Don’t be scammed! How to know which Parisian churches are free
When strolling the streets of Paris, it is hard not to miss the stunning old churches that dot the city. They are magnificent works of art in their own right and often have gorgeous frescoes painted by famous artists.
Unfortunately, Paris is known for the abundance of scam artists so it is important to know which churches have free entry like at Notre Dame and which churches have paid entry like at Sainte Chapelle. Once when I was visiting the Abbey of Saint Germain des Pres, a free entry church, a very official looking man tried to get me to pay to enter.
So that you aren’t scammed, here is how you tell the difference…if the church is “active” meaning the church still holds services and provides ministry to the people, it is a free church. Notre Dame is still an active church holding Mass and other services so entry to the church itself is free. There is a fee to visit the bell tower. Sainte Chapelle, however, is no longer an active church which is why there is a fee to enter.
You will find that most of churches in Paris are free entry and are a great budget friendly way to view the history, art and charm of the city.
Pro tip: Not glamorous but sure functional. When touring around Paris, I always wear a money belt with a little extra cash and a credit card in case I get pick pocketed. Buy yours here (affiliate link).*
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