We visited Montmartre last year and I don't think there were as many aggressive peddlers and beggars this time. Last year we were accosted by a lot of young people (teenaged and early 20s); this year that didnt happen except for a few artists offering free sketches. There was also a group offering "free hugs" but they didn't bother individuals passing by. Be aware though, this is an extremely busy place (we were there on a Saturday) with the crowds so thick that it was hard to move or get close to the artists' stands. The Sacred Heart church was also packed, not to sit down, but people shuffled around the perimeter of the inside clockwise and then as a pack shuffled out. The steps were also very crowded, but it was a gorgeous day and I can inderstand why everyone was out...it's been cold and rainy and a beautiful day is cause for celebration. Montmartre is definitely worth a visit. We took the funiculaire up the mountain, for which you need a regular metro ticket. Also, should you arrive at the Abbesses metro stop, take the elevator up to the top, otherwise you will be climbing and climbing and climbing a lot of stairs!
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