Île De La Cité

Île de la Cité Overview

The historic district of Île de la Cité in the heart of the French capital is home to several of the city's most famous landmarks. During your time in Paris, you really must take a tour of the ship-shaped island in the middle of the River Seine. After purchasing your Île de la Cité tickets, you can start your exploration of the island by visiting the Conciergerie, which is meant to house some of Christianity's most sacred artefacts, and the equally well-known Sainte Chapelle.

Witness the crypts of French Revolution captives and the graves of revolutionary heroes at this picturesque location. The next stop should be at Sainte Chapelle, one of the world's most breathtaking Gothic churches. Check out the 1113 scenes in 15 panes of stained glass that reach a height of 15 metres.

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Highlights of Île de la Cité Tours

  • Check out Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie, Paris's two oldest monuments, on the ship-shaped Île de la Cité Paris.

  • Visit Sainte Chapelle and marvel at the intact Gothic masterpieces that have made it famous around the world.

  • The Chapelle's 15-metre-tall stained-glass windows, composed of 1113 scenes and divided among 15 panes, feature an astonishing array of vivid colours.

  • With Île de la Cité tickets you can visit the Conciergerie in Paris to see some of Christianity's most prized artefacts as well as prison cells and the tombs of French Revolution-era heroes.

10 Best Things to Do Near Île de la Cité

Explore Île de la Cité on River Cruise

You may get a great feel for the Île de la Cité Paris island and everything it has to offer by walking around and experiencing it on foot, but a trip down the Seine River Cruise will give you a whole other perspective. You will be able to see the entirety of the Conciergerie and its historic towers, and you will have excellent views of Notre Dame Cathedral and the nearby Square du Vert-Galant. Plenty of Paris's most recognisable sights and monuments like Musée d'Orsay, and Eiffel Tower are concentrated along the Seine, so you'll get to view even more as you cruise along.

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Admire the Beautiful Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle, located on the Île de la Cité Paris, is another Gothic masterpiece known for its stunning stained glass windows from the Middle Ages and its romantic candlelight concerts. This modest chapel was constructed to house sacred relics, and its beauty is unparalleled among the city's many grand churches. The Île de la Cité Walking Tour, which includes visits to Sainte Chapelle and the Conciergerie, is a great option for first-time visitors who want to make the most of their time in Paris. Some of the 1,113 scenes displayed in the chapel's 15 enormous glass panels will be explained to you, and your guide will provide an overview of Sainte Chapelle's history and construction.

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Visit the Conciergerie

The Conciergerie is the third beautiful mediaeval landmark on Île de la Cité, but many tourists visiting Paris choose to see the more well-known Notre Dame or Sainte Chapelle instead. This building is a beautiful example of secular Gothic from the 13th century and part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. It has been the royal residence of the first French monarchs and a jail during the Reign of Terror, when Marie Antoinette spent her final weeks before her execution. The building is known for its towering arches, vaulted ceilings, and enormous rooms.

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Explore Louvre Museum

During an Île de la Cité Paris tour, a trip to the Louvre Museum is an absolute must. The museum is a veritable treasury of art and history, with as many as 480,000 pieces. A guided tour is a great opportunity to learn more about the Louvre's history and artefacts. Guided tours of the Louvre are an excellent way to combine your interest in art and learning about the world around you. Take a guided tour to find out about the palace's past, the meaning of the various pieces of art, and the lives of the creative minds behind them. Learn more and see things from a different angle with the help of a local guide who is familiar with every nook and cranny of the museum.

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Visit Notre Dame Cathedral

Built between the years 1160 and 1260, Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the greatest and most well-known Gothic churches in the world. The cathedral stands as the crown jewel of Île de la Cité and is undoubtedly the most significant mediaeval structure in all of Paris. Some of the many attractions are the vaulted ceilings and flying buttresses, stained glass rose windows, outstanding (and large) pipe organ, bells, and massive quantities of artistic sculpture (including its famed gargoyles), precious art and sacred relics, and exquisite concerts.

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Photograph the Pont Neuf Bridge

Despite its name, which literally means "new bridge," Pont Neuf has been serving the public since 1604. This makes it the city's oldest bridge still in use. The arches of the Pont Neuf are reminiscent of those employed by the Romans. Among the many bridges in Paris, Pont Neuf has become a symbol of the city itself. In the late afternoon, when the sun reflects off the soft stone, you can get some of your own.

Relax in Place Dauphine

Two unique Paris attractions that most tourists overlook are Sainte Chapelle and the Conciergerie. You'll first visit Place Dauphine, which was built by King Henri IV during 1607 and 1614 as part of his ambitious plan to improve the quality of life in the city. From the minute you arrive from Rue de Harlay, you will be captivated by its quaintness and peace. Enjoy a leisurely dinner or just relax on an empty bench under a tree in the plaza's gravel setting while admiring the (mainly) 17th-century buildings as you go by the little bookstores and antique shops buried amid the restaurants.

See Charlemagne on Horseback

The Île de la Cité Paris, like most of the older historic areas of Paris, is replete with monuments of important people, but the most magnificent and well-known is a bronze figure of Charlemagne, who was acclaimed King of the Franks in 800, on horseback with his bodyguards Olivier and Roland. The pedestal upon which the monument rests faces south, away from Notre Dame Cathedral and toward the river. The statue is impressive, especially if you're a fan of Charlemagne, but you should study the picture closely because several tour groups instruct their clients to gather at its base.

