Is It Worth Visiting the Conciergerie (Paris)?

Located in the heart of Paris, on the Ile de la Cité, the Conciergerie is known to have been the “antechamber of death” during the Reign of Terror. But did you know that this prison was originally a royal palace? This monument, which has evolved from a seat of power to a place of enemy imprisonment, has a complex history. If you want to learn more about the history and the visit of the Conciergerie, stay with us!

Conciergerie Paris
Conciergerie de Paris

Our Opinion

We Like

  • A symbolic and historical place
  • A real journey through History with the HistoPad
  • Not many people inside the monument

We Don’t Like As Much

  • Price is a little expensive
  • Rooms are rather empty

The complex history of the Conciergerie may discourage some, but this is precisely what makes this monument so interesting. Come and discover this former medieval royal palace which later became a revolutionary court.

Our advice: visit both the Conciergerie and the Sainte-Chapelle which is also located on the Ile de la Cité.


Do You Know the Story of the Conciergerie?


Gravure Conciergerie
Credits: Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Located on the Ile de la Cité, the Conciergerie was the first residence of the Kings of France from the 5th to the 14th century.

Its location in the heart of Paris and on the Ile de la Cité makes it a remarkable strategic location, which explains why the Kings of France chose this site.

The two towers built under Philippe IV le Bel remind us of the defensive function of the architecture of the monument.

The César tower has its name due to the Roman ruins under the tower and the Silver tower originally housed the royal treasure.


From the Royal Palace to the Revolutionary Court

Marie-Antoinette Conciergerie
Marie-Antoinette leaving the Conciergerie (Credits: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, Flickr, under Creative Commons 2.0)

King Charles V decided to leave the Palais de la Cité to settle at the Hôtel Saint-Pol. In 1370, the Conciergerie became a state prison. It takes its name from the function of the Concierge who is a high-ranking figure in the kingdom. He was appointed to keep order, collect fees and register the prisoners.

During the French Revolution, the Conciergerie became a symbolic place because it housed the revolutionary prisoners.

This hotbed of immense political chaos has enough dungeons to keep 1,000 prisoners. In 2 years, 2,700 prisoners on death row were held between these walls.

The Queen Marie-Antoinette was notably locked up here before her public execution.

The Conciergerie’s function as a prison continued until 1914, after which it became a national monument.


Visit the Conciergerie


Located in the heart of the Ile de la Cité and 40 meters from the Sainte-Chapelle, the Conciergerie has a central location in Paris.

By metro: line 4 (Cité stop), lines 1-7-11-14 (Châtelet stop).

By RER: lines B and C (Saint-Michel station).

By bus: lines 21-24-27-38-58-81-85-96 and Balabus.

For visitors coming to the Conciergerie by car, there is an underground car park in front of the Palais de Justice.

Visitors’ entrance: 2 boulevard du Palais.

The Conciergerie is open from 10:30am to 6:30pm.


What Is the Entrance Price?

The ticket for the Conciergerie alone costs €9,50. If you are also interested in the visit of the Sainte-Chapelle, a combined ticket is available for €17.

It is highly recommended that you book your ticket online.


Free Access for those:

  • under 18 years old
  • 18-25 (nationals of European Union countries and regular non-European residents on French territory)
  • disabled people and their companion
  • job seekers (proof less than 6 months old)


Are Audio Guides Available?

If you want to travel back in time and learn more about the History of the Conciergerie, we recommend that you take an HistoPad available in 6 languages (French, English, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese).

This immersive tour guide offers augmented reality techniques, 3D reconstructions and interactive features.

This touch tablet can be rented on site for €5.

Duration of the visit: from 1h to 1h30.

The HistoPad gives you a global presentation of the monument over time.

The visitor is then invited to scan the “Portes du temps” (“Gates of Time”) thanks to a virtual recognition system which will display on screen a 360° reconstruction of the rooms of the Palais de la Cité in the 14th century under Philippe le Bel and in the 18th century during the French Revolution.

Live an immersive experience in the past by discovering all the secrets of Queen Marie-Antoinette’s cell.

It is also suitable for visits with family or friends as it offers a treasure hunt within the Conciergerie itself.

For those who don’t want to spend more money, we recommend that you download the free tour application which offers an explanatory tour of the Conciergerie.

The application is available on Google Play Store and on the App Store.


Is There a Cloakroom?

Be careful: the monument does not have a cloakroom. Please note that access to the site is not possible with a bicycle, scooter, motorcycle helmet, suitcase or large bag.

For people just arriving or leaving: don’t panic! We recommend you some lockers nearby. You can book your locker at

The two closest lockers to the Conciergerie are located 300 meters away: rue de la Harpe and rue Saint-Martin.


What About Disabled People?

The monument is not accessible for wheelchair users. However, the Conciergerie does offer tours adapted for people with visual, hearing or mental disorders.

Accompanying dogs are allowed within the site.


What Can Be Seen in the Conciergerie?

You want a glimpse of the Conciergerie? Follow the guide!

The Conciergerie has a special atmosphere: you will marvel at the splendour of the rooms but you will also feel the imprint of its heavy past.

You can walk through different rooms such as the Salle des gardes which was the antechamber of the Grand-Salle. It was converted into a men’s prison during the Revolution.

The Grand-Salle (“Great Hall”) was the place where the king held his “lits de justice” (a session of parliament in the king’s presence) and where receptions were held.

Salle des gens d'armes
Salle des Gens d’armes (Credits: NonOmnisMoriar, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons 3.0)

The visit continues with the salle des Gens d’armes (“Hall of the Soldiers”) which was the refectory of the king’s staff and that is notable for its huge Gothic-style vaults.

This gigantic 1,800 m² room could receive up to 2,000 people.

It is somewhat surprising to think that this quiet and majestic place was once full of life.

Nowadays, temporary exhibitions can be found there.

You can also see the kitchens built under Jean le Bon.

Credits: Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Don’t miss Marie-Antoinette’s Chapel located on the site of her former cell and the Chapelle des Girondins where the 21 Girondin deputies spent their last night in October 1793.

Outside, it is difficult to hold one’s emotion in front of the women’s courtyard where the inmates walked, washed their clothes and said goodbye to their families.

Clock Tower
Clock Tower (Credits: aiva., Flickr, under Creative Commons 2.0)

And to finish the visit, don’t miss the Clock Tower. 47 meters tall, it houses the oldest clock in Paris, built in 1371.


Our Recommended Restaurants Near the Conciergerie

Le Trumilou

Address: 84 quai de l’Hôtel de ville.

This typical Parisian brasserie located on the banks of the Seine offers you a beautiful view of Notre-Dame. You will find both quality and quantity within these traditional dishes of French gastronomy.

The family atmosphere of this rustic setting allows you to spend a pleasant moment after your visit.

The starter+main course+dessert menu costs €24.

Opening hours: everyday from 12pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm.

Learn more about Le Trumilou (in French)


Sur le Pouce

Address: 7 rue d’Arcole.

Are you in a hurry or on a tight budget? Come and have a snack in this small and warm snack-restaurant hidden on the Ile de la Cité.

This restaurant defies all competition by offering you different formulas including dishes and drink costing between 7 and 10 euros.

Opening hours: everyday from 9am to 7pm.

Learn more about Sur le Pouce (in French)



The Conciergerie is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Paris, although it is marked by a heavy past.

It is a recommended visit for all history buffs and curious people. The seemingly bare walls are actually full of wisdom.

And it is a good opportunity to also visit the Sainte-Chapelle!