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Top sights in Paris
"Stop! This is the Empire of the Dead!" warns the greeting sign at the Catacombs, Paris' ancient tunnel network turned mass tomb. Only parts of it are open to the public, and the rest is rife with Parisian rebellion, romance, and idealism!
18th century Parisian cemeteries were so full that they were spoiling the city's wine and milk! Soon after, six million bodies were transferred to the city's ancient underground quarries.
People have long believed the Catacombs to be haunted. Most accounts can probably be attributed to smugglers making ghastly noises to scare citizens into staying out!
Since the network of underground tunnels is so vast, it's hard to dig deep foundations for new buildings. That's why Paris is counted among the most low-lying capital cities.
The French Resistance used the Catacombs to hide from the Nazis, who struggled to infiltrate them since they didn't have maps. One urban legend tells of a military unit vanishing into thin air!
People often enter the Catacombs illegally to party or paint murals. An entire cinema was even discovered. The electricity had been cut, with a note saying "Don't try to find us!"
If you want to avoid waiting for hours, your best bet is to book your tour in advance and skip the ticket line. Failing that, arriving 30 minutes to an hour before it opens (Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00AM to 8:00PM) will cut the wait significantly.
A good (legal!) tour of the Catacombs should take two to three hours.
The chances of getting dirty are high, so dress down and wear comfortable shoes. Rest assured that there'll be at least six million people down there looking worse than you do!
- When should I visit?
Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 AM-8:30 PM
Holiday hours may vary
- Is it expensive?
- €10 entry for the Catacombs and the exhibition, which can be combined with entry to the crypt for €15 altogether.
- Will I need a guide?
- It will definitely help. It's worth checking out our best-selling tours.
- How to get there
- Denfert-Rochereau, accessible on metro line 2 as well as RER B, is the nearest station.
- Additional information
*Wear good walking shoes, but fancy clothing is not recommended!
*Last entry is at 7:00PM
What people are saying about Paris Catacombs
The tour starts from the tour operators office which was a short distance to the tower, our guide was a young French lady who took us to the security check in at the tower entrance which was very quick, we took the lifts to all floors, all the time getting information from our guide, I think the tour lasted about 1 hour but we could stay for as long as we wanted, the weather was not the best at the start of the tour but the sun came out at the top for some great views, dress for the best and worst of weather as it can be cold and very wet due to being exposed, but we enjoyed our tour very much.
My cousin and I loved the trip. Our guides (John and Adiola) were passionate, knowledgeable and entertaining. The visit to the Castles felt a little rushed (especially because we got lost and to sprint back to the bus) but they were incredibly beautiful and the history shared by the guides made them that much more special. Lunch and wines were delicious and every person who greeted us was great. I did the tasting and chenanceau while my cousin went to the maze. What a fantastic experience.
Mega empfehlenswert hier vorab zu buchen ! Ohne Ticket muss man ewig lange anstehen da nur eine bestimmte Anzahl an Personen runter dürfen. Dafür ist es in den Gängen nicht überlaufen und man fühlt sich wie in einer anderen Welt. Es war super einfach zu bezahlen und wir konnten ohne anstehen direkt starten. Der Preis ist vielleicht verhältnismäßig zu anderen Aktivitäten etwas hoch aber es ist jeden Cent wert. Die Informationen die man über den Audioguide erhält sind super informativ.
I enjoyed the tour of the catacombs. The audio tour was pretty crucial in understanding how the catacombs were developed and why. I found it fascinating. You’ll want to try and keep the pace with the audio segments. Also note that if you are heavy or out of shape, the stairs to come back up will not be fun to say the least. The catacombs are below the metro and below the sewer system. Many larger people came out breathing very heavily.
The tour guide Clair was great and passionate about the history of the castles. We visit 3 Château the first and third were magical. I wish we had more time For the last one. We got free time and it was good. The second castle was okay. The lunch was very simple. I was hoping for a bit better. The wine in the second and third castles were delicious!!