Concerts performed in Paris churches, chapels, and (prior to the fire) Notre Dame Cathedral let you experience superb music in sublime settings with ideal acoustics designed long before the days of electronic amplification.

The thrill of hearing musical instruments and voices in these centuries-old spaces make you realize that even the most sophisticated and expensive sound systems are poor substitutes for the magic of hearing live performances.

Paris church concerts typically feature baroque and classical music by composers such as Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, and Beethovan as well as Gregorian chants, choral pieces, Christmas songs, and even modern composers. 

You'll find unique beauty, art, history, and amazing music in each church:  spectacular stained glass at Sainte-Chapelle, magnificent pipe organs at Notre Dame and Église de la Madeleine, candlelight concerts at Saint-Ephrem, soaring architecture at Saint Eustache, great art at Saint Roch Church, and echoes of 6th century Rome at Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Tickets sell out quickly as these classical concerts are perhaps even more popular with local Parisians than with visitors.  If possible, get your tickets a month or two in advance, and even earlier for special holiday concerts at Christmas, New Year, and Easter.

Looking for Paris church concert schedules and tickets for a particular month?  See our Paris Concerts page.

In this article, you'll find details about 12 Paris churches where you'll hear memorable classical music concerts.

Top photo: Notre Dame Cathedral, (c) Paris Discovery Guide

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La Sainte-Chapelle Concerts 

Breath-taking stained glass at Sainte-Chapelle
Breath-taking stained glass at Sainte-Chapelle

Stunningly gorgeous stained glass windows and soaring French Gothic architecture make attending a concert in Sainte-Chapelle an experience you'll always remember. 

Fortunately, Sainte-Chapelle also offers more concerts than any other Paris church (although Église Saint-Ephrem is a close second).

Over 100 classical musical performances by soloists and ensembles take place here each year, including (usually) concerts on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. 

Because Sainte-Chapelle is an extremely popular concert venue with only 200 seats, book as far in advance as possible, especially for holiday concerts.

Location:  8, boulevard du Palais on the Ile de la Cité, 1st arrondissement; concerts are held in the chapel on the 2nd floor
Seating Capacity:  200
Nearest Metro:  Cité
Schedules and Tickets: Find all Sainte-Chapelle concerts

Recommended nearby Hotels:   

  • Hotel Britannique - Romantic small hotel on the Right Bank across from Île de la Cité and Sainte Chapelle
    Find lowest rates
  • Relais Hôtel du Vieux Paris - Charming 4-star boutique hotel in a historic 15th century building in the Latin Quarter - just a quick walk across the Pont Saint-Michel bridge to Sainte Chapelle
    Find lowest rates
  • Hôtel Europe Saint Séverin Paris - Small Latin Quarter hotel close to Sainte Chapelle, Notre Dame, and the Pantheon; request a room with a balcony!
    Find lowest rates

Find out more about how to visit Sainte Chapelle

Église de la Madeleine (Madeleine Church)    

Eglise de la Madeleine's alter and magnificent statue of Mary Magdalene
Eglise de la Madeleine's alter and statue of Mary Magdalene

Although the Église de la Madeleine's Neoclassical Greek design and 52 Corinthian columns on the outside make it a Paris landmark, its magnificent Cavaillé-Coll pipe organ and superb acoustics make it a popular venue for classical music concerts. You'll typically hear works by Mozart, Vivaldi, and Bach.

Past organists include famous French composers Camile Saint-Saëns and Gabriel Fauré.

Église de la Madeleine's spectacular neo-Byzantine mosaics, art, and sculpture make attending a concert here an unforgettable experience. 

Orginally built as a temple to honor Napoleon's army, La Madeleine contains beautiful religious statues and paintings.  In a dome over the altar, a striking fresco called "The History of Christianity" depicts Napolean at its center. 

Location:  Place de la Madeleine, 8th arrondissement
Seating Capacity:  200
Nearest Metro:  Madeleine
Schedules and Tickets:  Find all La Madeleine Concerts   
Recommended nearby Hotels:   

  • Hotel Fauchon - Luxury boutique hotel with fashion, style, and food by famous gourmet French food purveyor, Fauchon, just steps away from Eglise de la Madeleine - Find lowest rates 
  • Hotel de Seze - Elegant 4-star design hotel in a superb location - new and modern with great soundproofing - Compare all rates
  • Hotel Opera Richepanse - Boutique hotel in the heart of Paris, close to Madeleine Church, Paris Opera, and Place Vendome - Compare all rates

Need concert schedules and tickets?  See our Paris Concerts page.

