Top 5 Best Spots To Admire the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre
Admire is the exact right word that comes to mind for those wishing to bask in the presence of the very grand Sacre Coeur Basilica in the north of Paris.
The church is the crowning glory of the 18th arrondissement; it sits on the summit above Montmartre, waking the people of Paris each morning with the bouncing sun beams that reflect off of the chalky towers.
The Sacre Coeur is a Parisian landmark that you should venture inside of at least once. The inside is even more opulent than the outside; architecturally it is one of Paris’ finest achievements, the impressive work of building creator Paul Abadie.
Because of the size of the structure, admiring the Sacre Coeur from the outside, and even from afar, gives you greater persecutive over the design as a whole. Here are the top five best spots around Paris from which to gawk at her.
OPENING HOURS: Monday TO SUNDAY – 6AM TO 10:30PM
ADDRESS: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
METRO STATION: Lamarck – Caulaincourt
1. From the Steps of the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre
An obvious one, no doubt. But the angle of the hillside that slopes down Montmartre from the front entrance of the church happens to be one of the best places from which to view the Basilica on a whole.
Depending on what side of Montmartre you reach the summit from, you’ll either reach the steps before the church, or walk down them after the church.
A free guided walking tour through Montmartre will usually bring you up the stairs from the bottom of the hill, giving you an incredible ants-eye view of the landmark as you make your way toward it.
This is a popular viewing spot for the Sacre Coeur, so if you were hoping for a quiet spot to sit back and relax for a minute think again. The church welcomes over 30,000 visitors per day — rain or shine.
For a peaceful view of the Basilica we need to move further back… read on.
2. Printemps Rooftop Terrace in Paris
The Printemps Rooftop is situated in the 9th arrondissement, just far enough from all the tourist traps yet close enough to still admire the church on the hill in Montmartre.
Word that this cafe boasts a great view of the church has spread itself around. During most meal times there will be at least one tourist fiddling with a tripod or camera lens, trying to get the perfect shot of the Sacre Coeur one arrondissement away.
The view from up here extends further than just the 18th. The rooftop gives you a panoramic view over most of Paris, and they welcome all to admire it so long as you are eating in the restaurant or at least having coffee.
OPENING HOURS: Unavailable
ADDRESS: 64 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France
METRO STATION: Havre – Caumartin
3. The Escalators at the Centre Pompidou in Paris
The Centre Pompidou is a well known, avant-garde cultural complex in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris. This is a lot further away than our previous viewpoint, but as a general rule if you stay on the Right Bank of the Seine you’ll usually always be able to view the landmarks of that half of Paris.
Once inside you’ll have access to the 5th floor viewing deck where another panoramic view of Paris can be found. It is thought by many, however, that the Sacre Coeur is best viewed from all of the escalators of the Centre Pompidou.
Montmartre’s hill is clearer from the lower floors of the center, while greater Paris is clearer from the top. Regardless, the Sacre Coeur is always in view and with a pair of binoculars or a good camera lens you’ll see the finer details as well.
Admission: €14 // View only: €5
OPENING HOURS: Wednesday to Monday: 11am – 9pm
ADDRESS: Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France
METRO STATION: Rambuteau
4. Avenue Montaigne at the Place de l’Alma in Paris
Heading continuously south from Montmartre will eventually land you on the edge of the Seine river in the 8th arrondissement .
The Pont de l’Ama is a beautiful bridge that will take you over the river and onto the relative Left Bank. Just before you climb onto the bridge you’ll pass through the Place de l’Alma.
This isn’t our usual Parisian public square as we’ve come to know them, it’s simply more of a central point where a number of roads can part ways into various directions of the 8th.
One of these streets is the Avenue Montaigne. Its your standard picturesque Parisian street. Making your way up the Avenue Montaigne from the plaza will incur a slight incline, one that gives way for a wonderful view of the Sacre Coeur looming in the distance.
The best part about this spot is that very few people know about it. It is probably the only spot that isn’t a private Airbnb/hotel balcony where one can see the church without fighting any crowds.
5. First Floor at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris
The Orsay Museum is Paris’ leading fine art collection after the Louvre.
To give you some idea: it is the home of Renoir’s Bal du Moulin de la Galette, a painting made in the very village where the Sacre Coeur sits. Van Gogh, Monet and Manet works feature throughout the museum as well; it is a massive, multistory art space.
The first floor at the Musée d’Orsay one can observe a view of the entire Montmartre hill. At the summit, the Sacre Coeur glistens proudly in the sky.
Technically the Orsay is on the Left Bank, but it is right on the waters edge, keeping it within acceptable distance for the 18th arrondissement to be “admired”.