Practical Guide to Visiting Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

A visit to this place cannot be missed on your trip because the Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most emblematic monuments of Paris. With a history dating back almost 900 years, this Gothic cathedral has witnessed some of the most important moments in French history.

Today, the cathedral is an active place of worship and a major cultural center that attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year. In fact, it is one of the most visited tourist sites in France and, to make your visit perfect, in this post I will tell you everything you need to know about Notre Dame de Paris.

Brief history of Notre Dame Cathedral

Maurice de Sully was so impressed by the Cathedral of Saint Denis that he decided to build a similar cathedral in Paris, but larger. Shortly after being named bishop of Paris, the works began. The Cathedral of Saint Stephen in the center of Paris was destroyed and in its place was raised the Cathedral of Notre Dame, built between 1163 and 1345.

During the French Revolution, the cathedral was badly damaged and many of its works of art were destroyed or stolen. The government wanted to destroy it but the writer Victor Hugo wrote his novel “Our Lady of Paris” to revive interest in the cathedral. The project to destroy Notre Dame de Paris did not see the light of day and instead undertook a major restoration campaign in the 1840s.

In 2019, a fire broke out causing significant damage to the structure and roof. Currently, a restoration campaign is underway to return the cathedral to its former glory. It is expected to reopen in 2025.

How to get to Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral is located in the center of Paris, on the Île de la Cité. The exact address is 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France. There are several public transport options to get to the cathedral, including the metro, bus and train, depending on your preferences and your location.


Public transportation

The easiest way to get to the cathedral is by public transport. There are several metro and bus stations close to the cathedral, including Cité metro station (line 4), Saint-Michel metro station (lines 4 and 10) and Saint-Michel Notre-Dame RER station (lines B and C). It can also be reached by bus through lines 21, 24, 27, 38, 47, 85 and 96.

By car

I absolutely do not recommend going by car, because the traffic in the center of Paris is disastrous. Also, parking in the area is limited and very expensive.

By bike or on foot

The most pleasant way to get to the cathedral is by bike or on foot. There are bike lanes on many of the streets of Paris and the cathedral is very close to many of the most popular tourist sites, such as the Marais, the Latin Quarter or the Louvre.

I always recommend that it be the starting point of your tours of the city center. Paris is made to be walked, remember 😉

Hours and prices of Notre Dame Cathedral

Since the April 2019 fire, Notre Dame Cathedral is 100% closed to the public. The reopening is scheduled for 2025. Meanwhile, the side and rear façades are covered by the scaffolding of the restoration but one can approach the door and enjoy the main façade, practically intact and uncovered.

Guided tours

If you want a more enriching experience during your visit, I recommend booking a tour in the historic center. As Notre Dame Cathedral is in the center of Paris, it is an essential stop on the tour in the historic center (Guided tour in the Historical District of Paris)

On that tour we see her from the outside only and I give Detailed information about the history and architecture of the cathedral, as well as the relics and objects of worship that are found inside.

Along with the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral is one of the most demanded monuments, so to ensure your place and not miss out on your guided tour, it is best to book it as far in advance as possible. .

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Special events and celebrations

Notre Dame Cathedral is an active place of worship. Before the fire, masses and religious services were held regularly. Now that it is closed, the square is used for events such as plays, fairs and markets.

Shops and restaurants near Notre Dame

Notre Dame Cathedral is located in the heart of Paris, so there are many shops and restaurants nearby. In the immediate vicinity of the cathedral, in the streets rue d’arcole and rue du cloitre de Notre Dame you can find souvenir shops and souvenirs. As for restaurants, there is a wide variety of options, from bars and cafeterias to haute cuisine restaurants but beware, there are many tourist traps. I only recommend two traditional French cuisine restaurants: Le petit Châtelet (39 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris 0146335340) and Au vieux Paris d’Arcole (24 Rue Chanoinesse, 75004 Paris 0140517852).

Other places of interest near Notre-Dame

There are many other places of interest close to Notre Dame Cathedral, including the Sainte-Chapelle, the Pompidou Center, the Louvre Museum and the Le Marais district. All these places are easily accessible from the cathedral and can be visited in the same day.

  • Sainte-Chapelle is a Gothic chapel located a short distance from Notre Dame Cathedral. It was ordered to be built by King Saint Louis in the 13th century to house the relics of the Passion of Christ, including the Crown of Thorns. The chapel is famous for its beautiful stained glass windows that cover 80% of the walls, creating an impressive light and color effect. It is an essential place for lovers of architecture and art.
  • The Pompidou Center is a center for modern and contemporary art located in the Beaubourg district, about a 10-minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral. The building is known for its innovative architectural style, with its air ducts, escalators and exposed metal structure. The museum houses a wide collection of modern and contemporary art, as well as temporary exhibitions and cultural events.
  • The Louvre Museum is one of the most famous museums in the world, and is located about a 20-minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral. The museum houses an impressive collection of art and historical objects, including the famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. It is an essential place for lovers of art and history.
  • The Le Marais district is a historic neighborhood located in the center of Paris, a short distance from the Notre Dame Cathedral. The neighborhood is known for its beautiful mansions, cobblestone streets, and its many trendy shops and restaurants. It is an ideal place to walk and discover the charm of Paris.

Conclusion on the Notre Dame Cathedral

In short, Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most iconic sights in Paris, with a rich history and stunning Gothic architecture. The cathedral is an active place of worship, as well as a major tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year. There is much to see and do in and around the cathedral, from admiring the stained glass windows and rose windows to exploring the historic neighborhoods of Paris. If you are planning a trip to Paris, be sure to visit Notre Dame Cathedral and discover all it has to offer.

Do you want to discover Notre Dame in a special way? Hire one of my tours!

If you are planning to visit Paris and want to make sure you make the most of your time, I invite you to consider the option of hiring my tourist guide services. Any of my guided tours of Paris will allow you to discover the most emblematic places of the city, from Notre Dame Cathedral to the Eiffel Tower and much more.

My tours are designed to suit your needs and preferences, and I guarantee you an unforgettable experience in the city of light. In addition, I also offer tour packages that will allow you to save money and time by combining several visits in a single package.

It does not matter if it is your first time in Paris or if you have already visited the city before, there is always something new to discover and enjoy in this beautiful city. And with my tour guide services, you can be sure that you will have a unique and memorable experience.

Do not wait any longer and book your tours with me today. I wait for you in Paris!

Paris is much more than Notre Dame Cathedral

If you are planning to travel to Paris soon and want to discover the best places to visit, I invite you to download my free guide to Paris. This guide will help you plan your trip effectively, with detailed recommendations on the most emblematic places in the city, the best restaurants and shops, and practical advice for your stay in Paris.

Dany

I’m a History & Art lover and I am very much in love with Paris…I studied Art History at the Louvre School and I became a professional tour guide because I want to share with you my passion and my love for this city. Get my FREE guide on «How to plan your trip to Paris»  now.

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