Built between 1163 and 1245 on the Île de la Cité, Notre-Dame de Paris is one of the oldest Gothic cathedrals in the world. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
In its eight centuries of existence, the Notre-Dame Cathedral has been restored several times, the most important of which in the middle of the 19th century. Over the years, the flying buttresses have been replaced, a rosette has been added to the southern side, the chapels have been renewed and statues have been added.
Several important events have taken place inside Notre-Dame, among which the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte, the canonization of Joan of Arc and the coronation of Henry VI of England.
The towers of Notre-Dame
On the facade of the cathedral are two 69 meters high towers. Climbing to the top of these towers you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking view of Paris, but not only that: you will also see the bell tower where the Hunchback of Notre-Dame used to live, and you will be able to look at the many gargoyles from up-close.
In order to visit the towers, you have to reach the entrance on the left side of the cathedral, and climb a tight staircase with 387 steps, since there is no elevator in Notre-Dame.
In order to avoid lines and to be among the first visitors of the day, we suggest you get to the cathedral quite early, before 10 a.m. The lines to visit this landmark can get extremely long, and may last more than two hours.
For tourists who want to learn more about the cathedral, free guided tours (in French) are available every day: from Monday to Friday at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. (except the first Friday of the month), and on Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. If you are unable to visit the cathedral at those times, you can still rent audio guides.
Underneath the parvis of Notre-Dame there is a crypt which contains archaeological ruins. It was discovered in 1965 during excavations, and it opened to the public in 1980. The entrance to the crypt is located at the address number 1 of the square.
We believe a visit to the crypt is not one of the indispensable activities to do in Paris.
6 Parvis Notre-Dame. Place Jean-Paul II.
- From Monday to Friday: from 8 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday : from 8 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.
- Entry to the cathedral is free.
- Guided tours:
- Adults: 8.50€
- Under the age of 18: free entry
- Subway: Cité station, Line 4.
- RER: Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame (lines B and C).
- Bus: 21, 38, 47, 85, 96.
- Latin Quarter (337 m)
- Île de la Cité (375 m)
- The Conciergerie (453 m)
- Sainte-Chapelle (474 m)
- Île Saint-Louis (485 m)