Notre Dame Paris and other cathedrals

Ticket and tours for visitors to Paris cathedrals and churches


Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

Tour choice: Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is free but there are tours available

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Notre Dame Cathedral

Like most historic cities in the world, religion played a large part in the history of Paris and the historic buildings people admire today.

 

For the general visitor, Notre Dame Cathedral is on the 'must see' tourist list. Sacre-Coeur is part of any trip to Montmartre and is the other major church by mainstream tourists.

 

Construction of the medieval Catholic Notre Dame Cathedral began in 1163 during the reign of Louis VII. Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone. It wasn't completed until 1345. The cathedral itself is free to enter and worthwhile.

 

To get a view of the famous flying buttresses (they're the supporting arms that stick out of the side of the building, in case you're wondering), climb the 387 stairs to the top. Step outside and take out your camera. The views of the Seine River, and the city beyond, are what postcards are made of.

 

Admission and opening times

The cathedral is open every day of the year from 8.00am to 6.45pm (7.15pm on Saturdays and Sundays). Do check the official website (link below) and whether there are events that may affect your visit. Admission is free, but popular attractions within the cathedral carry a charge.

 

Note the cathedral is a working church first, a tourist attraction second. Bear this in mind especially on Sundays and other religious events.

Notre Dame Cathedral - official website

The Batobus River Bus by Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

Stop: Batobus River Bus opposite Notre Dame


Notre Dame Audio Guides

There are two very popular tours that give you access to other parts of the cathedral.


Audioguides are available at reception, at the entrance of the cathedral.

 

This 35-minute guide describes the spiritual message of the cathedral, through its history, its architecture, its sculptures, its windows, and more. French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese languages are available.


Getting to Notre Dame

Notre Dame is on an island in the middle of the River Seine with much to see and savour in the vicinity. Within an easy 5 minute stroll is the Louvre and the Latin and Marais Quarters.

 

All the Paris hop-on, hop off sightseeing buses stop opposite the front entrance and the Batobus river bus docks next to the cathedral.


Cite Metro Station is almost opposite Notre Dame Cathedral and St Michel Metro and RER station not much further on the south bank of the River Seine with a bridge across to the island where Notre Dame stands.


Notre Dame tours

The Notre Dame Tower tour is a trip through all of the upper parts of the western façade, dating from the 13th century, where visitors can contemplate the gargoyles and climb to the top of the tower.

 

When you climb the 402 steps of the Notre Dame towers you can visit the upper room and observe its Gothic architecture.

 

A popular sight in the Notre Dame are the enormous bells (especially the greatest bell named 'Emmanuel'). At the end of your tour you can enjoy a great view over Paris from the top of the Notre Dame.


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The other tour is the Notre Dame Crypt tour that takes you underneath the cathedral. For more details consult the official website, link above.



Montmartre Sacre-Coeur Basilica


Montmartre Sacre-Coeur - official website


The Sacre-Coeur and the immediate area around it in Montmartre is one of the most visited areas of Paris. If you travel into Paris from the north including trains into Gare du Nord station, Sacre-Coeur is a landmark that catches your eye perched high on the hill above.


Montmartre Sacre Coeur Basilica Paris

Eye-catching: Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Montmartre

The church architecture itself seems to have more critics than supporters, but it is certainly visible and has no hiding place. Perched on top of the small hill of Montmartre, just to the north of the centre its white domes are visible from miles around.


Admission and opening times

The Basilica is open to all for sightseeing and prayer every day from 6am to 10.30am. Do check the official website (link above) and check whether there are special occasions or events that may affect your visit. Admission is free.


Audio guides and tours

An audio-guide tour (French and English) is accessible to smartphone users. Just flash the code at the entrance. The website also has a comprehensive guide you could print out and take with you.

 

There are no guided tours, but a guide book is available.


Visiting the Dome and crypt

You can visit the Dome of Sacre-Coeur and the crypt. The entrance to both is outside the Basilica and there are charges. Note it is 300 steps up to the Dome, (no lift).

 

Check the official website (link above) for opening times.


Montmartre

Sacre-Coeur Basilica crowns the top of a hill that is the Montmartre district of Paris, just to the north of the city centre. The hill itself is a rewarding place to explore.

 

We have a dedicated page for those wanting to visit Montmartre.

Visiting Montmartre - details

Other notable cathedrals and churches

The Pantheon

The Pantheon - official website

The Pantheon Paris (Latin Pantheon, from Greek Pantheon, meaning "Every god") is a building in the Latin Quarter of Paris, France. It was originally built as a church dedicated to St Genevieve, but after many changes now combines liturgical functions with its role as a famous burial place.

 

People come to discover the famous people buried in the crypt who marked the history and identity of France and enjoy extensive views over Paris from the external colonnade of the dome.


St-Sulpice Church

St-Sulpice Church - official website

This masterpiece of the French classical style saw its interior completed in the 17th century and its facade in the 18th, and has become a popular tourist destination thanks to its central importance in the plot of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

 

Highlights include wall paintings by Eugene Delacroix and a grand organ built by Cavaille-Coll, widely considered to be one of the greatest organ-builders of the 19th century.

 

St Sulpice is south of the river, St Sulpice Metro (Line 12) and Mabillon Metro (Line 10) are close by.


St Eustache Church

St Eustache Church - official website

St Eustache Church is a church in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, built between 1532 and 1632.

 

Situated at the entrance to Paris’s ancient markets (Les Halles) next to one of the largest public transport interchanges in Paris (Chatelet) though hidden underground, as is a large shopping centre.


The church's immense organ counts at least 8000 pipes and was used by musical luminaries including Franz Listz and Berlioz to compose many of their key works. Concerts continue to be held regularly at the church to this day.


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