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Catacombs of Paris

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The Paris Catacombs are a unique site dating back to the 18th century, containing ossuaries full of carefully arranged bones from several million Parisians. Lines can be extremely long, especially at weekends or in summer, so book a skip-the-line ticket to avoid the queues.
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Tickets

Book a ticket in advance to skip the line on the day!
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Paris Catacombs Skip-the-Line Ticket with Audio Guide
-32%
4.6starstarstarstarstar half(5911)
 
Skip the line to the Paris Catacombs and discover a darker side to the “City of Lights.” Descend beneath the streets of Paris and listen to the commentary from your informative audio guide, available in 4 languages.
on 4 websites
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Guided Tours

Take a tour with an expert guide to learn even more about the Catacombs of Paris.
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Paris Catacombs: Special Access Small Group Tour
4.8starstarstarstarstar(310)
 
Skip the long lines to the Paris Catacombs where millions of Parisians were buried in the underground ossuaries. Learn about the past in a small group and benefit of special access to restricted areas.
getyourguide.com
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Paris Catacombs: Skip-the-Line Small Group Guided Tour
4.6starstarstarstarstar half(484)
 
Explore the underground Catacombs of Paris in their entirety on a lively 2-hour guided tour, and take a journey through 2,000 years of history. Discover why the labyrinth of tunnels became an underground cemetery full of bones.
getyourguide.com
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Catacombs of Paris: 2-Hour Tour with Priority Entrance
4.9starstarstarstarstar(96)
 
Explore the dark corridors of the Parisian underworld and experience a piece of the city's history up close. Discover the secrets of the city as you walk through the Catacombs of Paris on this 2-hour tour with skip-the-line admission.
getyourguide.com
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Paris Catacombs Skip-the-Line Guided Tour and Special Access
4.8starstarstarstarstar(137)
 
Discover the chambers below the streets of Paris and learn the secrets of the world’s largest underground burial site on a skip-the-line guided tour of the Paris Catacombs. Access areas not available to the general public.
on 2 websites
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More Tickets & Tours

Browse even more products which include a trip to the Paris Catacombs.
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Skip the Line: Paris Catacombs Small Group Tour
4.8starstarstarstarstar(119)
 
Skip the long lines and get exclusive access to sections closed to the public. Head below the streets of Paris on a guided tour to explore the underground labyrinth of the Catacombs, a mysterious network with skeletal remains on display.
getyourguide.com
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Skip-the-Line: Paris Catacombs Guided Tour with VIP Access
4.7starstarstarstarstar half(143)
 
Discover the haunting underground labyrinth of the Paris Catacombs. Enjoy skip-the-line access to the site, where your professional English-speaking guide will tell you about the history of the Catacombs and some of the legends and stories about them.
getyourguide.com
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Paris Catacombs: VIP Skip-the-Line Restricted Access Tour
4.9starstarstarstarstar(98)
 
Skip the long lines and unlock gates to hidden rooms in the Catacombs on this small group VIP tour. Explore the world’s largest ossuary and discover the buried secrets of underground Paris.
on 2 websites
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Paris Catacombs Special Access Tour
5.0starstarstarstarstar(64)
 
Below the streets of Paris lurks an entire secret history of the city’s dead. On this unique storytelling tour, you’ll visit the Paris Catacombs to see the remains of millions of Parisians and learn about the fascinating ways in which this ancient city has dealt with its dead. As you explore these eerie tunnels you also enjoy special access to parts of the Catacombs usually closed to the public and facts and stories from an expert local guide.
viator.com
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Top Tips

1. Visitor numbers are limited to 200 at a time, so there can be extremely long queues outside the entrance to the catacombs. The site is also extremely busy at weekends, so your best bet to avoid the crowds is to visit on a weekday morning. You can also book a skip-the-line ticket for a particular time slot.
Pathways | Photo: Flickr, amanderson2 - CC-BY 2.0
2. There’s limited signage to explain what you’re seeing throughout the catacombs, so if you’d like more historical context, it’s recommended that you use the audio guide.
Catacombs of Paris | Photo: Flickr, 1ivia - CC-BY 2.0
3. The constant temperature underground, even in summer, is 57.2ºF (14ºC). Even if it’s extremely warm outside you’ll need to bring a sweater for your visit to the ossuaries. You should also wear good shoes as the floor is uneven.
4. The exit to the catacombs is in a different place to the entrance, and there are no locker or storage facilities. Leave large bags and suitcases at your hotel if possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s so special about the Paris Catacombs?

