The Pantheon is one of the most impressive monuments in Paris , with its iconic ancient Roman pillars and neoclassical-style dome towering over the traditional Parisian buildings of the 5th Arrondissement. Conveniently located in the heart of the Latin Quarter near the Jardin du Luxembourg and a short walk to Notre Dame Cathedral, the Paris Panthéon serves as the final resting place of some of France’s greatest thinkers, including Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, and Marie Curie.
The History of Paris’s Pantheon
Before the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower were constructed, Paris’s Panthéon was the most recognizable building in Paris, standing tall over the French capital. In fact, it was Paris’s first major monument, offering panoramic views over the Parisian skyline that are still unmatched today.
The Panthéon in Paris has strong ties to France’s tumultuous history. In 1744, King Louis XV vowed to replace the old Abbey of St-Genevieve with something worthy of the patron saint of Paris if he recovered from a serious illness. He did recover, and the Panthéon’s construction started in 1758. Unfortunately, due to economic issues the construction was slow, and the work was not completed until 1790 – just in time for the French Revolution to kick off!
The new Church of St-Genevieve was viewed as a symbol that glorified the monarchy, and was quickly deconsecrated and converted into a secular mausoleum by the new French government. From then on, it was intended to honor those who died fighting for the French people and to serve as a final resting place for some of France’s greatest luminaries. Since 1791, it has alternated between being a church and a secular resting place depending on the politics of the times, but has not been used as a church since the death and internment of Victor Hugo in 1885.
Things to Do and See at the Pantheon
The Panthéon is a stunning example of both Neoclassical and Gothic architectural styles that continues to impress thousands of tourists from around the globe each year. When you’re visiting the Panthéon, try to give yourself at least 1 hour to appreciate the building’s art, history, and architecture.
Visit the final resting place of some of France’s most famous writers, philosophers, and scientists inside the crypt. The inscription on the front of the Panthéon reads, “AUX GRANDS HOMMES LA PATRIE RECONNAISANTE”, or “To great men, a grateful homeland” in honor of the men and women who died during the French Revolution, as well as the many great French thinkers interred here, like Voltaire, Rousseau, Marie Curie, and Victor Hugo.
Take in what is arguably the best view of the Paris skyline from the Panthéon dome. Simply reach out to one of the Panthéon guides and ask to climb up to the dome. It’s a steep climb, but well worth it for the view!
Discover how Foucault proved that the Earth rotates on its axis back in 1851. Foucault’s experiment involved a giant iron pendulum hanging from the ceiling of the Panthéon. The original has been moved to the Museum of Arts and Crafts, but a replica remains inside the mausoleum to this day.
Appreciate the Panthéon’s incredible art collection. It includes frescoes, paintings, sculptures, and mosaics that depict key points in French history, including scenes from the Revolution, and pay homage to St-Genevieve as well as key figures from history.
Panthéon Location, Hours, Pricing, and Transportation
Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris, France
Panthéon Opening Hours
October 1 to March 31 – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily
April 1 to September 30 – 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM daily
Closed – January 1, May 1, December 25, and the morning of June 17 (for public holidays).
Panthéon Ticket Prices
Admission to the Panthéon is free for all EU citizens and permanent residents of France, but tourists will have to pay a small fee to enter. There are free pamphlets and audio tours available inside, as well as guides you can speak with if you’d like to learn more about the art, architecture, and history of the building.
Adult – 9€
Youth (18-25) – 7€
Children (Under 18) – Free
Admission is free for everyone on the first Sunday of every month from November to March, or you can purchase a Paris Pass or Paris Museum Pass for access to a variety of attractions.
Transportation to the Pantheon
The Paris Panthéon is centrally located in the 5th Arrondissement, within walking distance of several public transportation stops. The nearest metro station is the Luxembourg RER Station, but Saint-Michel station offers a more scenic walking route to the mausoleum. The following routes will take you to the Panthéon:
Bus – lines 21, 27, 38, 82, 84, 85, and 89
Metro – Cardinal Lemoine, line 10
RER – Luxembourg, line B
Shopping & Things to Do Near The Paris Pantheon
The historic Latin Quarter of Paris is home to a wide variety of key attractions, so plan on spending some time exploring the area by foot if you want to see it all! Known for its lively student atmosphere and storied history of great intellectuals, the Latin Quarter developed around the University of Paris, which was established in 1150 – making it the second oldest university in the world! The buildings that made up the original university can still be seen today. A walking tour of the Latin Quarter will take you past the old residences of Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce, as well as Hotel Cluny, which is possibly the oldest hotel in the world.
The Panthéon is conveniently located in the heart of the 5th Arrondissement next to Luxembourg Palace and the Jardin du Luxembourg, a beautiful green oasis in the heart of the city. After visiting the mausoleum and spending some time exploring the gardens, head to Rue de Rennes (west of Luxembourg Palace) for budget-friendly shopping options, or Saint-Germain-des-Prés just north of the palace for more upscale and boutique options. As an added bonus, you can visit the world-famous Shakespeare & Co. book store, located just across the river from Notre Dame Cathedral!
Best Places to Eat Near The Pantheon
There is no shortage of great food in Paris, especially near main attractions like the Panthéon. For a fine dining experience, consider visiting La Truffiere, a Michelin-starred restaurant with truffles as the centerpiece of most dishes. It’s located just a 5 minute walk from the Panthéon entrance.
If you’re looking for something more affordable, Rue Soufflot (the street running right past Paris’s Panthéon) also has a wide variety of cafes and restaurants to choose from. For traditional French cuisine, consider a smaller restaurant like Café de la Nouvelle Mairie, located just beside the Panthéon.
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