Visit the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris: tickets, prices, opening hours

La Sainte-Chapelle

A visit to the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris is a must!

Like a diamond with dancing lights, the Sainte-Chapelle shines. The architecture is not the only asset of this flamboyant Gothic masterpiece; it also shines for its religious and political significance. It’s impossible to miss: enthroned in the middle of the Île de la Cité, it’s a must-see in Paris, just a few metres from the monumental Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral and its sister church, Saint-Louis.

Ever since it was declared a historic monument in 1862, the Sainte-Chapelle has attracted tourists from all over the world. Its success has even earned it UNESCO protection. Can you miss such a monument? Certainly not. Here’s all the practical information you need to visit the Sainte-Chapelle.

History of the Sainte-Chapelle

la Sainte-Chapelle

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Mikhail Varentsov

The Sainte-Chapelle is one of the remains of the Palais de la Cité. It is now part of the Palais de Justice in Paris. A vestige of history, a religious symbol and an architectural gem, the Sainte-Chapelle is a veritable history book.

This jewel of Gothic art was erected in 1242 at the behest of Saint Louis (Louis IX). It was destined to house the most precious relics of Christianity in the world. Among them, Christ’s famous crown of thorns, which sat on Jesus’ head before his crucifixion.

We should also mention the piece of Christ’s Cross. All these holy relics, purchased from the emperors of Constantinople, contributed to the worldwide influence of Louis IX and France. A building on the scale of the Sainte Chapelle was needed to keep them safe from envy and the passage of time.

Astonishingly, the cost of the Crown of Thorns was 135,000 livres, while the royal estate had to spend « only » 40,000 livres to build the Sainte-Chapelle! Work began in 1242 and was completed 7 years later. This record-breaking feat of hard work was the work of a mysterious individual, probably the architect Pierre de Montreuil.

Two superimposed chapels make up this rare building. Respectively named Chapelle Basse and Chapelle Haute. The first is a tribute to the Virgin and was formerly occupied by the staff of the Palais de la Cité. The second was the privilege of the King and his family.

Its splendor has few equals, not least thanks to its monumental glass roof. 1113 biblical scenes unfold along 15 immense, colorful stained-glass windows, which fall on you like the sky on your head. 618 m² of balance and refinement, earning the Chapelle Haute the nickname « Glass Cathedral ».

Two monumental fires in 1630 and 1777 almost prevented you from visiting the Sainte-Chapelle. The period of the French Revolution was equally trying. The revolutionaries, rejecting the king’s divine right, repeatedly attacked the Sainte-Chapelle. As a result, the church was repeatedly damaged. The interior decorations were destroyed, as was the spire decorated with fleurs-de-lis embodying royalty.

During the French Revolution, the Passion Relics were moved for safekeeping. Today, these traces of the biblical past are preserved in the treasury of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral.

Nevertheless, a restoration phase began in the second half of the 19th century (phew). This gave the monument the appearance it has today. We know that the Upper Chapel has remained true to its original form. The Chapelle Basse, on the other hand, was completely reinvented in the absence of sufficient evidence.

The challenges of restoration

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Pani Garmyder

The Sainte-Chapelle’s reputation is undoubtedly due to its dazzling and instructive stained glass windows. These were the focus of much attention during the restoration work. In fact, the restoration of the windows and rose was made possible by an exceptional sponsorship of 5 million euros.

Work on the berries lasted from 2008 to 2014, while that on the western rose was more rapid. The latter has proved incredibly resilient over the years. No glass, lead, bits of metal structure or pieces of stone adjoining the stained-glass windows have been left behind, although some are still degraded and their designs barely legible. This is due to the inescapable condensation of water on the wall and to the 20th-century varnish that has darkened the glass over time.

Imagine… Restorers holding their breath, bending over a stained glass window of such fragile and extraordinary artistic quality, dusting off a motif with great delicacy! Master glassmakers, using their infrared light to pierce the grime on the glass and remove the grisaille without altering the design. The inventive ironworkers, replacing lead and consolidating 13th-century metal bars with experimental processes. The stone-cutters, with their unflappable composure, using micro-sandblasting techniques to clean the exterior of the Sainte-Chapelle.

