Join our Notre Dame Cathedral tour to uncover its secrets, climb its legendary bell tower, and explore the Île de la Cité with its rich history, dramatic architecture and unique sights. With an expert, English-speaking guide leading the way, you’ll learn about the history behind this beautiful little island - the center of Paris where the medieval city was founded.
You’ll see the Conciergerie, the oldest remaining part of the first royal palace, and infamous prison that housed Marie Antoinette before her execution in 1793 during the French Revolution. Among the Conciergerie’s three towers there is also Bonbec, where prisoners were made to “sing”.
You’ll pass by the Sainte-Chapelle church, built in the 1200s by Louis IX to house the Crown of Thorns and Piece of the True Cross. More recent history and headlines were made when the island’s beloved Marche aux Fleurs was renamed for Queen Elizabeth II during the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
Since 1830, this lovely flower market, both covered and open air, has been a delight for the senses and, located between the Sainte-Chapelle and Notre Dame Cathedral, a welcome oasis for sightseers.
And now we come to the highlight of our tour – Our Lady of Paris. Begun in 1163 by Louis VII on a site that was originally sacred to the Romans, Notre Dame is one of the most magnificent examples of French Gothic architecture and among the largest and most famous churches in the world. The heart of Paris and the point from which all distances in France are measured, this cathedral has captured the hearts of visitors and locals for centuries. It even inspired Victor Hugo’s tale of a tragic, lovelorn hunchback, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
After admiring its imposing exterior, we’ll explore the interior of the cathedral to see its incredible stained glass windows and sculptures, imposing arches and famed flying buttresses. Along the way, your guide will share stories about the work that went into the church, the damage it sustained during the French Revolution, and its restoration.
Then comes a sure highlight of our Notre Dame tour. Your guide will give you Skip the Line tickets to enter one of the cathedral towers. Climbing the winding staircase, you’ll discover perhaps the most beautiful view of Paris, with Sacre Coeur rising on one side, the Eiffel Tower on the other and the Seine River below. Here you’ll find an iconic feature of the cathedral – the gargoyles. These fantastic, fierce sculptures are actually drainpipes, built for water runoff, but it’s hard to think of them in practical terms. Imagine them as they originally appeared – in bright colors.
We guarantee you won’t need photos to remember the wonderful, timeless sights on Paris’s Île de la Cité. The dramatic tales of passion, scandal, terror, and triumph shared by your guide will make the centuries drop away.
Due to increased security measures at many attractions some lines may form on tours with 'Skip the Line' access.
The walking portion of Ile de la Cité takes approximately 1 hour. Your guide will be pointing at the most iconic buildings on the island along the way.
There is only one metro stop on the island called Cité.
There are many steps up the Notre Dame towers. We do not recommend this tour to people with reduced mobility as the climb can be quite challenging.
A City Wonders tour is the product of meticulous research, detailed planning, and a passion for providing customers with travel experiences they will cherish forever.
With City Wonders it's not just facts, our passionate guides tell you the stories that bring the sights to life.