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ABOVE: Tourists head up the Rue Steinkerque from the Anvers Métro station. INSET BELOW: The Abbesses Métro station and the Montmartre Funicular.

Planning your visit

How to reach Sacré-Coeur:

The basilica is in the 18th arrondissement, to the west of the Gare de Nord and north of the Opéra Garnier.

The closest Métro stop is Anvers, on the #2 line that runs between Porte Dauphine and Nation with a stop at Charles De Gaulle/Etoile by the Arc de Triomphe. From Anvers, it's a two- or three-minute walk up the Rue Steinkerque to the hill at the foot of  Sacré-Coeur.

photoIf you're coming from the city center, you may find it more convenient to take the #12 line toward Porte de la Chapelle. Get off at Abbesses, in the center of Montmartre, and work your way uphill to the Place du Tertre and Sacré-Coeur. (A good map will come in handy.)

Buses also serve the area; consult the RATP's transit maps and apps to see bus, Métro, and RER lines.

Getting up the hill:

If you can't cope with steep streets or long flights of steps, you have two options, either of which will cost you one Métro ticket:

photoThe Montmartrobus operates on a circular route from Place Pigalle (near the Pigalle Métro stop) to the top of the Butte, where you can get off for the short walk to Sacré-Coeur. Or you can stay on the bus until it goes down and around the other side of the hill, then passes Sacré-Coeur on its way back to Pigalle.

photoThe Montmartre Funicular, a.k.a. Le Funiculaire de Montmartre, runs from the Place Suzanne-Valadon to the Place Willette below Sacré-Coeur. It'll save you from climbing the staircase alongside the tracks, but you may feel like a wimp unless you're over 80 or walk with a cane.

Visiting the basilica:

Sacré-Coeur is open from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily, and admission is free. If you're ambitious, look for the entrance to the Dome and Crypt on the left side of the basilica. Buy a ticket, climb a steep spiral staircase to the base of the dome, and enjoy views from the second-highest point in Paris after the Eiffel Tower.

For more visitor information, including a schedule of church services, see the basilica's official Web site. (The site has pages in English and 12 other languages.)

Warnings for weary or unwary travelers:

photoPickpockets frequent popular tourist areas, so watch your wallet or purse. Also, if you're approaching Sacré-Coeur from the bottom of the hill, you're likely to be approached by scam artists who'll try to wrap your wrist in colorful strings and then demand payment. Simply say "Non, merci" firmly but politely, and you'll be left alone. (See our article, "Paris Scams: String Men of Sacré-Coeur.")

Next page: More Sacré-Coeur photos

In this article:
Sacré-Coeur - Introduction
Planning your visit
More photos

Related article:
Paris Scams: 'String Men' of Sacré-Coeur

More about Montmartre:
Hotels in Montmartre