Notre Dame de Paris: Most crowded church in Europe

Notre Dame de Paris
Notre-Dame hits all records of tourist crowds. The crowd is even tighter than in Rome's San Pietro Basilica where there is more space for the visitors.
At Notre-Dame there are 14 millions visitors per year, an average of 40.000 every day. The tourists influx is non-stop from opening at 8 h to closing at 18.45 h (19.15 Saturdays and Sundays), all the year.
Visitors enter by the right door. There is lining up but in absence of security check the movement is not slow.
Inside, the tourist stream moves anti clockwise around the nave and choir towards the exit by the door on the left side of the frontage.
Notre-Dame is dark inside even when there is sunshine outside; be careful not to stumble on other tourists.
Don't halt to look more close at things; the flux should not be stopped. New visitors are lining up outside and pushing to get inside.
Even when there is a celebration, things are not really quiet but the nave is lighted up.

If you want to avoid these tourist crowds you are better on by a visit in the winter. I visited again Notre-Dame begin December and there was no lining up outside and relatively few persons inside.

To attend services, visitors can take any seat in the nave (or in the choir).
Hereafter the hours for the services:

Weekdays, Monday to Saturday noon
8h00 Mass in the choir
9h00 Mass in the choir, not in July and August.
12h00 Mass at the main altar
17h45 Vespers service broadcast live on KTO-Catholic Television
18h15 Mass at the main altar

17h45 First Sunday Vespers services
18h30 Sunday mass at the main altar

Sundays (all services held at the main altar):
8h30 Mass
9h30 Lauds service
10h00 Gregorian mass at the cathedral chapter
11h30 International mass
12h45 Mass
17h45 Vespers service
18h30 Mass usually by the archbishop, broadcast live.

  • Directions: Métro: Cité; RER: Châtelet-Les Halles, Saint Michel-Notre Dame




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