forbidden inside.
Shocking, but I liked the Basilica more than Notre Dame. The architecture, views of the city, and the spiritual vibe was much more grandeur and emotional.
Climb your way up the steps and you will find a spectacular view of Paris, sans Eiffel Tour. Even better at night. Lots of pretty lights.
The basilique is spectacular and emmaculate, though I think most people come for the view, stay for the church.
BEWARE...DANGEROUS! Great view of the city from above and a nice looking basilica...Terrible experience trying to walk up to take in the view. My pregnant wife was surrounded by a gang of thugs running the friendship bracelet scam who literally ran up on her like a pack of raving hyenas. Being wise to their scam I firmly told them "No" and to get away from us. Most of the group left us alone but the leader of the gang started shouting at me and assaulted me....No there is no security and there are no police in sight. I stood my ground and yelled at him to get his hands off me...I am not a little guy, but it was all I could do while carrying a camera a bag of souvenirs and looking after a pregnant wife (hey its a tourist site...a church...you would think it would be safe to have your hands full and you wouldnt expect to have a violent altercation on a Tuesday afternoon.) Reminded me of Times Square in the 80's and 90's. These thugs clearly feel comfortable harrassing people here...they must pay off the local authorities who are certainly aware of whats going on here from the similar reports of other reviewers here and on other sites and in guide books ...Beware!
Beautiful, just so wonderfully historic and gorgeous. the only thing that made it less so was the crowds.
We got here by train and it was quite easy from the Marais district.
The weather was also so nice which made it a gorgeous day to visit.
Montmatre is so beautiful, little streets, lots of vendors, cool boutiques.
The views of Paris was well worth the climb of those steps and my bum hurt the next day from that view, actually :-)
We looked around Montmartre and bought some little trinkets and went way into the not so touristic part, which was really nice.
I love Paris and Sacre Coeur to me is always part of that whole beauty!
Here's the thing, this 4 stars are for the amazing view of the city of Paris that I got to see on Christmas Eve night last year. It's quite a hike up if you take the stairs, which you should if at all possible.
Inside the church itself it was a bit creepy to me. I am not a huge fan of dark old churches that look like they should be in a vampire movie. If you are, then you will love this place.
Go for the view, admire the architecture, then head up the hill a little further for some wine at a cafe.
- Your walkin' shoes. It's a hike to get up here.
- Your camera. The view is spectacular, looking up and looking down.
- Your sense of respect. Even if you are not religious, it's a church. Don't be one of those people trying to get up on the altar to take pictures.
- Your sense of alertness. Pickpockets, people.
- Your common sense. I stood on the front porch for about ten minutes waiting for friends inside. In that time I watched an old gypsy woman moaning and clinking two Euros in her hand to everyone as they passed by. When she'd collect a few more Euros, she'd squirrel then away in her skirt and go back to clinking the two. A tourist woman gave her little girl all her change to give the woman. In the ten minutes I stood there this gypsy made more than the average salaryman makes in an hour. Don't fall for it.
- Your sense of relaxation. It's a great place to lie on the grass (the long stretches of lawn just call to you), or ride the beautiful carousel.
Montmartre is a unique neighborhood and Sacre Coeur is the jewel in its crown. You certainly must see it if you are in Paris.
A neat ride on a funicular to get to Sacre Coeur was a treat in and of itself. But once we got to the steps of the basilica, it was a circus! There were people on the steps drinking beer, making out, playing card games, playing soccer, etc. I couldn't help but think about that one story in the bible when Jesus flipped out when he saw tax collectors, beggars and dealers conducting their business on a Sunday right outside a church. What would Jesus do?
The church's luminiscence allows you to get past the madness. It is magnificent. I got myself some rosaries and souvenirs from their gift shop.
Be careful though. While you're admiring the structure and the view, gypsies and pickpockets are admiring your stuff too. Be alert! There are over-priced souvenirs below the basilica. From bags with "Paris" printed all over, scarves, magnets, I heart Paris shirts, shot glasses, music boxes, etc.
When my family and I went here, it was quite hard to find a cab - you'd have to walk a few blocks to get one. Off to Moulin Rouge we went!
Having just spent 5 days within 2 minutes walk from the church, I can say that Sacre-Coeur is definitely holding its status as my favorite Paris landmark. Yes it's swarming with tourists but who cares its gorgeous and climbing up, down & around the Butte Montmartre is a wonderful activity (esp early in the morning when it's quiet). My advice: walk up slowly & along the way spend 20EUR to buy a braided bracelet (5EUR), some Eiffel Tower key chains (2EUR), a beer (2EUR), a bottle of water (2!), a Sacre-Coeur coin medallion, and a little Paris letter train then take the Montmartre bus for a loop all the wag back down to Pigalle Great way to have a beautiful afternoon and make a lot of people happy in the process.
Somehow I've been to Paris twice before but never made it here. In fact I must have stayed on opposite ends because once you've visited, you realize how magnificent a place this is - both to look at and look from.
You don't have to go in... just walk to, from and all around.
