Notre Dame Cathedral: Your All-in-One Guide to this Timeless Gem

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The Notre Dame de Paris, also Notre Dame Cathedral, is an architectural masterpiece and a must-visit attraction for Catholic and non-Catholic tourists.

Step inside the cathedral to discover French Gothic grandeur, from vibrant rose windows to historical sculptures. 

Notre Dame shows Paris’s cultural richness and architectural lineage. 

Its soaring towers, modern flying buttresses, stained glass, rose windows, steeples, and gargoyles spellbound visitors.

Tourists explore Notre Dame’s treasury or climb the towers for panoramic views of Île de la Cité.

They also get to see its phoenix-like restoration and the crypts unveiling its Roman-era foundations.

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 8 am to 6.45 pm.Saturday and Sunday: 8 am to 7.45 pm.

Last Entry: 6.45 pm on weekdays and 7.45 on weekends.

Time Needed: 1 to 2 hours for a thorough visit.

Best Time: Avoid Mass services; Tuesdays or Wednesdays are less crowded.

Ticket Price: Starts from €31

Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris.

Nearest Station: Cite Station or Saint-Michel Station (Line 4)

Restoration of Notre Dame for the 2024 Paris Olympics:

The French government is restoring Notre Dame Cathedral after the April 15, 2019 fire. 

The restoration of Notre Dame aims to secure the structure and resurrect its exquisite features.

Skilled artisans will preserve the cathedral’s lost soul by repairing the statues and reviving the stained glass windows and intricate details to their former glory.

Upon entering the restored Notre Dame, expect a captivating blend of historical charm and modern innovations.

A new spire, mirroring the authenticity of the previous one, emerges, blending ancient records with contemporary craftsmanship.

Delve into the wizardry of lasers and 3D models, precisely crafting resilience and sustainability.

Contemporary advancements, including fire prevention, improved air circulation, and eco-friendly innovations, contribute to Notre Dame’s restoration.

The collective goal is to complete renovating Notre Dame in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Notre Dame Outdoor Walking Tour with Crypt Entry

– Entry to the archaeological crypt (if open)

– Experienced local guide

– Learn about losses and salvages from the 2019 fire

– Insights on the cathedral’s reopening

– Price: €36

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Notre Dame: Virtual reality Experience

– Entrance ticket

– Translation in French, English, and Spanish

– Virtual reality equipment included

– Explore Notre-Dame Cathedral’s history

– First-ever virtual reality show under Cathedral square

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Notre Dame Exterior, Ile de la Cité Tour and Saint Chapelle

– Guided Tour of the exterior of Notre Dame

– Guided Tour of the Ile de la Cité

– Entrance tickets for Sainte Chapelle (if option chosen)

– Small group experience (up to 10 people)

– Choose a guide who speaks English, Spanish, or Italian

Price: €63

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Notre-Dame Island, Sainte-Chapelle & Conciergerie Guided Tour

– Skip-the-line entry to Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie

– Guided visit to the Île de la Cité

– Guided tour to Notre-Dame Cathedral exterior

– Expert English-speaking guide with headsets

– Limited groups of 20 or fewer

Price: €60

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Notre Dame Island with Sainte Chapelle & Marie Antoinette’s prison

– Fully guided tour of Notre Dame Cathedral exterior

– Skip-the-line access to Sainte Chapelle and the Conciergerie

– Visit Marie-Antoinette’s prison cell

– Fully accredited local guide

– Limited groups of 20 people or fewer

Price: €61

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Best Churches in Paris Private Walking Tour

– Private tour of top-ranked Paris churches

– 5-Star Licensed Guide fluent in chosen language

– Free entry to Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois and Saint-Germain-des-Prés

– Skip-the-line tickets to Sainte-Chapelle (only in 3.5-hour option)

Price: €186

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What to Expect at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

Watch exceptional art reflecting Neo-Gothic influences inside Notre Dame Cathedral and delve into its rich history. 

Outside the cathedral, stone sculptures, including gargoyles, adorn the facade, depicting  Biblical scenes like the Last Judgment.

Tower Ascent:

Climb the Notre Dame towers for magnificent views of the Île de la Cité and the River Seine.

The ascent involves approximately 400 stairs, offering iconic sights and housing the cathedral’s largest Emmanuel bell.

