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A Guide to Notre Dame

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Notre-Dame de Paris (translates to Our Lady of Paris) is an ancient Catholic cathedral dating back to the 12th century. It sits on an island in the Seine River, The le De la Cit. The island is in the centre of Paris in the 4th arrondissement. Notre Dame is known around the world for its unique architecture it is widely considered to be one of the best examples of the French Gothic style.

Notre Dame is both a historical site and an active Catholic church. Visitors of all faiths can come to learn its history, visit its famous crypt, and view the many historical treasures on display inside. There is no obligation to attend a church service, but all are welcome.

What to Know

Admittance to Notre Dame is always free. The church is open year-round, but hours vary on holidays. For safety purposes, there is no luggage/baggage allowed.

The tours of Notre Dame are divided into three categories: the cathedral, the towers, and the crypt. Visitors have the option of self-guided tours, guided tours, and audio tours.

  • Cathedral and Towers:The Notre Dame cathedral offers church services as well as tours of its famous arches, columns, and stained-glass windows. The towers offer unparalleled views of the Seine and city.
  • Treasures:Notre Dame is home to many ancient artefacts and religious relics. They can be seen every day from 9:30 to 18:00.
  • Audio Tours:Audio tours are approximately 35 min long. Visitors can explore the church at their own pace while learning about its architecture, history, statues, and sculptures. Audio tours are free and available in English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese.
  • Guided Tours:Notre Dame also offers free guided tours. Tours are available in 8 languages including English. Visit the cathedral website to find a date and time of a tour in your language.

Where to Stay

  • Hotel La Lanterne:This boutique hotel is decked out in "Paris chic" style, which creates a unique and welcoming atmosphere. It also has a relaxation centre that includes a sauna, sensory shower, and indoor pool.
  • Hotel De Notre-Dame:This hotel is located in the quiet Latin Quarter along the banks of the Seine. It has a sauna and fitness centre and is within walking distance from Notre Dame Cathedral and many other museums and attractions.
  • Hotel Cluny Sorbonne:This family-friendly hotel is a great deal for your money. It has a 4-star rating on Yelp, but 2-star prices. The hotel is non-smoking and located near many restaurants and attractions.
  • International Youth Hostel:Clean and conveniently located in the Opra Bastille neighbourhood, this hostel offers free Wi-Fi, breakfast, and safes for low prices.
  • The Loft:This colourful hostel offers private and dorm rooms as well as a bar, kitchen, and free breakfast and Wi-Fi.

What Else to Do in Paris

After your visit Notre Dame, be sure to check out Sacr Cur (The Church of the Sacred Heart). Also nearby is the famous Louvre museum, which is a must-see for any art and history lover.For families with kids, or just fun-loving adults, Disneyworld Paris is always a good time. Check out our list of things to do in Paris for more suggestions!

How to Get There

Notre Dame is located on an island in the middle of the Seine River, but it is linked to the rest of Paris by many bridges. There is very limited parking on the island itself, but there are quite a few parking lots on the mainland nearby. Its a pretty short walk to the church.

Rental cars can be found at most airports and major train stations. For those who dont walk to walk or drive, there are also many metro and bus stops on the island.