Of all the stunning churches, monuments and museums spread across Paris there is only one site you simply can not miss – The Notre Dame. Visited by over 13 million people every year, this incredible masterpiece of stunning French architecture has been looking over Paris since 1163. If you have plans to visit Paris we highly recommend putting The Notre Dame at the top of your must see list.
Now that you are hopefully convinced, here are our top tips for your visit to The Notre Dame.
The closest metro stations to the cathedral are: St-Michel Notre Dame (blue line), St-Michel Notre Dame (yellow line) and Cité (fuschia line).
No Entrance Fee
The church itself is free to enter, open from 8am every morning. When entering you will want to go in a loop right around the entire interior to see all of the stained glass windows, and you especially do not want to miss seeing the South Rose Window.
Being one of the most visited attractions in Paris there of course are quite long lines. We suggest arriving early in the morning, at least before 10am for lesser crowds. We always suggest avoiding Notre Dame on major Catholic holidays like Easter as these days are one of the busiest of the year.
You Must Go Up The Bell Tower
The bell towers are seperate to the actual church, with the entrance located outside the left side of the cathedral. It costs €8.50 to go up the 387 stairs to the top for some of the best views in all of Paris (yes that is a lot of stairs – sorry no elevators!). While up there make sure you go up the extra staircase to see the giant bells that ring every hour on the hour.
Lines for the bell tower can be even worse than the Cathedral itself as only a limited amount of people are allowed up at a time. Doors open at 10am so we suggest getting there at least an hour or so before the doors open for your best chance to get to the front before doors open.
Or you could skip the lines completely…
How To Skip The Lines
During our visit we waited in no lines what so ever. We did this by visiting The Notre Dame on a guided Skip the Line – Notre Dame Towers & Sainte-Chapelle Tour. During the tour you get to not only climb the towers, but also visit the Sainte-Chapelle, skipping the lines at both attractions!
Watch Your Pockets
Some of you may already be aware of the high amount of pickpockets in Paris – and they are an extreme problem inside The Notre Dame. As the church is free to enter, any one of those tourists bumping into you could be a pickpocket walking off with your valuables. Just be alert and aware of were you have put your valuables, we suggest walking around with a zipper pouch that you can put your money and phone in that sits under your shirt.
We had an incredible time visiting the stunning Notre Dame Cathedral and taking in those beautiful views of Paris. If you want to see our experience roaming through the cathedral and walking up all those stairs to the top of the bell tower check out our daily video we filmed below…
If there are any tips you would like to add please feel free to share them in the comment section below.
A big thanks to Fat Tire Tours for taking us out to experience one of the best attractions in Paris. As always, our opinions are our own.
READ NEXT: HOW TO SKIP THE LONGEST LINES IN PARIS