Every newcomer to Paris knows to visit the Notre Dame (merci, poet Victor Hugo), but just a few blocks over stands the Sainte Chapelle, a mid-13th century royal chapel commissioned by Louis IX of France to house his Passion Relics. Don’t be fooled by the humble facade; it’s definitely worth the wait.
Choose a day with bright weather to see the sun sparkling through the purple-gold stained glass windows that enclose the chapel. They’re vibrant as illuminated manuscripts and impossibly delicate — a welcome respite from Paris’ tendency toward stone-heavy architecture. The overall effect is dazzling, like standing inside of a jewel encrusted lantern. Don’t be surprised if you trip over fellow tourists lying on the floor, taking photos or simply getting lost while gazing at the ceiling.