Sainte Chappelle: Paris’ Hidden Gem

Stained glass in Sainte Chappelle

Everyone knows about Paris’ greatest hits: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe. But when planning my first ever visit, I came across one site that I’d never heard of: Sainte Chappelle. This hidden gem should be on any Paris Itinerary. Though it’s certainly less well-known than nearby Notre Dame, the inside of Sainte Chappelle is even more beautiful. Famous for its incredible stained glass, visitors are left in awe of this incredible royal chapel dating back to the 1200s.

The chapel, originally founded by Saint Louis (not the city) to house a collection of Catholic relics has survived a lot in its history. It was vandalized during the French Revolution, used for storage, and oiled up to protect it from WWII bombing. After lots of renovations, it’s now open to the public and should not be missed on your visit to Paris.

Sainte Chappelle’s lower level

Lower chapel in Sainte Chappelle

Visitors enter on the lower level of the chapel, and while it’s not the main attraction, it’s still beautiful. Much of the décor has been recreated after being destroyed over the years, but the rich gold paint is eye catching.

The high, arching eaves complement some smaller stained glass windows, and there are spots where gems are embedded in the walls. We actually thought that this was the only part of the church and almost left without seeing the main attraction. Fortunately, as we prepared to leave, we spotted the very narrow winding staircase that took us up to the second floor.

The Haute Chappelle

Haute chappelle in Sainte Chappelle

This is the part you see pictures of. You’re almost completely surrounded by gorgeous blue stained glass that reaches all the way up to the ceiling. Though some of it has been recreated due to damage over the years, quite a bit of it is original. The craftsmanship that went into it is stunning.

Stained glass in Sainte Chappelle in Paris, France

The haute chappelle is the kind of place you can just wander and lose yourself in. Make sure you check out the detail in the glass. Like Notre Dame, Sainte Chappelle also features a rose window. I’ve visited a lot of stunning churches in Europe over the last few years, but the stained glass in Sainte Chappelle is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Photos just can’t do it justice.

Sainte Chappelle in Paris France

The Details

Sainte Chappelle is located on Ile de la Cite, only a couple of blocks from Notre Dame. You can easily combine the two into a morning or afternoon. Admission for adults is 10 euros at the time of this writing. The Paris City Pass (which I highly recommend) includes a visit. Check out the official site for more information. If you’re looking for the relics that were once housed here, some of them can be found in the Notre Dame cathedral.

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Sainte Chappelle in Paris, France has a spectacular display of stained glass. #Paris | #France | Things to do in Paris | #SainteChappelle

Sainte Chappelle in Paris, France has a spectacular display of stained glass. #Paris | #France | Things to do in Paris | #SainteChappelle Sainte Chappelle in Paris, France has a spectacular display of stained glass. #Paris | #France | Things to do in Paris | #SainteChappelle
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Kris's suitcase never rests. She's either traveling the United States for business or exploring somewhere exciting and new for vacation. She's a former Disney World Cast Member and loves writing about Disney parks almost as much as visiting them.


  • Gearoid McSweeney September 26, 2017 at 5:22 pm Reply

    The problem with Paris is that there is just too much to see and do! It’s almost impossible to do it justice…

  • Leigh September 27, 2017 at 3:49 pm Reply

    The stained glass in this church (and others) is just stunning! I love finding alternatives to the big popular tourist attractions!

  • Felicia Broccolo September 27, 2017 at 4:42 pm Reply

    Wow what a gorgeous place!! I missed out when I went to Paris! Now I have an excuse to go back! 😉 I love your photos!

  • Laura September 27, 2017 at 4:56 pm Reply

    Wow! That stained glass is absolutely stunning!

  • Elle September 27, 2017 at 5:11 pm Reply

    I hadn’t heard of Sainte Chapelle either but it’s very pretty – I especially like it’s stained glass windows. I’m thinking of going to Paris so if I do, I’ll be sure to visit here!

  • Rachel September 27, 2017 at 5:36 pm Reply

    Hi Kris.
    I think your photos are pretty cool and show the stained glass off well.
    I didn’t know this place existed so thanks for putting it on the map so to speak.

  • Kristi September 27, 2017 at 6:37 pm Reply

    This is the one place in Paris that I regret not going to. We are going back in 2019 and I am going to see it finally. Your photos are gorgeous!

  • Stefanie September 27, 2017 at 10:43 pm Reply

    While I love the lower floor of the chapel, I’m so glad you didn’t miss the narrow winding stairs leading up! That would have been a shame! Such a beautiful place! Thank you for reminding me of my visit with your descriptions and lovely photos!

  • Sarah September 27, 2017 at 10:44 pm Reply

    Beautiful! The stained glass is amazing.

  • Ashfina September 28, 2017 at 3:19 am Reply

    That’s a beautiful church. And yes I have put this on my itinerary whenever I visit Paris 🙂
    Thanks for sharing ❤️

  • Lucy September 28, 2017 at 12:45 pm Reply

    Wow! I never knew about the Sainte Chappelle! It looks absolutely beautiful, I love the stain glass windows and how many there are, I have not seen a church like this before. Need to go there when I’m next in Paris!

  • Jas September 28, 2017 at 10:05 pm Reply

    I studied abroad in southern France couple years back and when I made my weekend trip up to Paris, Saint Chapelle was amongst the top things I was dying to see. And what do you know, there was an official governmental event that day and was closed off to the public. I’m glad you got to witness its beauties tho and I’m just totally living vicariously thru you!

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