The exterior facades of the Sainte-Chapelle were also the focus of a major renovation project. Victims of pollution and assault, the sculptures and gargoyles had lost some of their allure…

Today, the extreme challenges met are the pride of the teams of contemporary craftsmen and architects who admire, surely more moved than anyone, the stained glass windows restored, protected and saved for centuries to come. One thing’s for sure: the restoration of all the stained glass windows was one of the most ambitious projects of the turn of the century. But it’s thanks to this work that you can visit the Sainte-Chapelle today.

What to see and do at the Sainte-Chapelle

The giant reliquary immediately grabs you by the guts. Rising from the ground in record time, it even seems to be standing by the magic of the Holy Spirit. There are no flying buttresses to support the outer walls, and a simple belt supports the edifice. Nevertheless, it’s still inside that this technical feat on the Île de la Cité reveals all its splendor.

La Chapelle Basse

La chapelle basse

Photo credit: Shutterstock – javarman

In the Chapelle Basse, formerly reserved for the staff of the Palais de la Cité, you can admire the statue of the Virgin and the Annunciation fresco, the oldest wall painting in Paris, dating from the 13th century.

La Chapelle Haute

Vitraux de la Sainte-Chapelle

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Jan Willem van Hofwegen

Continue your visit to the Sainte-Chapelle, taking the 33 steps between the two sanctuaries to reach the Chapelle Haute. The setting is enchanting. Bathed in color and light, it’s like being transported into a whirlwind of magic from another time.

The 15-metre-high stained-glass windows tell the story of key events in the Old and New Testaments, from Genesis to Christ’s resurrection, right up to the arrival of the relics in Paris. To make sure you don’t lose track, read the windows from bottom to top and from left to right. No fewer than 1,113 scenes are recounted! The mobile application Vitraux Sainte-Chapelle will be able to give you some explanations.

If you’re a fan of Gothic architecture, you won’t regret your visit to the Sainte-Chapelle! Without delving into biblical history, you can simply admire the beauty of the 600 stained-glass windows that adorn the monument and the sculpted stonework that surrounds it.

Visit the Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie: opt for the combined ticket

La Conciergerie

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Kiev.Victor

Twin tickets are available to visit both the Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie. A little extra: this ticket entitles the holder to a queue-breaker for access to both buildings.

You’ll be able to visit the two most important monuments of the Palais de la Cité. In addition to the traditional tour, you’ll have the chance to visit medieval rooms and spaces that have disappeared to the sounds of theHistoPad. This digital device offers total immersion thanks to its augmented reality features and 3D reconstructions.

Opening hours and prices

La Sainte-Chapelle

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Reiner Conrad

Opening hours

  • October 1 to March 31: open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
  • April 1 to September 30: open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.;
  • Nocturnes on Wednesdays from mid-May to mid-September: open until 9:30pm;
  • The Sainte-Chapelle is closed on May 1st, December 25th and January 1st ;
  • Last admission 40 minutes before monument closes.

One-way ticket

  • Full price: €11.5


  • Reduced rate: €9;
  • Group rate (20 people or more): €8;
  • Free admission for under-18s, disabled persons and accompanying adults, jobseekers, EU nationals and/or residents aged 18 to 25, and holders of an Icom or Culture card;
  • The Paris Museum Pass is accepted but cannot be used as a ticket-cutter;
  • Audio-guide rental: €3.

Combined Sainte-Chapelle and Conciergerie ticket

When choosing this ticket, you must select the date and time you wish to visit the Sainte-Chapelle. The Conciergerie must be visited on the same day, at a time of your choosing between 9.30 a.m. and 5.15 p.m.

  • Full price: €18.5
    (book here)

  • Reduced rate : 16,5€
  • Group rate (minimum 20 people): €12
  • Free for under-18s, disabled people and their carers, jobseekers, EU nationals and/or residents aged 18 to 25, and Icom or Culture card holders.

How do I get to the Sainte Chapelle?

The Sainte-Chapelle is located at 10 boulevard du Palais, in the first arrondissement of Paris. You can get there by bus, RER, metro or batobus.

By bus

Bus routes 21, 24, 27, 38, 58, 81, 85 and 96 take you to the site.

