Ascent to the forecourt of Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre


One of the favourite gates used by sightseers on their way to the old district of Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement is the métro station Anvers (line 2). A short walk along Rue de Steinkerque leads to the Place Saint-Pierre where the white mass of the Sacré-Cœur appears perched atop the hill of Montmartre.

Four ways to reach Sacré-Cœur from Place Saint-Pierre

From the square, there are four main ways to reach the Parvis of the Sacré-Cœur at the top of the hill.

Walking up through Square Louise Michel

From the Place Saint-Pierre, the Square Louise Michel is a park that extends upwards to the top of the hill in a series of terraces with lawns, flowerbeds, shrubs, and trees.

The 222 steps that lead up to the top can be avoided by walking on one of the gently sloping paths that run alongside the garden.

The square offers fantastic views of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and the roofs of Paris.

Find our more about the Square Louise Michel.

Ascending on the Montmartre Funicular

The first automatic funicular was opened on the 13th July 1900 and is operated by the RATP. It was rebuilt in 1931 and 1991. The funicular is 108 m long and climbs the 36 m that separates the Square Louise Michel to the Parvis of the Sacré-Cœur. The ascent only lasts a minute and a half and avoids a steep ascent to the top of the hill. More than 2 million passengers take the funicular each year. The use of the funicular costs one metro ticket.

The stairs of the rue Foyatier

To the left of the Square Louise Michel starts the rue Foyatier with a stair of 222 steps with intermediate landings. It was opened in 1867 and owes its name to Denis Foyatier (1793-1863), a French sculptor.

The stairs of the rue Paul Albert and rue Maurice Utrillo

To the right of Square Louise Michel, the rue Ronsard leads to the stairs of the rue Paul Albert. After a first ascent up the stairs, the lane reaches a small square at the crossroads with the rue Mullier and the rue Feutrier.

To the left, another set of steps (rue Maurice Utrillo) finally climbs straight up to forecourt of the Sacré-Cœur offering picturesque views over the Parisian roofs.

Parvis of the Sacré-Cœur

The great view from the parvis extends to the central and eastern districts of Paris: Notre-Dame, the Panthéon, the Bastille Opera… To see the western areas of Paris (including the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and La Défense) masked by trees and buildings, it is necessary to climb to the top of the Sacré-Cœur’s dome.

On the warm evenings of summer, Parisians and tourists gather on the steps leading to the Sacré-Cœur to enjoy the village atmosphere of Montmartre and the view of Paris. There is often live music, from traditional accordion plays to RNB’s street performances.

Parc de la Turlure

Situated behind the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, the public garden of Parc de la Turlure is often ignored by tourists. In the past, the Turlure windmill. The park offers fine views of the Sacré-Cœur church and the north and eastern suburbs of Paris.

Find out more about the hill of Montmartre.


About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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