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Chartres Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres)
Chartres Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres)

Chartres Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres)

15 Reviews
16 Cloître Notre Dame, Chartres, 28000

The Basics

Stroll around the grounds and admire the grand exteriors and then head inside to discover stained-glass windows that are regarded as some of the best in the world. Visit the crypt, climb the Bell Tower for a views of Chartres, and find your way through the labyrinth, a medieval maze embedded in the floor of the cathedral. Tours of the cathedral are often combined with a walking tour of Chartres Town.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Loire Valley

Good trip
jmb0w, Oct 2019
Chartres and Its Cathedral: 5-Hour Tour from Paris with Private Transport
Our trip was good, although traffic and driving time limits the time we actually spent in Chartres. Would have liked to have spend more time wandering the village. Guide was excellent and knowledgeable.
Extraordinary Day in Chartres
diannawoolley, Sep 2019
Chartres and Its Cathedral: 5-Hour Tour from Paris with Private Transport
My spouse and I couldn’t have asked for a more informative and relaxing day than with guide Lilith and driver Alex. Comfortable, immaculate car for the journey, articulate, knowledgeable guide. A totally enjoyable experience assuring we will engage with Viator when we travel again.
Great tour
danielbbaker, Jan 2020
Chartres and Its Cathedral: 5-Hour Tour from Paris with Private Transport
We were in Paris over the holidays and scheduled this tour for Christmas Day since most things in Paris are closed that day (though Eiffel Tower was open which we did in the afternoon). Lilith gave a very pleasant and informative tour of Chartres, both the cathedral and town. There were a few stores open in Chartres that day so we were able to get lunch at one of them. She has a driver for the van, so is able to focus her time and attention on the tour and provide information along the way. Overall, would highly recommend.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • There’s a separate admission fee to enter the Cathedral and the Bell Tower; children go free.

  • Official cathedral tours are held in French only, so it’s worth visiting as part of an external tour if you want to benefit from a guide.

  • English language booklets are available from the Visitor Centre while souvenirs can be purchased in the gift shop.

  • The ground floor of the church is wheelchair accessible.

  • Put aside around one hour to explore the cathedral.

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How to Get There

The cathedral is located in downtown Chartres and can be reached on foot from most central attractions. Trains from Paris Montparnasse take around an hour and arrive at Chartres Train Station, from which the cathedral is a 10-minute walk. There’s also a free shuttle bus that departs from the station regularly.

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Trip ideas

When to Get There

The church is open to visitors daily from 8:30am to 7:30pm throughout the year, except during the mass service that’s held daily at 11am for an hour. It can get busy in the summer months, when it’s best to plan an early morning visit to avoid the crowds. If you’re staying in town between April and October, return after dark when the cathedral is dramatically lit up as part of the Chartres In Lights festival. The labyrinth is only open on Fridays.

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Things to Do in Chartres

While the cathedral is undoubtedly the star attraction, it’s worth taking the time to explore the historic town of Chartres too. A walking tour of the town reveals a maze of cobbled lanes and half-timbered buildings. Don’t miss the Gothic Église Saint-Pierre, which dates back to medieval times; Maison Picassiette, known for its mosaics; a stroll along the Eure riverside; and a visit to the International Stained Glass Centre.

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