Over 300 reviews already...I'll just say two things:
1) ITS FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!
2) Can everyone please stop littering? Parisians are so filthy!
The basilica is indeed beautiful but the overall experience was frustrating & thus, A-OK.....
Walking up from the Metro towards the base of Montmartre is a pickpocket's dream - the crowds are so heavy & the cheesy touristy shops hocking plastic wares from China are so overbearing, it's like running the gambit. Be on your guard!
Then when you finally see the church & think you're near the finish line, there are even more con-artists trying to tie "good luck" red ribbons on your wrist - BUT DON'T LET THEM or you'll also be handing over a "donation" for this ribbon
Plastic / spray-painted Eiffel Towers are spread out on sheets about every 10 feet & there are police everywhere ( for good reason! )
This is about a 1-Star experience
But at the very top of Montmartre & at the base of the Basilique, there are beautiful views of the city - although I thought the views from Notre Dame or Arc de Triompe were better
Fortunately, there is peace and asylum in the Basilique & the church is indeed gorgeous. I thought it was funny that at perfectly timed intervals, they had a recording of someone going "SHHHHHHH" over their speaker system. The crowds would get to almost at a yelling level but the shhh would quiet everyone back down & the cycle would start all over again......pity that people can't just respect the request for quiet
So the church = 5-Stars, the experience = 1-Star for an overall A-OK. This is indeed a must visit while in Paris, if only to mark it off your touristy list & if you can ignore the abundance of tourists, con-artists, & thieves, you'll have a magical experience
At sunset locals and tourists sit and watch the light over the city fade. It's an amazing view and a great place to hang out and observe people. The building itself is breathtaking, I did not pay to enter the entire place but went into the church and sat down for a few moments.
Really we were just killing time before dinner, watching the light change and my daughter wanted to ride the funicular. As we walked by she didn't notice it completely but when she did she got a huge smile on her face. She recognized it from a scene in a movie she likes, "A Monster In Paris". For this reason alone it was totally worth taking the time to check it all out. While the Sacré Coeur is not actually highlighted in the movie itself I feel like it now gives her a greater frame of reference for all things Paris.
Du Sacré Coeur holds another piece of my heart - the heart that I left in Paris.
This is a place were I met my friend I have not seen in very long time, and we set up Coeur as our meeting grounds. Years did not change us, and so they did not change this place.
It is still the same as it was, years or centuries ago.
Here I stop once again, at the base of endless steps - the Basilique standing in all it beauty on the very top of the hill, waiting for me.
It is pretty typical architecture, with domes and cross layout - but it simplicity, fluid lines and warmth of the stones will touch your heart.
Bare trees silhouette against the blue sky and frame stone Basilique in delicate grey lace of branches...
Despite number of people on the steps, it is still pretty quiet in this chilly spring morning as we walk around the church.
We step inside to marvel the glamorous interior, and go through side entrance to get on the top galleries - the views from there are the ones you will always cherish, trust me.
It is amazing to touch those stones, see the sun kiss round domes, and watch Paris unfold and wake up beyond the windows and steps.
I will come back again, it's a promise.
You can visit Basilica of the Sacré Cœur and donate for some overpriced candles and there is also some Catacombs you can visit around the back of the Basilica. The area between the Metro and the start of the hill is something of a tourist trap. While you can catch a lift up to the top of the hill don't be slack just walk and you will save some money, burn some calories and ensure you don't have to stand around waiting in line.
There are plenty of markets in the area if you are looking for something to purchase to remember your trip. If you are hungry and thirsty there are plenty of places to sit down and relax but you might want to check the prices first
While the view over Paris is ok but I expected something more so was a little disappointed... only thing that saved it is that this is a free activity...
Great walk to the highest point in Paris for FREE panoramic views!
We took the metro to the Abssess station and walked the rest of the way up to the basilica. It was about a 10-15 min walk uphill on winding small streets and lots of stairs. There's a funicular that you can ride (for a fee) to traverse up some of the hill, but the walk is very manageable and good cardio. Note: Beware of solicitors/scammers asking you to sign some paper and donate money.
You have to pay an entrance fee to access the dome and crypt, but entrance into the church itself is free. It's a beautiful church, go inside, sit on a pew, observe a moment of silence, but don't fall asleep. No photos are allowed in the church, but you see people taking them. If you do take one, please be discreet. No flash, no obvious stance to frame that one shot. ;)
Outside the basilica, we sat on the steps and just "people-watched". It was amusing. We saw this amazing acrobat dribble a soccer ball while climbing a light post. Yes, that's right.
