The Catholic cathedral Notre Dame stands imposingly on the eastern half of Île de la Cité. About as iconic as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame de Paris is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and well worth a visit. The church interior is massive and typically clogged with church goers and tourists alike. If you’ve got a head for small spaces and an appetite for stunning city views, head outside the church to the left side and join the line for a walk up to Notre Dame’s towers for an intimate walk with the gargoyles and chimera guarding the rooftop.
A quick word of caution: the climb is long and claustrophic and there are no elevators. 387 steps doesn’t sound like a lot, but the ascension is by way of a narrow circular staircase, with small steps with all foot traffic moving in the same direction (aka there’s no room to change your mind midway).
Once you reach the first rooftop, say hello to the numerous gargoyles fiercely guarding their water spouts and take a look out over a fantastic aerial scene of Paris. If you want to get even higher, you can follow the path up to the highest towers, or wait for the stairs to open up for the next group descent. Happy Climbing!
For more sights to visit while you’re in Paris, check out my Mini Guide to Paris and make sure to pick up the Paris Pass before you go in order to get free admission (to Notre Dame but also all the other major museums and metro)