As you walk up Montmatre hill, Sacre Coeur comes into view. The white marble basilica looks almost unreal, almost too perfect to be true. Step around the countless tourists taking endless selfies to reach the calm interior of Sacre Coeur. Entry is free and the authorities insist that visitors behave quietly and do not take photographs inside the church. Rightly so, it is a place of worship not a theme park. Take in the atmosphere and you will emerge refreshed.
Feeling fit? Do pay to climb up to dome to enjoy wonderful prospects of Paris. Take as many photographs as you like. The view is stunning. Do not bother to visit the crypt. It is largely an empty cellar.
But nowhere is perfect. Do not be deceived. The steps and paths around Sacre Coeur are well supplied with pedlars, beggars, thieves and folk collecting for non-existent charities. Avoid being distracted by any of them. French social security benefits are amongst the highest in Europe. Indeed, France’s social security budget of around 200 billion euros is greater than her Gross National product!