Skip to content

YOLO Paris: Sacre-Coeur, Avoiding the Steps & the Funiculaire de Montmartre

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

Visit Sacré-Coeur, Avoid the Steps & Ride the Funiculaire de Montmartre

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

When in Paris a must stop is the the breathtaking Sacré-Cœur. I’ll show you how to get there, what to avoid and what options you have on your way up the famous hills of Montmartre.

Abbesses, Paris

What’s the closest metro station? Most visitors exit at the Abbesses metro station. WARNING: take the elevator! There are more steps than you can imagine just to reach street level. Whether you walk up or ride, you will be rewarded with the charming Place des Abbesses, a scenic square with a lovely carousel and a bohemian vibe. It’s a great neighborhood with many hip eateries, cafes and boutiques. We were treated to a very talented singer. He was a kind French gentleman with an amazing voice!

This is Hector Guimard‘s original Art Nouveau entrance to the Abbesses métro station:

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

Funiculaire de Montmartre

Who put the fun in an escalator? Apparently the French did with their Funiculaire de Montmartre.

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

Alongside the Rue Foyatier is a wide 220-step staircase that leads you to your destination. Here’s what all of those steps look like from street level. On the bright side, it’s a great cardio workout!

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

If walking up that staircase isn’t for you, then fear not! The line for the Funiculaire usually moves quickly. If there are two or more of you, one can wait in line while the other buys the tickets from the automatic machine (which are multilingual). There’s also someone working in the Information Services booth to help you with any questions. On the day we went, the women was exceptionally helpful and spoke a few languages.

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

View from Sacré-Cœur

Congratulations! You made it to the top. You are now at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris or Sacré-Cœur. Take a deep breath, turn around and enjoy the view of Paris.

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

Or take a pic of someone else taking a pic (that’s Miguel by the way).

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

Sacré-Cœur, Paris

Sacré-Cœur is one of the most iconic monuments in Paris and was consecrated in 1919. It sits at the top of the Butte Montmarte and boasts one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the city. So go ahead and take as many pics as you like! I certainly did.

The Roman-Byzantine architecture with its impressive dome (also offering 360 degree views), the largest mosaic in France, and a crypt. Considering all it has to offer, there are always crowds.  But, don’t let it bother you. Make your way though and when you get tired, have a drink or something to eat. Behind the Basilica there are plenty of restaurants and cafés.

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

You can take pictures that show the crowds…

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

Or tilt your camera up a bit and voilà! No more pesky line of tourists in every shot.

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

View of the Eiffel Tower from Sacre-Coeur Is Not Good

So, how’s the view of the Eiffel Tower from Sacré-Cœur? Not good. Seriously. There are two problems:

(1) Eiffel Tower looks tiny from this distance.
(2) There is are buildings, fences and trees blocking the view.

I had to get creative to get these two shots. Since I couldn’t get a great photo of the Eiffel Tower, I tried to work in the background. Hey, why fight it? Everything is beautiful in its own way.

Gnarly trees blocking the view of the Eiffel Tower

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

Classic Paris apartments blocking the view of Paris:

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

Of course, you can take advantage of the zoom on your camera or a zoom lens if you have one. If the whether isn’t very bright (it was a cloudy day when I went), play with the color…or try black and white. In the end, it will all look good. You’ll love your photos as one-of-a-kind memories of your trip.

Paris Montmartre Sacre Coeur photos by Suzy Dias

Montmartre of La Belle Époque

So that was my day trip to see Sacré-Cœur. Stop by for my next blog post on the Montmartre of La Belle Époque. The cafés, the painters and the romantic “je ne sais quois” quality that makes it one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city.

Related Links:

Cool vibes in Montmartre at metro Lamarck

All photos posted

Instagram photos from @suzydias1