Since Paris is so large with so much to do I’ve broken down my posts into Paris Day 1, Paris Day 2, & Versailles where I share our itinerary and how I planned our trip. Then for some of the larger sites where I have several photos, like Notre Dame, I’ve also given them their own post as well with more pictures and detailed info. This is the first of my Paris posts so keep checking back for the rest.
One of our first places to see in Paris was the Notre Dame Cathedral. I really wanted to see the gargoyles who overlook the city of Paris. As you may know I love using Rick Steves’ books and his Paris 2014 was a great help! I knew we needed to be there close to opening at 10 am to get up in the towers. Due to having to get from our hotel outside of Paris we got there at 10:15 am. We knew to go to the left side of the cathedral and get into the line. When you go to the left side there was a large group of people standing around that we thought was the line…it’s not…go past them and walk down the side of Notre Dame to the line. We had to wait in line for 1 hour and 10 minutes. This was on a Wednesday, my friend tried to go on a Saturday and arrived around 11 am and the wait would’ve been 2.5-3 hours.
Also if you are going I recommend checking into getting the Paris Museum Pass, more on that in Paris Day 1, but for now know that if you do not already have it you can get it inside where you buy tickets for the tower. We were not sure we could get it inside so I sent Mr. B off to the closest location that I knew sold them (I had printed the info beforehand) which was across the street from Sainte Chapelle. Luckily he had plenty of time due to our long wait.
There are also free public bathrooms in front of Notre Dame, if your facing Notre Dame they are to the right down some stairs. There was a long wait for the ladies and an attendant who sent us in, in an orderly fashion, there was no wait for the men. As we found out later the bathroom has weird hours and was closed in the evening. Across the street on the right side of Notre Dame is a Subway and there for €0.50 you can use the bathroom.
Once you get inside to buy the tickets, they let a certain number of people in at a time, you purchase the tickets and then wait a few mins and then they let you start walking up the stairs to the first tower. Boo & Bub counted the spiraling stairs as we walked up and down the towers, there were 387 up and again coming back down for a total of 774 stairs we walked. After you reach the first tower they keep you up there for a set amount of time so there is no need to rush. Our group was done before they allowed us to continue on. Bea was scared because she’s not a fan of heights, but the towers are fully included with large mesh wire so it’s safe.
After the set time your allowed to climb up to the 2nd tower, although I think the best views were from the 1st tower. Again you are held up there until the time has passed and then your are allowed to walk all 387 stairs down to the bottom and exit.
Highlight of the trip was seeing the gargoyles at Notre Dame, so glad I was able to check that off my ‘must do’ list!
Note that there is the large mesh wire surrounding this area and you have to ‘shoot’ in one of the squares to get a clear picture without any of the wire.
It’s a gargoyle party, LOL! Looks like there is even a wizard…
I just love these gargoyles overlooking the city!
A view below, the yellow bus is one of the Hop on Hop off buses, we used the red company. You can also see the Batobus going down the Seine river.
Our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower was from the towers at Notre Dame.
It makes you wonder how they go got all those guys out there on the roof back in the day….
After climbing the towers we went in to see the cathedral, and truthfully after seeing Saint Eteinne in Metz I wasn’t overly impressed by Notre Dame. There was no wait and we were able to walk right into the cathedral, it’s free to check out the inside. We made a quick loop through the church and then headed off to follow Rick Steves’ Historic Walk.
Large stained glass windows.
There were several people inside but it was not crowded by any means, however my friend when the following Saturday and said it was so crowded that the could hardly see anything in the cathedral. So I’d recommend not going on a weekend.
St. Denis, the beheaded fellow in the photo.
Also walking the stairs can be a bit tiring but I felt horrible for Mr. B…he got sick on Monday the day before we left and on Tuesday night he was pretty miserable, neither he nor I slept much because he’d been burning up with a fever most of the night. So while the stairs wore me out a bit I know they wore him out for sure!
Side view of Notre Dame, this was from the right side.
View from the back of Notre Dame, taken from near the lock bridge and the Holocaust memorial.
Know Before You Go:
Where: Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris, France
How To Get There: Approx 4 hour drive from Spangdahlem.
From Disney Paris area its about 1.5 hours via bus/shuttle & RER/subway, subway stop is St. Michel
Hop on Hop off bus & Batobus drops off near here.
What: Walk up to the towers and see the gargoyles and a great view of the city, plan at least an 45 mins to an hour to tour the tours plus however long you have to wait. Also tour the inside of the cathedral as well.
Cost: €8,50 or covered by the Museum Pass, also note kids 18 and under are free. You just need to get them a ticket at the register but it is free.
When: Towers are open daily from 10 am to 7 pm from April to September.
Where to find info: Online, above links
Rick Steves’ Paris 2014