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Top sights in Paris
This Gothic masterpiece took almost 200 years to build, surviving the French Revolution, Huguenots, and World War II. While the cathedral has undergone continuous restoration over the years, a fire in April of 2019 burned down significant portions of the building. While the cathedral’s famous facade remains, many of its iconic features were lost in the blaze. Here are some of the structural details that made Notre Dame a symbol of France around the world.
Placed all around the facade of the building, the phenomenal attention to detail in each of these statues has long caught the eye of visitors from around the world. Unfortunately, the fate of the gargoyles is unclear after the fire.
One of the iconic features of the cathedral, Notre Dame’s rose windows managed to escape the fire relatively unscathed. While previous fires had caused damage, most historians agree that these stained glass windows are salvageable.
Among the most intricate features of the cathedral, Notre Dame’s pipe organs are incredible constructions themselves. The church’s main organ has five keyboards and is one of the most famous musical instruments in the world. Untouched by the 2019 fire, the pipe organs will continue to play music for years to come.
As the home to some of the Catholic church’s most famous and important relics, Notre Dame has become a place of pilgrimage for people of the religion. From the piece of the cross from the crucifixion of Jesus to a gilded crown of thorns, these relics managed to survive the fire.
Made famous in literature by Victor Hugo, the cathedral’s stunning belltowers are some of its most iconic features. While the belltowers are considered to be safe, the fate of the bells themselves is unclear.
Admission to Notre Dame is free, but visitors will need tickets to enter the tower (€8.50) and the crypt (€6). Access to both is included in the price of the Paris Pass.
The closest Metro stop is Cité on the Metro 4 line.
There are 387 steps to reach the panaromas over Paris and see the gargoyles up close, so it's best to know your physical limits.
"On Sundays, all masses are held at the main altar. Arrive at least 10 minutes before the start time to get a seat.
8:30AM - Mass
9:30AM - Lauds service
10:00AM - Gregorian mass of the cathedral chapter
11:30AM - International mass
12:45PM - Mass
5:45PM - Vespers service
6:30PM - Mass
All services are held in French. Masses are also held throughout the week. More details are available at the Notre Dame de Paris official website."
- When should I visit?
- 8:00AM to 6:45PM on weekdays - open until 7:15PM at weekends.
- Is it expensive?
- Access itself is free of charge, although it's a good idea to invest in a tour to get the most out of your visit.
- Will I need a guide?
- It's worth checking out these best-selling tours.
- How to get there
- There are several metro stations in the vicinity of Notre Dame - on lines 1, 4, 7, 10, 11, and 14. The most immediate is Cité on the 4 line.
- Additional information
*Be prepared to wait in a line outside, especially on weekends.
*Dress modestly - you are in a church, after all.
What people are saying about Notre Dame Cathedral
We had a fabulous day with our wonderful guide who was engaging, adaptable and a lovely person to spend a day with. The tour covers all different elements of Paris with interesting information. It is a great way to learn about this amazing city in 1 day. I went on the tour with my 2 smaller kids and the guide was excellent at adapting the tour for them. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would go again with this touring company.
The bus ride was super with a very detailed audio, I had a problem getting a bus stop but as soon as i go the local partner on chat they quickly directed me to the next stop and I hoped in, also make sure when you alight you have your 1 hr cruise tickets, i did not pick mine but got them again through the help of the chat services, if you love the Paris night lights take a booking that later in the evening.
Sainte Chapelle was absolutely stunning, and I needed the skip the line ticket to even get past the front security. I couldn’t find the Conciergerie! I ended up walking into the Place de Justice and a handful of guards escorted me out and pointed in a vague direction to where it was. Could see the signage but not the entrance.
We paid for the tickets and then when we showed the receipt at the front of the queue it was not accepted and we had to Stand aside and download the app and then upload the receipt with a bar code that the ticket office could scan. Next time we will do this ahead of the visit.
I had a marvellous day and Jeanette was a brilliant, friendly guide. She was very helpful and understanding about my mobility problems. My Paris in a day experience was Perfect. Thank you for a great day.