Église Saint-Ephrem (Saint Ephrem Church) 

Corinthian columns grace the front of the Church of Saint Ephrem in the Latin Quarter
Corinthian columns grace the front of the Church of Saint Ephrem in the Latin Quarter

Superb acoustics in an intimate setting make the Church of Saint Ephrem an ideal venue for frequent concerts featuring Chopin, Bach, Satie, Debussy, Beethovan, and other classical music favorites performed by musicians from the National Conservatory of Music in Paris.

Located in the heart of the Latin Quarter on a quiet street behind the Pantheon, the 1733 Corinthian-style building occupies the site of two earlier chapels dating back to 1334. 

Since 1925, Saint Ephrem's (named after 4th century theologian-musician Saint Ephrem of Syria) has been a Syrian Catholic Church and conducts Sunday services in Syrian Aramaic. 

Candlelight concert featuring Mozart's Requiem at Eglish Saint Ephrem
Candlelight concert featuring Mozart's Requiem at Église Saint Ephrem

A beautiful rood screen carved in wood, one of the very few in Paris to escape destruction during the Revolution, forms an ornate backdrop for the musicians.  Lovely Byzantine-style icons hang on several walls.

Look for occasional candlelight concerts on the schedule. 

Location:  17, rue des Carmes, 5th arrondissement
Seating Capacity:  400
Nearest Metro:  Maubert Mutualité 
Schedules and Tickets:  Find all Saint Ephrem Concerts 

Recommended nearby Hotels:   

  • Select Hotel - Great Left Bank location near Saint Ephrem and the Sorbonne - Compare all rates 
  • Hotel Saint Jacques - Small romantic Belle Epoque hotel near Saint Ephrem Church and the Pantheon; affordable rates - Compare all rates 
  • Hotel La Lanterne - Excellent small hotel in the Latin Quarter with modern decor and a wonderful spa and pool - Compare all rates 

Église Saint-Eustache (Saint Eustache Church) 

Saint Eustasche Church in Paris - concert schedule

Dating back to 1532-1640, Saint Eustache is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent Paris churches, with breath-taking architecture and a centuries-long history of hosting amazing concerts, partly due to its splendid organ.  

Tickets for its renowned New Year's Eve and New Year's Day concerts sell out fast, so book early if you want to attend on these dates.

Location:  2, rue du Jour, 1st arrondissement
Seating Capacity:  500
Nearest Metro:  Les Halles
Schedules and Tickets:  Find all Saint Eustache Concerts 

Recommended nearby Hotels:   

  • Hotel Le Relais des Halles - Chic and affordable hotel near Les Halles and Saint-Eustache Church - Compare all rates
  • Maison Albar Hotel - 5-star hotel with spa, indoor pool, and plenty of luxury near Saint Eustache, Rue des Lombards jazz clubs, Les Halles, Palais Royal - Compare all rates
  • The Hoxton - Luxurious 4-star hotel close to Saint Eustache, Les Halles, Centre Pompidou, and the Louvre - Compare all rates

Église Saint-Sulpice Concerts

Statue of Madonna and Child at Saint Sulpice Church in Paris

Saint-Sulpice, built in the 17th and 18th century over foundations from a Romanesque church dating back to the 1200s, is almost as large as Notre-Dame. 

The Late-Baroque style church is filled with magnificent treasures including a renowned organ regarded as the best in Paris and possibly the world.  Master organ-builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll rebuilt the 1791 organ with 100 stops and five keyboards to produce an unbelievably majestic sound, amplified perfectly by Saint-Sulpice's excellent acoustics.

Fans of The Da Vinci Code will remember the organ as the site of a violent (but thankfully fictional) attack.

You can hear the organ on Sundays before, during, and after some of the masses, as well as on one Sunday afternoon each month at 4pm.  Check dates and times on the Église Saint-Sulpice website.

Saint-Sulpice also offers occasional classical concerts, including (usually) one on New Year's Eve.  Other concerts throughout the year typically include choral music by composers such as Brahms, Beethovan, Ravel, and Fauré.

