Château de Vincennes

A full-fledged Mediaeval castle with its own moat and fortified walls: this is the Château de Vincennes, a former royal residence just outside Paris.

The Château de Vincennes is a large fortress and former royal residence, built between the 12th and 14th centuries. It is located outside the city, by the Bois de Vincennes, a large park east of Paris. The building truly has everything you would expect from a Mediaeval castle: a fortified wall, a moat, towers, and even its own chapel.

The Château de Vincennes is included in the Paris Museum Pass, so if you have the pass you won’t need to queue at the castle or pay for a ticket. If you don’t have it yet, [you can get yours here]( .

Château de Vincennes in Paris
The Château de Vincennes is surrounded by a 1,100 metre-long (more than 3600 feet) fortified wall.

The castle’s fortified central tower, with its 50 metres (160 feet) in height, is the tallest of its kind in Europe. Born as a country house for the royals, the fortress was so well defended that in the 15th century, it was used by the royals in times of peril and military turbulence.

Later on, in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Vincennes Castle was used as a prison. Among the many notable prisoners held here, Denis Diderot and the Marquis de Sade are the most well-known. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Château was used as a military base and command post.

Both the exterior and the interior of the Château de Vincennes are rather bare - no loud colours, tapestries, paintings, or stuffy furniture. The lack of additional decoration leaves the creamy and bright colours of the carved stone to speak for themselves.

Particularly striking is the Sainte-Chapelle de Vincennes, built as a reproduction of the Sainte-Chapelle on Île de la Cité.

While the chapel in Vincennes Castle has all the structural elements of the Gothic Flamboyant style (elaborate carvings, sculpted corbels, slender and elegant arches, and massive stained-glass windows), there are none of the dramatic colours. You’ll feel like you’ve just walked into a dream-like version of the Sainte-Chapelle itself, completely white and bare, except for the stained glass.


Avenue de Paris, just east of the city centre.

Tickets and price

Adult Under 18 or EEA residents under 26 Audioguide
€9.50 free €3.00

Entry to the Château de Vincennes is also included in the Paris Museum Pass, so if you plan on visiting a decent amount of attractions during your stay, we highly recommend buying it - [you can get yours here]( . The Museum Pass will give you free access to all the most important sights in the city, and you won’t have to queue at the entrance.


19th May - 21st Sept
22nd Sept - 19th May
1.01, 01.05, 25.12
Days Opening time Last admission Closure
19th May - 21st Sept 10:00 am 5:15 pm 6:00 pm
22nd Sept - 19th May 10:00 am 4:15 pm 5:00 pm
1.01, 01.05, 25.12 Closed


Method Métro Bus RER
Lines 1 46, 56, 86 A
Stops Château de Vincennes - Vincennes

Nearby sights

The Château de Vincennes is located southeast of Paris’ city centre, so it is not very close to other major attractions, aside from what’s in the Vincennes Park.

  • Bois de Vincennes - right next to the Château de Vincennes.
  • Parc Floral de Paris - just southeast of the Château de Vincennes, in the Bois de Vincennes.
  • Parc Zoologique de Paris - 2.4 km (1.5 miles) southwest, 28-minute walk into the Bois de Vincennes.
Author: 1 The Château de Vincennes is surrounded by a 1,100 metre-long (more than 3600 feet) fortified wall.

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Château de Vincennes