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Top 3 Churches in Paris

There are a million and one churches in Paris (not the exact number, but you get my point!) so it can be hard to decide which ones to see. Often the famous churches are the only ones tourists visit, causing them to miss out on some of the more interesting churches in the city.

These are my favorite Parisian churches. Two of them are off the beaten track, one of them is the beaten track (is that the right way to continue this idiom?) and they’re all worth a visit.

Sainte-Chapelle

Adult admission €10, open daily, website here.

Sainte-Chapelle - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

From the outside, Sainte-Chapelle looks like just another church.

Sainte-Chapelle - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

But on the inside: wow!

Sainte-Chapelle - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Sainte-Chapelle - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Sainte-Chapelle has the most amazing stained-glass windows in Paris, if not in the world. My jaw literally dropped when I stepped into the light-filled cathedral for the first time.

Sainte-Chapelle - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Sainte-Chapelle - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Sainte-Chapelle - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And as amazing as the walls and ceiling are, don’t forget to look down too!

Sainte-Chapelle - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Saint-Séverin

Free admission, open daily.

Saint-Séverin - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

This is another church that’s not all that remarkable from the outside.

Saint-Séverin - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

But inside it’s a gothic beauty. Plus it has the added benefit of not being at all touristy, so you’ll likely be able to explore in near silence.

Saint-Séverin - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Saint-Séverin - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

My favorite feature of Saint-Séverin is its stained-glass windows. I’ve never seen anything like them in a church, and it gives the historic building a more modern feel.

Saint-Séverin - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Saint-Séverin - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Saint-Séverin - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Saint-Séverin - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Notre-Dame

Cathedral admission free, tower climb €10, open daily, website here.

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Ok this church is just about as touristy as it gets. Even still, there’s something special about seeing Notre Dame in the distance, its signature architecture standing out in Paris’ skyline.

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

When you’re outside, be sure to look for Point Zero. This is the center of France and the point from which all distances are measured. It was also the center of Paris 2,300 years ago.

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And then of course you have to step inside to see Notre Dame’s famed interior.

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

It is remarkable walking into Notre Dame, but at the same time I’m also struck by the amount of gift shops and other attempts at moneymaking within the cathedral. This kind of thing just doesn’t belong in a church, and takes away from its sanctity.

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

When you visit Notre Dame, don’t skip the tower climb!

Getting tickets is an absolute pain. The first day we went in person and all of the tickets were sold out for that day.

Notre Dame is doing a new thing where you can use an app, Duck the Line, to reserve a time online for that day only. So the next day I woke up and reserved a time slot. We then went back to the church, just to find out it was closed due to strikes. Of course it was, it’s France!

Finally, the third time was a charm, and I reserved a time slot and we went later that day.

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

This is Notre Dame’s most famous (and bored!) gargoyle.

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

I love Notre Dame’s tower climb because it offers gorgeous views of the city.

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And you’re able to see more of the church’s architecture up close.

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

After your visit to Notre Dame, be sure to walk around behind the church and across the bridge, where you’ll have a magnificent photo opportunity.

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And if you can find this nearby park you may get the best picture of all!

Notre Dame - Top three churches in Paris - France travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

(You can find all of my France travel posts here).

~A

P.S. My dress is by Giamba. You can shop the designer here.

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