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Île de la Cité

One of two islands within Paris, the Île de la Cité holds some of France’s most historically significant and outstandingly beautiful features. 

View world-renowned Gothic architecture and stained glass on the Île de la Cité. Watch small boats pass underneath the city’s oldest bridge and see the sinister-looking palace where Marie Antoinette was held before being executed.

Take the metro to the island’s only station and track back to the Pont Neuf connecting to the mainland at the island’s western end. Opened by Henry IV in 1607, this white stone bridge is beautifully simple and provides a superb vantage point to gaze over the gently flowing water below. The king’s bronze equestrian statue on the bridge is a replica of one that was stolen and destroyed during the French Revolution.

Navigate across this small, boat-shaped island. Just a short stroll east is the Palais de Justice, built to house the French Supreme Court. The connecting turrets and towers lining the river were long used as a political prison. Between 1793 and 1795, as many as 2,600 prisoners were taken from La Conciergerie to be guillotined.

The palace grounds feature a truly breathtaking building, the Sainte-Chapelle. Completed around the middle of the 13th century, it has a superb display of stained glass. Enter on a sunny day to marvel at the red and blue glass lit up to show artwork depicting the story of Christianity from Genesis to the Crucifixion.

Even with the remarkable design of this chapel, the crowning feature here is surely Notre-Dame Cathedral at the eastern end of the island. Built between 1163 and 1345, the cathedral is a remarkable example of Gothic architecture. Check out the many gargoyles and Gallery of Kings statues on the west façade as well as the central spire that reaches to a height of 305 feet (93 meters). You may see a service taking place during your visit.

The Île de la Cité has few options for accommodations; however, several high-end restaurants provide the ideal place to end your day before you cross a short bridge to the city itself.

Vacations are pretty cool to start with. But throwing yourself into the terrific experiences on offer really does make them better!

Kick off your trip to Ile de la Cite by trying out some of these activities:

If you want to check out a comprehensive list of activities, jump onto our Ile de la Cite things to do page.

We know you want to make the most out of your trip to Ile de la Cite. So, we've rounded up a list of some fun things you can do here:

Peruse our Paris things to do page to discover even more activities in the area.


Guide to Exploring around Ile de la Cite


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Ile de la Cite

See all 6,427 Properties near Ile de la Cite
Novotel Paris Les Halles ¥19,271
Novotel Paris Les Halles

Novotel Paris Les Halles

8 Place Marguerite De Navarre, Paris, Paris
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Paris hotel is located in the historical district, steps from Forum des Halles, Les Halles, and Rue de Rivoli. Centre Pompidou and Museum Georges Pompidou are also within 10 minutes. Paris Chatlet-Les Halles Station and Les Halles Station are within a 5-minute walk.

    Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris ¥18,223
    Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris

    Citadines Apart'hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris

    53 Ter Quai des Grands Augustins, Paris, Paris
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Paris residence is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Pont Neuf, Sainte Chapelle, and Les Halles. Notre-Dame and Rue de Rivoli are also within 10 minutes. Paris Saint-Michel - Notre Dame Station and Pont Neuf Station are within a 5-minute walk.

      K+K Hotel Cayre Paris ¥16,302
      K+K Hotel Cayre Paris

      K+K Hotel Cayre Paris

      4 Boulevard Raspail, Paris, Paris
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Paris City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Orsay Museum and Le Bon Marche. Rodin Museum and Tuileries Garden are also within 15 minutes. Rue du Bac Station is only a 2-minute walk and Solferino Station is 4 minutes.

        Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris ¥9,166
        Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris

        Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris

        38-40 Rue Saint Séverin, Paris, Paris
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Paris City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ile de la Cite and Sainte Chapelle. Notre-Dame and Pont Neuf are also within 10 minutes. Saint-Michel Station and Paris Saint-Michel - Notre Dame Station are within a 2-minute walk.

          Hôtel Excelsior Latin ¥12,386
          Hôtel Excelsior Latin

          Hôtel Excelsior Latin

          20 rue Cujas, Paris, Ile de France
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Paris City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Sorbonne University and Pantheon. Luxembourg Palace and Luxembourg Gardens are also within 10 minutes. Paris Luxembourg Station and Cluny - La Sorbonne Station are within a 5-minute walk.

            Hotel Britannique ¥10,886
            Hotel Britannique

            Hotel Britannique

            20 Avenue Victoria, Paris, Paris
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Paris City Centre, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Rue de Rivoli, Les Halles, and Ile de la Cite. Sainte Chapelle and Forum des Halles are also within 10 minutes. Chatelet Station is only a 2-minute walk and Pont Neuf Station is 4 minutes.

              Hotel Trianon Rive Gauche ¥10,803
              Hotel Trianon Rive Gauche

              Hotel Trianon Rive Gauche

              3, Rue de Vaugirard, 6th Arrondissement, Paris
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Paris City Centre, this hotel is steps from Sorbonne University and Odeon Theatre. Luxembourg Palace and Luxembourg Gardens are also within 10 minutes. Cluny - La Sorbonne Station is only a 4-minute walk and Paris Luxembourg Station is 5 minutes.

                Citadines Les Halles Paris ¥16,024
                Citadines Les Halles Paris

                Citadines Les Halles Paris

                4 Rue Des Innocents, Paris, Paris
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Paris City Centre, this residence is steps from Forum des Halles, Les Halles, and Rue de Rivoli. Centre Pompidou and Museum Georges Pompidou are also within 10 minutes. Paris Chatlet-Les Halles Station and Les Halles Station are within a 5-minute walk.