Notre Dame Cathedral

Stand face to face with the most iconic Gothic building in all of Paris with a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral on Île de la Cité. Start by exploring the outside of the building with its scary looking gargoyles and intricate carvings, before going through the main entrance to see the interior.

Inside Notre Dame, which is large enough for 6,000 people, you’ll see beautiful rose stained glass windows and asymmetrical design features. Look at the artefacts in the treasury and see the wooden stalls, carved to represent the Passion of the Christ, before climbing 400 steps up the spiralling North Tower for incredible views across the city. To see the cathedral’s biggest bell, Emmanuel, you’ll need to go up 380 steps to reach the top of the South Tower.

If you’re visiting on the first Friday of the month, you may be lucky enough to see one of the most interesting holy relics in Europe, a ring of thorns that Christians believe was the exact wreath worn by Jesus when he died. To find out more about the sights inside the cathedral, hire an audio guide on your way in or take a guided tour.

After your visit, spend some time in the square outside the cathedral to enjoy a picnic or a spot of people watching in the sunshine. Then walk to the park behind Notre Dame, Square Jean XXIII, to get brilliant views of the whole building, making it a great vantage point for photos.