Located on Île de la Cité, one of the two remaining natural islands in the River Seine, the Palais de Justice is what remains of the former Royal Palace. Situated between the Gothic royal Sainte-Chapelle chapel and the former Conciergerie prison, the Palais de Justice is infamous for its role as a public execution site during the French Revolution.
The former Royal Palace is now home to the Paris judicial courts. Since it’s a working judicial building, the building isn’t open for tours, but visitors are free to wander the public halls or just admire the stunning architecture from the outside. Opt for a walking tour the of Île de la Cité to learn more about the history of the Royal Palace and see other famous landmarks like the Conciergerie, Sainte-Chapelle, and the Notre-Dame cathedral.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Palais de Justice is the former royal residence of the French monarchy.
- The site is must-see for French history buffs.
- The Palais de Justice is a working judicial building, so access to the building is limited.
- Purchase admission tickets to other Île de la Cité sights in advance to save time in lines.
How to Get There
The Pont Neuf, Paris’s oldest bridge across the River Seine, provides access to Île de la Cité from the center of Paris. Metro line 4 will take you directly the island, and the Palais de Justice is only a few moments walk from the Cité station.
When to Get There
Attractions along Île de la Cité are some of the most visited in Paris, so start your morning early to avoid the crowds. There really is no bad time to visit Paris, but spring and fall see vastly smaller crowds than mid-summer, and winter can be a delightful time to visit as long as you pack plenty of layers.
Visiting the Conciergerie and Sainte Chapelle
Although tours of the Palais de Justice are unavailable, you can, in fact, tour neighboring La Conciergerie and Sainte-Chapelle. La Conciergerie is most notable as the principal prison during the French Revolution, when it was used to detain famous revolutionaries like Marie-Antoinette and Robespierre. Admission is required to enter both sights, but a combination ticket will save you money.