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Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre Dame, perched on an island in the heart of Paris, is one of the finest cathedrals in the world.

TravelCurious Tip

Take a boat ride on the Seine at night — the cathedral totally illuminated makes an inspiring sight.

Our Lady

The cathedral of Notre Dame is a masterpiece of French-Gothic architecture and the ceremonial focus of Catholic Paris for the last seven hundred years. The cathedral's immense interior is a marvel of medieval architecture; it holds about 6,000 people.

Many individually crafted statues are placed around the outside, serving as column supports and gutters. Among these are the famous gargoyles, designed to let water run off them, and chimeras.

As you walk around, try and imagine the exterior and statues as they originally were - bright and vibrant with colour. The cathedral was essentially complete in 1345.

You can ascend to the top up a narrow climb of 387 steps. It is possible to view its famous bell and the gargoyles at close quarters, as well as spectacular views across Paris nearer the top. You can see how Paris has grown outwards from its centre - the Île de la Cité.


Innovative architecture

Although it is lauded for its sublime architecture, there are all sorts of minor anomalies as a result of centuries of aesthetic intervention. You enter through trio of main entrances all shaped slightly differently. If anything, however, these differences only add to the cathedral’s charm. As you walk around inside, make sure to take in the beautiful stained-glass rose windows at the east end.

Notre-Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress. The architects added them to support the fracturing walls around the choir at the east end during its building in 1163.

During the Revolution, the cathedral was rededicated to the Cult of Reason, and subsequently to the Cult of the Supreme Being. Many of the treasures of the cathedral were sadly destroyed or plundered.


Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Paris
Île de la Cité
This island in the middle of the River Seine is the historical heart of Paris.
La Conciergerie
Once a royal residence, the Conciergerie became a prison during the French revolution, a notable prisoner being Marie-Antoinette.
Place St-Michel Fountain
One of the city's most well-known meeting places, the statue depicts the archangel Michael vanquishing the Devil.
Shakespeare and Co Bookshop
A legendary meeting place and boarding-house for many aspiring writers. Stocks everything from Shakespeare to Joyce.
Deportation Memorial
Memorial to the 200,000 men, women and children deported from France to Nazi concentration camps between 1940 and 1944 who did not return.
Hôtel de Ville
The Hôtel de Ville in Paris houses the city's local administration.

Related Tours

Paris Je T'aime: A Half Day Highlights Tour
During this fabulous four hour walking tour of Paris you will explore the most interesting and diverse central neighbourhoods the French capital has to offer. See the sights at your own pace and adapt your tour with your guide who will be happy to offer suggestions based on your preferences. 

  • Visit the historical heart of Paris,  Île de la Cité.
  • See the Sainte-Chappelle chapel and the former Paris prison, the Conciergerie.
  • Pay a visit to the symbolic Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.
  • Explore the wonderful haunts of the Latin Quarter, just a short walk away.
  • Learn about Paris' home of intellectual thought and see where the May '68 revolution unfolded.
  • Visit the Tuileries Gardens,  the Place de la Concorde and the Champs-Elysées.
  • End your walking tour at the stunning Pont Alexander III bridge.

Medieval Paris

One of the two remaining natural islands in the Seine, the Île de la Cité, is considered the historic heart of Paris. The medieval city of Paris was refounded here with magnificent Sainte-Chapelle and the former prison, the Conciergerie. While on Île de la Cité, you will have time to walk around the hauntingly beautiful Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.

The Latin Quarter along the Left Bank was so named because, until the French Revolution, university students in the area spoke only Latin to their professors. You will visit this famed neighbourhood to immerse yourself in the Parisian atmosphere of yesteryear, whilst exploring the medieval streets and meandering through fantastic shops like Shakespeare and Company bookstore, Place Saint-Michel, and its gorgeous fountain.