Crypts and Archeological Museum:

Explore Notre Dame crypts, an archeological museum displaying Roman-era foundations, ancient ruins, and historical artifacts. 

Discover the city’s architectural and urban development through captivating exhibits.

Free Notre Dame Entry

There is no admission fee for Notre Dame in Paris. 

And that is why it is always crowded, with long lines that lead to much waiting time.

The guided tours and tickets ensure you enter through a priority entrance.

You also need to buy a ticket if you want to climb up the Bell Towers.

On buying a Paris Museum Pass, you can use the special entrance and get free tower access.

Besides the Notre Dame Cathedral, this discount card gives you free access to 60 other Parisian museums and attractions.

Notre Dame Tickets

Select your preferred Notre Dame Cathedral ticket from among the many options available. 

Here are our top recommendations based on ticket type:

Notre Dame Outdoor Walking Tour with Crypt Entry

Explore the heart of Paris with the Notre Dame Outdoor Walking Tour, including entry to the Archaeological Crypt.

Learn about Notre Dame’s history, from its 12th-century construction to the 2019 fire.

The tour, led by a local guide, takes you through iconic features like towers and gargoyles, concluding at Point Zero.

Get an added self-guided exploration of Île de la Cité’s foundations.

What’s Included

  • Entrance to Archaeological Crypt (if open)
  • Local guide for walking tour
  • Guide for crypt portion
  • Commentary on Notre Dame’s history

Things to Know

  • Duration of tour is 2 hours
  • Languages available: English, Spanish
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours
  • Meeting point: Right side facing the crypt

Ticket Prices

ParticipantsPrice per Person (€)
Adult (12 years & above)€36
Children (4to 11 years)€31
Infant (3 years and younger)Free

Eternal Notre-Dame: Virtual Reality Experience

This 45-minute Notre-Dame encounter allows you to explore the history of Notre-Dame Cathedral from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Visitors can witness the cathedral’s architectural masterpieces in a groundbreaking VR show beneath Cathedral Square.

The tour is equipped with virtual reality headsets and backpacks.

What’s Included:

  • Entrance ticket
  • Translation in French, English, and Spanish
  • Virtual reality equipment

Things to Know:

  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Languages: English, Spanish, French
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance

Ticket Prices:

ParticipantsPrice per Person (€)
Adults€31
Student (with ID)€21

Notre Dame Combo Tickets

Visitors can go for Notre Dame Combo tickets, letting them explore multiple aspects of Notre Dame Cathedral or its surroundings at a discounted rate.

Some popular combos include

Notre Dame Exterior, Ile de la Cité Tour & Saint Chapelle

Uncover the birthplace of Paris with the Notre Dame Exterior, Ile de la Cité Tour, and Saint Chapelle guided tour.

Admire the ongoing renovations of Notre Dame Cathedral, explore the charming Sainte Chapelle, and stroll through the historic Ile de la Cité.

This semi-private tour is led by a live tour guide, ensuring an intimate experience limited to 10 participants.

What’s Included:

  • Guided Tour of Notre Dame’s exterior
  • Guided Tour of Ile de la Cité
  • Entrance tickets for Sainte Chapelle (if option chosen)

Things to Know:

  • Duration: 2 to 2.5 hours
  • Languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French
  • Small group tour limited to 10 participants
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance

Ticket Prices:

Ticket TypePrice per Person (€)
Notre Dame Exterior, Ile de la Cité without tickets for Sainte Chapelle€63
Notre Dame, Ile de la Cité tour with Tickets for Sainte Chapelle€79

Notre-Dame Island, Sainte-Chapelle & Conciergerie Guided Tour

Stroll around Paris’s Île de la Cité with a guide, checking out the surviving charm of Notre-Dame despite the recent fire.

Learn island history, see Notre Dame’s bell towers, and skip lines to experience the vivid stained glass at Sainte-Chapelle.

Explore the medieval vibe at the Conciergerie, once a palace-turned-prison.

Your guide shares stories in plain English or French, making it an easygoing, informative tour. 

From Gothic treasures to timeless architecture, it’s a laid-back journey through the heart of Paris.

What’s Included:

  • Skip-the-line entry to Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie.
  • Guided tour of Île de la Cité and the exterior of Notre-Dame Cathedral.
  • Expert English-speaking guide with headsets.
  • Limited groups of 20 or fewer for an intimate experience.

