An Ultimate Guide To Visit The Most Famous Basilica in Paris: Sainte Chapelle

By Aashima

If you want to view Gothic-style Architecture in the best way possible, then Sainte Chapelle is the best spot for you.

Not only does it define the beauty of French traditional architecture, but it is also a stunningly gorgeous attraction.

Over 900,00 people visit it annually and are in awe of its beauty.

Here is everything you will need to know about one of the most famous churches in Paris.

Opening Hours of Sainte Chapelle

The timing of Sainte Chapelle depends on the changing seasons throughout the year.

In Summer: 1 April to 30 September – 9 am to 7 pm

In Winter: 1 October to 31 March – 9 am to 5 pm

You can visit the church in Paris daily except for 1 January, 1 May, and 25 December.

Also, the last entry is 40 minutes before the closing time of Sainte Chapelle.

How to reach Sainte Chapelle

Taking a trip to the famous church of Paris is easy with the abundance of public transport around it.

So you can take a metro, bus, or even drive to Sainte Chapelle without any obstacles.

For the metro, you can take line 4, which stops at Parvis Notre-Dame, just a few minutes from the chapel.

On the other hand, bus routes 21, 27, 38, 47, 58, 67, and 85 also stop at your destination.

For driving, you can take the route along the River Seine to Châtele and reach there easily. 

If you want more detailed information, read our article on the best ways to reach Sainte Chapelle.

Parking near Sainte Chapelle

When talking about driving, mentioning the nearby parking lots is essential.

You can find parking options at the Palais De Justice and Square Du Vert-Galant.

On-street paid parking is also available near Sainte Chapelle.

Best Time To Visit A Famous Church In Paris

The summer months from March to May are the best time to visit Sainte Chapelle, given its pleasant weather.

The summer months are a great time, as the chapel holds various activities like concerts and art exhibitions. 

However, crowds are high.

If you want to avoid the massive crowds, visit one of the famous churches in Paris during the winter (November to February).

Restaurants near Sainte Chapelle

Located on the Île de la Cité, Sainte Chapelle is in the middle of a trendy tourist spot.

So it is evident that it may have some of the most famous restaurants serving delicious food.

You can quickly refuel at these restaurants and prepare for your next adventure.

Here’s a list of the best restaurants in the area.

If you want a complete list of all the finest restaurants near Sainte Chapelle, you can check this out.

Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie: This restaurant is known for its traditional French cuisine.

Opening Hours: 12 pm to 11 pm

Les Deux Magots: This place is a well-known cafe among artists, intellectuals, and writers.

It specializes in tea, coffee, alcoholic beverages, and more.

Opening hours: 7:30 to 1 pm

The Caféothèque of Paris: is a cafe and cultural center specializing in 300 coffee varieties.

Opening hours: 9 am to 7 pm

Au Vieux Comptoir: is a cozy restaurant known for its traditional French cuisine.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 12 pm to 2.30 pm and from 7 pm to 10.30 pm

Le Christine: A modern French cuisine restaurant with many positive reviews to back it up.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 12 pm to 2.30 pm and 6.30 pm to 11 pm

Saturday and Sunday from 6.30 pm to 11 pm

Au Bougnat: is famous for its classic Parisian bistro roots in the Aveyron area.

Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday from 9 am to 12 am and Saturday from 10 am to 12 am

History and Facts about Sainte Chapelle

King Louis IX built the Sainte Chapelle to house his valuable relic collection.

This exquisite collection of relics also included the Crown of Thrones, which he believed to be the ‘real one.’

So after acquiring the relics, he wanted to build a haven for them.

Also, to create a powerful image for religious and political reasons after his conversion to Saint Louis.

Sainte Chapelle was built in just seven years, making it one of the fastest-constructed churches in Paris.

So to get you on the same train, here are some fascinating facts about the chapel.

