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Travel / Tours / Paris / Montmartre
Visit Montmartre in Paris
  Sacre Coeur
  Place du Tertre
  Dali Museum
  Moulin Rouge
  Further information


This page provides an introduction to the area known as Montmartre, in the northern part of Paris.

The nearest Metro stations to the Sacré Coeur are Anvers or Abbesses. From Place Saint Pierre you can either walk up the steps to the church or you can use the funiculaire (a special type of railway which is used to go up a steep slope: you need to use a Metro ticket to ride in this).

The black cat is the
symbol of Montmartre

The garden below the Sacré Coeur
is a good spot for taking photos

The "funiculaire": an alternative to
walking up the steps to Sacré Coeur

People sitting on the steps
can often enjoy music by buskers ...

... or watch
performance artists

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One of the main attractions in Montmartre is a church called Sacré Coeur ("sacred heart"). This is built on top of a hill and first opened its doors in 1919. The architectural style is a mixture of Roman and Byzantine influences.

The main dome is the second highest point in Paris (after the Eiffel Tower). As you walk towards the main entrance you can see a statue of Christ above you, and on either side there are statues of horses being ridden by Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc, a French peasant woman who led a rebellion against the English) and King Louis the Blessed.

There is no charge to enter the church, but there is a box for donations. Once you are inside please do not take photographs and keep quiet so that you do not disturb those who are praying. Enter through a separate door on the side for access to the crypt (an underground place of worship) or the dome (there are about 300 steps to reach the top): you need to pay a small entrance fee for these, and they close earlier than the church.

The church bell (in a tower behind the church) weighs 19 tons: it is one of the heaviest in the world.

King Louis the Blessed

Sacré Coeur

Joan of Arc

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If you follow the paths to the left of the Sacré Coeur you will soon reach a square called Place du Tertre. There are usually many artists in the square: tourists often pose for a quick portrait. There are also lots of souvenir shops nearby. You can also enjoy a meal in one of the restaurants (many of these offer live music / singing), or buy a crèpe (pancake) or glace (ice cream) from one of the food stalls.

Landscape artists ...

... and portrait artists

Singer of French chansons
at restaurant La Mère Catherine


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A short walk from the Place du Tertre (at 11 rue Poulbot) is L’Espace Dali. This is a museum dedicated to the works of the Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, who spent part of his life in Paris.

Salvador Dali

Museum entrance
(c) Espace Dali
"Profile of Time" sculpture

Dali: The Paintings
Authors: Descharnes, Neret, Neret
Publisher: Taschen
Date: March 2001
The Essential Salvador Dali
Author: Robert Goff
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Date: November 1998
Other books about Salvador Dali

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Much of the French film Amelie was based in the Montmartre area. Places which feature in the story include the metro station Abbesses, the area in front of the Sacré Coeur and the Cafe des Deux Moulins (on the lower section of the road Rue Lepic).

The film "Amelie" included
many scenes in this area

The merry-go-round at the bottom of the hill
was a meeting point in the film

"Two Windmills" café on Rue Lepic:
where Amelie worked as a waitress

One of the two windmills on Rue Lepic
(in the past there were many windmills on this hill)

Amelie (Two Disc Special Edition) [2002] (film)
Studio: Momentum Pictures Home Ent
Date: July 2002

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Montmartre was especially famous during the period at the end of the 19th century and at the start of the 20th century. It became a centre for artists, writers and poets, attracted in part by the bars, brothels and cabarets here. One of the most famous cabaret theatres was the Moulin Rouge (meaning "red windmill"), which opened in 1889. The high-kicking dance called the can-can was created here. Toulouse-Lautrec drew many famous paintings which captured the spirit of the performers and audiences at that time.

Photo opportunity outside the Moulin Rouge

Entance to the theatre
(c) Bal du Moulin Rouge
The audience watches the show from these tables

(c) Bal du Moulin Rouge
Dancers wear beautiful costumes
(c) Bal du Moulin Rouge
The famous French cancan was created here
(c) Bal du Moulin Rouge
Finale of the Féerie show