Location:  Place Saint-Sulpice, 6th arrondissement
Seating Capacity:  600
Metro:  Saint Sulpice
Schedules and Tickets:  Find all Saint-Sulpice Classical concerts 

Recommended nearby Hotels:   

  • La Perle - Charming and affordable 3-star hotel in a quiet location near Saint Sulpice - Book Now
  • Hotel Clément - Affordable lovely small 2-star hotel in fashionable Saint Germain des Prés close to Saint Sulpice - Book Now

What Is a Cavaillé-Coll Organ?  And Why Are They So Special?

Cavaillé-Coll pipe organs, designed and built by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll in the mid-to-late 1800s and considered the finest examples of this instrument produced in the 19th century. 

They are "symphonic" organs, capable of reproducing and blending the sounds of other orchestral instruments to make you feel you're hearing an entire symphony orchestra.  No other organs approach the richness of their sound, and each one has its own unique "voice."

Numerous Cavaillé-Coll organs still exist in Paris churches and other venues, although many of them have been rebuilt at least once.  There is simply no better place in the world to hear them.  If you are a true Cavaillé-Coll afficionado, you will want to experience as many of them as possible.

To hear the least-altered Cavaillé-Coll organ in Paris, head to Église Saint-Sulpice

Other Paris churches where you can hear Cavaillé-Coll organs include the American Cathedral, Église Saint-Roch, Église de la Madeleine (rebuilt, modified), Notre Dame de la Croix, Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris (modified), Pentemont Abby, Saint Antoine des Quinze Vingts, Saint Clotilde Basillica (modified, rebuilt), Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint-Trinité, Église Saint-Jean de Montmartre, Sacré Coeur Basilica, and the Val de Grâce chapel organ. 

Église Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis

Saint Paul Saint Louis Church in Paris - Concert schedule

Built in Italian style in the early 1700s, the Church of Saint Paul - Saint Louis endured bloodshed, violence, and a brief conversion to "The Cult of Reason and the Supreme Being" during the French Revolution before being restored to Catholicism in the early 1800s. 

In addition to enjoying the church's gorgeous interior and a famous organ, you can also seem some wonderful art treasures here, including paintings by Delacroix and Germain Pilon.

Classical concerts in this spectacular setting typically feature works by Vivaldi and Pachelbel - truly a memorable experience!

Location:  99, rue Saint Antoine, Marais neighborhood in the 4th arrondissement
Schedules and Tickets:  Find all Church of Saint Paul-Saint Louis concerts 
Seating Capacity:  500
Nearest Metro:  Saint Paul
Recommended nearby Hotels:   

  • Hotel Caron - Highly rated boutique hotel with only 8 rooms - a little gem in an excellent location in the Marais near the Church of Saint Paul-Saint Louis - Compare all rates
  • Hotel de JoBo - Charming boutique hotel with creative decor in the jewel box rooms organized around a Josephine Bonaparte theme - chic and unique; excellent location - Compare all rates

Église Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois

Saint Germain l'Auxerrois Church in Paris - Concert schedule

Although the Church of Saint Germain l'Auxerrois was founded in the 7th century, it has been rebuilt many times.  It is one of the very few Roman Catholic churches in Paris to still celebrate a daily traditional Latin Mass.

Most of the church's structure dates back to the 15th century, with older portions from the 13th century.  Look closely when you are here for a concert and you can spot Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles.  A large west-facing rose window is spectacular during late afternoon.

Location:  2 Place du Louvre, across the street from the Louvre Museum in the 1st arrondissement
Schedules and Tickets:  Find all Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois concerts 
Seating Capacity:  100
Nearest Metro:  Louvre-Rivoli

Recommended nearby Hotels:   

  • Hotel Relais du Louvre - Highly rated boutique 3-star hotel with 21 charming rooms in a superb location overlooking the Saint-Germain l'Auxerroix Church and the Louvre Museum near the Seine River - Book now
  • Hotel de la Place du Louvre - Popular 3-star boutique hotel in a 17th century building in a superb location (next door to Hotel Relais du Louvre above) - look for bargain rates on the smallest rooms, or spend a bit more to get additional space - Book now

More hotels near Eglise Saint-Germain de l'Auxerrois & the Louvre

Concerts at Église de la Trinité d'Estienne d'Orves (Trinity Church)   

Trinity Church in Paris - Concert schedule
Trinity Church in Paris

The beautiful Trinity Church (usually called La Trinité) dates back only to the mid-1800s, making it a relative newcomer in central Paris. 

