Paris is home to some of the most beautiful and historic churches in the world. From Gothic masterpieces to Renaissance gems, these churches offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the French capital. We recommend popping in any intriguing church you come across while wandering around the city — please do be respectful of worshippers when inside — but these seven sanctuaries are the ones you absolutely won’t want to miss.
One of the most famous churches in the world, Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral is a stunning example of French Gothic architecture. The building, which dates back to the 12th century, is famous for its intricate carvings and stunning rose windows, not to mention all its appearances in literature and film.
You used to be able to climb to the top of the cathedral for a breathtaking view of Paris, however, the towers have been closed since the fire of April 2019. Even if you can’t currently go inside Notre-Dame Cathedral, the UNESCO World Heritage Site remains a must for anyone visiting Paris.
Notre Dame de Paris
6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris
Interior currently closed
Metro: Cité (Line 4)
This 13th-century Gothic chapel is known for its stunning stained glass. Built for the personal use of King Louis IX, la Sainte-Chapelle is one of the few remaining vestiges of the royal palace that once occupied the Île de la Cité, along with la Conciergerie. With its high walls and colorful windows, it’s a surprisingly intimate oasis of serenity and beauty in the heart of the city.
If you’re in town at the right time, you may even be able to enjoy a classical music concert in this incredible setting. It’s a Parisian experience you won’t forget. It’s worth noting that this is one of the only churches in Paris that isn’t free to enter. Tickets can be purchased on the official Sainte-Chapelle website or on site.
This white marble basilica perched atop the hill of Montmartre offers one of the best views of Paris. The Sacré-Cœur was built in the late 19th century and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. The view from the steps in front of the basilica is one not to miss, providing you with a fantastic vantage point to look out over the city.
The Sacred Heart Church of Paris isn’t only worth visiting for its picturesque surroundings; its interiors offer lovely mosaics and frescoes you’ll want to admire as well.
Urbansider Tip: Read up on the scams to watch out for in Paris before visiting, as this is a very popular spot for pickpockets and con artists.
After visiting this must-see landmark, discover a different side of this iconic Paris neighborhood by taking a unique walking tour of Montmartre.
This 18th-century Paris church is known for its unique architecture and immense size. The second-largest church in Paris after Notre Dame, Saint-Sulpice is home to a huge organ, an interesting astronomical measurement device (called a gnomon), and multiple murals by famed French Romantic artist Eugène Delacroix. A great example of the Baroque style, it should certainly be on your list if you’re interested in architecture and the history of art. The area around the church is also full of shops that warrant a detour.
This 16th-century gem is one of the most impressive churches in Paris, combining Gothic, Renaissance, and Classical styles. Saint-Eustache also happens to be right next to the popular shopping mall Les Halles. Known for its imposing architecture and ornate decoration, the church also boasts one of the largest pipe organs in all of France. And, like many of the other églises on our list, its expansive interiors include several stunning frescoes and sculptures.
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