Notre Dame Cathedral
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Notre Dame Cathedral: Tours & Tickets

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The Devil in Notre Dame's details

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.

Gargoyles

Gargoyles

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.

Rose window

Rose window

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.

Great organ
Photo: Eric Chan @Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)

Great organ

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.

Relics
Photo: ~Ealasaid~ @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Relics

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.

Belltowers
Photo: ~Ealasaid~ @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Belltowers

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.

Our insider tips

How much does it cost?

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.

How to get there?

The closest Metro stop is Cité on the Metro 4 line.

How many steps is it to the top of the tower?

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.

Mass times

"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."

Good to know

  • 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

Overall rating
4.3 / 5
based on 5,402 reviews

Completely mind-blowing stained glass windows. Just gorgeous.

The tickets ahead of time were a must for this venue - especially since the Notre Dame was not open due to reconstruction after the fire. We went just after lunch and the line was around the block. The no-wait tickets saved us well more than an hour to get in. And the interior art/architecture? One of the most memorable sites we visited during our whole trip. Go on an overcast day for even lighting. It was amazingly beautiful and awe-inspiring.

Skip the line Ste Chapelle & Conciergerie

Ste Chapelle & Conciergerie were absolutely awesome. The fleur de lis vaulted ceiling is so beautiful and the upper chapel stained glass windows are mind blowing. The Conciergerie’s history is amazing. Totally worth a visit. Do it!

This is the best way to experience Notre Dame!

Our tour guide Françoise was truly great. She was very knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. She showed us so many little details about the Cathedral as well as giving us an overall history of Notre Dame and the city.

visiting is possible just before heading to airport

I was really glad about the possibility of skipping all the lines with the ticket. That was my only chance to see the beautiful Sainte Chapelle while having only 45 minutes left in Paris before heading to the airport. Thank you!

Great to skip the long line and jump into the experience!

I think this was really crowded as Notre Dame is closed. We were so glad not to have to wait in the curling line that looked like it would take at least an hour to get through. Jumped right in and enjoyed the Conciergerie too!

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