In all honesty, I didn’t do a great deal of research on The Basilica before ‘J’ and I went to Paris. We had already decided to visit The Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, however I wanted to visit one more place. I started asking people who had been to Paris what they’d visited, and if they had any suggestions. A friend suggested Sacré Cœur on the basis that she wished she would have made time to visit it.
As embarrassed as I am to say this, I’d never heard of Sacré Cœur , so I looked it up. I recognised it from Amelie. I read about it’s location in Montmartre and how the area was supposed to be quirky and Parisian with it’s cafes and artists. I google its location to make sure it would fit in with the day and was sold. I also did some brief research to see how much admission is (free to the Basilica, and a fee for the dome) and their hours. That being said, I wish I would have done more research so ‘J’ and I could have enjoyed the visit even more.
Key things to know about visiting Sacré Cœur.
- There are a lot of stairs to visit The Basilica. Even if you get off at the M4 stop Château Rouge and walk up a steep hill to Sacré Cœur, you will still have quite a few stairs to climb.
- Sacré Cœur is built on the highest point in Paris. That means barring clouds and pollution, you can get a stunning view of the city.
- There are a number of “artists” ( that’s what they called themselves) who lurk around the base of The Basilica. They were rather forceful with ‘J’ and I. At one point one of them physically grabbed my wrist and tried tying something on it. Don’t be afraid to loudly tell them to leave you alone if politeness or ignoring them doesn’t work. That being said, if you walk up the stairs from the M4 Château Rogue entrance, you will most-likely avoid them.
- You are not allowed to take pictures in Sacré Cœur. I actually saw a couple people asked to leave for doing so. Please be respectful. The Basilica is still used as a place of worship, and they have no obligation to allow members of the public in free of charge.
- There is a small train that gives a 35 minute guided tour of Montmartre. For a round trip tour it’s €6.50 cash only. If you’re have difficulties walking, have sore feet, or simply enjoy the idea of taking a little train around Paris, it may be worth looking into. http://www.promotrain.fr/gbaccueil.htm