The Pantheon, Paris

When I tell people the Pantheon is one of my favourite sights in Paris, most of the time I get a blank look in return (occasionally accompanied by ‘Err are you sure you aren’t thinking of Rome?’). Perched up on a hill in the Latin Quarter, the Pantheon seems to be overlooked by most visitors – every time I’ve been, the crowds have been minimal compared to those at the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre or Notre Dame, just down the hill.

Why is a mystery, though.

I mean, look how grand it is…

Pantheon in ParisPantheon Paris Pantheon Paris

And inside, things get even more spectacular.

Paris Pantheon Interior Paris Pantheon Paris Pantheon

In the centre, a giant Foucault pendulum swings back and forth. It’s weirdly hypnotic – I could stand there watching it for hours.

Although the Pantheon was originally built as a church, it was converted into a mausoleum during the French Revolution. Head down to the crypt and you can find the tombs of some of France’s most famous figures, including Marie Curie, Victor Hugo and Voltaire.

The icing on the Pantheon’s cake? The fact that you can climb to the top of its dome (between April & October) and enjoy 360-degree views across Paris. When you arrive, ask when the next tour is – they’re not particularly regular, and only a small number of people are allowed up each time, so you’ll want to book on asap.

The first stage of the climb brings you out on an interior terrace overlooking the main hall.

Pantheon climb, ParisNext, you’ll wind your way up spiralling stone staircases until you reach the dome’s terrace. You get plenty of time to wander the full way around, taking photos and spotting landmarks along the way, so don’t rush.

paris-pantheon-dome paris-pantheon-domeLook out for the towers of Notre Dame and the domes of Sacre Couer, plus all the picture-perfect Parisian buildings of the Latin Quarter and St-Germain-des-Prés.

paris-view-pantheon paris-views-from-pantheon-dome-1There’s a fantastic view of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont church, another of my favourite places in Paris (if you’ve ever seen Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, the steps of the church are where Gill waits for his 1920s taxis).

paris-pantheon-st-etienne-du-montThe French flag fluttering in front of the Eiffel Tower almost looks like a postcard…

Anyone else a fan of Paris’ Pantheon?

24 Comments

  • Reply Shikha (whywasteannualleave) July 10, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    This is actually really informative Laura because but I read this post & until about 5 minutes ago, I too was thinking “isn’t that in Rome?!” The views of Paris from up there look so idyllic!

    • Laura
      Reply Laura August 28, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      I do love the Pantheon in Rome, but I must say Paris’ version beats it for the views!

  • Reply Teesh July 15, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    I’ve never been to France – but this is like the first time I’ve heard of the Pantheon in Paris. It looks amazing, and empty too!

    • Laura
      Reply Laura August 28, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      The lack of crowds is definitely a nice contrast to places like Notre Dame and Sacre Couer, which are heaving with visitors!

  • Reply Paula Morgan July 24, 2017 at 12:42 am

    Sadly I missed visiting the Pantheon in Paris, I didn’t realise how gorgeous it was when I was there and I had just been in Rome visiting their Patheon so I gave it a miss. Big mistake. Your photos are gorgeous. I will add it to the must see list for my next visit.

    • Laura
      Reply Laura August 28, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      I hope you make it on your next visit Paula 🙂

  • Reply Lara Dunning July 24, 2017 at 3:03 am

    I am one of those people that have never heard of the Pantheon in Paris. Wow! It looks like a great place to experience and the views! Thanks so much for sharing as I’m not always a fan of visiting landmarks that are jam packed with people.

    • Laura
      Reply Laura August 28, 2017 at 4:53 pm

      Thanks Lara, it’s such a lovely building and the lack of crowds means you can enjoy it in relative peace!

  • Reply Audrey July 24, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Not gonna lie, when I fist started reading this I kind of scratched my head. Because I too thought that was your favorite sight in Paris? But as I read on, I fully understand why it’s your favorite. The pictures are beautiful! And I didn’t know it housed so many famous people. You’ve got me convinced!

    • Laura
      Reply Laura August 28, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      Ah, glad I convinced you Audrey! It’s such a beautiful building, it’s crazy that such an amazing place is still so uncrowded.

  • Reply Dave (Silverbackpacker) July 25, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Ive always thought of this as the St. Pauls of Paris. I used to love sitting around on the steps way back in the 70’s Luckily it is still overlooked by tourists , making the area a nice quiet place to retreat to for a rest.

    • Laura
      Reply Laura August 28, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      I hope it’s still as lovely and peaceful in another 40 years!

  • Reply Corinne July 25, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I’ve never climbed the dome, but we do love Foucault’s pendulum and make sure it’s on our itinerary as often as possible. It’s mesmerizing.

    • Laura
      Reply Laura August 28, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      Agreed, I could watch it for hours!

  • Reply Kerri July 25, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    I get it! I love the Pantheon. On our second last stay in Paris, we stayed in St-Germain-des-Pres, so the Latin Quarter and the Pantheon were only a short walk away. I remember it also raining so we popped inside to get out of the rain. I particularly love the sun dial inside! Great pick as your fave.

    • Laura
      Reply Laura August 28, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks Kerri :-). St-Germain-des-Pres is such a lovely area of Paris.

  • Reply Miranda July 26, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    The Pantheon truly is spectacular! The architecture is amazing, and the inside is gorgeous!

    • Laura
      Reply Laura August 28, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      Agreed 🙂

  • Reply Sandy N Vyjay July 27, 2017 at 7:39 am

    The Pantheon in Paris is really magnificent and a must visit place. It is intriguing that the place gets lesser people than other landmarks. I loved the place, being passionate baout Roman architectural style as well as their history.

    • Laura
      Reply Laura August 28, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      I know, I don’t really understand why it is so much quieter than other attractions. Perhaps the fact that it’s at the top of a hill puts people off walking up 😉

  • Reply Clare July 27, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    I never knew this place existed when I visited Paris. It does look stunning though and I would love to climb to the top to see the views. Will have to add to my list for next time 🙂

    • Laura
      Reply Laura August 28, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      I hope you get to see it!

  • Reply Nathan July 27, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    I’ve never heard of this but now I’d love to go. Great photos. I think more people should know about this for when they visit Paris.

    • Laura
      Reply Laura August 28, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Thanks Nathan 🙂

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