A name made ubiquitous by the tragic hero in Victor Hugo's 1831 novel, the Notre Dame de Paris is one of the most well known cathedrals on planet Earth. Constructed over a period of nearly 200 years between the mid 12th and 14th centuries, this towering French Gothic edifice has seen its fair share of historic moments, including the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte and the death of renowned organist Louis Vierne (who fulfilled a lifelong dream by departing this life performing on the church's nearly 8,000 pipes).
A tour of this relatively simple (by Gothic standards) yet beautiful structure treats believers and non-believers alike to magnificent Christian-inspired architecture, as well as some fascinating religious relics, including the Holy Crown of Thorns. Not to shabby, we have to admit, especially considering the entrance fee is a whopping 0 anything (dollars, euro, bitcoins, high fives, etc.). Despite the significant crowds that arrive beginning in the later morning hours, it's still absolutely worth a visit.
Location:6 Parvis Notre-Dame, Place Jean-Paul II, Paris