Located in the heart of the Île de la Cité, the Sainte-Chapelle is reputed to be a true architectural gem. The richness of its history and its immense stained-glass windows are the reason why this reliquary is so famous. But is it worth the visit?
Read on to find out what we think of the Sainte-Chapelle of Paris.
- A place full of French History
- The magnificent and huge stained-glass windows
- The impressive architecture
We Don’t Like As Much
- Many people at the entrance
- Price of the ticket rather expensive
The Sainte-Chapelle has a heavy historical past that will delight the most ardent history buffs. But you can also simply come and admire this jewel of Gothic architecture and its splendid stained-glass windows.
Either way, a visit to the Sainte-Chapelle is highly recommended.
Tip: come visit the Sainte-Chapelle in good weather. The sunlight that illuminates the stained-glass windows will take your breath away!
A Little Bit of History
In the 13th century, King Saint-Louis had the Sainte-Chapelle built in the heart of his royal palace on the Île de la Cité.
Originally, it held the 22 relics purchased from Emperor Baldwin II of Constantinople, but only three remain today (a fragment of the Cross, a nail and the Crown of Thorns). They are preserved in the treasury of Notre-Dame of Paris.
A Glass Cathedral
The Sainte-Chapelle is known for the beauty of its immense stained-glass windows.
The 618 m² of glass surface makes this place a real bath of light and color.
This monument is distinguished by its elegance and the boldness of its architecture as demonstrated by the almost total removal of the walls in the high chapel.
Did You Know?
The Crown of Thorns was purchased by St. Louis for 135,000 livres tournois (“Tours pounds”), i.e. more than half of the annual income of the royal estate.
As for the Sainte-Chapelle, it cost about 40,000 livres tournois, i.e. three times less than the Crown of Thorns!
Visit the Sainte-Chapelle
Located in the heart of the Ile de la Cité, the Sainte-Chapelle makes you discover the wonders of French History.
By metro: line 4 (Cité stop), lines 1-7-11-14 (Châtelet stop)
By RER: line B or C (Saint-Michel station)
By bus: lines 21-24-27-38-58-81-85-96 and Bablabus
For visitors coming to the Sainte-Chapelle by car, there is an underground car park in front of the Palais de Justice.
Visitors’ entrance: 8 boulevard du Palais.
When Can You Visit the Sainte-Chapelle?
The Sainte-Chapelle opens its doors every day from 11am to 7pm (opening hours can change depending on the season).
Our recommended hours:
- morning during the week
- between 12pm and 2pm
Do You Have to Book Your Ticket in Advance?
You must book your ticket online and reserve a time slot for your visit as no ticket is sold on-site.
Full rate ticket costs 11,50€.
- under 18 years old
- 18-25 (nationals of European Union countries or non-European regular residents on French territory)
- disabled people and their companion
- job seekers (on presentation of proof less than 6 months old)
Good to know: from November 1 to March 31, the Sainte-Chapelle is free for everyone every first Sunday of each month. However, we recommend you to avoid it because it is usually very crowded.
How Long Lasts the Visit?
The visit lasts less than an hour but you are free to stay more.
Are Audio Guides Available?
It is possible to take an audio-guided tour if you want to unravel all the mysteries of the Sainte-Chapelle.
Audio guides are available in English, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese.
You can get them on the spot for a single rate of €3.
We also recommend that you download the “Vitraux Sainte-Chapelle” app to discover all the secrets of this monument.
Is There a Cloakroom?
Please note: the monument doesn’t have a cloakroom and access to the site is not allowed with suitcases or big bags.
It is also not possible to access the site with a bicycle, a kick scooter, or a motorcycle helmet.
For people just arriving or leaving: don’t panic! We have some recommended cloakrooms nearby. You can book your locker on the website https://www.nannybag.com/en
The two closest cloakrooms are located 300 meters from the Sainte-Chapelle (rue de la Harpe) or 400 meters (rue Saint-Martin).
What About Disabled People?
The Sainte-Chapelle has an elevator and accompanying dogs are allowed inside the monument.
To learn more about the adapted visits, click here (in French).
What Can Be Seen in the Sainte-Chapelle?
The visit begins with a walk through the Lower Chapel, which was originally dedicated to the palace servants and officers.
There you can see a statue of the Virgin Mary and the oldest mural in Paris: a 13th-century fresco depicting the Annunciation.
You will then climb the steps of a small spiral staircase that will lead you to the High Chapel dedicated to the King and his family and… watch your eyes!
When you arrive in this part you will be dazzled by the difference with the lower part. For if the latter was rather sober and uncluttered, the upper part is not at all.
This real ocean of colors and lights will take your breathe away.
It is in this part that you will find the stained-glass windows for which this monument is famous. The 1,113 scenes in the 15 stained-glass windows tell the story of humanity, from Genesis to the resurrection of Christ.
To Visit: the Conciergerie
Don’t miss the Conciergerie where you will discover other parts of history.
The entrance to the Conciergerie is located 40 meters away from the Sainte-Chapelle in the direction of the Quai de l’Horloge.
Come and discover this former medieval royal palace which later became a revolutionary court.
The Conciergerie is open from 10:30 to 6:30.
The combined tickets with the Sainte-Chapelle cost €17 and must be booked in advance.
Our Recommended Restaurants Near the Sainte-Chapelle
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 with 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: every day 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 drinks between 7 and 10 euros.
Opening hours: every day from 9am to 7pm.
Learn more about Sur le Pouce (in French)
A visit to the Sainte-Chapelle is definitely a must!
This timeless monument exudes a magical atmosphere. This is a wonderful jewel of Gothic architecture and the sublime stained glass windows alone are worth the trip.
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