This tourist destination is worth climbing to the top of Montmartre to see. (A little exercise never killed anyone, right?) The shops surrounding it are full of kitsch, of course.
Brave the crowds and explore the grounds of this church inside and out. If you appreciate religion and/or architecture, get excited. Either way, enjoy the beautiful view of Paris from the hilltop.
Walking builds a healthy appetite; luckily there are a handful of tasty eateries nearby!
Oh Paris. *sigh* Be certain to stretch before attempting this site. My favorite thing abut the Basilique is the village just beneath her. Stick with me and I will tell you all about it.
The locals call her Sacré-Cœur, which means sacred heart. There are many viewpoints throughout Paris to gaze up at the ornate white architectural gem as Montmartre is THE highest point in Paris.
She is made of a special stone (travertine) which exudes calcite and keeps her paper white despite the elements. Take your time when investigating her, don't be eager and she will reward your patience with breathtaking views.
She will charge you a penance of hundreds of climbed steps. You have to work for the great things in life. You can do it!
Inside: The famous expert-crafted pipe organ and one of the largest mosaics in the world. Take it all in with your eyes because no cameras are permitted.
Get to the top of the dome where the most beautiful view in the world is waiting. Take a self portrait with your view of Paris in the background.
Now for my favorite part: Spend the whole day walking away from the Basilique. After you have sprained your picture taking finger, notice the cobblestone steps into Montmartre. Have a seat.
You are almost certain to be granted a free concert from the street musicians. Magically, I have always heard "Time to Say Goodbye" performed via violin. I have learned to have a few Euro ready in gratitude and a handkerchief for a tear or two.
The people watching from this vantage is top notch. The lovers, the loved, the stuff of poetry, it is très romantique.
The village of Montmartre is waiting after you have lingered long enough. If you loved the film Amelie even a fraction as much as I, things will start to look very familiar right about now.
Montmartre is in the 18th arrondissement (XVIIIe), Rive Droite (the right bank). Paris is dissected by districts. The center of Paris is the first arr. You are now 18th arr., *17 districts away from the center of Paris. This is home to my favorite nightclubs. Play your cards right and you will be dancing tonight.
Peruse the artist galleries and sidewalk displays; a mix of talent and Tacky. Buy a souvenir! So what! You are a tourist!
Read every menu before committing to a dinner venue. Or. Take my advice and eat at Le Grand 8 on Rue Lamarck just one block from the Basilique.
Order a bottle of vin rouge, (red wine) fromage, (cheese) and the plat de jour, (the special of the day). Reminisce forever the time you spent here. Like I do and am now sharing with you ;-)
You were everything I hoped for and more. You were worth every one of those 400+ steps to climb your tower, where I saw the most stunning views of Paris one can ever imagine.
Before my trip, everyone kept telling me Sacre Coeur was a must see. It sits atop the highest point in Paris, offering spectacular views. Especially for those brave enough to climb the steps to the top of the tower. So on our 3rd day in Paris, we took the Metro and hiked up the cobblestone streets of the 18th arrondissement until we reached the cathedral. The front of the cathedral was full of tourists and street performers. An elderly couple sat on the sidewalk playing their violin and the accordion (yelp.com/biz_photos/spIG…), filling the air with musical magic.
We then made a restroom pit stop - down the stairs and to the left you'll find a free public toilet. Not many of those in Europe, so we appreciated any we could find.
My husband and I paid the 10 euro fee to enter the 400+ staircase that led to the cathedral's towers. Be prepared - if you're out of shape or have any looming health conditions, you should not enter. Although they will NOT warn you of this. Once you enter the narrow, windy, urine-soaked stairway, there's nowhere to go but up.
After what seemed like an eternity, we reached the top - lungs burning and out of breath. The view was amazing. My eyes welled up with tears a bit. It was so beautiful. The music of the street performers could still be heard, but only faintly, as they were so far below (yelp.com/biz_photos/spIG…).
We walked around the tower, which allows you to see Paris from all directions. The view is unobstructed and unspeakably gorgeous. I only wish the skies had been clearer, but perhaps that gives me an excuse to go back and visit on a sunny day. Here, you can see the Eiffel tower amidst the Parisian fog (yelp.com/biz_photos/spIG…).
And at the top of the tower, an anonymous note was etched into one of the wooden benches...
"La vie est belle comme la vue"...("Life is as beautiful as the view")
Indeed it is.
Located in the heart of Montmartre district, otherwise knows as the artist quarters. Sacred Heart Basilica is the highest point of the city and on a clear sunny day offers some of the best views of the Paris landscape. This is where you can truly appreciate the vastness of this metropolis. The church itself is relatively new since construction was finished in the 20th century, but that doesn't take away from it's beauty.
Montmartre at some point or another was a home to world renowned artist like Salvador Dali, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh and many others. Everything about it is eccentric and unique. A must do for an afternoon in Paris.
Once you get to the top, enjoy sitting on the steps, taking in the views and listening to some street artists.
P.S. As previously mentioned, avoid Africans and Gypsies at all costs, do not engage them in any conversations, and don't let them put any strings on your hands either...scams-a-plenty, just best to keep your distance.
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