I travel as much as possible at home and abroad. I'm always ready for new experiences
Published January 22nd 2014
A panoramic view of Paris from its most famous cathedral
Notre Dame is easily one of Paris' most well-loved landmarks, attracting thousands of visitors every year. A tour of the South Tower is a unique opportunity to see a panoramic view of Paris, explore the gargoyle carvings up close, take a photo with the largest bell, and clamber over the rooftop at dizzying heights just like Quasimodo.
The South Tower is only accessible via an enclosed stone stairway of exactly 387 steps, but breathtaking views of Paris await at the top of the stairs. Famous Parisian landmarks visible from the roof include:
The tower visit encompasses all of the principle parts of the thirteenth century western façade, including gargoyles from the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries and the cathedral's largest bell, Emmanuel Bell, which dates to the late seventeenth century.
Gargoyle overlooking Paris. Photo by Erin Connelly
The entrance for the tower has a separate location from the regular cathedral entrance on the left-hand side of the Rue du Cloître Notre-Dame. Because Notre Dame is such a popular attraction and only so many visitors can be on the roof at once, it is important to arrive early to queue at the entrance. A long queue of visitors forms at the entrance even up to an hour before opening time, especially in the busy summer months.
The tower is open every day at variable times of the year, from April 1 till September 30 (10 am to 6:30 pm) and October 1 to March 31 (10 am to 5:30 pm). In July and August, the tower is open later on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 11 pm.