It's worth the trip to visit Sacre Coeur - a great walk, lots of restaurants, shops, street activity, plus amazing, beautiful views both in and from the church.
We had a great time at Sacre Coeur during our visit to Paris. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that I can see how it can easily be a sour experience for some. In a way, I think we got very lucky during our visit. We went early in the morning, before the entrance to the top of the basilica was even open. We also took the tram up instead of walking our way up. So we avoided the tourist crowd. Admired the architecture from the base and then made our way up to the top. We virtually had the place to ourselves and took many many pictures. The climb up wasn't so bad in effort. But beware that there were a lot of pigeons and therefore, a lot of pigeon 'mess'. Be careful what you touch and step, especially on the narrow walkways.
But the view was breathtaking and to us, well worth it. On the way down, the tourist crowd formed as tour buses/vans dropped off tons of people, who gathered at the steps, taking pictures etc. We had a nice little snack, people watching while sitting on the steps before leisurely making our way down. We did encounter those peddlers trying to talk us into wearing one of those bracelets. To which we tuck our hands in our pockets, never slowed down our pace nor cracked a smile. They didn't bother us much. But I can see how the crowd, the climb up, the narrow pathways and pigeon 'mess', the sometimes aggressive peddlers could potentially ruin one's experience to this otherwise, beautiful place.
Not a fan. I've been here a half dozen times and each visit is a little worse than the one before. More recent trips have been to accompany visitors who've never been. The architecture is nice and from a distance - like the top of the Arc du Triomphe - the basicila looks like a beacon of hope and light on the hill that is Montmarte. But once you get there and upon closer inspection, it becomes apparent that the perimeter is a freak show. I don't mind tourists (mostly). Really. I am one and I don't hate myself... much.
The approach to Sacre Coeur - that is, the steps leading up the hill starting at the carousel - is actually dangerous. The panhandlers and beggars are not passive. They take the form of aggressive thugs and gangs. Their particular graft is about tying a braded string to the victims wrist and then surrounding them with 5 or 6 gang members and charging a fee for the string once its firmly attached.
You might be thinking, don't show them your wrist and walk on. However I've witnessed them actually grabbing and pulling a person's hand out of their pocket. I know how to deal with this, but there are many who don't.
This is a known situation at Sacre Coeur. Gendarmerie?!? What gendarmerie?? What bullshit! Don't go here - there is a great potential to wreck your day.
If you make it up the multitude of staircases, past the pick pockets, and young boys who literally will grab your wrist to try to force you to purchase one of their bracelets it's quite beautiful inside.
Free to get inside, sweeping views of the city from the tower and hundreds of tourists standing in your photographs.
Go as early in the morning as you can. Take note that you are not supposed to take photographs once you're inside, and they will scold you if they catch you obviously taking photos or using a camera with flash.
All of the brasseries, pizzerias, and gelaterias nearby are all tourist traps - the prices far too high. For better crepes, sandwiches, baguettes, or food take 5 minutes to walk away and into Montmartre where you'll find side streets with better prices and better food.
Great views, magnificent construction - just avoid weekends, holidays, and any time after 10 am - sunset. Otherwise it's you and hundreds of other people sharing your experience.
I decided to come swing by here in the afternoon as I had plenty of time to explore Paris and church was one of the highlights that my friends suggested. At first I was going to skip it because I had heard of the bracelet scam and I was quite scared as I was traveling alone.
When I first walked up the stairs, the church was so breathtaking! I was in awe about how beautiful it was. and then someone grabbed my hand and asked you want a bracelet?? I tried pulling my hand away but his grip was so incredibly tight. After about a minute of trying to pull away with other tourists just looking and not doing anything I managed to shake him off. However, this totally ruined my experience here.
Yes, Sacre-Coeur itself is amazing; however, you must be wary of the panhandlers - just pay them the euros for the bracelets or try your best to sneak by them (which I think is quite hard since they stand in huge groups blocking the stairs).
The neighborhood around the Sacre Coeur is well worth a visit. There were many lovely cafes and paintings littering the surrounding areas.
