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Day 2 in Paris: Exploring Montmartre, Champs Elysees & Eiffel Tower

Updated on April 5, 2012

The Sacre-Coeur Church

Taking the Metro to the 18th Arrondisement.

Paris has 20 arrondisements, with the small-numbered arrondisements in the city centre, and the large-numbered ones at the city edge. The arrondisements are connected by a network of different metro lines via interchanges.

On our second day in Paris, we took the metro from the 2nd arrondisement (2e) to the 18th arrondisement (18e) and was there in less than half an hour. Indeed, Paris has a great public transportation network!

Visiting the Sacre-Coeur Church

Upon reaching Montmartre in the 18e, we then searched for signboards which would point us towards the Sacre-Coeur Church (Basilica Sacre Coeur). It is one of Paris' most beautiful churches and is located on top of the Montmartre hill. For your information, Sacre-Coeur means Sacred Heart in French. Besides the church itself, the climb up is worth it as it will also give you a great view of Paris itself. And best of all, it's free! For those who prefer not to climb, you can take the funiculaire, the funicular railway, that runs parallel to the steps leading to Butte Montmartre. You can use a metro ticket to take the ride from the bottom of the hill.

Erotic Supermarket in Pigalle

Pigalle where Moulin Rouge Reigns

From the Montmartre hill, we then walked down to explore the Pigalle area, which is a famous red-light district in Paris. As we were there in the day, the area was not as lively. Here, you can see shop after shop selling sex toys, DVDs , and even an erotic museum. The most famous address here has to be Moulin Rouge where you can pay to watch a show, with or without dinner, at night.

Free Public Toilets in Paris

There are many public toilets such as this one around Paris. They are free and will automatically clean itself after each use.
There are many public toilets such as this one around Paris. They are free and will automatically clean itself after each use.

Following the Footsteps of Amelie

After walking pass Moulin Rouge, continue walking straight for a while before taking a right turn. This will bring you to the entrance of the Montmartre Cemetery (Cimetiere Montmartre). Here lies the resting place of many famous Frenchmen and Frenchwomen such as novelist Alexandre Dumas (best known for his novels The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers) and painter Gustave Moreau.

After having Chinese food at Rue Lepic for lunch, we then headed to the Abbesses metro station. We decided to take the stairs to get a glimpse of the lovely murals which are featured in the French movie, Amelie. Sadly, the murals are no longer in good condition and are barely visible as there are lots of graffiti on the wall. So, I would say skip the stairs. Just take the lift instead and save some energy!

The Arc de Triomphe

The Majestic Arc de Triomphe and Shopping at Avenue des Champs Elysees

Using the metro again, we stopped at the Charles de Gaulle-Étoile metro station. Upon exiting the station, you will see the Arc de Triomphe standing majestically in front of you. This was built as Napoleon's monument to himself. Ascend to the top if you wish to get a view of the city.

We took several photos of this majestic Paris monument then proceeded to stroll along Avenue des Champs Elysees. One of the most famous shops along this shopping haven is the Louis Vuitton (LV) outlet. This outlet consists of a few floors, and right at the top is the Espace culturel Louis-Vuitton where contemporary art exhibitions are held. To reach the top, we had to take a lift in the dark. It was quite a unique experience indeed! Besides LV, many other famous brands have a presence here too including Guerlain, Zara and H&M. There are also many cafes, pâtisseries and restaurants here too if you feel hungry or wish to rest your feet.

The Eiffel Tower

Enjoying the View of Eiffel Tower

Before the day ended, we decided to head over to Paris' most famous monument, the Eiffel Tower. Before reaching the Tower, you can cross the Seine River via the Pont Alexandre III which is a truly beautiful bridge.The monument is indeed awe-inspiring when you are upclose and standing right below it. It is interesting to note the people who were climbing up towards the lower levels and to see how the lifts operate along the two legs of the tower. For us, we had some snacks at the garden of Champs de Mars while enjoying the great view standing right in front of us! Such a great way to end the day....

Map of Paris

A
Sacre-Coeur Church:
Basilique du Sacre-Coeur, 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France

get directions

B
Pigalle:
Pigalle, 75009 Paris, France

get directions

C
Rue Lepic:
Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris, France

get directions

D
Abbesses:
Abbesses, 75018 Paris, France

get directions

E
Montmartre Cemetery:
Montmartre Cemetery, 20 Avenue Rachel, 75018 Paris, France

get directions

F
Arc de Triomphe:
L'Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile, 75017 Paris, France

get directions

G
Avenue des Champs-Élysées:
Avenue des Champs Élysées, 75008 Paris, France

get directions

H
Eiffel Tower:
Eiffel Tower, Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France

get directions

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