Travel Bug in Paris : From Moulin Rouge to Sacre Coeur

Posted on January 2, 2012

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I’ve just decided to start my travel diaries with a walk. Yes, it’s a walk from Moulin Rouge to Sacre  Coeur. Facinated by the city’s feature of the world’s famous fashion brands, i never really thought that for few stolen hours from my class, i would tire myself going up to Montmartre. Montmartre is a hill and a district of Northern Paris in the 18th arrondissement.

From Cite Universite, i took the Metro to Blanche.  I was both excited to see Montmartre and to finally meet a good samaritan Ate Jamairie, a French-Pinay i met online. She was actually the one who invited me to tour Montmartre. Thanks to her, it was all worth it.

The walking tour started with a visit to Moulin Rouge. Yes, that’s the one from the famous movie,  i felt like singing and dancing Lady Marmalade.  Downhill is the red-light district of Pigalle where you can find many stores selling musical instruments. My favorite part of the walk is learning more about Van Gogh, Edith Piaf and Picasso. Many famous artists lived in Montmartre and the hill is also known as artists’ center. The guide who was so friendly gave trivia about Montmartre through Q & A and mini-games. I’m not a big fan of visual arts so i admired the student tourists from Moscow who answered most questions during the mini games. After this walking tour, i fell in love with the works of Van Gogh and even googled him immediately upon returning home.

The story of St. Dennis is another interesting part and so is the life of Dalida. I don’t want to spoil any of your trip to Paris so the rest is history 🙂 We also had a chance to visit the only vineyard that continues the traditional wine production located in Rue Saint-Vincent. The tour ended at Sacre Coeur, a church built around 1870’s to honor French victims of war. I love the architecture specially the prominent white dome.

If you want a taste of French history aside from great museums, i recommend that you do a walking tour to Montmartre. If you want to experience a great walk from Moulin Rouge to Sacre Coeur, here are some notes and reminders:

1. This walking tour is free.  But “tips are most welcomed” according to the guide 🙂

2. Meeting place is at Blanche subway station at street level.

3. The tour starts everyday at 11:00 a.m., rain or shine. Just look for someone in pink oufit or vest.

4. It’s good to buy souvenirs in this place. I think i saved betwee 1-5 euros each piece i bought compared to those i bought near the Eiffel and museum areas. If you are a scarf collector like me, you’ll find great designs here as well.

5. When you reach the artists’ square where paintings are sold,  do not let someone do your portrait, unless you want to buy it as a souvenir. It’s not that you would be pushed to buy it, but you would definitely love his work and would end up buying it.

6. If you like church souvenirs, make sure to carry 2 euros so you can take a golden coin with Sacre Coeur design from a vending machine. There are actually several designs to choose from including an image of Jesus.

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Posted in: Travel