Guide to seeing a show at the Moulin Rouge
Booking The current show at the Moulin Rouge is called Féerie.
You are recommended to book in advance as the show is very popular. Use one of these links to book your place:
Dinner show (7pm dinner, followed by the show at 9pm) (the price in 2007 is €145 for the French Cancan menu, €160 for the Toulouse-Lautrec menu, or €175 for the Belle Epoque menu)
First show (9pm)
(the price in 2007 is €99)
Second show (11pm)
(the price in 2007 is €89)
For the booking process you need to enter first your Holiday Departure Date (the date you will be leaving your country to go to Paris), and then the Performance Date (the date when you want to see the show: select the month first and then the day). You can choose to have your tickets posted to you, or you can collect them at the theatre.
[ If you have not booked in advance, ask your hotel or a ticket agency as early as possible if it can help you to make a reservation. You will need to pay a booking fee in cash, and pay the rest at the Moulin Rouge ]
[ If no tickets are available, maybe you can try to buy a ticket for the Lido show - see: Travel/Tours/Paris/ChampsElysees ]
Show description The length of each show is about 2 hours, consisting of a series of cabaret acts of between 10 and 20 minutes each. There are 100 performers, including a troupe of 60 female dancers called the Doriss Girls in a range of colourful costumes including many feathers and sequins. The dances are set to original music, performed by a live orchestra. Some of the dancers are topless, but there is no full nudity or sexual content. The French Cancan is always included, since this was created in this theatre. Between the dances there are several different variety acts (for example, comedy or acrobatics).
Dress code You are expected to wear either smart or "smart casual" clothes. Avoid wearing shorts, trainers/sport shoes, jeans or sportswear. Men are encouraged to wear a jacket and tie if they have these, but it is not required.
Age restriction Children are allowed to see the show but they must be aged 6 or over. Alcohol will not be served to anyone under 18.
Address The Moulin Rouge theatre is at 82 boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris. The nearest metro station is Blanche (line 2). You can see the theatre on your right hand side as soon as you exit the station.
Arrival You should arrive about half an hour before the performance (or dinner) time. If you have a camera you should leave it in the cloakroom (but remember to keep your money with you). You will need to queue and show your tickets or reservation slip (if you have not paid you will do this later). You will be given a waiter who will take you to a table. All tables should provide good views, although you may have to turn your seat (all are priced the same and you cannot change where you sit). Your waiter will ask you what you wish to drink. Your ticket usually includes the cost of one of these: a half bottle of champagne, a half bottle of wine or two soft drinks per person. If you are carrying a mobile phone please make sure that it is switched off.
During the show Inside the theatre you are not allowed to take photographs, to use a mobile phone or to smoke. If you need to talk during the show please do so quietly and be careful not to disturb the concentration of the performers. Your waiter will serve you with your drinks. If you have not already paid the full amount the bill will be brought to your table. You may wish to pay a tip to the waiter at the end.
Returning home Remember to collect anything you left in the cloakroom. You should have no problem returning to your hotel by metro if you watch the first show (the last trains reach the final stops on their lines at about 1am, so try to enter the metro before midnight). The second show ends after 1am, so you will need to take a taxi to return to your hotel. There are many taxis along the main road, but you may have to wait for a while to get one. A taxi is available if the main "taxi parisien" light on top is lit up (if the taxi is busy then one of the small lights underneath this will be lit).

Moulin Rouge (Two-Disc Set) [2001] (film)
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Date: May 2004
Video version ; Single DVD disc edition
Moulin Rouge [1952] (film)
Studio: Wienerworld Ltd
Date: July 2004
Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre
Authors: Richard Thomson, Phillip Dennis Cate, Mary Weaver Chapin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Date: May 2005
Toulouse Lautrec: Basic Art Album
Author: Arnold Matthias
Publisher: Taschen
Date: May 2000

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Book a trip to Paris:
Anderson Tours: Travel/Tours/Company/AndersonTours
International Friends: Travel/Tours/Company/InternationalFriends

Useful websites:
Sacre Coeur: (location: map)
Dali Museum: (see "Les Infos Pratiques" for opening times and prices) (location: map)
[ Salvador Dali biography: ]
Moulin Rouge:

Independent travel to Paris:
To book a Eurostar train ticket from London to Paris: Shop/Company/Eurostar
To book a Eurolines coach ticket from London to Paris: Shop/Company/NationalExpress
To book a flight to Paris: Travel/Transport/Air

Hostels/hotels in Paris:
Click here for: Accommodation in Paris

Weather forecast for Paris:

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Visit Paris: Travel/Tours/Paris
Visit other parts of France: Travel/Tours/France

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