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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.
There are heaps of unique ways to get the most out of Notre Dame Cathedral. Here's a list of our favorites:
Peruse our Paris things to do page to discover more activities in the area.
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.
This charming Beaux Arts hotel is situated in the center of Paris, in the Latin Quarter, between Notre Dame Cathedral and the Pantheon, near the Luxembourg Gardens.
Located in Paris City Centre, this residence is within a 10-minute walk of Pont Neuf and Notre Dame Cathedral. Louvre Museum and Luxembourg Gardens are also within 1 mi (2 km). Saint-Michel Station and Paris Saint-Michel - Notre Dame Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Paris City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Notre Dame Cathedral and Luxembourg Gardens. Museum Georges Pompidou and Louvre Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km). Saint-Michel Station and Paris Saint-Michel - Notre Dame Station are within a 2-minute walk.
Located in Paris City Centre, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Sorbonne University and Notre Dame Cathedral. Grande Galerie de l'Evolution and Luxembourg Gardens are also within 15 minutes. Maubert-Mutualité Metro Station is only a 2-minute walk and Cardinal Lemoine Metro Station is 5 minutes.
This 19th-century Paris mansion is in the Latin Quarter, across the river from Notre-Dame; the Seine is two blocks away, and the Sorbonne 500 meters away.
Located in Paris City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Notre Dame Cathedral, Pont Neuf, and Sorbonne University. Luxembourg Palace and Luxembourg Gardens are also within 15 minutes. Saint-Michel Station and Paris Saint-Michel - Notre Dame Station are within a 2-minute walk.
Located in Paris City Centre, this residence is within a 10-minute walk of Forum des Halles, Museum Georges Pompidou, and Pont Neuf. Palais Royal and Notre Dame Cathedral are also within 15 minutes. Paris Chatlet-Les Halles Station and Les Halles Station are within a 5-minute walk.