Of course, one must visit Notre Dame while in Paris. It's the stuff of movies and books and so much history.Don't be alarmed by the enormous line you will likely encounter upon approaching Notre Dame; it moves very quickly. Be sure to take a guidebook that details what you're looking at, especially as you wait outside.
Once inside, visitors are asked to be silent, and I really appreciate that. Notre Dame is simply beautiful—astonishingly so. The cathedral, which is one of the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world, is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.
The stained glass windows, statutes, transepts: there are all stunning. It is hard to move through quickly. One wants to just linger at each one, soaking in the serenity and history.
After we walked through the cathedral, we wanted to climb to the top. The cathedral is free, but this is extra. If you buy a museum pass, this is covered BUT you don't get to skip the line. And the line was l-o-n-g. We waited about an hour and almost gave up several times. I am so glad we didn't! Climbing the stairs to the tower was so fun and the views were incredible!
We were up close to gargoyles, could see flying buttresses like crazy, and the views of Paris: WOW!!
After climbing hundreds of stairs up and back down, we headed around to the back of the cathedral along the Seine. We stumbled upon this bridge filled with Locks of Love, which was on Laurel's to-see list. People buy locks, write their names on them (Randy -n- Sarah 2013) and lock them on, throwing the key in the river. So fun!
The back of Notre Dame is so beautiful, and there was a perfect Parisian park right there.
It was a perfect visit to Notre Dame, even with the incredibly long wait to climb to the tower. There are public restrooms right by the cathedral and plenty of street vendors to serve you while you wait, though. Crepes with nutella? Um, YES!!
More of Our Week in Paris:
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