Notre Dame Cathedral

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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

    1. 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

    2. 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

    3. 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

    4. 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

    5. 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.

Planning Your Visit

  • 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.

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What people are saying about Notre Dame Cathedral

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 6,143 reviews

The bus ride was super with a very detailed audio, I had a problem getting a bus stop but as soon as i go the local partner on chat they quickly directed me to the next stop and I hoped in, also make sure when you alight you have your 1 hr cruise tickets, i did not pick mine but got them again through the help of the chat services, if you love the Paris night lights take a booking that later in the evening.

Marine was an excellent guide and very patient with us and our two young children. She was extremely knowledge and shared very interesting insights about the area and other general Parisian culture with us - highly recommended

Great tour. Very educational but also entertaining. Not only did we learn about the Jews in France but in intertwined with The history of France. Saw many Jewish sites along with not mainstream Paris attractions.

Great tour. Really informative. Anna was fantastic, loads of colourful stories about the different side of Paris history. Highly recommend if you are looking for something less touristy.

Had a great time. Beautiful cruise. I regret not obtaining some kind of guide to tell me the names and history of the buildings along the way.