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Sacre Coeur

Rising above the bohemian streets of Montmartre is this monumental church, which offers unbeatable views over the rooftops of central Paris. 

Sacre Coeur (Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre) is a 19th-century Roman-Byzantine church and one of the most iconic religious landmarks in Paris. It stands on a hilltop overlooking the Montmartre district and presents a stark contrast to the artistic lifestyle of residents on the surrounding streets. Visit Sacre Coeur to admire a huge mosaic, enjoy sweeping panoramas and watch shows performed by engaging street performers. 

Plans for the church were established in 1870. Four years later the Paris-born architect Paul Abadie won a competition to design it. Abadie laid the first stone in 1875 but almost 30 years passed before construction was complete. Marvel at the imposing Roman-Byzantine exterior, thought to be inspired by Istanbul’s Haga Sofia and Venice’s St. Mark’s Basilica. Noteworthy features include the three arches of the main entrance, two equestrian statues and multiple domes. 

Step through the arches to experience a feeling of harmony. Natural light floods in via stained-glass windows and illuminates the nave. Inspect Christ in Majesty by Luc-Olivier Merson. The large mosaic adorns the apse. Climb the 300-step spiral staircase to the central dome. From here you can see in all directions for about 30 miles (50 kilometers) on a clear day.

Join hundreds of tourists who congregate on the steps outside the church. The views south toward the city center of Paris are magnificent. Be entertained by the street performers who put on energetic shows throughout the day. Watch acrobats, freestyle soccer masters, mime artists and musicians.

The church stands at the top of Montmartre hill, which gives its name to the surrounding neighborhood. The metro stations of Abbesses, Anvers and Château Rouge are each a 10-minute walk away. Reach the church by walking up Square Louise Michel or ride the funicular. After seeing the church, wander Montmartre’s cobblestone lanes to find antique stores, boutiques and cafés once frequented by luminaries such as Jim Morrison and Salvador Dalí. 

Sacre Coeur is open daily. There is a fee for entry and a fee to access the dome. Purchase a guidebook or download a free audio guide to your smartphone via the church’s official website.


Guide to Exploring Montmartre - Sacre Coeur


Top Hotel Deals

See all 160 Hotels in Montmartre - Sacre Coeur
Hotel Des Arts Paris Montmartre $98
Hotel Des Arts Paris Montmartre

Hotel Des Arts Paris Montmartre

5 Rue Tholoze, Paris
     
    4.4
    of 5, from 2,002 reviews
    3.0 out of 5.0

    Located in the Montmartre district of Paris between Place du Tertre and Place Blanche, this boutique hotel is steps from the Moulin Rouge cabaret, Basilique du Sacre Coeur, and 2 metro stations.

    Terrass'' Hotel Montmartre by MH $189
    Terrass'' Hotel Montmartre by MH

    Terrass'' Hotel Montmartre by MH

    12-14 Rue Joseph de Maistre, Paris
       
      4.6
      of 5, from 635 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      This eight-storey Art Deco style Paris hotel features a stone façade and is set in the hilltop village of Montmartre, 800 metres from Sacré Coeur, and near the department stores.

      Le Relais Montmartre
      Le Relais Montmartre

      Le Relais Montmartre

      6, rue Constance, Paris
         
        4.6
        of 5, from 436 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in 18th Arrondissement, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Moulin Rouge and Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. Galeries Lafayette and Paris Opera are also within 1 mi (2 km).

        Timhotel Montmartre $88
        Timhotel Montmartre

        Timhotel Montmartre

        11 Rue Ravignan, Paris
           
          3.8
          of 5, from 649 reviews
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Located in 18th Arrondissement, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris and Moulin Rouge. Galeries Lafayette and Paris Opera are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          Best Western Hôtel le 18 Paris
          Best Western Hôtel le 18 Paris

          Best Western Hôtel le 18 Paris

          51 Rue Letort, Paris
             
            3.6
            of 5, from 148 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Located in 18th Arrondissement, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, Moulin Rouge, and Arc de Triomphe. Galeries Lafayette and Parc Monceau are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Hotel de la Poste
            Hotel de la Poste

            Hotel de la Poste

            94 Rue Riquet, Paris
               
              2.8
              of 5, from 207 reviews
              0.0 out of 5.0

              Located in 18th Arrondissement, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, Moulin Rouge, and Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Galeries Lafayette and Paris Opera are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Novotel Suites Paris Nord 18ème
              Novotel Suites Paris Nord 18ème

              Novotel Suites Paris Nord 18ème

              1 Impasse Marteau, Paris
                 
                3.8
                of 5, from 1,653 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Located in 18th Arrondissement, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Millennium Mall, Stade de France, and City of Science and Industry. Parc de la Villette and Louvre Museum are also within 6 mi (10 km).

                ibis Paris Montmartre 18ème
                ibis Paris Montmartre 18ème

                ibis Paris Montmartre 18ème

                5 Rue Caulaincourt, Paris
                   
                  3.9
                  of 5, from 1,039 reviews
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in 18th Arrondissement, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Folies Bergere, Moulin Rouge, and Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. Galeries Lafayette and Parc Monceau are also within 1 mi (2 km).

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