Notre Dame cathedral is one of those must see places in Paris that can’t be missed. Who can visit it and not be inspired to read Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame?
However the part I like best is the towers. From here you get some of the best views in Paris. Built right in the heart of the city, the views beat even the Eiffel Tower in my opinion – you’re high enough to see for miles yet close enough to be able to pick out the details.
But even better? The gargoyles and especially the chimera. The gargoyles are used to drain water away from the cathedral, it usually runs out of their mouths. The chimera however are my favourites, they represent all kinds of imaginary beasts, many of them half animal and half human, and all looking out accross the city.
Even the roof of the cathedral itself is incredibly beautiful, and full of detail.
The lines can be long. Oh yes, and there are 387 steps! And that’s not even right to the top, you can keep going if you want to. But it’s well worth the climb. And you can always book a skip the line tour, these include a walk around the beautiful Ile de la Cité, tons of fascinating history about the island and the cathedral, and of course you get whisked straight past those annoying lines…
- Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. Ile de la Cité. métro Cité or St Michel
Open daily until 6.45pm