The climb to the top of the Pantheon (les colonnades) includes about 276 steps. It is not a straight climb up. Your visit to the top in no way resembles your descent. It is an easy walk that combines flat and sloping surfaces. This is not one steep climb up the same stairs, but broken up into sections. That’s why it is not an exhaustive walk.
The waiting area is close to the entrance in a cordoned-off area in a niche in the back of the Pantheon. The line begins to form about twenty minutes before departure.
When the French guide asks everyone to raise their hand who speaks French, we follow the rest of the crowd, and keep our hands down. When the guide asks who speaks English, almost all of the fifty-six people raise their hands. Nationalities from around the world have made it into a queue normally reserved for only fifty.
The two guides are along for questions; mostly everyone on the tour was along for the views. The views begin from a mezzanine overlooking the interior. The walk up was so easy, it did not seem a strain. After the first interval of stairs, view, stairs, the next was through a locked gate to the top.
Certain health conditions might make the walk strenuous. If not, the youngest in the party was about four years old.
Your route to the top is not repeated on the route down. I can recommend that if you see stones behind a grilled area, take the time to look at them and take the photos. If you see a view out the window, take the photo. This is not a face-paced walk and the forty minutes allowed is plenty of time for stopping and enjoying whatever.
Place du Panthéon 75005 Paris
Metro Line 10 Cardinal Lemoine
Telephone: 01 44 32 18 00
Tours to the top (les colonnades):
Pantheon hours for visiting the top 11 a.m. 12 a.m. 1:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 5:15 p.m.
Open April 1 – September 30 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
October 1 – March 31 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Tours to the top closed)
Last admission 45 mins before closing
April 1 to September 30 : 10-6:30
October 1 to March 31 : 10-6
Closed January 1, May 1 and December 25
Brochures are available in French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Polish, Portuguese and Chinese.
The guided visits are done in French at 11, 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. no reservations necessary.
Private Pantheon tours in English with Authorized Guides
Cultival – Most of Cultival’s guides have the guide-interpreter or guide-lecturer card, which is issued on successful completion of a state competition, permitting these guides to be official guides in museums and National Monuments (indispensable for the Louvre, Versailles, Giverny, Opera Garnier…).
French guided tours leave frequently – check the times at the ticket office
All French National Monuments (Centre des Monuments Nationaux)
For another view over Paris, visit the rooftop of the Printemps store for snacks and a drink at Le Déli-cieux.
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