The best way to visit Notre Dame de Paris
The Notre Dame Cathedral is the most visited monument of Paris! You are likely to visit this splendid church while in Paris. If you want to know the best way to visit Notre Dame de Paris, read on this article.
Indeed, the Notre Dame received twelwe millions of visitors in 2017, while the Eiffel Tower received around 6.5 millions of visitors. This church is stunning and its history is very interesting.
The construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral started in 1163 and ended in 1345, almost two centuries after. This masterpiece of Gothic architecture is dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Unfortunately, during the French Revolution, it was severely damaged. Plenty of statues were destroyed, a few stained-glasses were broken and a few items of the Treasure of the Cathedral were stolen.
Once peace had been restored, the cathedral was in a such poor condition that the city officials were considering tearing it down. But, Victor Hugo, a famous French novelist, was a strong admirer of the building so he decided to write the novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame with the purpose to make the public aware of the value of the cathedral.
The fate of the Notre Dame Cathedral was changed, thanks to Victor Hugo! You will learn a lot more about the history and the architecture of the church during your visit. In this article, I will provide you with some of the best tips to make sure you enjoy this monument in the best conditions!
Read on and find out the best way to visit Notre Dame de Paris!
Where is the Notre Dame located?
You will find the Notre Dame in Paris fourth district. Located in the City Island on the Seine river, you can easily get by walking from the Marais neighborhood. But if you rather take the metro, take the metro line 4 and get down at the Saint Michel metro station or Cité metro station.
If you get down at Saint Michel metro station, go by the Seine river and turn to your right. You will instantly see the Notre Dame from afar. Plus, the walk is very pleasant from there. If you get down at Cité metro station, you will be closer and will only have to walk a few streets to reach the cathedral.
When is the best time to visit the Notre Dame?
If you’re wondering when is the best time to visit the Notre Dame, I can tell you that the mornings are the most enjoyable time of the day. The place is much more quiet and you won’t have to wait for too long to get inside the church.
Once you stand in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral, you might get a little disappointed due to the lenght of the queues, but you don’t need to worry. It is free to get inside the church, these long queues you will see in front of the cathedral are just for security check.
Buy your tickets in advance
As I told you before, the access to the church is free. But if you want to get to the top of the Notre Dame de Paris, visit the Trésor de la Cathèdrale or the Crypte Archéologique, you will need tickets entrance. If you don’t want to waste time queueing to buy the tickets, my advise is for you to buy them in advance.
For the towers, you can buy the tickets on site or you can only book on the same day of the visit. You can access the towers from the left side of the cathedral. You can book the tickets in the JeFile app on your smartphone, then head to the entrance and your tickets will be handed to you. The price for adults is 10 euros. If you’re younger than 18 years old, or a citizen of the countries of the European Union aged between 18 and 25 years old, the price is 8 euros.
You will have to climb about 400 steps, but the view from the top of the cathedral is definitely worth it! The view is amazing and provides a unique perspective on the city of Paris. Plus, you will love to see the gigantic bell towers!
Then, you can also visit the Trésor de la Cathèdrale, which is the Treasure of the Cathedral, where all the religious precious treasures are kept. Sacred vessels, many holy items used for the masses, but also holy relics that were kept at the Sainte-Chappelle during the French Revoltuion were given back to the Notre Dame Cathedral and preciously kept in the Trésor de la Cathèdrale. There’s no booking for this part of the cathedral.
The Crypte Archéologique of the City Island is located beneath the parvis of the Notre Dame Cathedral. This place opened its doors in 1980. It presents archaeological remains dating back from Ancient times until the nineteenth century.
It is a very interesting place to visit if you want to see what the heart of Paris was like a long time ago, when it was still called Lutèce. It allows us to understand the different historical periods and the changes Paris, in particular, the City Island, went through. Because the City Island is the heart of Paris, it is where the city was born!
You can buy a Coupled ticket for the Catacombs of Paris and the Archaeological Crypt that you will guarantee you access to both places. It will cost you 16 euros. If you buy the tickets separately, the two tickets would cost a total of 20 euros.
>> Do you want to know some of the highest points in Paris? Read this article.
>> If you’re interest in visiting Paris Catacombs, read this article.
>> If you want to visit more churches while in Paris, you can check my top 10 churches in Paris.
Beware of pickpockets
While in Paris, you need to stay alert and beware of pickpockets and their scams. Always keep an eye on your items! Touristy places easily get very crowded and pickpockets take advantage of the situation and discretely take your phone, wallet, from your bag or pocket. So, you need to be very careful.
Another scam that is pretty common is the one where someone comes to you asking for you to sign some kind of petition. Be very careful, because they are actually distracting you while another person is stealing your belongings. So if someone comes to you asking for you signature in some dubious paper, just keep walking!
I’m warning you about this scam because there are a few of these pickpockets in the area around the Notre Dame, in particular close to the bridge on the left side of the cathedral, called the “Pont au Double“.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article! Note that the church opens at 8 am and closes at 6.45 pm. However, it might closes a little earlier during the winter. If you want to hear Mass at the Notre Dame, you need to check the agenda on the official website of the cathedral here. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information about anything.
One learns a lot more about the history and the culture of a city in the company of a local, that is why I strongly advise you to join our Notre Dame tour. You will discover so much more about the city of Paris and about the cathedral! It definitely is an experience I recommend to anyone who wants to truly experience the city. If you know any more tips on the best way to visit Notre Dame de Paris, feel free to share! See you soon in Paris!