What trip to Paris would be complete without a stop by the incredible Notre Dame Cathedral? Notre Dame sits on an island in the Seine River called Ile de la Cite, named appropriately for being in the center of Paris. It can be pretty crowded as everyone shuffles to get a glimpse, but it’s worth it. Here are a few tips to help you with your visit!
5 Tips for Visiting Notre Dame Cathedral:
- The pathways around the Cathedral are easy to walk and offer some great views of the stunning cathedral. The views are even better when you step away & can take it all in.
- Tickets can be purchased to go to the top, but even if you purchase tickets ahead of time (recommended!), expect to wait in an exceptionally long line. We opted to spend some more peaceful time soaking in the quiet calm of the church, but it’s up to you!
- Check the hours before you visit, but it is usually open all day. They request hushed, respectful tones so it makes a wonderful place to rest and recuperate in the heart of the city…a wonderful nod to the original goal of the church.
- This is a working church, not just a tourist spot. You are welcome to join them for a church service or mass. The choir is incredible!
- Skip the tourist trap restaurants right outside of the cathedral. Head over to the nearby Ile Saint-Louis or St. Germain neighborhoods for incredible shopping & local food instead.
We peeked up into the rafters to try and spot the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I could almost feel Quasimodo & Esmeralda peering around the gargoyles.
I could sit there for hours just soaking in the beautiful of the vaulted ceilings and the sparkling stained glass.
Sitting across the street from Notre Dame is one of the many Love Lock Bridges in Paris.
Ben surprised me at Christmas with a Love Lock engraved with our wedding date & names on it! It was and is one of my favorite gifts. I have wanted to make a pilgrimage to the City of Love to leave our love lock for years! It was such a special moment together!
Love lock walls have started popping up in so many places, including in Rome, Florence, and on Lover’s Lane in Cinque Terre. It was tempting to place our lock at one of the lovely spots, but I’m so glad we held out. It was so much fun to participate in the love lane.
Note: I understand that the City of Paris has been taking down the locks. Regardless of whether our lock is still there, it was a wonderful experience to have together. I thought that it was a beautiful art display and testament to Paris being the City of Love. There were several spots around the city where couples were placing their locks and plenty of shops were selling locks & pens. Police officers watched it happen with disinterest. There were a few places were the bridge fences had been replaced, but contrary to the news pieces we saw, it seemed to be generally accepted.