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Sacre-Coeur Basilica
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Sacre-Coeur Basilica: Tours & Tickets

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The history and architecture of Montmartre's Sacré-Cœur

With its stunning façade, impressive interior, and breathtaking views over Paris, the "Sacred Heart" is as popular among locals as it is tour groups. Here are a few interesting facts to help better understand its relationship with the city.

Construction began after the Franco-Prussian War

Construction began after the Franco-Prussian War

With the French defeated, Bishop Fournier claimed God had punished the country for "a century of moral decline" since the revolution. The basilica was built to expiate Paris' sins!

It watched over a most rebellious neighborhood

It watched over a most rebellious neighborhood

Paris' highest point didn't always swarm with tourists and bohemians. Its original abbey was razed during the revolution, and the site later saw the Paris Commune uprising in 1871.

Construction finished in 1914

Construction finished in 1914

Though the foundation stone was laid in 1875, the basilica took 29 years to build. With the outbreak of the First World War, the building wasn't consecrated until 1919.

It was designed in response to the Palais Garnier

It was designed in response to the Palais Garnier

Paul Abadie's Romano-Byzantine-influenced design was unusual at the time, but it was intended to counter the unabashed opulence of Paris' recently built opera house.

An extinct species was discovered on the site

An extinct species was discovered on the site

During the digging of its unusually deep foundations, a tooth was found and later identified as that of Palaeotherium – a previously undiscovered species of prehistoric tapir!

Our insider tips

Booking tickets

Access to the Sacré-Cœur is free! A tour can help you make the most of your visit, but note that, as a sanctuary for religious worship, guided tour groups aren't allowed inside the chapels.

What are the opening times?

The Sacré-Cœur is open to visitors between the hours of 8:00AM and 8:00PM from May to September, and 9:00AM and 5:00PM from October to April.
Mass is held from Monday to Friday at 7:00AM, 11:15AM, 3:00PM (Friday only), 6:30PM, and 10:00PM. Weekend times are 7:00AM, 11:00AM, 6:00PM (Sunday only), and 10:00PM.

How to get there?

The easiest way to reach the Sacré-Cœur is by taking the Metro line 2 to Anvers. From there it is just a short walk to the funicular car, should the scenic walk through the hill's steep gardens appear too daunting! The hill can also be reached by bus routes 30, 31, 80, and 85.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Open daily 8:00AM to 8:00PM in the summer, 9:00AM to 5:00PM in the winter.
  • Is it expensive?
    The Sacré-Cœur is free to visit!
  • Will I need a guide?
    Definitely, although the tours cannot go inside the chapels. Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    Take the Metro line 2 to Anvers and walk or take the funicular car up, or take buses 30, 31, 80 or 85.
  • Additional information
    Be aware of your surroundings and your belongings in crowded areas. | If you can, save your visit for a clear day, when views over the city are incredible!

What people are saying about Sacre-Coeur Basilica

Overall rating
4.6 / 5
based on 1,319 reviews

Lovely tour in the most beautiful part of Paris

We really enjoyed the tour as it led us to all the most important and most beautiful places in Montmartre. We surely would've found all of them in a tourist guidebook or on the internet, as none of them was much of a hidden gem. That's why we found the tour to be just a little bit too expensive. But it was so much fun to follow the storyline, and the interactive style with the clues and riddles made it easy to learn something new! We also enjoyed being able to play at our own pace, as we took several breaks to take photos or to sit in a lovely café. In the end we really didn't regret buying it! The day we made this tour in Montmartre ended up being our favorite day of our holiday in Paris.

Paris: Romantic Montmartre Exploration Game Reviewed by

Excellent tour of Montmartre with Severine

My wife and I had a thoroughly enjoyable one-hour tour of the Montmartre area with Severine Cortines as our Expert Guide. She was informative, highly engaging, and very funny! We got introduced to the ancient history of Sacre Coeur and Montmartre, as well as getting entertaining glimpses and anecdotes about events, houses, and colorful persons from more recent history. Highly recommended!

Interesting tour different content than expected

I found our guide to be very pleasant and interesting He coped with a big group very well I feel that I learned a lot about Monmartre It was my birthday and I found it odd to be spending so much time in a graveyard!!! Would rather have had more time at Sacre Coure

Montmartre 2-Hour Walking Tour in English Reviewed by

Brilliant content and a totally professional guide in Lindsay.

An interesting history of the area in 2 and 1/2 hours. Lindsay linked the story from beginning to end and provided us with a clear idea of the history of Montmarte and the influence of the people who moved into the area. Well worth the time and $$ investment.

Montmartre 2-Hour Walking Tour in English Reviewed by

Very knowledgeable tour guide. Very patient and expanded on any quest.

We couldnt find the meeting point. There is no number painted on the building we were to meet at. Poor organisation administrators. Very confusing and lots of unnecessary walking to find the meeting place!

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