Le Sacré-Coeur

The Sacré-Coeur is a white basilica perched atop Montmartre, with a stunning view of Paris below.

TravelCurious Tip

The best time to visit Sacré-Coeur is early morning or early evening - and preferably not on a Sunday, when the crowds are thick. If you're coming to worship, there are daily masses.

The Sacred Heart

It’s difficult not feel as though you’re climbing the stairway to heaven when you visit this basilica. The French government commissioned it to represent the return of their self-confidence in 1873: the devastating preceding years of the Commune and the Franco-Prussian War had made their mark on the Parisian psyche. You’ll notice elements from Romanesque and Byzantine styles in its appearance — a mixture many critics of the time dismissed as naff. Today, the Sacré-Coeur and the surrounding area are a destination for young couples, tourists and, of course, those who still use it as a church.


A view to die for

Most people come to Sacré-Coeur to admire the extraordinary view from the top of its 83 metre dome; added to its situation 130 metres above sea level, this makes it the second-highest point in Paris after the Eiffel Tower.

On the inside there’s another visual treat— a massive golden mosaic, created in 1922 by Luc-Olivier Merson, sits high above the choir. Also worth noting are the portico’s bronze doors decorated with biblical scenes, the vaulted arches in the crypt and the stained-glass windows. One of the world’s heaviest bells hangs high up in the campanile; La Savoyarde weighs about 19 tons.

For any budding photographers, on clear blue-sky days it’s possible to take amazing photos in the evening, the white of the basilica standing out against the pink and blue of the evening sky.

For those who prefer to avoid walking up, there is a funicular which accepts metro tickets.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
Moulin de la Galette
A windmill in the historic Montmartre district that has been immortalised in works by Renoir and Van Gogh.
Montmartre
A vibrant and artistic neighbourhood once home to Renoir and Gauguin, offering spectacular views over the city.
'I love you wall' Paris
A 40 square metres love-themed wall located in the romantic garden of the Square Jehan Rictus in Montmartre.
Le Clos de Montmartre
The last vineyard in Montmartre at the junction of rue des Saules and rue Saint-Vincent.
The Lapin Agile
Pablo Picasso's 1905 oil painting 'Au Lapin Agile' helped to make this spot world-famous.
Bateau Lavoir
From 1889 the "Bateau-Lavoir" was the most famous place for artistic creation in the heart of Montmartre. A place to live and discuss for many painters, writers, actors and art sellers.

Related Tours

Explore Bohemian Montmartre: Private Half-Day Walking Tour
Uncover the history and art of Montmartre, and explore this quintessentially bohemian neighbourhood in Paris on this private walking tour with your professional tour guide. On this tour, you will:

  • Discover Bohemian Montmartre, the home of world-renowned artists, including Picasso and Renoir.
  • See the Sacré-Coeur (external only), Van Gogh’s former home, and the city's last vineyard.
  • See the home of the Moulin Rouge.
  • Experience some of the best panoramic views of Paris from the top of the hill.
  • Enjoy a tasty local treat from a French pâtisserie!

Bohemian Paris

In this fascinating walking tour of Montmartre, you will be immersed in Paris' most bohemian and intriguing neighbourhood, whilst exploring this unique enclave of the city. You will see first-hand where some of the world’s most influential painters including RenoirPicasso and Van Gogh, lived and worked on this beautiful hill towering above Paris. 

You will also have the pleasure of discovering the windmills and many monuments for which this area is famous. A highlight undoubtedly will be paying a visit to the famous Moulin Rouge, as well as traversing the highest point in Paris at the gleaming white Sacré-Cœur Basilica

Sacré-Cœur: Worship and War

Built in the 19th century in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War and the chaotic Paris Commune, the Sacré-Cœur emerged to become a symbol of the struggle between the conservative Catholic establishment and the secular republic radicals. 

Your expert city guide will explain the complex history of Montmartre, a place of devout worship spanning from the Druids of ancient Gaul right up to today. 

Make sure you have your camera as you are sure to be rewarded with a spectacular picture-perfect view of Paris below.
Montmartre at Night: Private Evening Walking Tour
Enjoy an evening walking tour of Montmartre, the charming bohemian neighbourhood of Paris perched high on the hill overlooking the City of Lights. Montmartre was the hedonistic home to many of the Impressionists and other artists, from Van Gogh to Toulouse Lautrec and later Picasso as well as the most famous cabaret in the world - the Moulin Rouge!

On your private evening tour, you will: 

  • Enjoy a fascinating evening walking tour through the cobbled streets of bohemian Montmartre;
  • Soak up the buzzing atmosphere of an evening in Montmartre, when everyone comes out to saunter down the streetsdrink absinthe at the bars, listen to buskers and admire painters at work on the artist's square Place du Tertre;
  • See the Moulin Rouge, and pass the famous cafe from the movie Amelie;
  • Learn all about the lives of the Impressionist artists who lived here, and see Van Gogh's old apartment, Renoir's studio, and Le Bateau Lavoir used by Picasso and Gertrude Stein;
  • See the bust of the famous singer Dalida, admire the pink buildings and murals around Renoir's studio and the Lapin Agile;
  • Pass by Montmartre's hidden vineyard, tucked away in the little side streets behind the Sacré-Coeur;
  • Admire the amazing panoramic views over the sparkling City of Lights from the steps of the imposing Sacré-Coeur Basilica;
  • End your tour by enjoying a glass of wine with your tour guide at a Parisian local bistro.

