The Paris Catacombs – Journey to the Dark Side

"Stop! Here is the Empire of Death", reads the sign as you enter the underground tunnels. A trip to the Paris Catacombs might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it will be a visit you never forget. A walk through the tunnels of the underground catacombs is an eerie reminder of the sometimes bizarre history of Paris.

For centuries Parisians were buried in cemeteries within the walls of the city. Eventually, this led overcrowding and even to skeletons tumbling through the walls of the cellars! In the 17th century, with no easy answer in sight, it was decided to move the remains to dormant limestone quarries in what were then the outskirts of the city. Today, the city has expanded and has built on top of the old limestone quarries, but the catacombs still exist beneath the streets of modern Paris. Kilometres of walls made entirely of neatly stacked bones of the exhumed bodies. It's believed that over six million deceased French citizens are permanently resting in the Catacombs of Paris.

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Skip-the-Line Catacombs Tour

Paris Catacombs

Since only a limited number of visitors are allowed into the Catacombs at any given time, the wait in line can be up to two hours. However, this Paris Catacombs small-group guided walking tour gets you ahead of the line. In addition, you learn spine-tingling and eerie legends from your guide as you go deep into the tunnels of Paris.

Group size is limited to 20 people, so book early.

Priority Access to the Catacombs + Père Lachaise

Private Tour of the Paris Catacombs

This extensive four-and-a-half hour tour gets you past the ticket lineups at the Paris Catacombs and into the eerie underground world. An experienced guide explains the history of the catacombs and of Paris itself, while pointing out unique features.

Once back on the surface you find private transportation waiting to whisk you over to Père Lachaise Cemetery, where the famous and the notorious are buried. Here you benefit from a guided tour to the graves of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Chopin and Delacroix among others.

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Catacombs of Paris Facts

Sure they're a bit creepy, but that's what makes the Paris Catacombs so interesting. Here are a few things to know about them —

  • Victor Hugo wrote about the catacombs in Les Miserables.
  • French Resistance fighters used the catacombs tunnel system as a secret meeting place during World War II.
  • 1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014
  • Metro: Denfert-Rochereau
  • Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm
  • Closed Mondays, December 25, January 1 and May 1
  • Skip-the-Lines Catacombs of Paris Walking Tour

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