  • The purpose of Sainte Chapelle was to house priceless artifacts like the Crown of Thorns from the Passion of Christ.
  • It was built in a miraculous seven years, while Notre Dame Cathedral took 200 years to build.
  • The cost of the Crown of Thrones was three times more than the cost of building Sainte Chapelle.
  • Over 15 walls that are 49 feet high and over 1,113 windows made of stained glass are present.
  • As one of the most famous churches in Paris, it once housed over 22 sacred relics.
  • During the French Revolution, the chapel faced several damages. The revolutionaries even burned and melted the Shrine!
  • There are about 82 petals on the rose window.
  • As the relics brought a lot of prestige to Paris, Saint Louis wanted to make the city a New Jerusalem.
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Inside the Famous Basilica in Paris: Sainte Chapelle

After knowing all the essential details about Sainte Chapelle, let’s look into what’s inside the famous basilica in Paris.

Be ready to be surprised, as this is why it is one of the most famous churches in Paris.

Sainte Chapelle Concerts

The best way to experience Sainte Chapelle is by attending its concerts.

Yes, you read it right, the holy chapel, known for its visually attractive Bible portrayals, holds concerts at night.

Renowned artists and musicians gather together and play classical music like Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Bach, Mozart, and Handel.

All of this is under the stunning interiors of the chapel, which act as the perfect stage for classical music.

The Lower Chapel

Along with the painting of the Annunciation, the Lower Chapel is known for its fantastic gift shop.

It is a great place to buy fine souvenirs and books about Sainte Chapelle.

The Upper Chapel

If you want to experience the stunning interiors and stained glass windows that Sainte Chapelle is known for, head towards the Upper Chapel.

The innovative structural window design brings in light from the outside, creating an aesthetically pleasing illusion on the inside.

The Stained-Glass Windows

Sainte Chapelle is the most famous basilica in Paris because of its breathtaking stained glass windows depicting Bible scenes.

The intricate depictions from the Bible make this famous church in Paris even more visually stellar.

Also, it helps that these belong to an extensive collection from the 13th century.

Read our article on Sainte Chapelle Stained Glass Windows and learn how its intricate details can make visitors go, “Wow.”

The Rose Window

Another spectacular piece inside Sainte Chapelle is its rose window.

The rose window depicts the story from the last section of the Book of Revelation.

The Apostles’ statues

The Sainte Chapelle has about 12 apostle statues that date from the 13th century.

Fortunately, they survived the damage of the French Revolution and currently are in the Musée de Cluny.

The Great Shrine

The Shrine is in the upper chapel, home to precious relics like the Crown of Thrones.

Given its particular purpose, it is adorned with gold leaves and precious stones and is an important part of Gothic architecture.

The Vaults

Unlike the Lower Chapel, the Vaults have golden stars instead of Fleur-de-lys (royal symbol) to represent heaven.

You must take the special spiral staircase to reach the Upper Chapel to see the vaults.

Sainte Chapelle Architecture

When discussing the beautiful interiors of this famous church in Paris, it is essential to examine how it has fared over the centuries.

Having suffered damage during the French Revolution, the chapel was restored a couple of times.

This was an essential step in preserving this 13th-century masterpiece for centuries.

Sainte Chapelle is well preserved through techniques like double-glazing stained glass windows and structural restoration.

The journey doesn’t end here. If you want to learn more about the Sainte Chapelle architecture and admire every single detail of this chapel, follow the link.

Places to visit near Sainte Chapelle

A trip to the famous church in Paris will be incomplete without visiting its famous neighbors.

Sainte Chapelle is located on the Île de la Cité near some of the most popular attractions.

So do not worry. You can plan your entire day’s adventure by simply hopping from one site to the next.

Here are all the places you will love to visit near Sainte Chapelle.

Île de la Cité

Île de la Cité
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The island where famous churches in Paris are located, Île de la Cité, is the epicenter or heart of the city.

It is also well-known as the home of French medieval masterpieces like Notre Dame Cathedral, Sainte Chapelle, and the Conciergerie. 

Plus, with more attractive sites to explore, Île de la Cité is hands down the best place to visit Paris.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame is a must-visit – a gorgeous medieval church that houses the excellent technology of Gothic flying buttresses.

One of the tallest and most famous churches in Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral, is stunning with its appealing architecture.

However, due to the fire damage in 2019, the Cathedral is set to reopen in December 2024.

La Conciergerie

Neighboring Sainte Chapelle, La Conciergerie is a medieval masterpiece with a powerful history.