City of Revolution 

As the tour continues, you will learn little known facts about the French Revolution. You will be exploring the beautiful Tuileries Gardens and the Place de la Concorde, the site at which Louis XVI was beheaded during the French Revolution. Whilst here do not forget to look out for the magnificent Champs-Elysées, the most famous shopping avenue in the world. Lastly, you will stop off at the Pont Alexander III, the most beautiful bridge in Paris, where you can enjoy a splendid view of the Eiffel Tower and beyond to the majestic Seine. J’aime Paris.
VIP Paris: Explore Paris in Half a Day by Private Car Tour
Experience Paris’ key sights and neighbourhoods on this relaxing private car tour. With your own guide and car, you will have the flexibility to focus on the things that you find most interesting. Stop off at your leisure and enjoy your tour in comfort without worrying about the weather or the queues. 

  • See the best that Paris has to offer with your own private car and expert guide.
  • Cruise past Champs ElyséesPlace de la Concorde and Notre Dame.
  • See the Arc de TriompheOpera GarnierPlace Venôme and the Musée d’Orsay.
  • Stop off at Dôme des Invalides and see Napoleon’s tomb.
  • Stop by the Louvre (outside) and get the best views of the Eiffel Tower.
  • End your tour with a wander through bohemian, picturesque Montmartre.
  • Car pick-up and drop-off from a place of your choice.
Start at the iconic Arc de Triomphe, a monument to those who fought and died during the Revolution and Napoleonic Wars and visit the Champs Elysées (end-point of Tour de France) and Opera Garnier (‘Phantom of the Opera’.) Next, see Place Vendôme (featuring a monument to commemorate the victory at Austerlitz in 1805), Place de la Concorde (the largest square in the city), the famous Louvre museum and the beautiful Musée d’Orsay, before visiting Napoleon’s tomb. Explore the wonders of the Latin Quarter and stand in awe of the gothic masterpiece that is Notre Dame CathedralTake in the outside beauty of Sainte Chapelle (featuring the most impressive stain glass windows in the world). Then, visit the quintessentially French Trocadero where you will have the opportunity to snap some beautiful photos and catch some great views of the world famous Eiffel Tower.

To conclude this epic tour of the great city of Paris you will take a short walk to Montmartre: one of the most colourful and bohemian neighbourhoods, where you will learn more about the fascinating life and works of Renoir, Picasso, Gauguin, and Van Gogh, all of whom lived and worked here. The perfect way to experience the city if you have limited time, and also a great way to find out what to focus on for the rest of your trip. 

Tours can be adapted to suit your needs and interests, just get in contact with us!
Create Your Own Half Day Tour of Paris
What better way to explore the historic city of Paris than with your very own personal tour guide?  Plan your day with an expert to visit the places that excite you most and spot the hidden gems you might have otherwise missed along your way.

  • Tailor-made tour to suit your needs and interests.
  • Free consultation service with your expert guide.
  • See the key sights or get off the beaten path and experience a different side of Paris.
  • Explore the city at your own pace.
  • Adapt your itinerary on the day to get the most out of your time in Paris.
Our professional, hand-picked guides are experts at designing tours for you.   The choice is up to you.  Do you want to take in the ultimate highlights of this world-famous city? Just say the word and you’ll be swept off to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame.  Or maybe you’re looking to get a little further off the beaten track?  That’s fine too, you could go exploring in the picturesque neighbourhood of Montmartre, or if you're really adventurous our guides could whisk you away to an undiscovered arrondissement that samples the best of Parisian life.  No matter your preferences, we tailor the tour directly to your interests to make sure you get the most out of your time in the city.

Ultimately, you’ll discover the Paris you want to see, at the pace you want to see it, with the knowledge and expertise of a local friendly guide.
The Latin Quarter: Parisian Authors & Thinkers
The Latin Quarter is one of Paris' most quirky and interesting neighbourhoods. It is an ambient juxtaposition of medieval backstreets, churches and grand Haussmman-style boulevards, which were built in the 19th century as part of Paris’ modernisation, the area takes its name from medieval times when the majority of local residents were clergy or students who spoke Latin. 

  • Begin at Île de la Cité and see the stunning Notre Dame.
  • Experience the artistic haunts of Sartre, Hemingway, and Camus.
  • Get off the beaten track at Paris’ best-hidden squares and parks.
  • Learn all about the area’s post-Medieval history.
  • End your tour in one of the most beautiful parks in the world - the Luxembourg Gardens.
This three-hour walking tour begins on the edge of the Latin Quarter, on the island Île de la Cité, the city’s historical medieval epicentre. Here you will see the famous Notre Dame and will explore some other architecturally notable sights on the island, including the Conciergerie, Place Dauphine, and Square du Vert-Galan, before venturing across the distinctively Parisian Pont Neuf bridge into the heart of the Latin Quarter.

