Paris Part 1 – Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris

Paris has always been known to have the aura of romance and mystery and has been the setting for many novels and movies. One of the notable masterpiece: The Hunchback of the Notre Dame by Victor Hugo.


Arrived in Gare Du Nord (Thalys from Amsterdam Centraal) around 10am, after that heading to my hotel for early checked in at Hotel Esmeralda – a hotel just opposite Île de la Cité, very strategically located with a million dollar view: The Notre-Dame. I will mention in details about the hotel in Part 2 🙂

So lets begin..

“387 steps, there is no elevator to the top of the South Tower.
It’s best to be in good shape.” (from the Notre-Dame official page)

Yes dear, 387 steps!

Getting to “Quasimodo’s Crib” demands climbing up 387 steps and there isn’t an elevator. You’ll start your climb in the North Tower where you’ll buy your ticket. The staircase is narrow and the steps are fan-shaped, so you better wear your most comfortable shoes. There is a built-in break during the climb and since this is not a “guided tour,” you can set your own pace.

In my opinion the Notre-Dame Cathedral tower offers one of the best view and photographic opportunities in the entire city of Paris. After wearing out your legs climbing up 387 stairs, you will be rewarded with the breathtaking view of the River Seine, the Eiffel Tower, and the marvelous French architecture all around spanning all the way to downtown Paris.

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A gargoyle overlooking the city from Notre-Dame Cathedral tower. Climb up to 387 stairs and you will be rewarded with this breathtaking view.

Here are some tips and info I would like to share with you if you’d like to pay a visit to the tower

  • The tower has separate entrance from the cathedral
    The tower managed by the National Monuments Centre and completely different experience from seeing the inside of the cathedral. You’ll enter into a separate line and will not be given access to the interior of the cathedral. The entrance fee cost 8.50€ for adult, students may present their ID to get a discounted price.
  • Be prepare for the queue..
    this probably takes longer time. If you plan to visit both the tower and cathedral, make sure you allocate enough time, since the line may get pretty long. From my personal experience, try to be there at least half and hour before the opening.
  • 387 steps, feel the burn on your calves!
    Its best when you wear your most comfortable shoes because you’ll have to work your way up that spiraling stairs, which seemed get smaller and narrower as you approached the top. Feel free take a break if you find yourself exhausted.
  • The panoramic views of Paris
    As you approached the top, you’ll be relieved to see the sunlight lighting up the stairway. Yeay! You’ve made it! There you are at Quasimido the bell ringer’s Crib! Get your gears ready for beautiful stills of Paris. The gargoyles really make your picture instagram-able especially one that overlooking the city with Eiffel Tower in the background.
The fan shaped staircase leads you to the top, see how narrow this can be
Taken from Disney Hunchback of the Notre-Dame, Quasimodo and Hugo the Gargoyle at the top of the tower

Paris Part 2 – Hotel Esmeralda


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