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The iconic Cathedral set on the Ile de la Cite in the middle of the Seine River is certainly standard to any checklist and visit to Paris. However being caught up in the big crowd swells and trying to take in the entire Cathedral may have one missing out on some important things, so here we will highlight what not to miss.
The best time to visit the Cathedral is from October till March as this is low season and the crowds are reduced. However there may be ongoing restoration. Weekday mornings and evenings are also good times to go for low traffic. Times around sunrise and sunset are the absolute best for watching the natural light play with the beautiful stained glass arrangements.
Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris:
The main body of the Cathedral has free access from 6:45am-7:45pm each day. Know that due to various Masses and rites, portions may be closed or redirected during the day. The main focus is the architecture, sculptures, paintings and stained glass. Free audioguides can be downloaded online or for a small fee group tours are available. The treasury is open during working hours and houses some of the cathedral’s most prized collections, it can be accessed for 3 Euros.
The cathedral towers open between 9-10am at various times of the year and close between 5pm and 7:30pm. The cost is 7.50 Euros for admission with various discounts applicable. The towers are a 402 stair climb with stunning observational views of the cathedral itself, bells and gargoyles and the surrounding cityscape.
The archeological displays o the Crypt are open each day except Mondays. Hours are from 10am till 6pm. Cost is 3.30 Euros. Most astonishing are the ruins of ancient Paris on display and the changing landscape of the city over millennia.