By metro

Lines 1, 7, 11 or 14: « Châtelet » station stop

Line 4: Cité station stop

Line 10: « Cluny-Sorbonne » station stop (about 15 minutes’ walk from the chapel).


Lines B and C: « Saint-Michel/Notre-Dame » station stop

By Batobus

Don’t forget the batobus! Get back on terra firma at « Notre-Dame » or « Saint-Germain-des-Prés » stations.

By car

If you have a car, the nearest parking lots are :

Harlay parking lot, Quai des Orfèvres

Indigo parking lot, place Louis Lépine

Parking Notre-Dame, place Jean-Paul II.

On foot or by bike

For those lucky enough to be staying close to the Sainte-Chapelle, or for the more courageous, don’t forget to walk or bike! Vélib’ stations are nearby.

Access to the monument Monday to Friday

Place Louis Lépine

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Catarina Belova

A security perimeter surrounds the Palais de Justice de Paris from Monday to Friday. Access is only possible via Place Louis Lépine (Place du Marché aux Fleurs), where police carry out an initial check. Visitors must present their admission ticket and then visit the Sainte-Chapelle via the usual entrance. A second security check is then carried out.

When the perimeter is deployed, entry to the Sainte-Chapelle is only possible on presentation of a ticket allocated to a specific visiting slot. The ticket office is located in the Place du Châtelet, near the monument (payment by credit card only).

A second off-site box office is located at theHôtel de Sully (62 rue Saint Antoine 75004, Tuesday to Sunday, 1pm to 7pm). Alternatively, opt for the e-ticket, which allows you to select your day and time slot directly on the Internet.

What to do around the Sainte-Chapelle

Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre-Dame de Paris

Photo credit: Shutterstock – milosk50

Since the fire on April 15, 2019, Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral and its immediate surroundings have been closed to the public to allow for major safety and stabilization work, prior to restoration. However, don’t hesitate to come and admire or capture the Cathedral from the narrow streets of the Ile de la Cité, the bridges over the Seine, the Left Bank quays and the Ile Saint Louis.

The Louvre Museum

Le musée du Louvre

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Dennis van de Water

Do we really need to introduce it? The Musée du Louvre, with its glass pyramid, richly decorated facade and thousands of works of art, including the incomparable Mona Lisa, is just a 15-minute walk from the Sainte-Chapelle. What’s more, it’s the perfect opportunity to pass (and repass) the iconic Pont Neuf!

Stroll around Ile de la Cité and Ile Saint-Louis

Île Saint-Louis

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Pascale Gueret

In the heart of Paris, the Ile de la Cité and the Ile de Saint-Louis compete for the attention of tourists from all over the world. Don’t make the impossible choice. The best thing to do is visit the Sainte-Chapelle, then take the time to explore each of them.

What’s on the agenda? Picnics, visits to monuments or simply relaxing strolls. These two treasures have preserved their charm and calm in the midst of private mansions. The Horloge Tower and Conciergerie overlook the city in one corner, and the charming Place Dauphine in the other.

A flight of steps plunging into the Seine here, a cultural space there. The famous Berthillon ice cream parlour on one side of the main street, a country bell tower on the other. Opposite, the Pont Saint-Louis linking the two islands and, at the far end, a Martyrs’ memorial. To the right, Square Jean-XXIII, lined with cherry blossoms; to the left, Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral and bucolic stalls.

Where to eat around the Sainte-Chapelle?

Le Caveau du Palais

Le Caveau du Palais

Photo credit: Facebook – Le Caveau du Palais

There’s no shortage of restaurants on the Ile de la Cité specializing in traditional French cuisine. Le Caveau du Palais is one of them, more confidential than some, but absolutely delicious. The dishes proudly stamped bleu blanc rouge are based on seasonal and local ingredients. They are served in a historic setting, nestled in stone walls and ancient arcades.

Au Bougnat

Au Bougnat

Photo credit: Facebook – Au Bougnat

Visiting the Sainte-Chapelle has made you hungry, but you’re more of a Parisian brasserie fan? Then head for Le Bougnat. Rustic, warm and wooded, this traditional bistro retains its medieval charm and excellent, typically French recipes.



