Paris Catacombs

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Stories and legends from the Paris Catacombs

"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!

  • Moving the dead

    1. Moving the dead

    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.

  • Ghosts and smugglers

    2. Ghosts and smugglers

    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!

  • Shaping the city

    3. Shaping the city

    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.

  • Vive La Resistance!

    4. Vive La Resistance!

    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!

  • Secret cinema

    5. Secret cinema

    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!"

Planning Your Visit

  • Best time to go

    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.

  • How long does it take?

    A good (legal!) tour of the Catacombs should take two to three hours.

  • What to wear

    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!

Good to know

  • 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

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What people are saying about Paris Catacombs

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 8,390 reviews

We did the tour with our two kids ages 10 and 16 and they both loved it. Our guide- Michelle was amazing giving us a lot of interesting information and keeping it informative and entertaining at the same time. Thank you Michelle!

Great tour and extremely knowledgeable guide. We were a group with ages ranging from mid sixties to teenagers and everyone enjoyed.

Tristian was a wonderful guide. He was friendly and knowledgeable. We could not have asked for a better experience.

Everything worked great, the audio guide provided the most important information and the catacombs were impressive.

No waiting line, audio guide accessible very quickly and very interesting explanations