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“Watch for the beggars and touts”

Basilica du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre
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$18.79*
and up
Guided Tour of Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre
Ranked #12 of 1,313 things to do in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This Montmartre landmark, a 19th-century basilica built by the French government following the Franco-Prussian War, features a large medieval dome that provides excellent views of the city.
Reviewed December 23, 2013

I headed up to Sacre-Coeur with my lunch and found a nice spot on the stairs to eat while looking out over the city. It was beautiful and one of the best moments of my time in Paris, however it was just that - a moment. I went in summer and so was approached every five minutes with people selling portraits or bracelets or toys. I only stayed about 20 minutes as it began to get oppressive. As I left it was a gauntlet all the way down the stairs as more touts stopped me to try and buy their wares. It's totally worth going but be prepared!

2  Thank Belle7644
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 140 reviews
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"montmartre"
in 2,279 reviews
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10,601 - 10,605 of 31,037 reviews

Reviewed December 23, 2013

Friends of ours suggested that we go to this church for impresssive views of the city. I should have checked the other posts on Trip Advisor since it was an awful experience. The whole place is crawling with thiefs, scammers, and aggressive peddlers. LIke other reviewers I encountered a mob of African thiefs at the base of the church who literally grab you by the arm, try to strap on a cheap bracelet, and then extort no less than 10 Euros. They are highly aggressive and frankly assault people if they don't comply. I told the person grabbing my arm to let go and that I did not want what he was selling and he punched him in the stomach and then walked off. I was rather helpless since you are basically surrounded by his friends. The police are absent altogether and the whole place is overrun with thieves and beggars. I am writing simply to warn others to avoid this place as you can get impressive views from the Effiel Tower or Arc de Triomphe which has much more of a police presence. I have been to some dangerous places in my life but this was by far the worst experience I have ever had as a tourist. I was frankly assaulted in broad daylight and saw many other people grabbed, hit, or yelled out at the steps of a church. Stay away!

10  Thank Kevin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2013

As many have mentioned before, it is a beautiful area with some fantastic views from the top. Inside is lovely, and outside it is architecturally amazing. It's quite rare to be able to enter an attraction for free so that was a nice surprise. However watch out for the pickpockets who are brazenly seeking out their next target. Also at the bottom of the stairs are a group of men who separated my partner and I, surrounded us both and physically grabbed us to try to stop us and force bracelets onto our hands. They will say "don't be scared" but keep your head down and firmly but politely pull out of their grip and walk away quickly. Don't let these men deter you from visiting though! It's a must-see and you can avoid them by going around a different way :) oh and the stairs can be quite exhausting, so be prepared!

3  Thank Georgia K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2013

We explored Sacre-Coeur last thing in the evening during our trip, and were so lucky to have done so - the views were spectacular at sunset!

As many reviews elude to, the area is full of pushy sidewalk artists and bracelet sellers - just politely but firmly decline and there's no problem. Certainly don't let those reviews put you off visiting one of the gems of Montmartre and Paris in general.

Thank mtvpaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 21, 2013

The area is a but dodgy with lots of pushy motor bikes trying to run you down. The church at the top is nice but there is a big gang of African scammers at the bottom that will try to grab you and put this bracelet thing on your wrist and you must pay them once its on. One physically grabbed my dads arm and one ran towards me and when I told him to go away he told me to go back to my own country and asked why I was in Paris- (obviously not to get harassed by the low life's at the bottom of the Sacre Couer) I felt quite scared and unsafe it felt like they were going to attack me. There was another 20 of them hiding in the dark and they would run out of the dark at people, and the terrible thing is that there were 6 police officers at the top of the hill smoking and looking at an electric cigerette shop- good one guys, French police officers obviously don't care about making Paris feel safe.

5  Thank ictay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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