5 Cathedrals That Are a Must-Visit in Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral

The Notre Dame cathedral is one of the most beautiful and famous cathedrals in the world. The building of the cathedral was started in the 12th century, and completed in the 14th century. I quickly became the central structure in Paris. However, it did go through a period of decay until Victor Hugo immortalized it in his book “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.

Saint-Eustache Church

This gorgeous and unique church was constructed between 1532 and 1642 right in the heart of Parisa in the Les Halles and Rue Montorgueil districts. It boasts both Renaissance elements and gothic design in a seemingly unfinished design that has an essence of charm and elegance. The organ located within the church was famously used by composers Franz Listz and Berlioz to compose various works. You can still catch a concert to this day that the church.

Eglise de la Madeleine

The church, named after Mary Magdalene, resembles none other than the famous Parthenon! It was originally set to be a government hall, a library, and a national bank, however Louis XVIII decided he’d rather it be a church. Inside the church is a remarkable statue of Joan of Arc, as well as paintings depicting the marriage of the Virgin Mary and Christ’s baptism.

Saint Etienne du Mont Church

This beauty lies right behind the Pantheon in Paris’ Latin Quarter. The church was originally constructed in the 13th century, but was rebuilt between 15th and 17th century. It houses a bell tower, beautiful stained glass, and some of Paris’ oldest organs.

Saint Coeur Basilica

Sitting right in the Montmarte quarter is the Sacre Coeur Basilica, which is actually a relatively new addition to the structures in Paris. It was built during the French Revolution of 1789 and completed in the year 1919 right after World War One. This church differs from others in Paris in that it was not built in the gothic or Renaissance style, and instead was built with a Romano-Byzantine style in mind. Inside you can find a lot of gold leaf and some gorgeous decor.

Should you buy a Paris museum pass?

paris museum pass

If you are planning to visit two or more Paris museums during your trip to Paris – who has hundreds of great ones –  then you should consider purchasing a Paris Museum Pass. Here are some advantages you’ll get when purchasing the pass:

  • Can be purchase in increments of 2, 4, or 6 days
  • Gives you free and unlimited access to over 60 museums and major monuments in Paris and surrounding regions, including but not limited to:  the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, the National Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Pompidou, the Rodin Museum and the Notre Dame Cathedral Towers.
  • You don’t have to wait in any lone lines, of which there can be many, because the pass gives you priority entry.
  • Prices are very reasonable: 2 days = 50 Euros, 4 days = 79 Euros, and 6 days = 109 Euros. (Please note these prices are subject to change at any time, but these are currently accurate as of the writing of this article.)
  • You have a full year to use the card – buy it in Spring when the weather is nice, and wait to use it until December when it’s colder.
  • You get a pamphlet with your pass purchase giving details on each of the museums – great to take along as a reference during your museum visits .

Now, you can buy the museum pass at a few different places. Here are some of the easiest and most common places:

  • Purchase Paris Museum Pass via Rail Europe here
  • Paris Tourist Office:
  • 25, Rue des Pyramides, 1st arrondissementMetro: Pyramides or Opera Tel.: 08 92 68 30 00
  • Espace du Tourisme Ile de France
  • At the Carrousel du Louvre shopping centre 99, Rue de Rivoli, 1st arrondissement
  • Metro: Louvre-Rivoli or Palais Royal/Musee du Louvre

Need further convincing? Here’s some reviews from goparis.about.com:

“My entire experience with the Museum Pass was positive. One of the keys to maximizing the benefit of the pass was planning which sites we were going to see within the 6 consecutive days the pass could be used. Make sure that planning includes verifying that the site is open on the day that you are planning to visit.

The cost to purchase individual tickets for all of the sites we visited would have been more expensive than the Paris Musuem Pass. We were also able to bypass a few long ticket purchasing lines and get directly in the queue to enter the site.

There are so many sight-seeing options in Paris. The Museum Pass also helped us to narrow the options for a portion of our trip. The Museum Pass provides access to many of the key attractions.”

 

“I am disabled, so the ONLY thing bad was on MY part. I simply couldn’t do any days in a row.

It would be MUCH better if you could spread out the days!

But with the pass I was able to explore smaller museums at my leisure. For example the Louvre and Versailles were madhouses! But Monet’s water lilies was a quiet and contemplative museum…same with Rodin and others,

vive la pass,

but let me use it on separate days!!”

 

“We purchased six-day museum passes at Sainte-Chapelle last fall on our first visit to Paris. The passes more than paid for themselves, and what I really liked about having the pass was that we didn’t have to think twice about whether we had enough euros or a credit card handy each time we entered a museum. The pass was a wonderful convenience!”

 

“We love the museum pass in Paris! It offered us freedom and flexibility to visit more museums, but not feel the obligation to spend an entire day at each one. The only downside was that we did feel like we had to cram the museum visits into the 3 days the pass was purchased for.

We are taking our kids to Paris soon and will be purchasing passes upon arirval. We’ll be able to visit multiple museums without feeling guilty if the kids have had enough.”

 

Our Lady of Paris



Gracing the skies high above Paris, casting its enormous reflection in the ripples of the river Seine, stands the ominously beautiful Notre Dame cathedral. Notre Dame de Paris translates into Our Lady of Paris, and is one of the most magnificent examples of Gothic architecture in the world. With beautiful arched supports and gargoyles dotting the exterior, expertly crafted stained glass filtering in light, a rich history, and playing a starring role in Victor Hugo’s renowned book The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it’s no small wonder the cathedral holds a powerful draw for visitors the world over.

In this edition of This Week In Pictures, we take you inside the Notre Dame cathedral. Enjoy!

The Notre Dame, shown here resting on the river Seine

Rising high above Paris, the Notre Dame certainly demands attention.

Notice the curved support arches that give the Notre Dame an elegantly curved shape

One of the famous Notre Dame gargoyles looking out over the city

Intricate wood carvings tell a story inside the Notre Dame

Stunning and intricate columns and ceilings

Statues of Christian apostles adorning the stone walls of the cathedral

Stained glass featuring the Madonna

Gorgeous and intricate stained glass window

The cathedral looking elegant in the night sky

Take a Cruise Down the Seine River



Taking one of the available cruises down the Seine River gives one of the best views of Paris. Depending on which river boat tour you take, the cruise can last anywhere from 1-3 hours and is a really inexpensive way to experience some of Paris’ extensive beauty.

Tours are offered between March and November and are generally pretty inexpensive, with fares for children starting at only$5.20 and adults at only $10. Sun decks, bars, and even restaurants are found on some of these boats. The boats that have the restaurants generally offer dinner tours as well, which can be especially inspiring – viewing Paris at night is spectacular. Be sure and wear your dinner jackets and ties, men, if you take one of the dinner tours

The Seine river, which flows through the center of Paris, used to be a the main form of transportation for the city and provided added protection. The Seine is such a beautiful river that it has long been revered in the art world and has been the subject of many paintings. When you take a cruise down the Seine, you’ll be able to see beautiful old bridges, old homes gracing the river, and get a unique perspective on historical landmarks such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

For more information and to schedule your tour, here are 2 of the most notable river cruise company’s:

Bateaux-Mouche Tours

Phone # 01-40-76-99-99

Website: www.bateaux-mouches.fr

 

Paris Canal

Phone # 01-42-40-96-97