Looking for more iconic attractions to see while you’re in Paris? You must download our Free 4-Day Paris Itinerary! The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in Paris, as it brings together people from all over the world in a religious cathedral in the heart of Paris. This guide explains everything you should be aware of before visiting the free cathedral or climbing to the top of the tower. Read on!
VISIT THE NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL
Continue reading to better understand the history of the cathedral and what you should visit!
The Notre Dame Cathedral was built between 1163-1250 and was famously the destination of the crowning of Napoleon (and setting of Victor Hugo’s novel Notre Dame de Paris!). The construction began in 1163, which took more than 200 years to complete, today remaining as one of the best standing masterpieces of Gothic architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site as of 1991. It is completely free to visit the inside the cathedral, after queueing (which appears daunting but moves rather quickly!). Since the cathedral is free, the Paris Museum Pass is not valid to skip the line. We recommend setting aside 1-2 hours total to visit the cathedral and especially to take in all the stunning stained glass windows. You may take photos inside, but without flash or tripods!
The facade of the cathedral no longer contains all its original statues, but the 56 gargoyles overlooking the city should definitely be seen. We recommend having a walk around the entirety of the cathedral, including the charming park behind it to see the gargoyles leaning over the streets!
What is the best time to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral
The morning when there are fewer tourists!
What to wear to visit Notre-Dame Cathedral
To visit Notre-Dame, we recommend to have decent outfit for both men and women. Flip-flops or crop top and super short mini skirt are not allowed inside the cathedral.
Where else can I visit Gothic churches in France
There are plenty of Gothic architecture masterpiece in France. One of the most impressing one is Rouen, which is only one hour from Paris! The city’s bell tower boasts a height of 151 meters and France’s highest church.
Where is “point zero”
Right outside the cathedral! All destinations in France are calculated from this point zero.
How to attend a mass in Notre-Dame
There are about 5 masses a day celebrated in Notre Dame. It can get very busy for special holiday like Christmas or Easter Sunday. Find the updated schedule of the celebration here.
CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL
The view of Parisian streets and Paris’ cityscape from the top of the cathedral is superb. You will be able to overlook the entire width of the Seine. Needless to say, the 422 step climb is definitely worth it.
If you have the Paris Museum Pass, you are completely covered! If not, the ticket cots 10€. However, be aware that the Cathedral has new rules for visiting the tower! The new protocol is as follows: there are now two different ways you can make a reservation to climb to the top of the Cathedral.
The first way you can avoid waiting in line is by going to the entrance of the tower where you will use the machine to choose the time you want to visit on that day. Then you must come back at that time your requested for your visit (payments made inside!).
The second way is to download the Jefile app first on your phone and make the reservation on your own phone, going to the Cathedral directly at the time you requested. This app reduces any time you may spend in line, just be sure to make the reservation in the morning especially during peak season! Make sure you’re on time!
Practical info to prepare for your visit of Notre-Dame
Business hours of the tower of the cathedral are:
From April 1 to September 30, 10:00am to 6:30pm (August: Friday & Saturday 10:00am to 11:00pm) // October 1 to March 31, 10:00am to 5:30pm – Last entry time: 45 minutes before closing time
The Notre-Dame towers are closed on January 1st and December 25th