Visiting the Metz Cathedral

Our first morning in Metz consisted of walking the narrow historic streets, enjoying the views along the river, and admiring the parks and architecture. We quickly came to adore this quaint French city as we wandered about, and upon reaching the Metz Cathedral, we were really in awe. From the massive glass windows to the intricate Gothic-style detailing, this cathedral really is a sight to see if you find yourself in Metz.

The beautiful Metz Cathedral at night
The beautiful Metz Cathedral at night

About the Metz Cathedral

Construction on the Metz Cathedral, or La Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Metz, began in 1220, but it was not completed for three centuries! A tumultuous history that includes multiple sieges in Metz, fire damage, and economic struggles due to war and the Black Plague contributed to its lengthy build.  It was finally completed in 1520 and consecrated in 1552.

Multiple architects have worked on the Metz Cathedral. This is visible in various sections of the building, from the Gothic and Renaissance stained glass to the Neoclassical and Neogothic portal and other elements added over the years.

The cathedral features one of the highest naves in France at over 40 meters high. It also contains the largest surface area of stained-glass windows in the country. The Metz Cathedral really is an incredible building to see!

The grand interior
The grand interior

Getting to the Metz Cathedral

Metz is a fairly small city, and the Metz Cathedral is in a great location in the heart of it. The area is a wonderful place to walk around, whether you’re strolling through the old streets looking for shops and restaurants or are out enjoying time by the nearby river or parks.

However, if you aren’t planning to reach the cathedral on foot, there is a small car park next to it. It fills up frequently, so you may have to circle through the downtown area to find a spot or alternative parking area. We didn’t drive here, but we had heard that parking in the downtown area can get quite pricey.

Lastly, buses 81, and 83 have some stops around the cathedral and Place d’Armes.


The Metz Cathedral is open to visitors daily from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The shop and reception where visitors can buy postcards, rosaries, other souvenirs, and audio guides is open as follows:

  • Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. with a closure from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. with a closure from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
  • Sundays from 1:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

For holiday hours, office hours, and other schedules, check the official website.

Lia outside the Metz Cathedral


There are no fees for visitors to enter the Metz Cathedral.

Visitors can pick up an audio guide for €7. Tours of the crypt and cathedral cost between €8 and €9.50 per adult, depending on the option you choose. See more in the guided tour section below.

Some of the beautiful stained glass inside
Some of the beautiful stained glass inside

Visiting the Metz Cathedral

The Metz Cathedral is an incredible piece of history and display of Gothic architecture. Its beauty is said to rival that of many other churches in France, including the Notre Dame.

The exterior features great detail on the towers, buttresses, and doorways. There are some great cafés, restaurants, and the plaza nearby where you can relax and admire the building from the outside. During some parts of year, there are markets in the plaza and displays of lights that are projected onto the cathedral at night.

The intricate details near the doorway
The intricate details near the doorway

Upon entering the cathedral, the huge naval towers overhead, the long hall stretches in front of you. Walk around the little enclaves of the cathedral to see the beautiful stained-glass windows, baptismal fonts, old organ, choir booth, and more.

This is a wonderful place to take a stroll through to admire all of the detail and incredible architecture!

Baptismal Font

Guided Tours of the Metz Cathedral

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into the history and significance of the Metz Cathedral and visit the crypts, a guided tour is a good option. The crypt and treasury are open by guided tour only.

Tours of the cathedral, crypt, and treasury happen every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. unless there is an event in the cathedral. They cost €8 per adult and no reservation is necessary.

Tours of the cathedral stalls occur on the first Tuesday of each month at 3 p.m. unless there is an event. The cost is €9.50 per adult and no reservation is necessary.

If you’d like to inquire about tours outside of these scheduled options, fill out the contact form on the guided tours page.

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