Notre Dame Cathedral Tickets

Perhaps the most famous cathedral in the world, and an enduring symbol of Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral should definitely be on your must-see list. It dates from the 12th century and has appeared in many paintings, books and films throughout the years. You’ll get a great view of Paris from the top.

Opening hours

The cathedral is open 365 days a year, 7:45 am - 6:45 pm

Opening hours of the reception office, where you’ll find audioguides and general information, are: Monday-Friday: 9:30 am - 6 pm, Weekends: 9:00 am - 6 pm

In July and August, the office normally closes for lunch between 12:30 pm and 3:00 pm. Entry is free except for the tower (€8.50), crypt (€6) and treasury (€5). The Paris Pass is a good idea if you'd like to see all areas.

How to get there

6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France

If travelling by metro, get off at Cité (Line 4). RER (suburban rail service) Lines B and C will both take you to St-Michel Notre Dame. There’s also a car park close by in Place du Parvis. Alternatively, take advantage of Vélib', a cycle-hire scheme similar to London Boris Bikes, with several docking points nearby.

FAQ

What's the history of Notre Dame?
The full name of the cathedral is ‘Notre Dame de Paris’ (literally ‘Our Lady of Paris). There are many churches and cathedrals bearing the name ‘Notre Dame’ around the globe, but like Madonna, the full name is never needed for this one. Construction began in 1163 and wasn’t completed until 1177, although more features were added over the following centuries. The stained glass windows received significant damage during World War II but were restored with some interesting modern touches afterward.
What’s the deal with the Hunchback?
Many people know of the cathedral because of its inclusion in the 19th-century Victor Hugo novel, 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame', or more likely the ‘90s Disney movie. The novel is well worth a read if you feel inspired after a trip to Paris, although it’s certainly darker than Disney’s rendition. Until recently it was believed that the book was a total work of fiction. However, references have been found to a carpenter of a similar description who worked on building the cathedral. It’s possible he was a source of inspiration for the character, or this may be a coincidence.
What can I see in the different parts of the cathedral?
Without paying a penny, you can enter the cathedral during opening hours and admire the stunning architecture. The grounds outside also offer superb photo opportunities. There are numerous exquisite examples of religious art and design, such as the famous north rose window. From the top of the tower, enjoy panoramic views of the city and get a close look at the cathedral's iconic gargoyles. The crypt is fascinating, and includes exhibits on ancient Paris, while the treasury houses a number of significant relics.
How accessible is the cathedral?
As a place of worship, the cathedral is intended to be accessible to all. There are free, official guided tours available in many languages, including French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Chinese. You can also pick up an audioguide for €5 from the reception office. Notre Dame is wheelchair accessible, with one 18cm step at the entrance and three steps up to the ambulatory where the altar is. There are disabled parking spots and a wheelchair-accessible taxi rank nearby.

Must-know

Beating the crowds
As one of Paris’s most iconic landmarks, the cathedral gets busy during high season. It’s ideal to go early in the morning if you can, perhaps making it the first thing you do before a day of shopping and sightseeing. Understandably, Catholic holidays such as Christmas and Easter are also very busy times. If you’re not coming for a special service, then visiting outside these times is ideal.
Good to know
Thankfully, Notre Dame is quite relaxed when it comes to its dress code – the cathedral simply asks that you’re respectful. While photography without flash is allowed inside, be mindful of others who may be attending for prayer or services. You can take your backpack or handbag inside, though they will be screened. Luggage such as wheeled suitcases cannot be taken inside.
Don’t miss the back
The front of the cathedral and its twin bell towers are the most famous view of Notre Dame. However, before you leave the area, be sure to walk around to the back to see more of the amazing architecture that makes Notre Dame so well known, such as its flying buttresses. The different perspective will make for a more unique photo to show off to your friends.

Places nearby

Paris Catacombs
Don’t miss the opportunity to see these fascinating tunnels, known as ossuaries, where the bones of over six million people are held. They have a fascinating history going back thousands of years, when people were buried near the site. By the 18th century, the growing city faced difficulty in burying its dead, and decided to use the area's former limestone quarries to move the remains further underground. It's 10 minutes away by taxi.
Paris Catacombs
Paris Catacombs
The Panthéon
Another superb example of Paris’ churches, this 18th-century construction is built in stunning neoclassical style. A number of icons of French history are buried here, including Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Marie Curie. Guided tours are available and will help you appreciate features such as the Corinthian columns and grand central dome. It's just 10 minutes from Notre Dame.
The Panthéon
The Panthéon
Jardin du Luxembourg
The Luxembourg Garden is one of finest parks in Paris. Pick up a baguette and wheel of brie and enjoy a picnic in the sunshine. See the rose garden, apple orchard and Senate building. There’s also a pond for playing with remote-controlled boats, and areas for playing tennis and chess. It's just a five-minute walk from the cathedral.
Jardin du Luxembourg
Jardin du Luxembourg