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Notre-Dame
Vacation Travel Guide

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.

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Top Hotels Close to Notre-Dame

Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris
Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris
3 out of 5
38-40 Rue Saint Séverin, Paris, Paris
The price is CA $89 per night from Jan 21 to Jan 22

Located in Paris City Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ile de la Cite and Sainte Chapelle. Notre-Dame and Sorbonne University are also within ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (993 reviews)
Best location and a comfortable hotel

"Great location, one of my favourites, right near the St Michel station with direct access to the airport, main metro lines and train to Versailles. Had the premium room which was a bit bigger than the standard closet-sized ones and featured a small balcony where we could enjoy food and drinks. Very ..."…"

Reviewed on Sep. 23, 2020

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Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris
Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris
4 out of 5
53 Ter Quai des Grands Augustins, Paris, Paris
The price is CA $203 per night from Jan 18 to Jan 19

This family-friendly Paris residence is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Pont Neuf, Les Halles, and Notre-Dame. Rue de Rivoli and ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,656 reviews)

"Room was spacious and had everything we needed. Location was amazing!"…"

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Hotel Trianon Rive Gauche
Hotel Trianon Rive Gauche
4 out of 5
3, Rue de Vaugirard, 6th Arrondissement, Paris
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $151 per night from Feb 16 to Feb 17

Located in Paris City Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Luxembourg Gardens and Pantheon. Notre-Dame and Paris Catacombs are also within 2 mi (3 ...

4.1/5Very Good! (992 reviews)

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Reviewed on Mar. 19, 2020

Hotel Trianon Rive Gauche
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Notre-Dame

Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris
Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris
3 out of 5
38-40 Rue Saint Séverin, Paris, Paris
The price is CA $89 per night from Jan 21 to Jan 22
Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris
Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris
Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris
4 out of 5
53 Ter Quai des Grands Augustins, Paris, Paris
The price is CA $203 per night from Jan 18 to Jan 19
Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris
Hotel Trianon Rive Gauche
Hotel Trianon Rive Gauche
4 out of 5
3, Rue de Vaugirard, 6th Arrondissement, Paris
The price is CA $151 per night from Feb 16 to Feb 17
Hotel Trianon Rive Gauche
Hotel Eiffel Turenne
Hotel Eiffel Turenne
3 out of 5
20 Avenue De Tourville, Paris, Paris
The price is CA $91 per night from Jan 24 to Jan 25
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Hôtel Jeanne d'Arc Le Marais
Hôtel Jeanne d'Arc Le Marais
3 out of 5
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The price is CA $101 per night from Feb 7 to Feb 8
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Citadines Les Halles Paris
Citadines Les Halles Paris
4 out of 5
4 Rue Des Innocents, Paris, Paris
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Hotel Les Bulles de Paris
Hotel Les Bulles de Paris
4 out of 5
32 Rue Des Ecoles, Paris, Paris
The price is CA $140 per night from Jan 18 to Jan 19
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K+K Hotel Cayre Paris
K+K Hotel Cayre Paris
4 out of 5
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Hotel Monge
Hotel Monge
4 out of 5
55 Rue Monge, Paris
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Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.