Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris:
Hours and admission:
|Mon-Fri: 7:45 AM—6:45 PM|
|Sat-Sun: 7:45 AM—7:15 PM|
|Free admission to the cathedral.|
|Oct-Mar: 10 AM—5:30 PM daily|
|Apr-Sep: 10 AM—6:30 PM daily|
|Jul-Aug: 10 AM—11 PM on Fridays and Saturdays|
|Closed on January 1, May 1, and December 25.|
|€10; entry included in Paris Pass; free for children under 18|
Also another timeless icon in Paris, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is located in the heart of the île de la Cité, which is also the center of the city. The cathedral boasts of over 850 years of history along with its famous architectural work and gargoyles and chimeras. By the way, did you know that the gargoyles serve a practical function of diverting rain water so as to prevent damage to the façade of the church? I thought that was an interesting tidbit that I learned on the trip.
We arrived at the cathedral a little after noon on a Monday and there was a pretty substantial line to get inside. Surprisingly, the line went by pretty quickly, and we were inside the cathedral in less than 5 minutes. The inside of the church was as beautiful as the exterior, with very high arched ceilings, colorful stained glass windows, and intricately carved stone structures. Also, there was a section that depicted the history of the cathedral and its ongoing projects. Fortunately (or unfortunately for the actual cathedral attendees), there was a mass going on when we visited, and we got to witness the procession of the priests at the end of the mass. We decided not to go up the tower as we did not want to wait in line and had other places to visit.
Tip: When you’re done touring the inside of the cathedral, don’t forget to walk around to see the side and the back of the building, which are also impressive. If you walk towards the river and cross the bridge (Pont de l’Archevêché), you get a nice view of the church as well. Continue strolling along the river (Quai de la Tournelle, which turns into Quai de Montebello, which turns into Quai Saint-Michel) for a nice walk and cross into Latin Quarter, but I wouldn’t recommend eating at the very touristy Rue de la Huchette area.
Click on the gallery below for pictures of Notre Dame and Latin Quarter!