Photo credit: Facebook – Berthillon

No visit to the Sainte-Chapelle is complete without a tour of the Ile Saint-Louis and a gourmet break at Berthillon! This world-famous temple to ice cream offers delights from the most classic to the most surprising. A well-kept secret, a lot of love and audacity, an elegant decor: the hardest part will be choosing your flavor and not coming back ten times.

Where to stay around the Sainte-Chapelle?

Hôtel du Jeu De Paume

Hôtel du Jeu de Paume

Photo credit: Booking

On the Île Saint-Louis, the Jeu de Paume hotel offers top-of-the-range services and contemporary rooms, finely crafted to blend the old and the new. With its hushed ambience and natural materials, it’s a veritable showcase of tranquility and luxury in the heart of the capital.

Hotel Univers Saint-Germain

Hôtel Univers Saint-Germain

Photo credit: Booking

This hotel in the Saint-Germain district, just a few minutes’ walk from the Sainte-Chapelle, stands out for its unique style and associations. Red velvet armchairs framed by stone walls, wooden ceiling beams, rococo carpets, precious gilded fabrics…

Appart Hotel Roi de Sicile

Appart Hôtel Roi de Sicile

Photo credit: Booking

Looking for the privacy and autonomy of a rental, with the added prestige of a hotel? Choose the Roi de Sicile aparthotel. From the Deluxe studio to the Couture suite, everything has been designed with your well-being in mind, immersing you in pure Parisian refinement. On the hotel side, the atmosphere is as soft and enveloping as it is classy.

Airbnb for two

Airbnb île de la Cité

Photo credit: Airbnb

The Castillon apartment is a luxury Airbnb right in the middle of the Ile de la Cité. Nestled in an old building, with all the charms that entails, its decor reflects its historic past. Contemporary furnishings and decorative touches stand out, giving the place a rare elegance. Located in the Place Dauphine, it lends itself to romantic getaways for two.

Airbnb for small groups

Airbnb en petit groupe

Photo credit: Airbnb

Mia welcomes you to her exceptional home, open to five travelers who love fine amenities and history. From the elegant rooms, with their historic features and Renaissance palace decor, you can gaze out over the beautiful Place Dauphine. A golden, cocooning experience, right next to the Sainte-Chapelle.


La Sainte-Chapelle

Photo credit: Shutterstock – marcobir

How long does the tour last?

It takes around 1 hour to visit the Sainte-Chapelle, with or without an audio-guide.

Why book your ticket online?

Since September 08, access to the Sainte-Chapelle has been restricted from Monday to Friday due to the security perimeter. Your ticket is valid for a specific day and time. It’s best to avoid visiting the monument twice, by booking directly online and going to the monument just for your visit. What’s more, same-day tickets are not unlimited.

When is the best time to visit the Sainte-Chapelle?

Like all must-see sites, it’s best to visit the Sainte Chapelle outside school vacations and weekends, to minimize the influx of tourists. Another tip is to plan your visit for the morning and, if possible, on a sunny day. The light reflected in the stained glass windows is simply enchanting…

Is there a guided tour of the Sainte-Chapelle?

There is a 45-minute guided tour every day at 11am and 3pm. More targeted, themed tours are also organized throughout the year. The program is available on the official website.

Are photos allowed?

Photos and videos are permitted in the monument, provided that they comply with legislation on personal image rights. The use of tripods, booms or stabilizers is prohibited.

Are there changing rooms and toilets at the Sainte-Chapelle?

It is forbidden to visit the Sainte-Chapelle with suitcases or large bags. The monument does not accept deposits. There are no toilets available on site.

Is the Conciergerie accessible to people with reduced mobility?

The site is accessible to PRM (People with Reduced Mobility). However, be sure to check the Sainte-Chapelle website before your visit, to ensure that works or other events do not restrict access.

Are pets allowed in the Sainte-Chapelle?

Dogs are not allowed on the site, except for guide and assistance dogs.

Can I visit the Sainte-Chapelle virtually?

Visit the Sainte-Chapelle from the comfort of your sofa? Now you can, thanks to our partnership with Timographie 360°. Immerse yourself in a 100% virtual tour of the Sainte-Chapelle and the Palais Royal de la Cité in the 14th century.