La Trinité's Second Empire architecture is as stunning inside as outside, making it a splendid site for occasional concerts featuring Vivaldi and other baroque composers.

Location:  Place d’Estienne d’Orves, 9th arrondissement
Seating Capacity:  450
Nearest Metro:  Trinité d’Estienne d’Orves
Schedules and Tickets:  Find all La Trinité Concerts 

Recommended nearby Hotels:   

  • Laz' Hotel Spa Urbain - 4-star hotel with indoor pool, hamman, spa, and great views from upper floors, close to the church - Compare all rates
  • Tim Hotel Opera Grands Magasins - Affordable 4-star hotel from the popular value-packed Tim Hotel group - Compare all rates

See complete Paris Concerts schedule

Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Saint Germain des Prés Church) Concert Schedule 

The magnificent pipe organ at Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés
The magnificent pipe organ at Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Originally built in the 6th century just a couple of hundred years after the Romans brought Christianity to the region (and then rebuilt in Romanesque style in 990 and 1010 after being demolished by invading Vikings), Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés is the oldest church in Paris

Colorful frescos added in the 19th century can't quite obscure the church's earlier Roman architectural bones - look hard, and you'll get a glimpse of what the church looked like over a thousand years ago. 

Concerts here are wonderful, with Vivaldi's Four Seasons being a perennial favorite. 

If you're lucky enough to be here in December, catch one of the special Christmas concerts or Handel's Messiah.

Christmas concert at Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Christmas concert at Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Location:  3, place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 6th arrondissement
Seating Capacity:  460 (although concert seating is often limited to about 200 to give a more intimate ambiance)
Nearest Metro:  Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Schedules and Tickets:  Find all Église Saint-Germain des Prés Concerts 
Recommended nearby Hotels:   

  • Hotel Saint-Germain-des-Prés - Lovely 3-star hotel in an 18th century townhouse with many original period details and architectural features - great location near Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés - Compare all rates
  • Hotel Signature Saint-Germain-des-Prés - Beautiful modern decor, affordable rates, and excellent service in this 26-room boutique 3-star hotel close to the church - Compare all rates

Find more hotels & apartments in the Saint-Germain neighborhood

Find out more about Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Église de l'Oratoire du Louvre   

Oratory of the Louvre Church in Paris - Concert schedule

Across Rue de Rivoli from the Louvre, Église de l'Oratoire du Louvre (Church of the Oratory of the Louvre) mixes baroque and classical elements reflecting the architectural styles in fashion when its construction began in the 1700s and when it completed in the 1800s.  

Inside, the soaring height of the vaulted ceiling provides wonderful acoustics for concerts, which focus on sacred choral music from Renaissance, Classical, and Baroque periods. 

Location:  145 rue Saint Honoré (front), 160 rue de Rivoli (back), 1st arrondissement
Seating Capacity:  400
Nearest Metro:  Louvre-Rivoli
Schedules and Tickets:  Find all Église de l'Oratoire du Louvre Concerts 
Recommended nearby Hotels:   

  • Hotel Konfidentiel Paris - Highly regarded 4-star boutique hotel with charming decor and personalized service in a wonderful 1st arrondissement location near Eglise de l'Oratoire du Louvre, the Louvre Museum, and Palais Royal - Compare all rates
  • Best Western Premier Louvre Saint Honoré - Trés chic but surprisingly affordable 4-star hotel in a fabulous 1st arrondissement location - Compare all rates

More 1st arrondissement hotels near Eglise de l'Oratoire du Louvre

Église Saint-Roch    

Saint Roch Church in Paris - Concert schedule

Saint Roch Church dates back to the early 1700s and boasts one of the best art collections among Paris churches. 

Although Saint Roch hosts comparatively few concerts, they usually include interesting selections you won't necessarily find in other venues, so it's always worth checking the schedule.

Location:  296, rue Saint-Honoré, 1st arrondissement
Seating Capacity:  300
Metro:  Pyramides, Tuileries
Schedules and Tickets:  Find all Saint Roch Church Concerts

Recommended nearby Hotels:   

  • Hotel du Lion d'Or - Affordable 3-star hotel with elegant decor in a 17th century building near Saint Roch Church - Compare all rates
  • Hotel Londres Saint Honoré - This highly-rated 2-star hotel across the street from Saint Roch offers affordable rates and an excellent 1st arrondissement location - Compare all rates

Église Saint-Séverin 

Saint-Severin Church in Paris - Concert schedule

After Vikings destroyed an earlier church on this site, Saint Severin was built during the 11th century, and is one of the most beautiful Gothic style churches in Paris. 