The Latin Quarter was the scene of the student uprising in May ’68, even though its medieval facade strikes a strong contrast to its liberal, intellectual and artistic side. On Boulevard St-Michel and Boulevard St Germain, you will find many cafes where the likes of Camus, Orwell, and Hemingway passed hours discussing philosophy and literature. The area is also rich with interesting book shops, most notably the Shakespeare and Company - a legendary meeting place and boarding house for many aspiring writers.

Your tour guide will direct you through the neighbourhood’s best cultural haunts: experience the wonders of medieval backstreets that are adorned with theatres and jazz clubs, unchanged since their post-war beginnings, and see the narrowest street in Paris. Visit the city’s oldest church in St Julien le Pauvre and see one of the most famous academic institutions in the world - La Sorbonne. Next stop off at the Panthéon, a mausoleum where many distinguished French figures such as Voltaire, Braille, and Rousseau were laid to rest. Then wander through the grounds of the stunning Luxembourg Gardens and Palace, the perfect place to people watch, enjoy nature, and feel like a true Parisian.
Latin Quarter and Seine Cruise
This tour acts as the perfect introduction to Paris' history, culture and most interesting neighbourhoods.

  • Begin by learning the history of iconic Notre Dame.
  • See Paris in all its wonderful different forms: from medieval  Île de la Cité to the vibrant, artsy hub of the Latin Quarter.
  • Travel down the Seine by river cruise and experience the picturesque area around the Eiffel Tower.
  • Return by river cruise to Paris' well connected historical centre.
Begin the walking portion of your tour at the famous Notre Dame before passing over the famous ‘love locks bridge’ into the Latin Quarter. Pay visits to historical bookshops, once frequented by the likes of Hemingway and Orwell, and explore an area that is renowned for being the starting point of the May 68' Revolution as well as the home of French intellectual thought.

Next, take in the amazing sights on a cruise down the Seine to the Eiffel Tower. An iconic residential neighbourhood with French noble associations, the seventh arrondissement comprises some of the most amazing gardens, eateries and markets in Paris. You will also find the city’s oldest department store here. Work with your guide to sample some of the best sights in the local area. Then return to centrally located  Île de la Cité by cruise or take the time to explore the stunning area around the Eiffel Tower at night on your own. 
Paris by Night: Seine Cruise and Walking Tour
Experience the majesty of the City of Lights with an evening walk through Paris' most romantic and scenic areas –medieval Île de la Cité and the Latin Quarter. Take a relaxing cruise ride along the Seine to the seventh arrondissement, where the Eiffel Tower is found. Expect some fine photo opportunities to crop up on the way!

  • Experience the wonders of Paris at night with your own private local guide.
  • Visit the city's most beautiful and romantic neighbourhoods.
  • See Paris in all its wonderful different guises: from medieval  Île de la Cité to the vibrant, artsy hub of the Latin Quarter.
  • Travel down the Seine by river cruise at night and experience the picturesque area around the Eiffel Tower.
  • End your tour in the buzzing cultural hub of the Latin Quarter - bars and jazz clubs galore.
You will begin your walking tour at the famous Notre Dame, the perfect gothic attraction for a visit late in the day. Then pass over the famous ‘love locks bridge’ and board a cruise that will whisk you along the Seine, with all of its scenic points of interest on display, to the Eiffel Tower. Soak up the tranquil atmosphere of an iconic residential neighbourhood that has French noble associations and is famous for its grand, pristine gardens and luxurious residential homes.

Next, take a cruise back up river and explore the vibrant Latin Quarter. Pay visits to a late-night bookshop, once frequented by the likes of Hemingway and Orwell, and explore a buzzing area that is renowned for being the starting point of the May 68' Revolution as well as the home of French intellectual thought. Plenty of quirky bars, jazz clubs and cool backstreets to explore in the moonlight!

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