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Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Paris

(4.6/5 based on 50,000+ reviews on the web)
Widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris allegedly contains some of Catholicism's most significant relics, including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails. Small, individually crafted statues adorn the exterior and serve as column supports and waterspouts; among these are the famous gargoyles and chimeras designed for water run-off. The cathedral is well known for its statue of the Virgin and Child, its antique organ, and its great bell. A large archaeological crypt exhibit combines detailed models of the architecture from different periods as well as underground ruins. You'll see, for instance, the amazing heating system installed under the floor during the Roman occupation. To visit Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris on your trip to Paris, use our Paris vacation planner.
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Reviews
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  • The first time we went to Notre Dame the lines were incredibly long. We went back on a Monday morning around 10am and they were much better. This is a must for any first trip to Paris.  more »
  • Queue to get to the top extremely slow. Make plenty of time but worth it if you have the patience. Take time to wander off the main drag for refreshments, much nicer bars and bistros  more »
  • Absolutely recommended to visit. Fascinating architecture. Free entrance. You can photograph everything.
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  • Beautiful place with far more spirituality than the Vatican which is completely commercialized. Inside this cathedral, you will see people lighting candles at various stations, and respect given in the main area. Though we are not Catholic, we were blown away by the beauty of it all. The gospel stories on the wall sculptures were particularly interesting for us. The architecture is majestic; nothing more needs to be said. Though the line outside seems long, it's incredibly fast. Worth the wait!
  • Definitely a must see Paris attraction. There was a pretty long line to get in. However it went very fast. If you have someone with you that is requiring special assistance go to the exit door and they will help you. The line on the side was to climb up the stairs. However, there is no elevator. Seeing all of these stained glass windows was very impressive. If you come on a Sunday you can attend Mass. There is something to be said about praying and such a historic church. The ambiance was unlike any other place I have ever been.
  • The Cathedral itself is free to enter and gorgeous. The lines can be long ish in the summer, but in the off season no more than 10-15 minutes. The audio tour was quite good (5 Euro) and I'd suggest it, gives a lot of background on the cathedral and architecture. The real highlight for me was the climb to the Towers. While this is 10 Euro normally if you have the Paris Museum pass it's included. The climb isn't for the feint of heart (literally) as it's a few hundred feet up medieval staircase. The views are breathtaking and you get up close and personal with the roof, gargoyles, and architecture.
  • Without a doubt you must visit here if you are in Paris. Even if you aren't Catholic or Christian, the historical significance is with the trip. Entrance is free but I'd suggest the audio tour. It provides some interesting perspective. It is a working church so it's best to tour quietly especially if Mass is being observed. I'd recommend attending a mass. On Sunday there is an international mass. The handout includes languages other than French but the mass is in French. Even if you can't understand French, it's a spiritual experience that's worth the time. It's not pristine and spotlessly clean but it's fascinating, and there is more to it then flying buttresses.
  • Absolutely stunning! Very cool history, and is worth the wait. Wasn't able to get tickets to the bell tower, but if you like that kind of thing it sounded like everyone was happy. We went right around sunset. It was gorgeous.