Located at the top of the Hill of Montmartre, the highest point of the city of Paris, the Sacre Coeur stands proudly, looking at the entire city. Known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris or the Sacre Coeur basilica, it is one of the most famous landmarks in the capital of France. It was designed by architect Paul Abadie and its construction started in 1875 – but it wasn’t finished until 1914. Being quite new as a basilica, especially if we compare it to other important religious buildings in Europe and in Paris itself, the Sacre Coeur has a special significance due to being consecrated in 1919, in the aftermath of World War I. To arrive there, you can climb many stairs surrounded by the greenest gardens – an opportunity to remember one of the most beautiful images you’ll have of your trip to Paris.
The Sacre Coeur basilica is right in the heart of the neighbourhood of Montmartre, which takes its name from the hill Montmartre, which is 130 metres high. It is located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris
. If you book one of GowithOh’s apartments near Sacre Coeur, you will be surrounded by tourists and by artists, since Montmartre is the most bohemian part of the city, the perfect portrait of the Belle Époque Paris we long for thanks to the cinema. Montmartre and the surroundings of the Sacre Coeur were once home of many famous artists, such as Vincent van Gogh, Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Claude Monet, Toulouse- Lautrec or Salvador Dalí – and now, it can be your home too, at least during a few days!
If you book one of GowithOh’s apartments near Sacre Coeur, get ready to do some exercise! We’ve already mentioned that the neighbourhood of Montmartre is located in a hill, so the little streets are full of ups and downs – but don’t worry! The beauty of the surroundings of the Sacre Coeur is well worth it and, besides, you still have means of transportation nearby. Since the Sacre Coeur is one of the most famous and visited landmarks of Paris, all sightseeing tour buses make a stop there. Just check the routes to take the one that works best for your planning! And if you prefer other means of transportation, you also have some metro options. In the station Lamark – Caulaincourt you will find line 12 of Paris’ metro, which will take you to other important attractions, such as Place de la Concorde, Tuileries Gardens, the Musée d’Orsay or the Madeleine. Nearby, you will also find the metro station Chatêau Rouge, with line 4, which will take you to Notre Dame or Montparnasse, among others. A bit further south, you will find stations Barbès Rochechouart or Anvers, where you will find line 2.
Of course, the Sacre Coeur will be your main destination in the area! The beautiful basilica has extensive opening hours and masses open to the public. You can visit it from very early in the morning until the evening. You can even go at night if you register for night adoration, which takes place at 11. You can do it on the official website, at least 48 hours in advance. If you’re travelling with your children, they will also have lots of fun in the Sacre Coeur, since there is a wonderful carrousel – that’s right! The same one Amélie Poulain rode in the film!
Besides the Sacre Coeur, you will have lots to do if you stay in the area of Montmartre. The neighbourhood is so beautiful you won’t feel like climbing down the hill to go to the centre of town! With street artists and performers all around, Montmartre, except for the loads of tourists, is what the spirit of Paris is all about. Get lost in its streets and little shops, and enjoy the atmosphere. You can also visit the cemetery of Montmartre – as weird and uncanny as it may sound, the cemeteries of Paris are beautiful, and Montmartre’s particularly full of cats. A must-visit for all Edgar Allan Poe’s fans!
Visiting the Sacre Coeur will surely make you hungry – or at least climbing the hill of Montmartre will! Believe it or not, there are plenty of restaurants in the area – but, of course, always check the prices of the menu or you could have an unpleasant surprise when the bill comes! Some great options of French cuisine include Chez la Mere Catherine, located in Place du Tertre, or Les Perches du Chai. You can also try some wonderful Middle-Eastern food in Afghani.
Besides the restaurant, Montmartre is full of little cafes and creperies, so don’t miss on the opportunity of enjoying an afternoon in one. The Sacre-Coeur Crepe Café and Sur la Route de Plouescat are the one closest to the basilica.
Did you think there would be nothing to do at night around a basilica like the Sacre Coeur? Think again! The Sacre Coeur is located in Montmartre, the bohemian neighbourhood of the capital of France par excellence – and, as such, you will find many pubs and bars in the area. If the streets of Montmartre are full of tourists during the day, the locals take over during the night in the many pubs of the area. You will find an especially nice atmosphere around the metro station Blanche (line 2), where there are many open-air bars where you can have a drink and some fun, an ideal plan for those who don’t want to go dancing: it’s open until 3.
And do you know what else is right next to Blanche metro station? The legendary Moulin Rouge! Going in is expensive, but if you still want to do it, you will need to book in advance. Anyway, you can’t miss out on the opportunity of taking the mandatory picture with the iconic sign on the background.