Last Updated on 4th November 2019 by Sophie Nadeau
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’s where to find the best Sacré-Coeur views in Paris…
#1 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 which is 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.
#2 Parc des 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. Home to Neoclassical follies (including an imposing temple), a grotto, and even a secret waterfall, there’s no denying that Parc des Buttes Chaumont is easily one of the best parks in Paris.
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. For more information on how to visit, check out my guide to visiting Parc des Buttes Chaumont.
#3 Place Dalida, 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!
#4 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…
#5 Square Marcel-Bleustein-Blanchet, 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 of one of Paris’ most iconic sites. Although it was once the site of a mill, today it is a haven of tranquillity. 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 the terraced garden of Square Marcel Bleustein Blanchett, 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, meanwhile, in the fall the park turns into a glorious golden autumnal scene.
#6 Parc de Saint-Cloud, 1 Avenue de la Grille d’Honneur, 92210 Saint-Cloud, France
Located on the fringes of Paris, Parc de 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, landscaped 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!
#7 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.
#8 From Streets in Paris Proper, Boulevard Haussmann, 8th-9th arrondissements
Stroll along the very centre 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. If you have a little more time while in the area, be sure to head to the rooftop terrace of Galeries Lafayette where you’ll soon spy one of the best free views of Paris.
#9 Musée d’Orsay, 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris
Once upon a time, Musée d’Orsay was a thriving and bustling train station which had locomotives taking passengers to the rest of France and beyond. Today, the station has since been transformed into a wonderful art museum boasting some of the most impressive impressionist paintings that Paris, and indeed France, has to offer.
Head up to the top floor, and you’ll soon discover the clock of Musée d’Orsay, which in of itself offers a fantastic Sacré-Coeur view. If you want to see the best of the museum and beat the crowds in the meantime, I highly recommend booking a skip-the-line ticket like this one and being sure to arrive mid-week and earlier in the day if possible.
#10 Le Clos Montmartre, Rue des Saules, 75018 Paris
Though not quite as good as some of the other Sacré-Coeur views in Paris contained within this list, there’s no denying the beauty of the Montmartre Vineyard, not to mention viewed with the Sacré-Coeur in the backdrop. Pretty to visit during any time of the year, though the stunning tones of Autumn make this possibly the best time to go, Le Clos Montmartre is now the only remaining vineyard in the 18th arrondissement of the city.
You see, once upon a time, the district was outside of the city limits of Paris and was once a village in its own right, only being absorbed into the fabric of Paris during the 19th-century. Today, Montmartre retains its village vibe and the annual Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre is held during the first few weeks of October.
#11 Cimetière du Calvaire
Paris’ oldest cemetery is not only the smallest graveyard in the French capital, but it also happens to be one of the hardest to access. After all, it’s only open for one day a year, La Toussaint (All Saint’s Day, the 1st of November). If you want to see this Montmartre hidden gem for yourself and marvel at one of the best Sacré-Coeur views, head to the Cimetière du Calvaire between 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM on the 1st of November.
#12 The top of the Sacré-Coeur,
Of course, if you want to get a unique view of the Sacré Coeur that quite literally can’t be spied anywhere else in Paris, then paying for a ticket to reach the top of the monument is an absolute must! Since the fire of Notre Dame, you can’t go up the Hugo famous church tower anymore, but the Sacré-Coeur is still open for business.