The former royal palace turned prison during the French Revolution, Conciergerie, has swoon-worthy interiors.

Also, people who would love to know about Paris’s history and the French Revolution should visit this site.

Place Dauphine

Place Dauphine
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If you want a break from visiting historical monuments, visit Place Dauphine for its lively local vibes!

A trip to the famous church in Paris is incomplete without visiting Place Dauphine’s cafes and restaurants.

It is also famous among artists, who often set up their stations here for inspiration.

Imagine roadside cafes, musicians playing their instruments, artists painting the myriad views, general chatter and laughter – soak up the natural vibe of the place to lift your spirits!

Pont des Arts

A trip to the famous church in Paris or the city is incomplete without visiting the Pont des Arts.

Except now the lock and related traditions are medieval while the new selfe custom is catching up.

Also, if you are into photography, this is the best spot to showcase your creativity with the beautiful scene of the River Seine.

Palais De Justice

Paris’s gigantic and unique judicial court will surprise you with its alluring interiors and architecture.

The Palais De Justice is one of the oldest surviving monuments in the country after suffering considerable damage over the years.

Visitors are welcome inside to stroll around or even visit one of the court proceedings for free.

Stroll along River Seine

Stroll along River Seine
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A beautiful location for strolling along the Seine has many popular landmarks.

Aside from its beautiful setting, the river is also known for activities like picnicking and boat riding.

Hence, the best way to view Paris is by taking one of the famous River Seine cruises.

Intrigued? You can combine the trip and buy a Sainte Chapelle and River Seine cruise ticket for your trip.

Visit the flower market

If you want a different experience, take a detour and stop by the flower market before Sainte Chapelle.

Stroll around the March des Fleurs and rejuvenate your senses with the colorful and fragrant time you spend there.

Walk around the Latin Quarter

Walk around the Latin Quarter
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Latin Quarters is a historic neighborhood and home to popular attractions like the Pantheon and Sorbonne University.

It has many restaurants, cafes, and shops that are often enough to excite tourists.

Moreover, it is an extremely affordable quarter, a great deal for students.

Discover Pont Neuf

Discover Pont Neuf
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One of the oldest bridges in Paris is one of the best places to explore while visiting the famous church in Paris.

The bridge spans the Seine and connects Île de la Cité to the left bank.

It is also a great way for tourists to connect with Paris’s history through its beautiful medieval creations.

Relax on the banks of Seine

Relax on the banks of Seine
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If you want to take a break from sightseeing, you can easily relax by the banks or have a picnic.

The banks are a great place to take a break, as you can enjoy the views while relaxing with the gushing river in the background.

Have Ice Cream at Berthillon

If you have a sweet tooth, Berthillon is your place.

Visit the famous ice cream parlor on Ile Saint-Louis and try out the recipes from the legend Raymond Berthillon himself.

Read our article on things to do near Sainte Chapelle for more information.

Tickets to the famous Basilica of Paris

After knowing almost everything you need to know about Sainte Chapelle, you will want to visit it.

You need a ticket to enter Sainte Chapelle, as the entrance isn’t free.

Also, given its popularity, it is certain that there will be a long line for its entrance as well as outside its ticket counter.

And the best way to skip these lines is to buy online tickets in advance.

Not only will you get them easily, but you will also get to enjoy new offers and discounts.

So here are some of the best ticket or tour options to help you save time and money.

Skip the line Ticket

Get priority entrance to one of the famous churches in Paris by getting the chance to skip the lines.

Discover the stunning stained glass windows and its beautiful interiors, and marvel at the gorgeous chapel.

Ticket Price: €12

Sainte Chapelle + Conciergerie   

Sainte Chapelle + Conciergerie
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This tour gives exclusive access to two historical monuments in Paris: Sainte Chapelle and La Conciergerie.

Take advantage of this tour and discover the best of French Gothic architecture.

Ticket Price: €19

Sainte Chapelle + Conciergerie Private Tour

Embark on a journey to uncover the medieval history of Paris with this Sainte Chapelle + Conciergerie private tour.

This private tour requires minimum participation and includes tours of other sites like the Latin Quarter, Eglise Saint Severin, Musee De Cluny, and La Sorbonne.

