Île de la Cité

Île de la Cité

The Île de la Cité is, like the Île Saint-Louis, one of two natural islands on the River Seine. The “City Island” is the heart of Paris and where the city was founded.


Around the year 200 B.C., the Parisii Celtic tribe lived on the Île de la Cité until the Romans conquered the area and established a town called Lutetia in 52 BC. The borough grew and prospered until it became the capital of the empire of the Franks in 508 and was renamed Cité.

As a fortified city, the island was continually attacked by the Normans. Throughout the Middle Ages, the island had a large population and became a military, cultural and spiritual center in France.  

What to see in the Île de la Cité

The Île de la Cité is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Paris, with some of the main tourist attractions, like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sainte Chapelle or the Conciergerie.

As well as historic buildings, the Île de la Cité has beautiful streets and squares to wander around. Visitors can also go to the Flower and bird Market on Place Louis-Lépine.


Metro: Cité, line 4.
RER: Saint-Michel - Notre-Dame, lines B and C.

Nearby places

Conciergerie (97 m) Sainte Chapelle (118 m) Latin Quarter in Paris (249 m) Notre Dame Cathedral (375 m) Musée Cluny (564 m)