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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
Saint-Pierre de Montmartre
An unsung gem of a medieval church, Saint-Pierre started life in the 12th century as a renowned women's monastery.
Montmartre
A vibrant and artistic neighbourhood once home to Renoir and Gauguin, offering spectacular views over the city.
Local artisan bakeries
Montmartre's pastry chefs and bakers are amongst the best in the world - and some of the best shops are hidden in plain sight.
'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 cabaret world-famous.

Related Tours

Private Bohemian Montmartre Walking Tour: Home of the Artists
Uncover the history and art of a quintessentially Parisian neighbourhood on this walking tour. 

  • Explore 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 Renoir, Picasso 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  the 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 by a spectacular picture-perfect view of Paris below.
Private Montmartre Walking Tour at Night with Wine at a Local Bistro
Experience the city of lights at its best on this evening walking tour of Montmartre.  

  • Explore bohemian Montmartre at its prime time and get a sense of the lives of world-renowned artists, including Picasso and Renoir.
  • See the the Moulin Rouge, Van Gogh’s former home, and the city's last vineyard.
  • Admire the views over the sparkling city from Sacré-Coeur
  • End the tour in a French Bistro with a glass of wine. 

Once a countryside village at the edge of Paris with roots dating back to the Roman Empire, from the second half of the XIX century the hill of Montmartre became home to many of the world’s leading artists.

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

Your local guide will expertly navigate the winding narrow streets as you step off the beaten path and explore this charming neighbourhood. You will also visit some of the more unusual places, like the area's very own vineyard! 

After admiring the breathtaking views over Paris from the hills' highest point, Sacré-Cœur, sit down for a glass of wine in your guide's favourite local haunt!
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.

Private: Paris Highlights Walking tour & River Cruise
Enjoy a three-hour private walking tour of Paris, and explore the highlights of the French capital, finishing with a river cruise of the idyllic Seine. On your private tour, you will: 

  • Meet your guide by the famed Sacré-Cœur church and 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 Ville, Palais de Justice de Paris (Conciergerie), Place Dauphine and the Pont Neuf.
  • Travel like a local – your guide will teach you all the tricks to taking the Paris Metro.
  • Enjoy complimentary river cruise tickets, which you can use at the end of your tour or even the next day. 

Start your tour immersed in one of the city’s most intriguing and bohemian neighbourhoods – an enclave of famous painters and artists, Montmartre. Then hop aboard the iconic Metro, where your guide will teach you all the tips and tricks for navigating it during your stay in Paris. 

Marvel at the famous Centre Pompidou building, described by its architect Renzo Piano as a "huge spaceship made of glass", and stroll through Le Marais neighbourhood, once the city's Jewish quarter, the area is today filled with hip boutiques, galleries, and cafes. 

Visit one of the two remaining natural islands in the Seine, the Île de la Cité, which is considered the historic heart of Paris. The medieval city of Paris was refounded here with magnificent Sainte-Chapelle and the former prison, the Conciergerie. While on Île de la Cité, you will have time to walk around the hauntingly beautiful Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, as she undergoes a renovation from the 2019 fire. 

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. These tickets can be used any time, any day during your stay in Paris. 
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