Picnic in Square du Vert-Galant

If you want to go to the Square du Vert-Galant, you need to go down the stairs directly behind the statue of Henri IV, which is a bit on the steep side. Find a modest bronze plaque commemorating the occasion for extra credit. When you enter the park through the gate, you'll find yourself on a little spit of land at the western extremity of Île de la Cité, created by bordering a natural sandbar with rock walls, called quais. One of the most beautiful, almost-hidden gardens in the city, it is frequently used for picnics.

Stand on Point Zero

A modest bronze plaque inlaid into granite among the cobbled streets before Notre Dame Cathedral is said to symbolise the geographic center of Paris. If you look at a map, you could question the "precise" description, but be assured that it is relatively central. The star at the center of the sign represents the origin point from which all routes in France are calculated, with the full name of the landmark being Point Zéro des routes de France.

Archaeological Crypt of the Île de la Cité

The Archaeological Crypt of Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris is a must-see for visitors of all ages. It's beneath the plaza in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, and it'll make you want to lose yourself in the past. In the footsteps of archaeologists, this route explores the many ruins left behind by the city's many incarnations. The tour takes you through the city's history, from prehistoric times to the present day. Numerous eras succeed one another, revealing the city's long urban sedimentation. From the Gallo-Roman period with the old thermal spas of Lutèce through the Middle Ages with the emergence of the Rue Neuve Notre Dame; and the first orphanage erected under Louis XV and the Second Empire with the arrangement of the sewers by Baron Haussmann. There will be a cast of colourful characters along the path to help the little ones understand everything that Paris has to offer.

History of Île de la Cité

Île de la Cité, which had been inhabited since the 2nd century B.C. and was conquered by the Romans in 52 B.C. . Due to its strategic location at the confluence of the Seine and a major Roman thoroughfare, it has a long history of settlement. Because of this, Île de la Cité was able to dominate the river trade that fueled the city's growth. By the time the Roman peace finally broke down at the close of the third century AD, the Island had been fortified in the river's downstream region, and a palace was built there for the emperor to live in.

In 359 or 360, Julian the Apostate had his troops declare him emperor but in the cold season of 365–366, Emperor Valentinian I made it his new home, and after establishing it as the capital in 508, Clovis became king of the Franks. Up to Philippe Auguste's reign, in the 12th century, when the Louvre was built, the palace served as a royal residence. Saint Louis erected the Sainte-Chapelle in 1248 to house the famous crown of thorns. Christians began constructing a holy city complete with a church, baptistery, schools, and a hospital in the island's upstream region somewhere in the fourth century. Bishop of Paris at the time, Maurice de Sully started building Notre Dame in the eleventh century where two earlier churches have stood. The area around Notre Dame used to be a warren of cobblestone alleys and half-timbered homes. Between 1860 and 1870, Baron Haussmann cleared the parvis Notre Dame of his building projects.

Plan Your Visit to Île de la Cité

Location & How to Reach

1. Location: ÎleÎle de la Cité is centrally located on the Seine in Paris.

2. How to Reach

  • By metro: To get to The Louvre from Cité, take either Line 4 or the Yellow Line 1.

  • By Bus: Those starting out at the Eiffel Tower have the choice of taking Bus 69 or 87, while those starting out at The Louvre can take Bus 67.

  • By RER: If you are arriving from CDG Airport, you can take the RER B line directly to Saint-Michel Notre-Dame (RER St. Michel), from where it is only a short walk across the bridge to the island.

  • If you're a fan of flowers and gardens, you should definitely check out the Marché aux Fleur. After visiting Notre Dame Cathedral, take a stroll through here.

  • In order to enjoy your visit to Notre Dame without dealing with crowds, you should get there as early as possible.

  • It's far more convenient to visit the attractions on Île de la Cité if you purchase your tickets digitally in advance, and you can do so on the respective attraction websites.

  • The Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Pres are two great neighbourhoods to stay in if you want to be close to the Île de la Cité.

  • Don't just visit the major monuments on the Île de la Cité that are highlighted here; explore the island's minor sights as well, such as the oldest clock in Paris, which has stood on the Conciergerie's street-facing side since the 14th century.

FAQ's of Île de la Cité

How do I get to Île de la Cité?

By metro: To get to The Louvre from Cité, take either Line 4 or the Yellow Line 1.

By Bus: Those starting out at the Eiffel Tower have the choice of taking Bus 69 or 87, while those starting out at The Louvre can take Bus 67.

By RER: If you are arriving from CDG Airport, you can take the RER B line directly to Saint-Michel Notre-Dame (RER St. Michel), from where it is only a short walk across the bridge to the island !

What is the most historical place at Île de la Cité ?

The most historical place at Île de la Cité is the Notre Dame Cathedral which is a magnificent Gothic cathedral that was constructed between the years 1160 and 1260 and is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of its kind.

What is Île de la Cité known for?

Many of Paris' most famous landmarks, including Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sainte Chapelle, and the Conciergerie, are located on the Île de la Cité, making it one of the city's most picturesque districts. The Île de la Cité is not only home to historic structures, but also to lovely streets and squares.

Is it worth visiting Île de la Cité?

Yes, Île de la Cité is worth visiting in Paris because it is the city's original location, the site of three of the world's most renowned mediaeval architectural marvels (Notre Dame Cathedral, Sainte-Chapelle, and the Conciergerie), and is home to many other fascinating attractions.

Can I book Île de la Cité tickets online?

Yes, Île de la Cité tickets can be purchased online from our website.

Do I need to book Île de la Cité in advance?

Yes, it is highly recommended that visitors purchase their Île de la Cité tickets in advance from our website to ensure smooth and easy entry to the island's many attractions.



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