Rising high above Paris, the Sacré-Cœur (meaning “Sacred Heart”) looks more like a white castle than a basilica — but that’s what it is. Towering over the eclectic neighborhood of Montmartre (once a hangout for Paris’ bohemian crowd), this 19th century masterpiece is easily recognized by its ornate ivory domes. As blanched as it may appear on the outside, the basilica’s interior is a sight worth beholding: The ceilings glitter with gold, red and blue mosaic images of Jesus Christ, Joan of Arc and St. Michael the Archangel.
You’ll fall in love with the panoramic views from the Sacré-Cœur’s steep staircase, but for an even better photo op, climb to the top of the dome. The dome is accessible to visitors every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the summer, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the winter. You can also tour the Sacré-Cœur’s crypt, though opening hours vary; additionally, Mass is held at the basilica daily.