The largest neo-Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States, New York City's St. Patrick’s Cathedral occupies an entire city block, and welcomes millions of visitors annually. First built in 1879, the Manhattan landmark is renowned for its soaring spires, colossal organ, and exemplary rose window, and is the seat of the Archbishop of New York.
St. Patrick’s is a New York icon and rich in the city’s lore: F. Scott Fitzgerald wed Zelda Sayre at the cathedral, and Babe Ruth’s funeral was held here. Today, St. Patrick’s awes visitors with its white marble edifice, enormous bronze doors, and numerous altars. A recent restoration, which involved cleaning and repairing the cathedral’s interior and exterior, means St. Patrick’s looks more impressive than ever.
Thanks to its accessible location in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a popular stop on hop-on hop-off bus tours, private driving and walking tours, self-guided audio tours, bicycle tours, and more. During the festive season, the cathedral is additionally included in a number of Christmas-themed itineraries. St. Patrick’s also offers guided group tours that you can book in advance, plus open public tours held at 10am on select days.
Things to Know Before You Go
- St. Patrick’s is a don’t-miss for fans of religious architecture, history buffs, and the faithful.
- A self-guided audio tour of St. Patrick’s is available via smartphone app, as well as handheld devices provided by the cathedral.
- The cathedral hosts Mass at different times throughout the day; during Mass, no talking or photography is permitted.
- The cathedral is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Located in bustling Midtown Manhattan, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is easy to access. The 1, 2, 4, 6, D, and E subway lines all stop within a few blocks of the landmark, while Grand Central Terminal, which includes access to Metro-North trains and additional subway lines, is roughly a 10-block walk away. You can also reach St. Patrick’s on foot or by taxi or bus.
When to Get There
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is open daily from 6:30am to 8pm, with varying hours during the holidays. Visit on Sunday afternoons for the cathedral’s organ recital series, or attend period guest choir concerts; both are free and open to the public. Christmas and Easter are particularly festive times to visit St. Patrick’s, as it hosts a special schedule of Masses.
Celebrating Christmas at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Midnight Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is given by the Archbishop of New York, is one of New York’s most popular Christmas traditions. Tickets are available on a lottery basis; register in advance. If you are unable to attend, the cathedral also hosts a Christmas Eve Vigil Mass at 5:30pm, and Christmas Day Mass at 8am and 12pm.