There are so many reasons to visit Paris
! As well as the delicious cuisine and the Eiffel Tower, one of them is The Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris), a huge Roman Catholic church with a domed roof that you can climb up to for a beautiful view of the city. It’s in Montmartre, a neighborhood you might recognise from the movie 'Amelie', and it’s close to the Moulin Rouge and several hip bars along cobbled streets and alleyways. Stay in one of our Sacre Coeur hotels and see one of Paris’s coolest, most cultured tourist destinations.
In 1873, the French decided to build a church to mark the end of their war with the Prussians. After beating 77 other architects in a competition, Paul Abadie won the chance to design it, and the first stone was laid in 1875. The basilica was blessed in 1919 after the end of the First World War.
A religious place since the dawn of civilisation, Montmartre became a popular spot for artists in the mid-nineteenth century, and famous figures like Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso spent time there. It became France’s culture capital, a place for decadence, drinking and bohemian cool. Seen Moulin Rouge? The actual club opened in Montmartre in 1889, giving birth to the can-can dance.
Things to do
Sacre Coeur stands at the highest point of Paris: the top of the hill that Montmartre was built on. Topped off with white marble domes, this huge church looks pretty dashing standing over the Paris horizon. Inside, you’ll find a bronze altar and the largest domed ceiling mosaic in any church in the world. Take the spiral stairs to the top and behold the view of the city, taking in the Eiffel Tower and beyond.
When it’s time for a night out, check out the Moulin Rouge or one of the other trendy nightclubs. There’s Silencio, designed by filmmaker David Lynch, with 1950s-style furniture and live music, The Black Cat, which became famous as a 19th century cabaret, and dark and intimate live rock venues like La Boule Noir.
For a more relaxed time, visit one of Montmartre’s museums. Espace Dali is full of Salavador’s Dali’s strange works of art, including sculptures of his famous melting clocks.
Shopping and dining
In Montmartre, you can find boutique clothing shops, cool Parisian designers, cool record stores and The Brocante des Abbesses, a second-hand market selling, jewellery, old paintings and other trinkets every Sunday. The dining scene has tiny restaurants and bars tucked away in hiding, stylish bistros with vintage decor, even some Japanese and Italian cuisine.
Start with a flight to Paris
to go with your Montmartre accommodation, and in no time at all you’ll be checking out one of Paris’s most exciting and romantic destinations.