The Sacré-Coeur sits at the top of Montmartre, separated from the rest of the city by a large hill and steep climb up. Today it’s a basilica, although it was once the site of pagan worship. The entire area surrounding the Basilica has a history of independence from the rest of the city and was once home to countless farming fields and moulins (windmills). Here are some unusual places to see the Sacre Coeur in Paris:
A Secret Paris Vineyard
76 Rue Georges Lardennois, 75019 Paris, France
It surprises many visitors to Paris that there are still thriving vineyards in operation throughout the city. One of my favourites is that located in La Butte Bergeyre, a small micro-arrondissement in the 19th. With just one road, and two pedestrian walkways to reach the summit of this hill, few locals know about it, let alone tourists. From here, you can get one of the best views of the Sacré-Coeur that the city has to offer.
Parc Buttes Chaumont
1 Rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris, France
Fairly close to Butte Bergeyre, you’ll find the park of Buttes Chaumont. Home to parts of the Petite Ceinture, as well as a waterfall and temple, Buttes Chaumont offers spectacular views over the city.
The park of Buttes Chaumont was originally commissioned by Napoleon and was intended to be a public space from its very outset. Buttes Chaumont is the fifth largest park in the city and is so named because the composition of its soil once meant that the hill was completely barren of plants.
Place Dalida, 75018 Paris, France
One of the most picturesque squares in the city, Place Dalida has a long and fascinating history. Named after the famous singer, from here you can see the towers and spires of the iconic basilica peeking out from behind quirky architecture and at the end of a cobbled lane.
Adjoining this pretty square, you’ll find Rue de l’Aubreuvoir. Perhaps the cutest street in all of the city, its ivy clad façades and flower covered windowsills make you feel like you’re stepping back in time… right into the Paris of the 1920s. Of all the Montmartre locations for unusual places to see the Sacre Coeur in Paris, Place Dalida is the one you most definitely shouldn’t miss!
Musée de Montmartre (Montmartre Museum)
12-14 Rue Cortot, 75018 Paris, France
Within the grounds of Montmartre Museum, to the rear of the building, you’ll find a little artist’s garden. Filled with flowers in the Summertime, and cherry blossom in the Springtime, it’s not hard to see how the house and gardens once provided artistic inspiration to countless masters. Renoir even lived in the house for a period of time…
Rue de la Bonne, 75018 Paris, France
This green space is the perfect place to enjoy a Parisian picnic, all the while enjoying a view onto one of Paris’ most iconic sites. Although it was once the site of a mill, today it is a haven of tranquility. Head to the back of the Sacré-Coeur. Head away from the Parvis Sacré-Coeur and away all of the tourists… this is where you’ll find where locals hang out to eat their lunch.
Within this terraced garden, you’ll find ample green space, as well as an open-air amphitheater, plenty of seating, a fountain, and a small waterfall. At the beginning of summer, the park and surrounding areas are some of the best places to spot wisteria.
1 Avenue de la Grille d’Honneur, 92210 Saint-Cloud, France
Located on the fringes of Paris, Parc Saint-Cloud is one of my favourite places to escape the crowds of Paris. There was once a grand Château here. Now, all that remains is a grand, lanscaped garden and a fantastic, bird’s eye view over the city. Of all the places to see the Sacre Coeur in Paris, this park may well be the best. After all, it’s not often that you can capture the Eiffel Tower and the Sacre Coeur in the same shot!
Centre Georges Pompidou
Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France
The height of this modern art museum in the middle of Le Marais means that it is also home to one of the best rooftop terraces in Paris. The museum itself boasts several floors of exhibition and gallery space, as well as a library and rooftop restaurant. It’s here that you can find the likes of works by artists such as Picasso, Braque, and many other acclaimed artists.
From Streets in Paris Proper
Boulevard Haussmann, 8th-9th arrondissements
Stroll along the very center of the city, and you’ll be surprised at how many times you spot the Sacreé-Coeur from Paris proper itself. One of my favourite places to play hide-and-seek with the iconic Basilica is along Boulevard Haussmann. So called after the famous architect who redesigned much of the city in the 19th-Century, today the road is home to grand department stores. Here you’ll find big name French stores like Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
66 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France
One of my all-time favourite spaces to work and grab a coffee in the city center is Deli-Cieux. From the café/ bar’s rooftop terrace, you get 360-degree panoramic views over the city. Sip on a €2 cup of coffee and enjoy one of the best views of Parisian rooftops…