Sacre Coeur vs Marais

Thanks to all the folks that responded to my previous post. Have lost 3/4 day due to flight from Venice so therefore have to cut back. This trip was just for leisure and one of our musts was Luxembourg Gardens and Invalides. I am wondering if to make up time was to go to the Marais district late in the afternoon and walk the streets and have dinner and forget Sacre Coeur for this trip?
Which one would be more relaxing and fun to explore. Last trip did not get to the Marais at all due to attending a lot of museums.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4877 posts

I would definitely choose the Marais. I'm assuming when you say Sacre Coeur you are actually referring to Montmartre. That doesn't change my answer either way.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
969 posts

Another vote for Marais, it's definitely a good place for a relaxing leisurely evening stroll and dinner.

Posted by David
Walnut Creek
69 posts

Ok, someone has to stick up for Sacre Coeur and Montmartre. Yes, the areas around Pigalle, the Moulin Rouge, and front of Sacre Coeur are tacky, touristy, and filled with scammers. Yes, the front of Sacre Coeur are filled with tourists. However, if you go away from those areas and walk the Rue du Abbesses and Rue du Marytres, you get a real taste of Paris. Plus there are great boulangeries in the area. In fact, a number of top 10 finishers in the annual best baguette in Paris are located in the Montmartre area. Ditto for annual best croissants in Paris contest. You can wander around the Batagnolles area, adjacent to Montmartre, which has a lovely little park. It is a working class neighborhood and gives a feel of authentic Paris, more natives than tourists. Finally, Sacre Coeur and Montmartre are great areas for nighttime photography.

Posted by Chani
Tel Aviv
3511 posts

Okay, some bits are very nice, but then you have to leave in the evening (after dark) and go through some pretty seedy streets to the metro. So I still say Marais. There are a few lovely neighborhood restaurants (don't go to the ones around the Place des Vosges, for example, which are pricey and touristy), lovely upscale boutiques for window shopping, some of the oldest buildings in Paris and a small palace or two.

Posted by Emily
Chicago
256 posts

I'm with David. A vote for Montmartre, just to be different! I actually really do love Montmartre, and never felt uncomfortable or unsafe there.

Posted by Shelley
Trenton, Ontario, Canada
298 posts

Thanks to all for your suggestions. Have decided to spend some time in the Marais and if we have time we will go to the Sacre Coeur. If we don't make it there this time it an excuse to make another trip to Paris.