Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral is one of the most magnificent achievements of Gothic architecture. It was built on a site previously occupied by churches and before that, by a Gallo-Roman temple (two millennium ago). The construction began in 1163 and was completed around 1345.
Here are some tips about visiting the monument: price, opening hours, free entrance… Read also our advice about how to get the best view.
How to Visit Notre Dame de Paris, hours and prices
Access, opening hours and prices
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 8am – 6.45pm // Saturday and Sunday: 8am – 7.15pm
Prices: The entrance of Notre Dame is free
Metro : Cité (line 4) or St Michel-Notre Dame (RER B & RER C)
Tips about visiting of the Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris
- The Rose windows: There are 3 of them, the most impressive is window over the west side
- The Big Organ: One of the greatest and most remarkable in the world
- The Flying Buttresses: Spectacular
- The Treasury: It contains relics (price : €3-2)
- The North Tower: 422 spiraling steps requiring a large amount of motivation
- The Gargoyles: Ferocious-looking statues, famous thanks to Victor Hugo
- Archaeological Crypt : Better with an audio-guide (€3)
- A free English-spoken tour (90 min) each Wednesday and Thursday at 2pm and Saturday at 2.30pm
The interior is 130 meters long, 48 meters wide and 35 meters high, it can accommodate over 6000 worshipers.
More than 12 million people visit the Cathedral each year, it is considered as one of the monuments the most visited in the world.
Notre Dame is known for its sublime artistic balance. However, if you look closely enough, you’ll be able to see all sorts of minor asymmetrical elements introduced, in accordance with Gothic practice, to avoid monotony.
The slightly different shapes of each of the three main entrance whose statues were once brightly colored to make them more effective as a Biblia pauperum (Bible lessons for the illiterate and poor masses) are part of the asymmetrical elements.
Behind the Cathedral, there is a lovely little park, where you can see the Flying Buttresses that encircle the chancel and hold up its walls and roof.
Inside, you can observe exceptional features, including the three magnificent rose windows. The most renowned are the window over the west façade which is a full 10 meters across, and the window on the north side of the transept which has remained virtually unchanged since the 13th century.
The 7800-pipe organ was restored in 1990-92 at a cost of €1,5 million (US$2 million).
Read more about visiting paris in 4 or 5 days.
Notre Dame Cathedral seen from a Seine River Cruise
Distances from Paris throughout France are measured from Place du Parvis Notre Dame, the square in Front of the Cathedral.
A bronze star set in the pavement across the street from the cathedral’s main entrance, marks the exact location of point zéro des routes de France.
Climbing North Tower
Notre Dame’s north tower is to the right and around the corner as you walk out of the main doorway. A long spiral and 238 steps will get you to the top of the west façade where you can observe many of the cathedral’s most ferocious-looking gargoyles. You will also be able to observe a large part of Paris.
Towers access, opening hours and prices
Jan to Mar. and Oct. to Dec.: Monday to Friday: 10am-5.30pm
Apr., May and Sept.: Monday to Friday: 10am-6.30pm
June to August: Monday to Friday: 10am – 6.30pm // Saturday and Sunday: 8am – 11pm
Prices : 5€ or 8€
Under the square in front of Notre Dame, the Archaeological Crypt (also known as the Crypte du Parvis) displays in situ the remains of the Gallo-Roman structures and the later periods.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 5pm (6pm from April to September)
Prices: 3€ or 4€