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Heart of Paris: Historic Notre Dame Island, River Walk, Seine Cruise, and Skip-the-Line Sainte-Chapelle

177 reviews

1 hrs 30 mins

Max 20

Why take this tour?

For such a tiny island, Île de la Cité has a lot of stories to tell. See the site of Notre Dame, which still stands proud after the recent fire. Stroll through the narrow streets and hidden corners of the Latin Quarter. Marvel at St. Louis' phenomenal private chapel with skip-the-line Sainte-Chapelle tickets. Then experience Paris from a different vantage point on an idyllic Seine River Cruise.

Highlights

  • Created with Sketch.Marvel at Notre Dame and reflect on the impact it has had not only in Paris, but worldwide
  • Created with Sketch.Explore the Latin Quarter, and learn about the characters at the heart of Parisian history
  • Created with Sketch.Gain special-access entry to Sainte Chapelle, and bask in its breathtaking Gothic architecture
  • Created with Sketch.Enjoy a charming cruise along the river Seine

Take in the City of Light under the shadow of Notre Dame

Go back to where it all started with this leisurely tour of the geographic and historic center of Paris; the Ile de la Cité. Take in iconic sights from Notre Dame to Sainte Chapelle, before a leisurely cruise along the River Seine as the city’s history unravels before you.

One of the best known sites in Paris, your day begins at the Louvre Pyramid where you’ll meet your guide and small group. From there, you will be transported to the calm surrounds of the Seine for a stroll along the river banks. Take in the idyllic sights and charming buildings as your guide reveals the area’s hidden history. Stop along the Pont Neuf; the oldest surviving bridge that crosses the river, and get swept away by the beautiful surroundi...

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Go back to where it all started with this leisurely tour of the geographic and historic center of Paris; the Ile de la Cité. Take in iconic sights from Notre Dame to Sainte Chapelle, before a leisurely cruise along the River Seine as the city’s history unravels before you.

One of the best known sites in Paris, your day begins at the Louvre Pyramid where you’ll meet your guide and small group. From there, you will be transported to the calm surrounds of the Seine for a stroll along the river banks. Take in the idyllic sights and charming buildings as your guide reveals the area’s hidden history. Stop along the Pont Neuf; the oldest surviving bridge that crosses the river, and get swept away by the beautiful surroundings. The leafy cobblestones of Place Dauphine awaits before a guided tour around the narrow streets of the Latin Quarter home to the Sorbonne and the resting place of Marie Curie and Victor Hugo.

Next, your tour will transport you hundreds of years back in time, to when the mighty cathedral at Notre Dame (the distance from which all points in France are measured) was first built, and Paris looked very different to how it looks today. Since the Middle Ages, Paris has been a city of pilgrims drawn by Notre Dame Cathedral; the gothic jewel of the city. Struck by its immensity, seemingly impossible design, and bathed in light, early visitors were convinced it was conceived by the divine. Its ability to inspire endures more than 850 years later. Severely damaged by a recent fire, it proudly stands as a testament to the genius of its design and the endurance of France, reminding us all of Paris' official motto: fluctuat nec merger - ‘rocked but never sunk’.

Your guide will bring you as close as the ongoing restoration permits to give you the best views possible. You'll cross the river into the historic Latin Quarter. Strolling down meandering, cobbled streets, you'll hear the stories and learn about the characters - poets, philosophers, artists - that made Paris the ‘City of Light’.

Notre Dame is a magnificent building, but the title for the most beautiful church in Paris is reserved for the next stop of your Ile de la Cité tour; the incomparable Sainte Chappelle. Originally built by King Louis IX to hold his considerable collection of relics, it's one of the most stunning single rooms ever constructed in the Gothic style, with towering stained glass windows which never fail to impress. It's no wonder that general entry lines stretch around the block - but with timed entry and skip-the-line Sainte Chapelle tickets, you'll get straight inside. You will be free to explore the majesty of the building at your own pace as the guided part of your tour ends here. Your guide will leave you with a special treat however - a river cruise along the Seine where you can experience Paris and its many magnificent buildings from a new vantage point. The cruise will last one hour and has a live guide on board.

Fact, fiction, history, rumor, and lore all come together on this engrossing tour of Central Paris' most popular attractions. With a small group of no more than 15 people, you will have excellent access to your guide, whose stories about Paris will bring the city to life around you.

  • Sites Visited
  • Notre Dame Cathedral (outside)
  • Sainte-Chapelle
  • Latin Quarter
  • Île de la Cité
  • River Seine
  • Place Dauphine
  • Pont Neuf
  • Tour Includes
  • Skip-the-line Sainte Chapelle tickets
  • Latin Quarter walking tour
  • Île de la Cité walking tour
  • Flexible Seine River cruise tickets
  • Expert local tour guide
  • Small groups of 20 people or fewer
  • Headsets (if necessary)
Seine river bank walk.
Place Dauphine.
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Latest Reviews

Tina was excellent, we really enjoyed our tour!

My whole family enjoyed the tour very much. There was a reasonable amount of walking, with informative commentary by the guide. We covered the highlights of Ile de la Cite in a short period of time, with the highlight beyond the incomparable Sainte-Chapelle with its glowing stained glass. Thank you!


FAQ

Can I bring my bag into the sites visited on this tour?
Yes, as long as your bag is small. Only bags smaller than 21.5 in x 13.5 in x 7.5 in (55 cm x 35 cm x 20 cm) are permitted in the sites.
Are Notre Dame's tower's wheelchair accessible?
No. There are 426 (narrow) steps to the top of the south tower of Notre Dame and no elevator. Additionally we don't recommend this experience for anyone with heart problems, claustrophobia, or other medical conditions. The same applies for infants in strollers.
Does the itinerary of this tour ever change
Occasionally parts of the Ile de le Cité museums are closed without warning. On Sundays parts of Notre Dame are closed for Mass. If a particular area happens to be closed on the day of your tour your guide will find a suitable alternative.
Does this visit include a Notre Dame tower climb?
Yes, but not during the tour. Instead your guide asks you when you would like to visit the tours then helps you book a pre-reserved ticket for that time so you can simply show up and walk right in, instead of having to wait in line.

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