LivingTravelNotre Dame Cathedral Visitor Information

Notre Dame Cathedral Visitor Information

Please note that Notre Dame suffered a devastating fire on April 15, 2019. Rebuilding after the fire may affect visiting hours; Contact your local authorities for the most up-to-date information.

Possibly the most impressive Gothic cathedral in the world, the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral is undoubtedly the most famous. Conceived in the 12th century and completed in the 14th century, the now iconic cathedral was the heart of medieval Paris. After a period of neglect, she regained popular imagination when the 19th century writer Victor Hugo immortalized her in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Notre Dame’s spectacular towers, spire, stained glass and statues will take your breath away. Delve into the history of the fascinating monument by visiting the underground archaeological crypt. Climbing the north tower is also a must to get a gargoyle’s perspective of Paris.

Location and contact information

The cathedral is located in the center of the Ile de la Cité, the area of Paris that divides the right and left banks of the city. The Ile de la Cite is surrounded by the River Seine. Nearby attractions include the WWII Deportation Monument, the Sainte-Chapelle chapel, the Latin Quarter, the Marais district, and boat trips around Paris.

Address: Place du parvis de Notre Dame, 4th district
Metro: Cité or Saint-Michel (Line 4)
RER: Saint-Michel (Line C)
Bus: Lines 21, 38, 47 or 85
Telephone: +33 (0) 142 345 610

The best times to visit

In general, visiting Notre Dame is recommended in the low season (usually October to March) – you will have a better chance of avoiding large crowds and long lines. In addition, the mornings and afternoons from Monday to Friday tend to be much quieter than the afternoons and weekends. However, remember that night visits to the cathedral will not be optimal for viewing the beautiful stained glass windows of Notre Dame.

Finally, visiting at sunset will offer stunning views of the cathedral’s stained glass windows, in particular the three rose windows.

Visits to the cathedral

On request, free guided tours of the exterior and the cathedral’s main hall are available in English. Call the information desk for more details: +33 (0) 142 345 610.

Tours of the cathedral towers begin at the foot of the North Tower and involve climbing a total of 402 steps. The observation area for the cathedral’s 13-ton bell is located in the South Tower. 20 visitors are admitted to the towers every 10 minutes, and the last admission is at 6:45 pm

Gift shop and museum

The gift shop is located in the main hall of the cathedral and sells jewelry, t-shirts and other gifts with the Notre-Dame theme.

The Notre Dame Museum is located at 10, rue du Cloitre-Notre-Dame (around the corner from the cathedral) and traces the origins and history of Notre Dame.


Notre Dame is accessible to visitors with limited mobility. Call the information desk for details.

Key historical data and dates

  • A Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter and two early medieval churches once stood on the foundations of Notre Dame.
  • Construction of the cathedral began in 1163. Hundreds of workers and craftsmen worked for nearly 200 years to complete the masterpiece of early Gothic architecture.
  • Notre Dame was looted and badly damaged during the French Revolution in the late 18th century. The 19th-century restorations led by Viollet-le-Duc replicated much of the damaged stained glass, statues, and distinctive spire of the cathedral.
  • During the French Revolution , Notre Dame temporarily became a “Temple of Reason.”

Details to be considered

Notre Dame is full of flashy and sumptuous details, but even more are subtle and go unnoticed.

Interested in delving into the history of this remarkable site? Also, consider visiting the archaeological crypt at Notre Dame for a fascinating insight into the city’s Gallo-Roman foundations and its subsequent developments.

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