Ticket Price: €541

Best Walking Tour of Paris

Best Walking Tour of Paris
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Paris is known for its religious history, and what better way to learn about it than by taking the best walking tour of its churches?

Also, it offers two options depending on the attractions you want to visit.

This tour is suitable for a large group. 

Note: Select the 3.5 hours option to travel to the famous Paris church: Sainte Chapelle.

Ticket Price: €474

Sainte Chapelle + Seine River Cruise

Sainte Chapelle + Seine River Cruise
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Marvel at the stunning architecture of Sainte Chapelle and take a one-hour boat ride on the Seine River.

Visit the famous church in Paris and learn more about its religious history.

You get to uncover Paris’s beauty for the same price with the help of this tour.

Ticket price: €29

Île de la Cité, Seine Cruise & Sainte Chapelle : Our Bestseller

Île de la Cité, Seine Cruise Sainte Chapelle Our Bestseller
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Have a chance to visit the hottest spots in Paris, from the Île de la Cité, River Seine, and Notre Dame to Sainte Chapelle.            

Get the skip the line tickets and a cruise ride with this amazing deal.

Grab it now!

Ticket Price: €71

Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle with Marie Antoinette’s prison

This is a history-packed guided tour in Paris.

Visit some of the best places, like the Île de la Cité, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sainte Chapelle, Conciergerie, and Latin Quarters.

Ticket Price: €61

Insider tips to visit famous churches in Paris

Going on a trip to the famous Churches of Paris? Know all the tips and tricks to get the most out of your trip.

Here are all the best tips before heading towards any famous church in Paris.

  • Book your tickets in advance to avoid the long lines. (This is an acceptable tip for all attractions in Paris.)
  • Avoid visiting the churches in Paris during peak hours. Instead, visit them early in the morning.
  • Consider taking your time to explore the churches’ interiors. 

For example, Sainte Chapelle has intricate depictions on its stained glass windows. To explore to the fullest, spend time at the attraction.

  • The famous Parisian churches forbid flash photography and equipment brought inside.
  • Although you can take a picture with your phone, visit the churches in Paris during sunset to take advantage of the light.
  • Follow a modest dress code for visiting churches in Paris. Learn more about this by checking out the Sainte Chapelle Dress Code article.
  • Purchase skip the line tickets to avoid the lines at the entrance.
  • Do not carry anything sharp, lest you should waste any time at the security checks counter.


How much time do you need at Sainte-Chapelle?

You can explore the entirety of Sainte Chapelle in 30 minutes.

But we recommend you take at least 45 minutes to an hour to tour the stunning interiors of the chapel peacefully.

As there are several intricate details and gorgeous structural brilliance, you may need to invest more than 30 minutes in your visit.

What is the best time of day to visit Sainte-Chapelle?

We recommend you visit the chapel early in the morning to avoid crowds.

However, if you want to take photos or have a pleasant time to visit, hit the attraction around sunset.

Also, visiting one of the famous churches in Paris will be even more exciting during the summertime. 

As sunlight streams through the stained glass, it magically illuminates the entire church in a soft light. 

What is so special about Sainte-Chapelle?

The most special thing about Sainte Chapelle is its extensive 13th-century collection of stained glass windows.

Another unique thing is its Rayonnant Gothic architecture, which still turns heads in awe.

Additionally, King Louis XI commissioned the special location to house his collection of sacred relics from the Passion after he had acquired them. 

Can you get married at Sainte-Chapelle?

Yes, you can get married at Sainte Chapelle, Paris.

Until the 14th century, royal weddings, coronations, and ceremonies were held at Sainte Chapelle.

But now that it belongs to the French state and not the church, it is the only place you can have a wedding in an actual chapel.

Can I wear shorts in Sainte Chapelle?

No, you cannot wear shorts while on a trip to the famous church in Paris.

Although Sainte Chapelle has no clothing restrictions, visitors are expected to dress appropriately considering it is a religious place.

Also, visitors should wear clothes that cover their shoulders and knees and avoid wearing Crocs or hats inside the chapel.

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About the author

Aashima is an avid traveler who seeks out thrills and lives a simple, peaceful life. Bright clear skies are her calling.