Sacré-Coeur

Culture / Landmark / Outdoor Activity / Shopping Area
Sacré-Coeur Montmartre's cobblestoned Rue du Steinkerque, which leads past countless little Cafés, brasseries, and shops selling everything from football jerseys to watercolors of quaint Paris scenes, finally deposits trekkers at Sacré... Paris France 48.886152 2.343103
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Sacré-Coeur - Culture | Landmark | Outdoor Activity | Shopping Area in Paris.
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Party Earth Review Montmartre’s cobblestoned Rue du Steinkerque, which leads past countless little cafés, brasseries, and shops selling everything from football jerseys to watercolors of quaint Paris scenes, finally deposits trekkers at... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Dawn to dusk

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Sacré-Coeur Review

The Scene

Montmartre's cobblestoned Rue du Steinkerque, which leads past countless little Cafés, brasseries, and shops selling everything from football jerseys to watercolors of quaint Paris scenes, finally deposits trekkers at Sacré...

Montmartre’s cobblestoned Rue du Steinkerque, which leads past countless little cafés, brasseries, and shops selling everything from football jerseys to watercolors of quaint Paris scenes, finally deposits trekkers at Sacré-Coeur Basilica, the stunning white cathedral perched on top of a hill overlooking the city.

Visitors will want to climb the stairs up to the castle-like basilica to get the full effect of this spired masterpiece of architecture, and then continue their climb into the dome to enjoy a spectacular view from the highest point in Paris.

On the way back down, they can stop at the special viewing deck to peer through the binoculars there or, in the summer, join the scores of sunbathers lounging on the sloping lawns along the steps.

On some weekends, there may even be a small market on the cathedral level where local vendors sell French pastries and candy, and there are always local street performers to provide music and entertainment.

Although the area draws many international tourists, it is still a vibrant community and is usually just as full of Parisians going about their daily lives.

In fact, the area surrounding Sacré-Coeur has much to offer, so visitors should allow some time for aimless wandering – and at sunset, join the crowds as they gather to watch the lights of Paris begin to twinkle.

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Tip from Emma:

There’s so much to do and see in this area for people who are willing to wander a bit. Merely a few blocks west of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica is the Place du Tertre, a famous square where many artists gather and offer on-the-spot portraits. Anyone in the mood for French cabaret can check out one of the numerous affordable venues in the area.

  • Crowd

    Locals and travelers of all ages.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Street performers and musicians.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Cafés and restaurants in the surrounding neighborhood.

  • Prices

    Funicular to the top €2.50.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    On a clear, sunny day or at dusk.

  • Close By

    For €5, patrons can jump on the Petit Train de Montmartre, just to the left of Sacré-Coeur, for a 35-minute train tour around the entire hillside.