Things to Know:

  • Cancellation is possible up to 72 hours before the visit.
  • Wear comfortable shoes for moderate walking.
  • Meeting point: 2 Quai de Gesvres, 75004, Paris.
  • Tour duration: 2.5 hours.
  • Child tickets are available for ages 4-17 with proof of age.

Nearby Attractions to Notre Dame

Your visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris offers a diverse range of experiences, from art and history to scenic river views.

Let’s look at the top attractions near Notre Dame.

AttractionDistance from Notre Dame
Seine River Cruise(0.3 miles) 0.5 km
Pantheon(1 mile) 1.7 km
Sainte-Chapelle(0.3 miles) 0.6 km
Musee du Louvre(1 mile) 1.6 km
Centre Pompidou(0.5 miles) 0.8 km
Conciergerie(0.4 miles) 0.6 km

Notre Dame Hours

Notre Dame Cathedral offers a warm welcome to visitors throughout the week from 8 am to 6.45 pm except on weekends. 

The weekend (Saturday and Sunday) timing is from 8 am to 7.45 pm.

Here’s a table for an easy understanding of the schedule of Notre Dame:

Notre Dame Cathedral Hours:

DaysOpening TimeClosing Time
Monday to Friday8 am6.45 pm
Saturday and Sunday8 am7.45 pm

Welcome Desk Hours:

For any assistance or inquiries, the cathedral’s information desk operates during the following hours:

  • Weekdays (Monday to Friday): 9.30 am to 6 pm
  • Saturdays and Sundays: 9 am to 6 pm

Mass Times at Notre Dame Cathedral

Experience the spiritual essence of Notre Dame with its diverse and vibrant Mass schedule throughout the week, catering to different preferences and providing a meaningful experience for Catholic tourists in Paris.

Weekday Mass:

Monday: 8 am and 9 am (In the Choir of Notre Dame, except in July, August, and the first 15 days of September)

Monday to Saturday: Noon (Main Altar)

Sunday Mass at Notre Dame Paris:

Several masses occur throughout the day on Sunday. Let’s check them out:

  • 8.30 am: Simple Mass, followed by Laud’s service
  • 10 am: Gregorian Mass
  • 11.30 am: International Mass
  • 12.45 pm: Additional Mass
  • 6.30 pm: Special Mass presided over by the Archbishop of Paris

Current Situation: Mass at Alternative Locations

While Notre Dame undergoes restoration, masses are held at the church of Saint-Germain L’Auxerrois in Paris. 

It provides an alternative location for worshippers while the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris undergoes restoration. 

Please note that this arrangement will continue until the reopening of Notre Dame Cathedral in December 2024, exactly five years after the fire.

For those planning to visit Paris, Notre Dame tickets can be purchased online, allowing interior and exterior exploration. Consider a Paris hop-on-hop-off bus tour for a flexible exploration of various attractions.

Dress Code at Notre Dame:

Notre Dame in Paris is a place of worship, and a strict dress code is followed.

Women must wear clothes that cover their shoulders and knees.

Low-cut or sleeveless clothing, shorts, and miniskirts are a strict no.

Men must avoid shorts and hats as well.

Visitors found violating the dress code get stopped at the entrance.

Know More

Time Needed at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Notre Dame’s tour can be completed within an hour. 

You will take half an hour to walk around the cathedral and another half an hour to enjoy the interiors.

However, climbing Notre Dame’s towers may take more planning and time. 

You must wait for 30 minutes on average before entering the Notre Dame Cathedral.

If you opt to go up the tower, you must stand in yet another queue, where the waiting time may even go up to 90 minutes during peak times.

The waiting time at Notre Dame can be for two reasons:

1. Every 10 minutes, only 20 people can walk up the stairs
2. There are lots of visitors who want to go up the stairs

You need to carefully evaluate the time needed by considering the following points:

Queue Expectations:

Notre Dame Cathedral, Europe’s most popular historic monument, attracts 12 to 14 million visitors annually.

You must expect lengthy queues at the Cathedral due to its popularity. 

Staircase:

The climb of 402 stone stairs demands physical effort and time based on physical fitness.

Time allocation for the tower:

The entire process, from queuing to climbing to descending, may take approximately two hours.

 If you leave your mark in the Book of Remembrances, earmark an additional 15 minutes.

