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The Cathedral of Notre Dame: Top Paris Tourist Attractions

Updated on July 18, 2011

Notre Dame: A Must-See Stop on Your Paris Sightseeing Tour

The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris rises majestically from the banks of the River Seine. Gothic guardian of the city of lights, Notre Dame finds her footing on Paris’ Ile-de-la-Cité, a natural island on the famed River Seine.

We often look at landmark architectural achievements such as Notre Dame with wide-eyed wonder, inspired not only by the beauty of these edifices, but also by the thoughts of ‘how did they do that?’ and ‘they built that when?’

The mammoth effort necessary to design, plan and build such a masterpiece is almost beyond our comprehension -- sometimes it seems hardly possible that we could build such a beautiful structure today. Do we have that kind of patience? Construction on Notre Dame was completed in 1345. But it began in 1163. Can you imagine -- taking 180 years to build something today? I can’t imagine 18 years. We want everything built yesterday. So that we can hurry up and tear it down tomorrow, to build a bigger one.

One thing’s for sure – in order to erect such a structure as the Cathedral of Notre Dame, one that that would not be completed in our lifetimes, our children’s lifetimes, or our grandchildren’s lifetimes, it would be necessary to believe in something larger than oneself.

Notre Dame exterior, black and white
Notre Dame exterior, black and white | Source

Ring My Bell

The Cathedral is open to visitors daily from early morning (usually 8:00 a.m.) to early evening (usually 6:45 p.m.).

Free tours are offered daily in several languages, but a small admission fee is charged to climb the bell tower. A climb up the 387 steps to the bell tower is a must and well worth the effort and the euros. Keep your eyes peeled for Quasimodo.

If you are in Paris during the Christmas season, the nativity scene at Notre Dame is a sight to see, attracting over two million visitors annually.

Notre Dame, Paris
Notre Dame, Paris | Source

Paris Hotels Near Notre Dame

The neighborhoods around Notre Dame are some of the most vibrant and interesting in all of Paris. Here are some terrific hotel choices for your next trip to Paris.

Hotel Notre Dame de Paris

This charming Paris hotel offers unbelievable views of Notre Dame and the River Seine. It is situated in the heart of the Latin Quarter, a short stroll across the Seine (I advise using the bridge, unless you are Moses. Or Chriss Angel) to the flying buttresses of Notre Dame. Also within a short walk are the Sorbonne and the Luxembourg Gardens. Free wifi, friendly service, and rooms a little on the small side but sumptuously decorated – you will definitely know that you’re in France.

Hotel les Rives de Notre Dame

A quaint, clean, brightly colored four star hotel set in a 16th century building. Spectacular location on the bank of the River Seine. A very charming hotel with impeccable service, steps from Notre Dame. Laundry service and complimentary Wi-Fi available in the big rooms of this Paris hotel. Got your pooch with you? Good, bring him along, pet friendly.

Hotel Louvre Rivoli

The Hotel Louvre Rivoli is located less than a five minute walk from Notre Dame. It is also less than a five minute walk from the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, and St. Germain des Prés. Rooms have a very contemporary design and you will be wowed every morning as you venture down to the scrumptious breakfast buffet in the hewn stone vault breakfast rooms.

For more information on visiting the Cathedral of Notre Dame, visit:

Cathedrale of Notre Dame

Sacred Destinations: Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Bon Voyage!

Saint Denis, Bishop of Paris, holds his head up high even after being beheaded
Saint Denis, Bishop of Paris, holds his head up high even after being beheaded | Source


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    • Vacation Trip profile image


      5 years ago from India

      Wow. Excellent hub with beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and beautiful.

    • Mike's Corner profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike's Corner 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks very much, ToKnow, and I'm glad you enjoyed the hub!

    • toknowinfo profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful and well done hub. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. You write very well. Keep writing. Rated useful, beautiful, awesome, and up.


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