If you haven’t been to Sainte Chapelle, on the Ile de la Cite, you need to go. It’s as simple as that. It was built in the 13th century as the Royal Chapel for the king at the time, Louis IX. It has an upper and a lower chapel, and has the most incredible stained glass that I have ever seen, if only in terms of sheer magnitude! If you go during its regular business hours, you will get to tour the whole thing, but it is one of the most popular tourist spots so be prepared for a long line, especially in summer. So, you might ask yourself, how do I get in to see it without that long line?
You buy a ticket for one of the many concerts held there. We went in October to hear Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and it was truly magical. The concert itself was at 7:00, so we got there at 6:30, in case there was a line. There was a slight line and delay, but it turned out it was just as people passed through the security area. Once through that, it was a short walk to the chapel itself and we arrived when it was still light outside (luckily) so the lighting on the windows was amazing!
I had ordered our tickets online before we traveled, on the FNAC website www.fnac.com and you can then go to any FNAC store to pick up the tickets (FNAC is a large store that sells CD’s, DVD’s, and electronic equipment of various kinds and has several locations around Paris.)
It turned out that I had bought the most expensive tickets (it’s all that came up when I went online so I assume it was what was still available– 40 euros each), but I’m NOT complaining, because it meant we were very close to the front and this is a once in a lifetime experience, in my opinion.
It was just over an hour so we came out onto the street about 8:15. Afterward we walked back to the cafe close to home for a veggie pizza with an egg on top (true French style!). What a great evening!