You can’t visit Paris without exploring Ile de la Cité. This little island is the heart of Paris. Surrounded by the Seine River this little piece of land is an escape from the bustling streets of downtown Paris. Stepping back in time, this island holds the Notre Dame Cathedral, Sainte Chapelle Cathedral, and the Conciergerie. On our 3rd day in Paris, we explored the Ile de la Cité and all the famous sites on the island.
Exploring Ile de la Cité
Much like our 2nd day in Paris (if you missed click here), we spent most of our 3rd day strolling. Thank god I packed these amazing Cole Haan walking shoes which were super comfy and looked great! Getting to the island from our hotel was a perfect morning stroll along the Seine River Banks. Our first stop of the day on exploring Ile de la Cité was Notre Dame Cathedral …
Notre Dame has stood for centuries and is such an iconic symbol for Paris. Every time we visit Paris, we always make sure to visit the cathedral to marvel at the bell towers, gargoyles, and architectural design. Following the recent fire in the summer of 2019, much of the cathedral is still closed to visit. On other trips to Paris, we climbed up the bell towers and walked inside the church marveling at the beautiful artwork. On this trip however, we enjoyed the church from the outside only.
The front bell towers are stunning. The gargoyles surrounding the church were equally as beautiful with centuries watching over the church. We grabbed a crepe at a local shop and strolled along the streets around the church. It was such a great way to see the changed Notre Dame.
Our next stop was the Conciergerie prison (~9 Euros for adults). This medieval palace was converted into a prison during the French Revolution. It is where Maria Antoinette spent her remaining days in during the French Revolution. Learning all about the prison, the palace walls, & more about the French Revolution was a glimpse into the history of the country.
After visiting the Conciergerie, we headed for a late lunch at a cute outside cafe. After lunch we walked around the island exploring all the cute side streets and even getting rose shaped ice cream!
Our final stop of the day was Sainte Chapelle Cathedral for an string quarter concert. This stunning cathedral is one of my all time favorite churches in Europe! Covered with 15 stain glass windows, this gothic church shines in the sun light.
The intricate designs and details on each frame mixed with the golf details of the buttresses make for such a regal chapel. We arrived early to the concert to sit and enjoy the beautiful glass sparkle as the sun set for the day. As we enjoyed the concert, I couldn’t help but think of what a perfect 3rd day we had in Paris exploring Ile de la Cité!
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