Definitive guide

Basilique de Saint-Denis

The first truly Gothic building, the Saint-Denis Basilica was also the burial place of the French Monarchs for centuries.

The Basilica of Saint-Denis, known in French as Basilique royale or Basilique-cathédrale de Saint-Denis, is a large cathedral located in a northern suburb of Paris. The building represents an important architectural milestone, as it was the first truly Gothic building to have been completed - meaning it was the first one to have all the elements characteristic of Gothic architecture.

Our recommendations

The Basilique de Saint-Denis is not in the city centre, so if you want to visit it, make sure you plan enough time in your day to accommodate it.

The Basilica of Saint-Denis has a magnificent airy quality thanks to the light-coloured stone, large arcades, slender columns, and high stained-glass windows. The ambulatory and choir are flooded with light and are particularly charming. The crypt, with all the royal tombs and sculptures, is also worth a visit. You can get your ticket for the Saint-Denis Basilica here .

After its construction in the 12th century, the Basilica quickly became a site of pilgrimage, as it contained the tomb of almost every French King from the 10th to the 19th century (the last one being King Louis XVIII).

Basilique de Saint-Denis in Paris
Author: Gilles Messian. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Due to its connections to the French monarchy, the (then) Abbey of Saint-Denis became a target of the French revolutionaries in the 1790s. Although the building itself was left standing, the church was profaned and the burial chamber desecrated.

In 1806, under Napoléon, the church was reconsecrated and renovated. The remains of the French royalty were retrieved from the common pit they had been placed in during the French Revolution and placed either in the church’s crypt or in their tombs inside the Basilica.


Rue de la Légion d’Honneur 1, north of Paris’ centre

Tickets and price

To avoid long queues, we recommend you reserve your entrances in advance. You can get your ticket in advance here .

Regular Under 18 or EEA citizens under 26 Groups
€9.50 free €7.50

The visit to the Basilique de Saint-Denis is included with the Paris Museum Pass. So, if you plan on visiting a decent amount of museums and monuments along with the Basilica, we highly recommend getting the Pass. It will give you free access to all the most important sights in the city. You can get yours here .


Period Day Opening time Last admission Closure
April-September Mon-Sat 10:00 am 5:45 pm 6:15 pm
Sun 12:00 am 5:45 pm 6:15 pm
October-March Mon-Sat 10:00 am 4:45 pm 5:15 pm
Sun 12:00 am 4:45 pm 5:15 pm

The royal necropolis museum is subject to exceptional closures due to it being inside the parish church.


Method Métro Bus RER Tramway
Lines 13 153 or 253 D T1
Stops Basilique de Saint-Denis - Saint-Denis Marché de St-Denis

Nearby sights

The Basilique de Saint-Denis is located about 8 km north of Paris’ centre, so the closest neighbourhood, with all its sights, is Montmartre.

Author: 1 Author: Gilles Messian. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Basilique de Saint-Denis