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When you think of cathedrals, few, if any, are on par with the magnifique Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. Sitting on the Île de la Cité in the center of the River Seine, with the Marais on one side and Saint-Germain-des-Pres on the other, Notre Dame looms omnipresent alongside the city’s everyday happenings. A masterpiece of French Gothic architecture, Notre Dame was first designed in 1163, with the site largely completed by the early 14th century. Today, with more than 14 million visitors each year, Paris’ most visited unticketed site is certainly not short of admirers. Take one look, and it’s easy to see why.

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Notre Dame

  • Our tips for Notre Dame

    Our tips for Notre Dame
    • Go walk about. The stunning church gardens surrounding the site are well worth a look-in. Stroll around the gardens for a dose of calm away from the tourist hustle and bustle.
    • The early birds get the worm. Aim to arrive at Notre Dame just before opening hours at 9am for a much more enjoyable and calmer Notre Dame tour. For those looking to climb the tower, line up early and you’ll avoid the lengthy queues.
  • Good to know

    Good to know
    Best Time To Visit The best time for a trip to Paris is early autumn, when the city’s main tourist season is done and dusted and many locals opt for an out-of-town holiday. Cheaper rates and less crowds mean autumn is the perfect time to experience low-key, authentic Paris. For a quieter Notre Dame sightseeing experience, head to the gates before it opens at 9am to enjoy the architecture before the crowds.
    Getting There Paris’ metro system is efficient and relatively cheap. If you’re taking the metro to Notre Dame, the closest Paris Metro stations are St-Michel Notre Dame and Cité.
    Money Saving Tips Notre Dame is (thankfully) unticketed, so a look-in won’t set you back anything. However, for access to the treasury inside the cathedral or a climb up the Cathedral tower, you’ll have to pay your way. Check out our number of isango! package deals which include behind-the-scenes visits and Notre Dame tours among many other major Parisian attractions.
    Did you know? Impress your fellow travellers with these interesting titbits about Notre Dame…
    • Notre Dame is often known as “the Forest”, as – though the structure is built largely of stone – an estimated 1,300 trees were also used in the cathedral’s construction.
    • The building inspired one of the most famous novels of our time. Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame is set within the cathedral’s walls.
    • The cathedral houses one of the most famed organs in the world. The Great Organ is the largest organ in France and dates back to 1401. Although the instrument’s numerous alterations has helped it survive through the centuries, many Medieval pipes still remain.

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