This stunning white stone Basilica perched on the top of the hill may not be top of your to do list with children – especially younger ones. However, the area is interesting and full of bohemian charm so it is worth spending a few hours there. For ease and speed hop on the free tram to ascend up the steep hill from street level and avoid the hundreds of steps. Most children, unless very young or particularly devilish, manage to cope inside the church for a short period of time to allow parents to embrace the beauty, spirituality and serenity within and admire the gilded interior paintings which are highly impressive and can provoke some interesting conversations with your youngsters. If you have sprightly offspring or want them to burn off some over zealous energy, walk the 300 steps up into the Dome. The views outside the Basilica, even at entrance level, are incredible on clear days and the wide sloping green verges in front of the church make a perfect picnic or snack spot. The immediate area around the church has plenty of cafes and tabacs but it can feel a tad touristy, not to mention busy, so plan ahead and fuel up before heading uphill. The streets below are a growing foodie hub with brilliant cafes and bakeries offering breakfast, brunch, lunch and delicious nibbles. To make the most of a trip here we suggest aiming for an early start before the crowds descend – less embarrassing if your little angel does have a noisy meltdown inside the Basilica. Early evening is another good choice and a wonderful place to watch the sunset over Paris.
Whilst perhaps not your idea of fun, children love Le Petit Train De Montmartre, a little white train, which transports visitors all around the Montmartre area. Very touristy and a perhaps a tiny bit cheesy, however it’s a speedy way to manoeuvre a busy tourist spot easily with young kids in tow. Bi lingual commentary keeps everyone engaged and it passes lots of key landmarks. Good to note if tired family members can’t face the uphill climb required to explore the area fully. Departing from Place Blanche by Blanche metro station.
TIP If you plan to enter the Basilica, avoid on Sundays or be prepared to join the queues. Weekends are bustling here so hold tight to little ones.
35 RUE DU CHEVALIER DE LA BARRE 75018
Daily 6am - 10.30pm | www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com
Photos : URBANITO