While you are in Paris city, one should definitely visit this off the beaten destination at the same time being a very popular place to be in Paris, France.Montmartre is most visited because of the Sacre -Coeur Basilica, but there are many more things to do in this part of Paris which has still not lost its village-like, atmosphere. Perched on the top of a hill in the 18tharrondissement, with its cobbled streets, stunning Basilica, artists,bistros … Montmartre is full of charm…
To reach Montmartre, the metro is the best way to reach the foothill. Get off at Anvers metro station where we got down, which is actually the east side of the hill. Take rue de Steinkerque all the way to the park, stop or pick up coffee as there are numerous coffee shops en route. Walk past the Halle Saint Pierre, now you’re in front of the Sacre Coeur but you still have to go all the way up. Now, you have two options, you can take the Funiculaire de Montmartre, a nice cable car, or you can climb the stairs passing through the park.TIP- When with kids and stroller and stuff take the cable car without a second thought. Also, use the metro ticket for the funiculaire. Go a little early if you want to avoid more tourists.
Montmartre is most visited because of the Sacre-Coeur Basilica. Sacre-Coeur was built between 1876 and 1912 to honour the victims of the Franco-Prussian war, using travertine limestone that’s designed to get whiter as it ages. The beautiful domes and the snow-white exterior are really impressive. At the foot of the basilica, you also get a phenomenal view of Paris.
The inside of the Sacre Coeur is little dark but nonetheless beautiful. The golden ceiling painting just behind the dome is the first thing you notice. It is amazing, I got to know from a fellow tourist that it is one of the largest mosaics in the world.
The entry to the basilica is free but entry to the Dome and the Crypt is chargeable around 5–8 euros. Some 300 spiralling steps lead to the basilica’s dome, which offers Paris’ most spectacular panoramas.
From musicians performing on the steps to people picnicking on the hillside park to the view of the dove white domes of the basilica of Montmartre, it is a different and beautiful experience. My daughter who loves to dance was enjoying swaying to the tunes of someone playing the violin or a guitar. To avoid tourist crowds or kids getting cranky or sometimes with aged members in the group there is a cute little white train that takes you around Montmartre. It’s called Le Petit Train de Montmartre, and if you have purchased Paris Pass it is free with it.
After witnessing the grandeur of the basilica, we decided to walk down the hill from the backside of the basilica. We reached a restaurant L’Ete en Pente Douce. The terrace is lovely and the food was also good, we reached just in time as the lunch hours were going to be over.
Apart from the Sacre-Coeur, there is so much more to see in and around Montmartre. Clos Montmartre is a small, vineyard in the heart of the place but sadly it is closed for public except for special events. Nearby you can visit the Musee de Montmartre, Renoir Gardens and Place Dalida. Walk down to Place du Tertre,a little square in the heart of Montmartre where artist gathers to draw illustrations or portraits. If you plan to take the metro to about in Paris from Abbesses metro station there is a Square Jehan Rictus and Le mur des je t’aime (Wall of Love) behind the station entrance. The wall is made up of tiles with ‘I love you’ written in 250 languages and is a favourite selfie spot.
Montmartre is actually rising above Paris’ panorama, and itis different than anywhere else in Paris. There are so many shops, beautiful buildings, and cafes in the town where you can easily spend the half a day or even a full day if you have a good number of days to spend in Paris. Enjoy…..Merci