Sacré-Coeur User Reviews

Average rating:
More than sacred
Claire T. Jul 26, 2013
It's not just a basilica. Christians or non-Christians would appreciate the beauty of this wonderful architecture. with a view of Paris. The solemnity of it inside especially when there is a mass, is very different from the noisy streets of Paris
Go at sunset
Julia W. Jul 15, 2013
I'm pretty sure it's not that easy to leave a visit to Paris without having visited at least one church. Usually it's Notre Dame and the Sacré-Cœur, and maybe a visit to St. Sulpice. I could whole heartedly encourage a visit to any of these places, but the Sacré Cœur has something the others don't: an incredible view + the perfect place for a Parisian sunset viewing. I have always enjoyed coming here, but I recently had a better than average visit to the Sacré Cœur. Maybe I've been in Paris too long, but the noise and chaos has been getting to me lately, and at a recent visit to Montmartre, I was drawn into the church once again. It was so glorious to bask in the quiet of this magnificent structure, to escape the noise of everything outside and just enjoy the beautiful place that it is. I walked out with a renewed sense of peace and quiet in me and stepped out to one of the best views in Paris. How better to conclude an experience like that than to have a seat on the steps leading up to this Romano-Byzantine style basilica and watch the sun set over the most beautiful city in the world? Don't miss this place!
More than Just a Church
Tony T. May 28, 2013
I'll be honest. I didn't know what the Sacre Coeur was and I'm not really interested in visiting churches. It was getting late, and I didn't know where else to go, but I knew this place was of some significant as it was highlighted on my map. I remember my French friends telling me to avoid this part of Paris as it was suppose to be somewhat sketchy at night, but I'm glad I ignored their recommendation. When I walked up to the Sacre Coeur, I didn't find it too amazing, and the view of Paris (which I imagine would be great) was obstructed by a heavy fog. I walked through this place pretty quickly, but when I exited the building and went around the church, I was amazed. There were street performers performing, and artists showing off their art. I could smell freshly made crepes being made and hear people having a good time. The atmosphere was vibrant and something I expected from a big city. I spent quite a lot of time here checking the place out as there were lots to see (especially the art the artists concocted). I have to admit, even though I was not impressed by the Sacre Coeur itself, I was impressed by the little artistic "community" held on the hill by the church. I would definitely recommend anyone visiting Paris to check this place out.
one of my most memorable life moments
Jessica D. May 16, 2013
having studied french language and culture for almost 12 years; paris was absolutely first on my "to visit" list, post college. when i finally had the chance to go for the first time, it was an unforgettable experience - sacre coeur especially. i went last year around the holidays, and the area around the church was especially festive with tons of decorations and lots of street venders selling anything from soaps and trinkets to candy and crepes. it's the sort of hustle and bustle that's cheery and pleasant rather than obnoxious and cramped. the church itself is awe-inspiring, and i don't use those words often. the architecture, the stained glass, the sheer magnitude of its size and the basilicas are definitely worth sneaking pictures of. i think most notable though, and most seem to agree, is the breathtaking view from the summit. on a clear sunny day, sitting on the top steps of sacre coeur, admiring all of paris which seemed to lay at my feet, i remember smiling absurdly and thinking to myself, "i am the luckiest person. ever." then i took a bite of a waffle that was slathered in nutella and topped with strawberries, and thought again, "yup. definitely the luckiest." a tip? save yourself a couple euros and skip the funicular. it's overrated, and the steep walk up will only make your waffle taste that much better.
A Bohemian Dream
Flora H. May 14, 2013
Sacré Coeur is quite a simply a quintessentially French example of architecture which can only leave you speechless. Complete with stunning views of the city, the exterior is rife with street performers ranging from harp players to jugglers. Stepping inside the church, one only has more astonishing views to behold. However, do remember that this is a place of worship, so appropriate clothing (covered shoulders and knees) should be worn. If you have the time (and if you don't, make the time!) try to wander the beautiful, winding streets of Montmartre, adorned with bijou shop windows, inviting cafés and more colourful performers. Whether it be sampling a coffee at Amélie's Deux Moulins Café, or checking out the infamous Moulin Rouge, the Sacré Coeur is the pinnacle of the bohemian's ideal of Paris.
Amazing Ambiance and Atmosphere - Sacre Coeur is a must see
Rachel W. Apr 26, 2013
Whether you're in Paris for a day or a year, you definitely cannot miss Sacre Coeur and it's surroundings. The atmosphere at Sacre Coeur is like no other. On a warm, sunny day, thousands flock to the area to soak up the sun and the ambiance. Whether you feel like having a sing along to one of the local buskers, watching the tantalizing football trickster as he climbs up a lamp post whilst spinning a football from a pencil in his mouth, or simply taking in the breathtaking panoramic views of Paris. Sacre Coeur itself almost seems out of place in Paris with it's mosque like design, but i think it's uniqueness makes it all the more beautiful. The white domes, which if you climb up to, give an astonishing view, seem at the same time delicate yet rigid and solid. Light a candle inside for a loved one, before spending the rest of your time outside simply admiring. Walk around the corner and find the secret spots where you can glimpse the Eiffel Tower "towering" above the rest of the city before being entranced by the montmartre painters. Doing portraits right in front of you in many different styles, these are a great reminder of an amazing trip and that little bit more special than a normal photograph. You can never over do Sacre Coeur and I continuously go back to enjoy and the area, every time discovering new little things. You can't go wrong with Sacre Coeur!
