Sat, not so indiscretely, on the left of the Sacré-Cœur basilica, the Montmartre funicular (Funiculaire de Montmartre) is almost as old as the church itself. If you want to avoid the hundreds of steep stairs, you’ll probably want to take a ride on one of the historic carriages.
The funicular began operations in 1899, 15 years before the basilica was finished. Each carriage was filled (and emptied) with 5 m3 of water to power the funicular up and down. The first incarnation of the funicular was replaced in 1935, by an electric system. The updated carriages took a mere 70 seconds to mount the 108 metres to the basilica. A second renovation took place in 1991, resulting in the funiculars current mechanics and all glass appearance.
Over three million people use the Montmartre funicular every year. It opens every day from 6am until 12:45am and runs alongside the 200 steps of Rue Foyatier. Its two carriages can hold up to sixty people in each and have the capacity to take 2,000 passengers every hour.
Like the Sacre-Coeur, the funicular is a focal point of Montmartre and has featured in many films situated in the area. It is visible in the opening scene of Montmartre’s greatest film, Bob le flambeur. It also appears in the celebrated comedy Ripoux contre ripoux, Les Randonneurs and Louise (take 2).
The funicular is a part of the Paris metro network and it accepts standard metro tickets and Navigo cards. Although there is no direct metro station linking to the funicular, both Anvers and Abbesses are in close walking distance. Abbesses on line 12 is only 350 metros away, while Anvers on line 200 is even close at 200m. In addition, a bus service, runs between metro Pigalle and funicular. However, you can not transfer between a metro or bus and the funicular, you will need to use a separate ticket.