The Basilica is located at the summit of the Montmartre, a hill in the north of Paris. It is a minor Catholic church, but become one of tourist destinations in Paris because of its location at the highest point in the city.
To reach the Basilica, visitors have to walk through a small street filled with mostly souvenir shops. Be careful of your belongings as there are many pickpockets around. I kept hugging my bag to avoid this to happen. Some pickpockets are smart enough to create some chaotic scenarios to distract the tourists attention. My advice is to be aware of those teenagers in groups.
There is a legend behind the site of the Basilica. It is associated with the city’s patron, Saint Denis. He was martyred and beheaded. However Bishop Denis picked up his severed head and carried it to the top of the hill. The Basilica is built as a guilt offering and a vote of confidence to cure France’s misfortunes after France’s defeat in Franco-Prussian War in 1870 and the Commune of 1871.
Visitors have options to go up the dome by climbing up the 234-step staircase or by a cable car. By taking the cable car, we have to buy the ticket. But it is more efficient especially for those bringing old people or children.
The Sacré Coeur is recognisable by its architectural style which is Roman-Byzantine. Inside the building, the ceiling is decorated with the largest mosaic in France measuring about 480 m². As the church still actively used for mass services and praying, visitors are required to keep the noise down and no photographies are allowed inside.
The view from the Basilica is breathtaking. Due to its location on the Montmartre hill, even higher than the Eiffle Tower, the Sacré-Coeur Basilica has become one of the most noticeable landmarks in Paris.
Admission: Free, but there is a cost to go up the dome
Metro: Anvers (Metro Line 2)
Opening Hours: Basilica: 6AM-11PM (daily) ; Dome: 9AM-6PM (daily)