Magical by night
LEE R. Mar 19, 2013
Take a bottle of wine and some friends, new or old, and walk the steep streets and steps up to the peak of the Sacrê-Coeur hilltop when the sun goes down and you will witness an unmissable nightly spectacle... Every night from when the darkness of the daytime to nighttime passes over the city you will see the world famous Eiffel tower flash in an array of rapid blinking bright white lights for 5 whole minutes on the hour every hour until the midnight hour strikes. This never gets old! Trust me. Every time you see it, it feels as magical as the first time. Be sure to make a wish for this is Paris and you never know, that wish may indeed just come true.
Montmartre: la crème de la crème
Diana B. Jan 6, 2013
Paris has a lot of places from where you can see the city from above: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Tour Montparnass, to name a few. But the most special one is, for sure, the only hill in the city: Montmartre. The Sacré-Coeur Basilica stands, as a majestic white queen, at the top of the hill. Don’t miss the opportunity to go inside, it is beautiful. But take more time watching it from the bottom of the hill. It is breathtaking. However, don’t look only in the Basilica’s way, as in your back you have an amazing view of the city. It’s a good spot to understand the topography of Paris, as you can see what is next to what. You’ll see the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Panthéon, the Centre Georges Pompidou. And all those black roofs that contribute to make Paris so… Parisian! If you want to have a unique experience, I suggest you go here during sun rising. There will be people ending that night’s parties there but you’ll still have your time and space to appreciate Paris by yourself. It’s a real privilege to see Paris waking up! However, during the day you’ll have street animation. Musicians, entertainers, there is always someone performing and someone worthy to pay attention to, for sure. On the left of the Basilica, there’s one of the most iconic places in Paris, La Place du Tertre. There, dozens of artists draw portraits of the many tourists that walk around in the area. You can choose from the immense variety of styles and get yourself – or someone else – a unique gift from the City of Light. Then, just follow the streets that will take you down the hill as well as into the Amélie movie. If you saw the film, you’ll probably recognize streets and places at the Abbesses area. Don’t forget to go to Deux Moulins, the famous Café where Amélie Poulin works. Paris is a magical city, maybe you’ll get to be served by Amélie herself! Montmartre is, definitely, one of the must go areas in Paris. Enjoy the wonderful streets, the sights, the people, the food, the iconic places. But don’t forget to be aware all the time. This area is always crowded with tourists and… pickpockets. But don’t let that hold you back. Go there and you’ll have some of the best memories of your life.
Great view, nice walk, decent architecture
Craig B. Dec 13, 2012
The route up to the Sacre-Coeur Basilica is quite nice, picturesque even. I can almost imagine how day after day, centuries ago, villagers must have trudged up this hill and cursed the basilica’s builders. I know I did. The view is absolutely incredible. It is a bit of an uphill climb, but the view is totally worth it. Burn off some of those crepe calories and go for it! And then on your way back, find a nice café to dip into and thank your lucky stars that this area of Paris isn’t as ridiculously expensive as the rest of it.
Definitely do this!
Christina W. Dec 13, 2012
I absolutely love Sacre-Coeur. The entire area is great! It's quaint, there are tons of artists and street performers, and it's easy to spend an entire afternoon there without even realizing how much time has passed. I think I spent a good half hour watching a man with a wind-up music machine perform while his monkey collected change. A real monkey! On top of the Bohemian feel of the surroundings, the Basilica du Sacre-Coeur is absolutely stunning. It is one of the most marvelous buildings I have seen, truly highlighting the amazing architectural prowess of Europe. In addition, you can climb to the very top for an absolutely breathtaking view of all of Paris!
nice view
Sam R. Dec 13, 2012
This church is very white and gleaming and different. Its nice, but there are not many basilicas like this one. Montmartre is a very touristy area but sometimes its easy to get why so many people come. The view from Sacre Coeur is very pretty and at night the city looks pretty. The Eiffel is lit up and the light show is tacky but it actually looks good from this far away. Be careful though because some vendors will try to slap things around your wrist you can’t get off and then charge you for them, I’ve seen this sort of thing happen to tourists and its not how vacations should go
Sacré-Coeur must see
John P. Dec 10, 2012
People see a lot of churches, cathedrals, and the like on any trip to Europe, but Sacré-Coeur is not one to be missed. It is in the hilly, bohemian Montmartre neighborhood (think raunchier, dirtier, hillier Greenwich Village). It is at the top of hill but worth the effort. There is an elevator type lift that can take you part of the way up and down. We found it after we got to the top, but used it on our way down. Once you get to the destination, you will find an incredible view of the city (kind of like the view at Park Guell in Barcelona). That alone is worth it. There will be lots of people milling around in that area. The cathedral itself is stunning outside and in. Once you get to the bottom of Montmartre, you can always check out the Moulin Rouge.
Come for the view, not the basilica!
Tara R. Dec 7, 2012
Though Sacre-Coeur is a pleasant enough church, it’s a bit foolish to stay inside when you can be standing looking over the entire city. The Petit Train is pricey but better than the walk, especially at night when the area right below Montmartre can get a bit sketchy. We came up here on our final night of Paris—I had been resistant because I thought it would be too crowded full of tourists—and even though it was crowded full of tourists, the view was enough to make us not care. The entire city stretches out in front of you and it’s spellbinding.