Once a countryside village at the edge of Paris with roots dating back to the Roman Empire, from the second half of the 19th century the hill of Montmartre became home to many of the world’s leading artists - especially the Impressionists like Renoir, Degas, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh. Montmartre is one of Paris' most charming neighbourhoods with a fascinating and complex past: where art, religion and politics have clashed over the years!  

Strolling around the quaint cobblestone streets, you will see where Renoir, Van Gogh and Picasso lived and worked, and the locations that inspired some of their most famous masterpieces, such as the Moulin Rouge cabaret and the Moulin de la Galette Restaurant.

Your guide will expertly navigate the meandering back streets, as you step off the beaten path and explore this charming, bohemian neighbourhood. See the bust of the singer Dalida - a French icon in the 70s and 80s, the famous murals on the Lapin Agile and the hidden vineyard behind the main square of Montmartre. 

Walk into Place du Tertre - a lively vibrant place known as the artist's square, always filled with artists at work and surrounded by busy bars, cafes and restaurants. 

From there, you'll walk up to the magnificent, imposing bright white building that is the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, the highest point of Paris. Standing on the steps of this most famous landmark, behold the city of lights spread out beneath you - with an amazing panorama over the entire city, from the towers of Notre Dame to the giant lattice of the Iron Lady, the Eiffel Tower herself. 

Lastly, sit down for a glass of wine at your guide's favourite local haunt!
Montmartre Tour for Foodies: Small Group Tour with a Local Chef
What could be more Parisian than spending a morning in Montmartre with a chef, shopping at a market, and then enjoying a meal in his restaurant? 

On your small group tour with a chef, you will:

  • Meet your chef and guide at a pre-arranged spot in the Montmartre section of Paris;
  • Wander through the market and local shops
  • Visit a local fromagerie and taste a selection of the best French cheeses paired with wine;
  • Enjoy one of the finest chocolates from a local chocolatier; 
  • Taste the best Macarons in Paris at one of Montmartre's famous Patisseries;
  • Enjoy a delicious three-course meal of classic French cuisine at Chef PJ's restaurant with perfectly paired wine tastings;
  • Learn to make a classic French dish – some days it’s escargot, others it’s Beef Bourguignon. It all depends on what’s in season and available – the true Parisian way!

Wander the streets which were once home to Van Gogh, Matisse, and Picasso, shopping in the local markets and in a neighbourhood that has certainly earned a reputation as one of the most artistic and inspirational areas of Paris. On your tour, you’ll see Montmartre’s iconic sites with a local, passing by the tourist spots, as you dart in and out of cheese and chocolate shops. Then, enjoy the experience of a lifetime, cooking in a French restaurant kitchen with one of the city’s friendliest and most charismatic chefs. You’ll spend a few hours in his kitchen, alongside a handful of others (up to 12 people total), cooking and preparing a meal to share at the table together. 

After all the prepping and cooking, sit down to enjoy a luxuriating three-course meal, paired perfectly with four wine tastes. Your experience ends after the meal when your chef and guide will give you his recommendations on the best way to continue your culinary indulgences in one of the world’s great food cities. 

Montmartre Live Virtual Tour
On this Live Virtual Tour, you will learn first-hand what locals love about Paris from someone who knows the place inside-out. You will see first hand where some of the world’s most influential painters including Renoir, Picasso and Van Gogh, lived and worked on this beautiful hill towering above Paris. You will virtually travel to Montmartre where you will:

  • Experience some of the best panoramic views of Paris from the top of the hill.
  • Wander down the streets where Renoir, Picasso, and Van Gogh each called home for a season. 
  • Learn the neighbourhood contextual backstories and rumours which bring Paris’ Montmartre district to life.
  • Be immersed in Paris' most bohemian and intriguing neighbourhood, whilst exploring this unique enclave of the city.
  • Be explained the complex history of Montmartre, a place of devout worship spanning from the Druids of ancient Gaul right up to today. 
  • See the  Sacré-Cœur, which was built in the 19th century in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War and the chaotic Paris Commune. It emerged to become a symbol of the struggle between the conservative Catholic establishment and the secular republic radicals. 
Be immersed in Paris' most bohemian and intriguing neighbourhood, whilst exploring a thoroughly unique enclave of the city. Discover the windmills, cabarets, and many monuments for which this area is famous. Enjoy the neighbourhood which encompasses the artistry, history, and beauty that the capital has to offer.

The Historic Heart of Paris: Private Walking Tour & River Cruise
Enjoy a three-hour private walking tour of Paris, and explore the highlights of the French capital with an expert private guide from Montmartre to Notre Dame, followed by an idyllic river cruise along the Seine. 

