France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Chartres, France Guide
La Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres is France's best-preserved pure-Gothic cathedral, with the largest and finest collection of stained-glass windows in the land.





Chartres, a town 96 km (61 miles) southwest of Paris (map), has one of Europe's finest Gothic cathedrals, well worth an easy day-trip from Paris or an overnight or two.

  Stained Glass Window, Cathedral, Chartres, France
  Stained glass is brilliant...

The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres is beloved deeply by those who know it because of its harmonious pure Gothic architecture, its splendid stained-glass windows, and its medieval labyrinth (floor maze).

Twenty trains per day depart Paris's Gare Montparnasse for Chartres (pronounced SHART). The trip takes a little over an hour each way. More...

Plan Your Visit

Consider these things when planning your visit to Chartres:

Market days are Wednesday and Saturday—it's always fun to visit a French town's markets.

—Many restaurants and shops are closed on Monday, which makes the town quieter, but the shopping and dining choices fewer.

—The cathedral's stupendous stained-glass windows are at their most brilliant on sunny days. To see them to best effect you may want to visit the cathedral several times during the day as the sun moves. Then there are the superb illumination displays of Chartres en lumières after dark.

—The town itself is charming and fun to visit, so you might want to consider an overnight visit. This would allow you to visit the cathedral at different times of day, visit the International Stained-Glass Center and other churches such as Saint-Aignan and Saint-Pierre, and explore the lovely old town and the river area. Between April and October, you can also enjoy the wonderful Chartres en Lumières light show. Chartres offers a variety of hotels and bed and breakfasts.


It's a short 550-meter (8-minute) walk uphill from the gare (train station) to the cathedral by way of the Place Châtelet (map), where there are free public toilets.

The Office du Tourisme is a few blocks past the cathedral on Place de la Poissonerie (map). More...

Several dozen restaurants provide sustinence: Turkish kebaps on the street from the gare, sidewalk cafés next to the cathedral, and traditional French cuisine scattered around the town center. More...

Hotels in Chartres

What to See & Do

Chartres Cathedral

Transport for Chartres

Chartres Restaurants

Tourist Information

Day-trips from Paris



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Cathedrale de Chartres, France

La Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres.


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