Bursting with Life and Culture
Karen E. Dec 4, 2012
The hostel we stayed at in the Montmartre area of Paris came with a view of the Sacre-Coeur. Part of the basilica’s allure is the fact that it stands above quaint cafes and shops, practically begging to be explored. The scene from the steps leading to the Sacre-Coeur is incredible. Paris stretches out in front of the basilica and the view is completely free, unlike the ones the Eiffel Tower or the Arc De Triomphe provide you. Part of what made the trip to the basilica so worth it was weaving through the artists painting or displaying their work and the markets with produce; the whole area around it is bursting with life and culture. Be weary of the occasional tourist trap but the views of and from the church are very much worth it.
Good view, solo or with people, but pick up your trash!
Amster M. Nov 20, 2012
I came here – to a church – to actually party, by myself, because I was stuck in Paris for a night on my way back from a surf trip. So I brought a bottle of wine and walked up the hill and sat there with a hundred other young Parisians who had the same idea as I did. It was actually pretty cool, and I ended up meeting some people from Paris who did NOT hate me, the non French speaking American. So I watched dusk turn to night there and made friends. I’d say it’s a great spot any time of the day. But if you’re going there to party, pick up after yourself. Everyone seemed to be throwing their party trash everywhere, and I found it kind of gross. And if you knock a bottle down get ready to be embarrassed as it just keeps on rolling down the stairs.
My Favorite Part of the City!
Kaitlin P. Nov 15, 2012
I visited here on my first day in Paris and it is what made me fall in love with the city. This is by far my favorite part of the city. Not only is the Sacre-Coeur absolutely beautiful but the literally town surrounding it is to die for. The view is breathtaking and the architecture is so cute! On the day that I visited it happened to be raining but that did not take away any of the charm. I stopped in to a little cafe and got a hot chocolate and then admired the beautiful view of the entire city. This is a must see while in Paris for so many reasons! The little shops are adorable and perfect for picking up souvenirs! Definitely go here when visiting the city!!!
Stunning!
Emily R. Nov 15, 2012
Basilique du Sacré Cœur is located atop the highest point in Paris, which makes for a view you can't get anywhere else in the city - or the world. The interior of the church is very historical feeling, very dark, and very beautiful; the long walk up the congested steps outside is well worth it. On the subject of the steps outside though, don't expect an empty idyllic paradise to greet you before you enter; trash is littered everywhere, young and old couples are making out no matter where you look, and street vendors attempt to bombard every passerby with expensive and unnecessary trinkets. In the end, the views and the church itself are both breathtakingly stunning - but marred by how touristy the whole experience can feel.
Beautiful Spot
Steven D. Sep 19, 2012
Highly recommend visiting Sacre-Coeur. This was probably my favorite spot in Paris. After visiting the Basilica go to place du tetre, sit at a cafe and enjoy all the artists painting/selling their work to the tourists. Very entertaining. Also don't let any of the artists paint your wife (20 euro) as you leave the Basilica property unless you want a painting that looks nothing like her. (The painting did look like a girl 20 years younger than my wife though)
Great place to sit and do nothing
Chris M. Sep 15, 2012
Even if you don't climb to the top, the steps of the Sacre Couer have great views of the city and I came there twice to just sit and soak up the atmosphere during my last trip to Paris. Both times, in fact, the same guy was there playing guitar in hopes of some tourist donations - and he was fantastic. He played a bunch of old standards, Beatles, Temptations, and others and actually really completed the experience for me. If you've seen the movie Amelie this is also a must-visit place, as a bunch of scenes were shot here and around Montmartre. On your way to the Sacre Coeur stop by the fruit stand from the film Au Marche de la Butte (Passage des Abbesses). On your way back to wherever you are headed, close by is Le Refuge des Fondus for some great fondue and wine (17 rue des Trois Frères). And while you are there, have a snack, sit back, and enjoy the view!
Watch out for con men
Paul F. Sep 8, 2012
Simply put, this is one of the most breathtaking parts of Paris. Sacre Coeur sits on top of a hill in Montmartre and has incredibly stunning views looking out over the entire city. The surrounding area is filled with winding streets all leading up to the VERY steep basilica steps and there are hundreds of tourists around at all times. You also see buskers, street robots, and performers of every kind. Last time I was there, I was with my girlfriend at the time and we were enticed to play a game similar to 3 card Monte. Midway through the game, I noticed one of the players exchanging money with the guy who was supposed to be charging customers. There was a fix and we grabbed our money and stormed off. The area is likely filled with pickpockets as well, so make sure you watch your surroundings. But in spite of the touristy stuff, the view - especially at sunset - is simply unparalleled.
Perfect on a sunny afternoon
Danny M. Sep 6, 2012
Sacre Couer and the surrounding area in Montrmartre are perfect for a chill afternoon of sun, art, eating, and shopping. The hill in front of the basilica is always filled with people eating and enjoying the great view of the city…it’s pretty steep though so be prepared for a mini workout. But it’s an awesome spot to hang with friends, have a few drinks with a picnic, or just enjoy the view on a sunny afternoon…and maybe be entertained by the street performers. I also recommend walking a little ways off from the basilica to the Place du Tertre…a square with an artist scene which is exactly what you might picture in Paris…filled with painters, craftsmen, and other artists plying their trade…you might even find a piece worth purchasing.
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