Beginning of main content

Notre Dame Cathedral

A monumental masterpiece in French gothic architecture on the outside, inside this landmark cathedral is a serene place of worship for devotees of religion and art.

Notre Dame Cathedral sits on the natural island called Île de la Cité. This is the central point of the city, where distances from Paris to all parts of France are measured. The cathedral is the result of a massive effort in construction, which started in 1163 and ended in the mid-14th century. A grand restoration project began in 1845 and lasted two decades.

For a dramatic introduction to the cathedral, approach from the Place du Parvis. From here you’ll see the grand west façade, famous for three doorways framed by intricately carved religious scenes. From Square Jean XXIII on the south and east sides of the cathedral, you’ll see the massive flying buttresses at their best. The Seine River is also an excellent vantage point for admiring the cathedral’s architecture, and boat tours of the city pass right by here. 

Admission to the cathedral is free and there are informative guided one-hour tours in various languages throughout the day. If you prefer a self-guided wander, an audio guide and brochure are both excellent options. 

There is a charge to see the world-famous Notre Dame towers, which are both a historic treasure and known for the association with Victor Hugo’s classic novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. A 50-minute tour takes visitors through the upper sections of the west façade to get a closer look at the gargoyles and the colossal Emmanuel bell, weighing more than 13 tons.

Other highlights inside the cathedral include the three ancient stained-glass windows, including the north window dating back to the 13th century, and the impressive Grand Organ.

Beneath the cathedral lies another layer of intrigue. More than 260 feet (79 meters) below Notre Dame is the eerie Archaeological Crypt. It contains fascinating Gallo-Roman artifacts, including the ancient remains of a house from Lutèce, the name given to Paris in the Roman era. Except Mondays and public holidays, the crypt is open daily.

Notre Dame Cathedral, located on Île de la Cité, is accessible by public transportation or car, and street parking is available. Another option is to sit back and relax in a tour bus, available by reservation at many hotels and tourist agencies as part of a tour of the city.


Guide to Exploring around Notre Dame Cathedral


Map

Lodging Near Notre Dame Cathedral

See all 3,190 Hotels near Notre Dame Cathedral
$93
Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris

Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris

38-40 Rue Saint Séverin, Paris
4.4
of 5, from 217 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in 5th Arrondissement, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sainte Chapelle, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Pont Neuf. Sorbonne University and Pantheon are also within 15 minutes.

$163
Hotel Atmospheres

Hotel Atmospheres

31, rue des Ecoles, Paris
4.5
of 5, from 494 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Paris hotel in the heart of the Latin Quarter, located 1 block from the Pantheon and 3 blocks from the RER/Metro station, Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Luxembourg Gardens.

$168
Hôtel Le Notre Dame Saint Michel

Hôtel Le Notre Dame Saint Michel

1 Quai Saint Michel, Paris
4.3
of 5, from 264 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in 5th Arrondissement, this boutique hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Notre Dame Cathedral and Sainte Chapelle. Sorbonne University and Pont Neuf are also within 10 minutes.

$189
Novotel Paris Les Halles

Novotel Paris Les Halles

8 Place Marguerite De Navarre, Paris
4.2
of 5, from 1,227 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Plenty of tourist attractions nearby the hotel Novotel Paris les Halles: the Marais area, Georges Pompidou center, Notre-Dame, Louvre etc. Business or leisure travelers can enjoy the culture of the city.

Hôtel le 17

Hôtel le 17

17 Boulevard de magenta, Paris
2.9
of 5, from 55 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in 10th Arrondissement, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Alhambra Theatre Music Hall, Picasso Museum, and Museum Georges Pompidou. Forum des Halles and Place des Vosges are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$188
Citadines Les Halles Paris

Citadines Les Halles Paris

4 Rue Des Innocents, Paris
4.1
of 5, from 743 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in 1st Arrondissement, this residence is within a 10-minute walk of Forum des Halles, Museum Georges Pompidou, and Sainte Chapelle. Notre Dame Cathedral and Pont Neuf are also within 15 minutes.

$180
Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris

Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris

53 Ter Quai des Grands Augustins, Paris
4.4
of 5, from 829 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Quartier Latin, this residence is within a 10-minute walk of Pont Neuf, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Sainte Chapelle. Louvre Museum and Forum des Halles are also within 15 minutes.

$119
Les Jardins du Marais

Les Jardins du Marais

74 Rue Amelot, Paris
3.9
of 5, from 1,028 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Set around a spacious courtyard, the hotel is on a quiet street near art galleries, trendy restaurants, and designer boutiques; close to Republique neighbourhood, Place des Vosges and 400 meters from the Picasso Museum.