In Île de la Cité, you will find yourself in the most central place of the city. In fact, it even marks the center of Paris in geographical and historical terms.
This is why the oldest archaeological findings from ancient times and the main medieval cathedral of Paris are all to be found around here. Île de la Cité, close to the Latin Quarter, offers many main attractions and is a pleasant neighborhood to visit key attractions of Paris.
One thing is certain, the long past of Paris still shows itself here and you can be a witness of it ! Let's discover the area in detail.
What is Île de la Cité ?
The term "Île de la Cité" basically translates as the City Island that refers to the small natural islet. It connects both halves of Paris called Right and Left Banks via several bridges. The ancient Roman ruins, the remains of medieval Palace of French Kings and main churches of Paris were all located here.
There is a second island as well just behind that one, known as l'Île Saint-Louis and named after the King Louis IX. It also attracts big numbers of visitors. It is also quite interesting but rather with its authentic civic architecture and old houses and hotels on the way.
How can I go to Île de la Cité?
If you are coming by metro:
- Line 4 with the station Cité
- Line 1 and 11 with the station Hotel de Ville
- Line 4, 7 and 14 with the station Chatelet
Here is a map to locate l'Île de la Cité in Paris :
What can I see at Île de la Cité ?
First of all, the silhouette of the island forms the classic skyline of timeless Paris. So, whichever side you are approaching from, you may have a piece of a great sight.
Also you will find a large number of monuments, bridges and churches to visit.
Don't forget to check our official Paris Ticket Shop to get all the good deal on museums and visits in Paris.
Let's see what they are.
Best Things to do at Île de la Cité
Here are the top sights a traveler could visit while a walk around in the middle of Paris :
1 . Notre-Dame Cathedral & Archaeological Crypt
Even before the Cathedral Notre-Dame was constructed, the two main churches in Paris were on the same area, where you can see the point-zero mark on the ground in front of the church. Now the glorious towers of Notre-Dame is welcoming every visitor of Paris once they arrive in the heart of the city.
Additionally, do not forget to gaze on the astonishing statues around and above the gates from outside. Inside, among many other things the rose shaped stained glass windows.
Important note : After the terrible fire in 2019, there is no access for interior of the building, the towers and part of the surrounding areas. Read updated information about the Cathedral Notre-Dame.
Yet, another big surprise is under the ground there. The oldest traces of ancient history is exhibited under the Notre-Dame at the Ile de Cité. The sign of "Crypte Archéologique" marks the entrance to the 2 000 years old findings from the Roman Empire. Just the layers of history...
Tickets and Admissions for the Towers of Notre Dame Cathedral
After the restorations following the infamous fire, the square in front of the cathedral (parvis) has just been reopened. But the interior and towers are still not open for visitors. For any further information, please check our page about updates concerning the Cathedral Notre-Dame's situation.
Tickets and Admissions for the Archaeological Crypt
- The museum is open everyday except Mondays, between 10:00 and 18:00 (admissions stop at 17:30).
- The cost for each adult ticket is 9 Euros. The entrance is free for people under 18.
- Official home page: www.crypte.paris.fr
2. Conciergerie & Saint-Chapelle
Since the island had once been the heart of the city, the remnants of royal buildings are still around.
Conciergerie had ironically served the royalties in the medieval times, but it was used as well as a courthouse and prison during the revolution.
Just next doors, the Saint-Chapelle was the most prestigious shrine for royals that still stuns the visitors today.
Tickets and Admissions for Conciergerie
- The museum is open everyday between 09:30 and 18:00 (admissions stop 30 min before closing).
- The cost for each adult ticket is 9,5 Euros. The entrance is free for people under 18. Book your Priority Entrance Ticket to Conciergerie here.
- A reservation is highly recommended for all visitors.
Tickets and Admissions for Saint-Chapelle
- The museum is open everyday between 09:00 and 17:00 (admissions stop at 17:20).
- The cost for each adult ticket is 11,5 Euros. The entrance is free for people under 18. Book your Priority Entrance Ticket to Sainte-Chapelle here.
Get more tickets for importants monuments, museums and entertainment thought our official Paris Ticket Shop here :
3. Famous Bridges close to Île de la Cité
If you direct towards the pointy western edge of the island, you can walk through a royal square and a 4 centuries old bridge that is called Pont Neuf. This latter one is not only a landmark for the city landscape but also for the French history. You can see the statue of King Henry IV on a horseback in the middle.
Speaking of the bridges, Pont Saint-Michel opens up to the Left Bank where you can reach areas like Saint-Germain or Latin Quarter. One of the bridge at the east is called Saint-Louis and connects the other small islet bearing the same name of the Crusader King.
How to discover Île de Cité in Paris ?
There are many guided tours in Paris. Our recommendation is having one in your smart phone and do it in your own way. Discover the heart of Paris at your own pace with exclusif Paris discovery products including numerous Audioguides and Priority Entrance Tickets !
To discover other neighbourhood in Paris, check our following articles :