Treasury Detour:

Allocate 20 minutes to enrich your Notre Dame experience by visiting the Treasury.

Suggested Itinerary for Notre Dame Cathedral:

  • Strolling Outside: 30 mins
  • Exploring the Interior: 30 mins
  • Conquering the Tower: 2 hours
  • Signing the Book: 15 mins
  • Treasury Exploration: 20 mins

Total Estimated Time: 3 hours and 35 mins

Some tourists don’t recommend the tower climb. They say it is too much of an effort for views of Paris, which can be seen from either the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe.

How to Reach Notre Dame:

Notre Dame Cathedral, nestled on the île de la Cité in the Seine River, stands at the heart of Paris. Get Directions.

Here’s a breakdown of accessible routes via various transportation methods:

  • Paris Metro:

The Paris Metro is a convenient way to reach Notre Dame. The closest metro station is “Cité” on Line 4.

Once you exit the station, it’s just a short walk to Notre Dame Cathedral. Other routes that can be taken are:

  1. Hôtel de Ville Station (Lines 1 or 11)
  2. Cluny – La Sorbonne or Maubert-Mutualité Station (Line 10):
  3. Châtelet RER Station (Lines 7, 11, or 14):
  • Réseau Express Régional (RER)

RER provides efficient connectivity to Notre Dame from multiple directions.

Choose Saint-Michel l – Notre-Dame Station (Lines B and C) for the most convenience.

  • Driving or Taxi

If you prefer driving or utilizing a hired cab, navigate to du Parvis Notre-Dame via Rue de la Cité.

Ample parking awaits to accommodate your convenience.

With these accessible routes, reaching the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral becomes a hassle-free adventure, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this historic marvel.

Please be on your guard during your trip to Notre Dame. You can be approached by locals outside Notre Dame requesting that you sign a petition.

If you show interest, you will be asked to donate money and get scammed.

Popular Attractions in Paris

Eiffel TowerLouvre Museum
Palace of VersaillesDisneyland Paris
Musee d’OrsayPantheon
Centre PompidouArc de Triomphe
Sainte ChapelleNotre Dame
Seine River CruiseParis Zoo
Paris CatacombsOpera Garnier
Picasso MuseumMontparnasse Tower
Grand Palais ImmersifAquaboulevard
ConciergerieGrévin Wax Museum
Grande Galerie de l’ÉvolutionChâteau de Fontainebleau
Musée du quai BranlyHotel de la Marine
Château de ChantillyBourse De Commerce
Thoiry ZooSafariLouis Vuitton Foundation
Les InvalidesJardin d’Acclimatation
Musée Jacquemart-AndréMénagerie of the Jardin des Plantes
Musée de l’OrangerieMarmottan Monet Museum
Père Lachaise CemeteryParc Astérix
Paradis LatinParis Aquarium
Dali ParisCrazy Horse Paris
Rodin MuseumChocolate Museum
Sea Life AquariumThe World Of Banksy Expo

FAQs

Why is Notre Dame cathedral famous?

Notre Dame Cathedral, also known as Notre Dame de Paris, is famous for its architectural masterpiece, stunning French Gothic grandeur, and cultural richness.

It houses historical sculptures, vibrant rose windows, and features like soaring towers, flying buttresses, gargoyles, and a storied spire.

What is the current status of Notre Dame Cathedral?

Notre Dame Cathedral is undergoing restoration after a fire on April 15, 2019.

The restoration aims to secure the structure, repair statues, revive stained glass windows, and incorporate modern innovations.

The goal is to complete the renovation in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Is Notre Dame still a church?

Yes, Notre Dame Cathedral is still a church.

Despite the ongoing restoration, Masses are held at alternative locations, such as the church of Saint-Germain L’Auxerrois, until Notre Dame reopens in December 2024.

Can you go inside Notre Dame?

Yes, visitors can go inside Notre Dame Cathedral. There is no admission fee, but guided tours and tickets with priority entrances are available to avoid long lines.

Climbing the towers may have additional costs.

How much does it cost to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral?

The entrance to Notre Dame Cathedral is free. However, there may be charges for specific experiences or tours.

For example, prices for guided tours or combo tickets vary, such as the Notre Dame Outdoor Walking Tour with Crypt Entry priced at €36 per person.

To enjoy the Notre Dame Virtual Reality Experience, you can book your Notre Dame Tickets for €31 per person.

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