"Basilique Royal Necropolis" Saint-Denis by edwis

Saint-Denis Travel Guide: 98 reviews and 330 photos


Our last two nights were spent in Paris, the departure for our return flights. Coming from the airport, we take the RER B Metro towards our hotel with only 1 transfer involved. But as Joan gets on the train, I picked up my luggage and the door closes leaving me behind. OMG, panic sets in; Joan doesn’t even know the name of our hotel. I take the next train, not sure what we are to do, but as good fortune has it, Joan is waiting on the platform for me at the Gare Nord transfer station. We stayed close to each other from then on…

This time we stayed in the Montmartre (18th) neighborhood, which is described as the “last village in Paris,” but is still full of tourists. Our hotel was about 3 blocks from the Moulin Rouge, near Rue Lepic (“a street that evokes old-time Paris”) and right off the Rue Des Abbesses, with its sidewalk cafes, shops and little parks. Since it was also Bastille Day, France's most important national holiday, we saw street musicians and events everywhere, including fireworks at midnight over the Eiffel Tower.

The Butte Montmartre is the highest hill in Paris and offers panoramic scenes of the city from high atop the famous church of Sacre-Coeur, where we spent an afternoon in the crypts underground and then climbed the 300 circular steps to the Dome for the great city views.

We took the Metro for a day trip to the northern suburb of La Ville de Saint-Denis. In the Basilica of Saint Denis, since 640 AD most of the French monarchy (42 kings and 32 queens) are buried, including Charles Martel, Pepin the Bald, Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. We spent hours roaming around the crypts and tombs, taking in the history lessons on the audio-phones. Later that night, for our last meal in Montmartre and in honor of little Angelina, we ate at a Russian restaurant. After Russian antipasto, stroganoff and chicken pierogi, the owner brought us shots of vodka. We stumbled back to our hotel.

  • Last visit to Saint-Denis: Jul 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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