On your private tour, you will: 

  • Meet your guide outside the famous Sacré-Cœur basilica in Montmartre, and the spectacular viewpoint over Paris;
  • See the best of Paris from Montmartre to Notre Dame, including the Moulin Rouge, the Centre Pompidou, and Île de la Cité;
  • Visit Le Marais neighbourhood, Hotel de VillePalais de Justice de Paris and the Conciergerie, Place Dauphine and the Pont Neuf;
  • Travel like a local – your guide will teach you all the tricks to taking the Paris Metro from Montmartre to the city centre;
  • Enjoy complimentary river cruise tickets, which you can use at the end of your tour or whenever you like! 
Begin with an hour's walking tour of Montmartre, the arty and bohemian neighbourhood of Paris, where an enclave of famous painters and artists like Van Gogh, Renoir and Picasso lived. Begin outside the magnificent Sacré-Cœur Basilica with its breathtakingly beautiful panoramic views over the whole of Paris, then enjoy an easy downhill stroll through the cobbled streets of Montmartre, passing through the artist's square, Place du Tertre, the studio Bateaux Lavoir, the Moulin de la Galette, the House of van Gogh and the infamous Moulin Rouge! Learn the fascinating history of this district with its many conflicts between art, religion and the military! 

Then hop aboard the Paris Metro, helped by your guide, to the centre of Paris, where you'll enjoy the next part of your walking tour.  Marvel at the famous Centre Pompidou building, described by its architect Renzo Piano as a "huge spaceship made of glass", and stroll through the charming Le Marais neighbourhood. This is the medieval and Jewish Quarter of Paris and is today filled with hip boutiques, galleries, and cafes. 

Crossing the bridge onto one of the two remaining natural islands in the Seine, the Île de la Cité, you'll explore this historic heart of Paris, where the city was founded. You'll walk around the magnificent and hauntingly beautiful Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, as it undergoes a renovation after the 2019 fire. Learn all about the beauty of gothic architecture, and the cunning use of gargoyles. 

You'll see the Conciergerie, which was the medieval home of the kings of France, and later became their prison! It is next to the Palais du Justice where the Revolutionary trials were held, and it is still a working law court today. Walk through the picturesque Place Dauphine towards the giant bronze equestrian statue of Henry IV on the Pont Neuf (meaning New Bridge - that is actually 500 years old!) and enjoy wonderful views of the castle towers of the Conciergerie and the Louvre. 

Your tour finishes at Pont Neuf, where your guide will give you tickets to join a one-hour river cruise that will take you past the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower and many other stunning monuments of Paris that line the river. These tickets can be used any time, any day during your stay in Paris. 
The Best of Paris in a Day: Private Full-Day Highlights Tour
Experience the best of Paris in a day on this full-day tour of its most iconic neighbourhoods and monuments, including a fully guided tour of the magnificent Louvre Museum. 

On your private tour, you will: 

  • Explore the quaint Bohemian artists' district of Montmartre;
  • Wander around the lovely and historic neighbourhood of Le Marais;
  • Explore the fascinating and beautiful Latin Quarter;
  • Walk around Notre Dame de Paris and the Palais du Justice on the île de la Cité;
  • Visit the Louvre Museum with admission tickets included and see the major highlights of the museum;
  • End your tour inside the Louvre to explore on your own if you so wish, or your guide can escort you to the exit. 
Enjoy a full-day privately guided tour of the cultural highlights of Paris – from Montmartre to Notre Dame, the Latin Quarter to the Louvre. 

Beginning at the top of the hill in Montmartre, you will explore this quaint and cobbled neighbourhood made famous by the Impressionist artists and of course the Moulin Rouge. Soak up the Bohemian atmosphere of Place du Tertre, filled with working artists and lined with bars. 

Walk past Renoir’s studio and Van Gogh’s apartment, and see the iconic Bateaux Lavoir where Picasso stayed and the Moulin de la Galette – the star of Renoir’s iconic masterpiece.

Ride the Funicular to the mighty Basilica Sacre Coeur – learn about its controversy and enjoy some gorgeous views across the skyline of Paris.

Head to Le Marais, famous for its Jewish history and the delicious falafels to be found on the iconic Rue des Rosiers. Step into the mesmerizing Place des Voges where Victor Hugo lived. 

Cross the river to explore the fascinating Latin Quarter – home to Sorbonne University, whose students spoke and read Latin in the Middle Ages. Learn about the writers who lived here like Hemingway, and the luminaries buried in the Pantheon. 

After lunch head, onto the Ile de la Cite to see Notre Dame de Paris – still standing after the fire that ravaged it in 2019, and walk around the Palais de Justice and Conciergerie as you hear all about the French Revolution and the fate of King Louis and Queen Marie Antoinette. 

Finally, enjoy wandering over the river towards the Louvre. Enjoy a fully guided tour of the museum with its 300 rooms – including the must-see masterpieces of the Mona Lisa, The Winged Victory of Samothrace, Venus de Milo and the Coronation of Napoleon.
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