The best decision that we made on our last trip to Paris was to go to Sacré-Cœur in the early morning to catch the sunrise. In front of Sacré-Cœur is the best view of the city that you can get. You can keep the view from the Eiffel Tower for yourself. This view, after the long hike up the steep streets and the flights of stairs, is absolutely breathtaking.
Another good part of going to Sacré-Cœur in the early morning is that you will beat the inevitable crowds at this treasured basilica of Montmarte. Though this basilica is a bit smaller than some of the others that Paris and the surrounding areas have to offer, it is beautiful and offers a fantastic area for contemplation and thought.
Because Montemarte is such a great area for cafes (where in Paris isn't?,) we were able to get a very nice breakfast after seeing one of the best basilicas that Paris has to offer.
Located in the heart of Montmartre district, otherwise known 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.
Just like Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur is a very popular tourist destination. The cathedral is gorgeous and the architecture is so impressive. The view at the top of Paris is breathtaking.
You have to walk up a hill to visit, but I think it's totally worth the view. No photos are allowed, but you definitely won't forget this place! If you have time, you can watch street performers or have a picnic on the hill and soak up some sun. I noticed a lot of young students doing that.
The loss of a star comes from its proximity to rougher neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the area has been occupied by scam artists and panhandlers, so you've really gotta watch your stuff around here. People will invite you to play games and try to wrap bracelets around your wrists, but it's best to ignore these people.
Worrying about getting robbed is the last thing you want to think about when you're on vacation, but unfortunately Paris isn't what it used to be. Keep an eye on your stuff, avoid shady individuals and you should be fine.
A must see for anyone traveling to Paris!
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.
Beautiful piece of art! You must visit regardless of your religion. The architecture is stoning and breathtaking! The surrounding areas are full of shops and nice restaurants with better prices than on Paris downtown.
How do you rate a church? Man, this is weird.
We took the Metro into the Pigalle Station, and then hoofed it over to the Basilique. The walk up was interesting, since we were walking through the Montmartre, which is pretty wild on the open display of sex store side.
If you have young children, you might want to opt for the Abbesses Station of the Metro. It's a little closer, and cuts out some of the NC-17 stuff on the walk.
This is a typical French neighborhood - as you walk uo to the Basilique, you'll be abel to look into people's windows along the street if you happen to look left or right.
The Basilique itself was stunning, featuring limestone construction and beautiful stained glass windows, an incredible altar, and all the trappings of a church of this vintage.
We considered taking the Funiculaire de Montmartre down from the top, but instead went for the steps. If you have kids, your Paris Visite card (if you pick the right zones) should get you a ride up or down, as the case may be. (Up so they have energy to see it, walk down so they get tired and sleep?)
This was a nice place to visit, and is somewhat renown for pickpockets. We took appropriate measures and didn't have a problem, but don't tempt them with an easy pick, or you'll be missing something.
270 degree views of Paris.
Take way too many stairs to get up (at least 200 steep stair steps)
Bring food and water
then go into the
Incredibly beautiful Sacre Coeur
No photos allowed in church
Pay 2 euros to light a candle
Stay and pray if you like
but absolutely stay silent!
One of the highlights of Paris and a must do if you're in town.
Near a kitschy and interesting location with shops and cafes aplenty, can easily spend a few hours here.
Easiest metro stop is @ Abssess and walk up, but beware of the 5+ flights of stairs up from the metro station to ground level.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I found this to be more beautiful than the Notre Dame! It was so big and beautiful inside. I don't really mind the pick pocketers because luckily I always look angry and have sun glasses on which makes me very unapproachable :P
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.
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.
So great to see this big beautiful building. Such a stunning basilica with an incredible view out across Paris. Yes there are steps to get there but it sits up on a mountain. ..what do you expect?! The interior of the basilica is beautiful. You aren't meant to take photos but it seems everyone does. We spent some time sitting on the grass in front of the basilica looking out over Paris and that was wonderful. Well worth a visit
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's over 100 steps to get to the the Basilica, but once you reach the top...the view is breathtaking. I didn't get a chance to tour the tower but just being able to see the view and walk inside the church was definitely worth the walk.
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!
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!
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.
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.
One of the most stunning Cathedrals that I have ever been too! Breathtaking and well worth the trek to get there. It is educational with lots of information explaining all the symbols.
View of Paris from the outside is very nice as it sits on a hill and is elevated above the city.
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!
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