Are you planning to visit Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral? Here’s all the information you need about this historic monument!

A visit to Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral is a must when visiting Alsace. Described by Victor Hugo as a prodigy of the gigantic and the delicate, this Gothic masterpiece stands out for its height, with its majestic bell tower. Whether you’ve come to discover the legends that surround this exceptional historic monument, admire the variations in light on its pink Vosges sandstone, or observe its architecture, this visit should appeal to you.

So what do you need to know before visiting Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral? What is its history? How can you prepare for your visit? In this article, we’ve put together all the information you might need during your visit!

History of Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral

Visit Strasbourg's Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame de Strasbourg was built on the remains of a former cathedral. The monument was built over almost three centuries (1015 – 1439). In 2015, the cathedral celebrated the 1,000th anniversary of the laying of its foundation stone by the Bishop of Strasbourg and Emperor Henry II. This makes it the oldest Gothic cathedral in the world. It was designed to make the city of Strasbourg the centre of Christian Europe in the Middle Ages.

The master builders responsible for its construction achieved real technical prowess. This masterpiece of medieval architecture has been restored many times since. What’s more, the Strasbourg monument was the highest Christian building in the world until the 19th century. Notre-Dame, the symbol of Strasbourg’s identity and that of Alsace, can be seen from afar!

Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral has belonged to the state since the French Revolution. Catholic worship was temporarily banned by Hitler at the start of the Second World War, until the city was liberated in 1944. Today, with 4.5 million tourists a year, it is the second most visited cathedral in France after Notre-Dame de Paris.

🔗 Read Also: 12 Best things to do in Strasbourg for first time visitors

Our tips for a successful visit to Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral

To help you prepare for your visit, here is some advice and useful information:

  • We recommend that you visit Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral in the late morning or early afternoon, so that you can watch the film on the astronomical clock at 12.00 pm, followed by the Parade of the Apostles at 12.30 pm (except on Sundays).
  • Summer is an excellent time to discover the Cathedral, as from July to August it is animated by a sound and light show every evening. Perfect for admiring every detail of the façade!
  • The platform may be temporarily closed due to overcrowding (more than 100 people) or dangerous weather conditions.
  • The Cathedral offers disabled access via the north side door. However, the platform is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.
  • Ready for a trip back in time? Download the VR Strasbourg Cathedral application and enjoy a panoramic view of the city in 1490 and 1730 thanks to 3D reconstructions!

We have selected for you the best offer to visit the Cathedral: Strasbourg: Official digital audio guide of the cathedral

What can you do when you visit Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral?

The exterior façade

A visit to Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral begins even before you step through the door. You can spend hours looking at its facades, which are adorned with remarkable sculptures that bear witness to its history through the ages. There are three richly decorated portals, a large number of statues and a sublime rose window 14 metres in diameter above the central entrance. At the top of its unique bell tower, an impressive spire rises 142 metres above the ground, outlining the cathedral’s silhouette.

The interior

Inside Strasbourg's Notre-Dame Cathedral

Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral houses a number of jewels in its nave. These include the Pillar of Angels, representing the Last Judgement, the pulpit of the great preacher Geiler de Kaysersberg, stained glass windows dating from the 12th and 14th centuries and a monumental organ.
But the one that particularly catches the eye is a curious astronomical clock created in 1574. Described as a masterpiece of horology and mathematics, it tells the time, calendars and astrological data. You can watch the automatons and the parade of the Apostles every day at 12.30pm.

The platform

Visitors to Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral can access a platform 66 metres above sea level. After climbing 330m, you’ll have a breathtaking view of the Vosges mountains, the roofs of the city and the Black Forest. It’s also the best place to admire the monument’s bold spire and copper roofs.

The Crypt and Chapelle Sainte Catherine

The Crypt is an 11th-century underground church that houses the bishops’ vault. Here you can discover the remains of the Romanesque building on which the cathedral was built. The Chapelle Sainte Catherine was built around 1340 in the Cathedral. It houses magnificent statues dating from the 14th century.

Please note: due to the State of Emergency, the Crypt and Sainte Catherine Chapel are temporarily closed to visitors.

How much does a ticket to Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral cost?

Strasbourg's Notre-Dame Cathedral from the street

The Cathedral

Access to Notre-Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral is free during opening hours, except during services. However, there is a charge for viewing the astronomical clock:

  • Normal rate: €2
  • Reduced rate (groups of more than 12 people and children aged 6 to 18): €1.50
  • Free for children under 6

The platform

  • Standard rate: €8
  • Reduced rate (groups of 12 or more and children aged 6 to 18): €5
  • Free for the under-6s and the disabled…

Are there guided tours of Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral?

From March to December, guided tours of Strasbourg’s Old Town and Notre-Dame Cathedral are regularly organised by the city’s tourist office.

Otherwise, audiophones can be hired from Batorama, the shop on Place de la Cathédrale, or directly from the Batorama website.

Are there combined tours with other monuments in Strasbourg?

Are you planning to visit the city over several days? Then the Strasbourg City Pass could be for you! It entitles you to a number of free or discounted services, including a reduced rate for climbing up to the platform of Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral. It is available from the city’s Tourist Office, and costs 5€.

Opening times

The Cathedral

Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral is open to the public every day of the year, except 1 January, 1 May and 25 December.

Monday to Saturday:

  • 8.30am – 11.15am
  • 11.30am – 12.30pm for holders of a ticket for the Clock Tower (Saint-Michel gate)
  • 12.45pm – 5.45pm

Sundays and public holidays:

  • 11:15am – 12:00pm: access possible in the narthex / no presentation of the Clock
  • 2pm – 5.15pm

The platform

The platform of Notre-Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral is open every day except 1 January, 1 May and 25 December.

  • From 1 April to 30 September from 9.30am to 1pm and from 1.30pm to 8pm. Last lift at 7.15pm.
  • From 1st October to 31st March from 10am to 1pm and from 1.30pm to 7pm. Last ascent at 6.15pm.

How do I get to Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral?

There are several ways to get to Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral, right in the heart of the city:

  • By bike: you can hire bikes from the Velhop website and park easily nearby
  • Tram: with trams A and D (Langstross Grand’Rue stop, in the heart of Strasbourg) or with trams B, C or F (Broglie stop).

For more information, please visit the Compagnie des Transports Strasbourgeois website! The platform is accessed from the south via Place du Château.

Where can I park near Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral?

Are you coming to Strasbourg by car? To avoid the city centre, you can park your car in one of the park-and-ride facilities on the outskirts of the city, with direct access to the tram. Alternatively, there are car parks just a short walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral:

  • Gutenberg (2 min)
  • Austerlitz (5 min)
  • Bateliers (7 min)

Where to stay near Strasbourg Notre-Dame Cathedral?

If you are planning to stay in Strasbourg for several days, we recommend that you stay in the Grande Île area, right in the city centre. Most of the city’s historic monuments, including Notre-Dame Cathedral, are located in this area. It is also Strasbourg’s most popular tourist district, and offers a wide range of accommodation.

Compare and book hotels in Strasbourg

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