The story of St. Denis starts with this christiannic martyr who converted citizens of Paris in Antiquity. According the legend, he was condamned to have his head chopped off... but survived it and brought the head few miles away to the town therefore named after him!
In this city a basilica was built and is now worldly famous for two reasons: to be the very first gothic church of France and the official necropolis of French kings. It is the unique place in the world gathering 70 royal tombs!
Standard duration: 2 hrs to 3 hrs
Price: 220€ (up to 30 people) The location of hearing system is recommended beyond 8 people
Flat price. Tickets not included. Location: 2€/person for a half day
We will see together: the architecture (inside and outside), the history of French kings, the royal funerary art
© Caroline Weber
From what age is the tour recommended?
This tour focus on history and funerary art, so it is not particularly a tour I recommend for young children. But it is entirely possible to follow this tour from 8 years old.
How can we go to St. Denis?
By metro! (line 13) The site is in close suburb, you can go there thanks to a basic parisian metro ticket (T+) and it's a 5minutes walk from the station to the church.
How long is the tour?
In 2 hours, we can see the essential inside and outside. If you want a special focus on gothic architecture, 2.5 hours is better. Also, if you prefer I accompany you from Paris, you need to count 30 extra minutes of transports in the tour.
Is the basilica still a church?
It is indeed! But the tombs are in a separate section of the church which is handled by the Centre of National Monuments. So the entrance to the church is free and allow to see the gothic architecture. To see the beautiful graves, a ticket is necessary. We see these two parts during the tour.
Is there a time we cannot visit St. Denis basilica with a guide?
The church is open every day of the year. But it is better to avoid the masses time for a guided tour: 9am on TUE/WED/THU/FRI, 3 masses on Sunday.
The tombs section is closed on some public holidays (January 1, May 1, December 25) and for certain special offices of the church. Always better to double-check the opening times of the week before to go.
Is the site crowded?
Most of the time, the site is very quiet. St. Denis basilica is one of these treasures off the beaten track.
Is this visit wheelchair accesible ?
Unfortunately, it is not. The church contains few steps the monument can't change (a listed building cannot be deeply altered in France). Though if your disability allow you to walk few steps, you'll be able to see the whole building. Please note the metro station is not wheelchair accessible so it is better to plan a cab in this case.
Good to know
With strong stones and not much human warmth, the problem of the basilica is the cold! It is fresh in summer and freezing in winter. Dress well and take a pair of gloves just in case.
Luggages are not allowed.