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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
Wonderful tour. The chateau were perfect choices, magically decorated for Christmas and a superb lunch with excellent wine. Our tour guide Michelle was intelligent, informative and witty. Facts are nice but delivered with humour so much the better! Our driver Alexander had his job cut out for him with the strikes making for extreme traffic but he coped admirably getting us back to Paris in record time. A shout out to Laura, another tour guide who joined the tour privately and whose personality added to our exceptional day. Would highly recommend this tour, staff and company.
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.
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!!
The tour was great!!! Leo was an amazing guide, she made sure everyone’s questions were answered and taught us so much more than we would have had we went alone. Her personality was amazing and vibrant, I would have loved to have her host more tours for me but I was short on time. Hopefully I’m able to have her as a guide on future trips to France.
This was a great experience! Everything was handled for you and all you had to do was enjoy your time. We had so much fun, learned a lot, and were able to see a different part of France in a day. I definitely recommend this experience to all others!