Look for special Christmas and New Year's Eve concerts in this wonderful Latin Quarter church.

Location:  1, rue des Prêtres-Saint-Séverin, 5th arrondissement
Seating Capacity:  200
Metro:  Saint-Michel
Schedules and Tickets:  Find all Saint Severin Concerts    

Recommended nearby Hotels:  

  • Hôtel Herni IV - Located next to Saint Séverin (some rooms overlook it), this luxurious 3-star boutique hotel in a 17th century townhouse is also only about a 3-minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral.  Reviews & Rates

Église Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre

The Romanesque architecture of Eglise Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre
The Romanesque architecture of Eglise Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre

The Church of Saint Julien le Pauvre ("the poor"), located in the 5th Arrondissement's Latin Quarter across the Seine River from Notre Dame, is the third-oldest church in Paris.  

Built between 1160 and 1170 to replace an older basilica destroyed by the Vikings when they laid siege to Paris in 886, the church features a plain Roman exterior but once you're inside, you'll see a mix of traditional Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles

Although Saint Julien le Pauvre began as a Roman Catholic church, it was reconsecrated in 1889 as a Melkite Greek Catholic of Antioch church. 

Be sure to note the elaborate carved capitals at the top of the columns; they date back to when the church was built and feature leaves and harpies, the half-human, half-bird creatures believed in Greek and Roman mythology to personify storm winds. 

Behind the altar, you'll see a wall of exquisite icons.

Concert at Eglise Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre
Concert at Eglise Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre

The small, intimate size and superb acoustics of this lovely old church makes it a perfect place to attend classical concerts. 

Location:  1, rue Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre (next to Square René Viviani and the Shakespeare & Company bookstore, and almost directly across the Seine River from Notre Dame) in the 5th arrondissement
Schedules and Tickets:  Find all Saint Julien le Pauvre concerts
Seating Capacity:  100
Nearest Metro:  Saint Michel Notre Dame, Maubert-Mutualité
Recommended nearby Hotels:   

  • Hotel Esmeralda - Highly rated very affordable 2-star boutique hotel with 19 rooms, all with private baths, in a 17th century building in a fantastic location close to Saint Julien le Pauvre Church - Find best rates
  • Melia Paris Notre Dame - Elegant 4-star boutique hotel with 39 rooms in a 19th building with a lovely front garden in the Latin Quarter; some rooms have Notre Dame views - Compare all rates

Best Place to Sit during a Paris Church Concert

Although most people tend to sit as close to the front as possible (perhaps in order to see the musicians?), the sweetest spot for experiencing the superb acoustics of most of these churches is about midway back where the amplified sound of each of the notes blending together is an unforgettable experience.  Sitting in the back is fine too, as the acoustics in these mostly-medieval churches were designed to awaken even the sleepiest parishioner hoping to nap in a back pew.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris (Notre Dame Cathedral) Concerts

Notre Dame Cathedral next to the Seine River in Paris

Please note:  concerts are not scheduled until further notice due to reconstruction after the fire.

With soaring spires, medieval towers, and flying buttresses, Notre Dame Cathedral dominates Île de la Cité at the city's historic center, and is the most famous church in Paris.  Don't miss the famous stained glass "rose" windows while you're there.

Notre Dame's vast pipe organ along with the sheer beauty of the cathedral makes attending a concert here a memorable experience. 

Although many concerts here feature organ and sacred music, you'll find a variety of music ranging from Gregorian chants to baroque, plus wonderful Christmas concerts.

Location:  Parvis Notre-Dame, Place Jean-Paul II, Ile de la Cité, 4th arrondissement
Seating Capacity:  600 for concerts
Nearest Metro:  Cité or Saint Michel
Schedules and Tickets:  Concerts not scheduled until further notice  
Recommended nearby Hotels:   

Need concert schedules and tickets?  See our Paris Concerts page.

Pin Now, Read Again Later:  Paris Church Concerts

Sainte Chapelle, site of candlelight concerts in Paris
Sainte Chapelle, site of candlelight concerts in Paris
Classical music concert in Paris at Saint Germain des Pres Church
Classical music concert in Paris at Saint Germain des Pres Church

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