Unlike many cities, Paris has had several cemeteries within the city center for centuries. During the 17th and 18th centuries several of these cemeteries, especially Les Innocents, were severely overcrowded with bodies. That led to a few gruesome events where basement walls in properties next to graveyards collapsed due to the pressure of mass graves. In the late 18th century it was finally decided to forbid new burials in cemeteries inside the city limits and found new graveyards on the outskirts, but this still left the problem of what to do with a large number of remains which needed to be moved. A solution was found at the former Tombe-Issoire quarries, which were outside the city limits at the time. The ossuaries were consecrated in April 1786 and were opened to the public (on appointment) in 1809. The last bones were deposited in 1860, and it's estimated that the site holds bones of at least 6 million Parisians. It was also an eery concert and event venue during the 19th century.

Why are the bones arranged so elaborately?

The ossuaries were arranged by Inspector Héricart de Thury, a French scientist, and director of the Paris Mine Inspection Service. Originally the bones were simply dumped into the space, but de Thury stacked skulls and femurs into the patterns which visitors can see, building walls which were able to contain bones and bone fragments while leaving the path free for visitors. He also used original decorations from the cemeteries where the bones originated as part of the display and added inscribed tablets and archways throughout with extracts from literature and poetry. Some critics find these in poor taste, while others find them to be an interesting addition which encourages visitors to meditate on death and mortality.

How long will it take to visit?

The audio guide takes about 30 minutes to explain the history of the catacombs and their construction, and it takes between 1 hour and 90 minutes to walk slowly through the different ossuaries.

Is it suitable for children?

A visit to the catacombs of Paris isn’t recommended for children under the age of 10, and children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. While there’s nothing particularly gruesome on display, the presence of such a large number of bones may be disturbing for young or sensitive children.

Can I take pictures?

You can take photographs inside the catacombs, but please don’t use flash or bring tripods. The site is a burial ground containing human remains, and visitors are asked to be respectful of that when they visit, including when they take photographs.

Are the catacombs accessible to wheelchair users?

Unfortunately, they aren’t. There is no elevator due to the historical nature of the site, and visitors must descend 131 steps to enter the catacombs and climb 112 steps to exit them. Within the catacombs, the floors can be uneven and slippery and there are some narrow passageways. Visits to the catacombs are also not recommended for pregnant women, those suffering from claustrophobia or cardiac and respiratory problems, or young children. Once inside the catacombs, you have to move along the one-way system, and there is no exit before the end of the 1 mile (1.5km) path.

General Information

Opening Hours:

The catacombs are open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 8.30 pm. The ticket office closes at 7.30 pm. The site may also be closed on certain public holidays.

Address:

Paris Catacombs
1 av. du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy
75014 Paris

How to get there:

The closest metro and RER station is Denfert-Rochereau, served by lines 4 and 6 of the Paris Metro and RER B trains. It’s also served by bus numbers 38 and 68. The closest paid car park is on Boulevard Saint-Jacques.

Tickets:

Tickets cost €13 for adults, and €11 for visitors aged between 18 and 26, holders of the ‘Paris Pass Famille’, schoolteachers, and librarians. Free entry is available for visitors aged 17 and under, disabled visitors and a companion, and unemployed visitors. The audio guide (available in French, English, German, and Spanish) costs €5 for all visitors. Skip-the-line tickets cost €29 for adults and €5 for visitors under the age of 18 - the adult ticket includes an audio guide.
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