Back in 2011, I had the opportunity to spend 10 days in France with two friends from Paris. Naturally, I leapt at the chance to explore the City of Love with locals, and was able to use insider knowledge to my advantage. Prior to traveling to Paris, I had several misconceptions about what the city would be like. Despite being bombarded about how romantic this European destination was, Paris never topped my travel list. Its people were said to be rude and smelly, its city dirty, and its streets crowded. I think being a believer in these stereotypes is partly what made my trip so magical. Because not only did I find all of the above to be untrue, but I discovered a magnetic energy in France that I have yet to feel elsewhere.
That’s me riding down the Seine with my friends, Jacques and Julie.
To reiterate the fact that I knew nothing about Paris, I was really only aware of the top tourist attractions. We did those too! I visited the Arc du Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Moulin Rouge, etc. But the one destination that really grabbed a hold of my heart (pun intended) was the Sacré-Coeur.
This milky white basilica is often overshadowed by its famed counterpart, Notre Dame. Paris’ Sacred Heart was built during the 1800s but still attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to this day. While Notre Dame is notably important and beautiful in its own right, Sacre Coeur draws provides stunning 360 degree views of the city, and boasts shorter lines upon entering.
Located in the Montmartre district of Paris, to access the church, you’ll navigate your way down cobblestone roads lined with tourists, vendors, and cafes.
If you can focus your attention away from the eye-catching displays, you’ll see the church’s intricate design poking out above the crowd.
On the steps leading up the church, street buskers and musicians compete for the crowd’s attention.
Most amazingly, you’ll be treated to one of the best views in Paris.
Bring a camera for your trip to Sacre Coeur, and let yourself get swept up in grand Paris.