The Catacombs

1 avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, Paris

(5 146)

The Catacombs of Paris have a large number of remains. The site was a gathering place for the remains excavated from around the city. Bones and skulls line the endless hallways, but only a limited section of a former quarry is open to the public.

The Catacombs comprise an endless stretch of dark passages and mazes. Besides the bones and skulls, which are neatly arranged, you can see some verses underlining the horror of the place. These are the excerpts from various poems and one of them warns the approaching people – Halt, this is the realm of death. You can wander around 1.5 kilometers of hallways that are available for exploring.

The quarry was a quick solution for solving a big problem. Once, Paris had burial grounds throughout the city. It came to that that such places poised risk to public health and people complained about a bad smell. But, nothing was done in that regard a long time. Eventually, a cemetery collapsed after a rain and rotting corpses spilled out from the graves. The quarry’s hallways proved sufficiently empty for the transfer of countless bodies, and the place wasn’t far away from the city back then.

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Open Hours

  • Mon

    10:00 - 20:00

  • Tue

    10:00 - 20:30

  • Wed

    10:00 - 20:30

  • Thu

    10:00 - 20:30

  • Fri

    10:00 - 20:30

  • Sat

    10:00 - 20:30

  • Sun

    10:00 - 20:30

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  • David S

    - 03 March 2018 -

    Allow me to walk you through the entire experience. You will likely wait in line. Once you get in, you will walk down about 100 spiral steps to arrive in a room with some literature on the walls offering information about the catacombs. You will then walk through a tunnel for about 10 minutes to reach another open room with even more literature. Finally, you will arrive in the catacombs. The bones are neatly stacked. You will walk about 25-30 minutes or so through the walkway seeing more and more bones. After about 2 minutes, it becomes very boring. It all looks the same throughout. Overall, interesting place, but pretty boring and not worth the time and price compared to many other great places to visit in Paris.

  • Dylan

    - 02 March 2018 -

    The Paris Catacombs were hands down the highlight of my trip to Paris. My wife and I waited nearly two hours in line, but it was 100% worth it. Being able to see something like this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and the arrangements of bones were mesmerizing. It has the most odd beauty to it all. If you have the opportunity, go! Its worth the wait.

  • Bryan Mestre

    - 21 February 2018 -

    Absolutely fascinating place to visit. Such an interesting place to visit. I was not expecting anything quite like it. I expected to have to book tickets for it weeks in advance, but instead i was able to book an hour before visiting using Headout. Well worth buying the fast pass as the queue started round the block! The history of the catacombs, the general atmosphere down there, was something unlike anything i expected. Fascinating. I would insist anyone wishing to visit to invest some money in the audio guides as well as that made the visit even more stimulating.

  • Gwen Selleck

    - 16 February 2018 -

    We went on a Friday without pre purchasing tickets. We waited about an hour and 20 minutes, so we got in about 13h. We skipped the audio recording and walked by the crowd reading at the bottom of the stairs, to enter the catacomb. It wasn't packed, we got plenty of photos without other people in them. We also had plenty of opportunity to see things at our own pace. It was very cold though. We went on a February day that was around 8 degrees, but it was much colder inside. The stairs seem to go down forever. It was dizzying. I personally found the catacombs creepy and it made me feel claustrophobic, but my partner thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Shawna Rose

    - 23 January 2018 -

    How to visit the catacombs with almost zero people in it. PRE-PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS AND PRINT THEM OUT!! This is very important. I bought my tickets online before I ever left America. The line forms early and gets long very quickly. Because we already had tickets we walked right by everyone at opening and went it. We skipped the audio recordings device to avoided that line also. Once we we passed the crowd we descended the stairs, which are man and steep. Not for weak of knees We were the first people of the day and we got to spend about an hour on our own. No one in our pictures, no one bumping into you. It was amazing. If I ever decide to visit again I will do it the exact same way. The catacombs are beautiful and experiencing them in silence and alone is one of the most humbling experiences of my life.

  • Matthew Turner

    - 22 January 2018 -

    An unusual and eerie option, but the fact that there are millions of skeletons didn't really register on me. A great visit nonetheless, but beware of the queue! We arrived as it opened and were in the queue a little under an hour. I don't know if advanced/queue jump tickets cost more, but it would probably be worth it. Regular entry was 13e (+5e for audioguide, we didn't get that).

  • Rez Phillips

    - 17 January 2018 -

    Very interesting place. Be aware of you are claustrophobic as some parts are quite small and not much lighting. Get there early. It's close to a train station which is good. Be prepared walking down all those stairs you have to walk them all the way back up haha. Definitely worth it!

  • Annette Goh

    - 31 December 2017 -

    Please buy tickets in advance before going. We arrived around 9.30am on a weekday and waited in the queue for over 3 hours. It’s was recommended as an attraction for family but I don’t think I would bring my children there. If you have older children and children that are brave enough and enjoys Harry Potter movies then definitely. The entrance and exit of the catacombs are different place so do have a map to get back.

  • Monica Marroquin

    - 02 December 2017 -

    The Catacombs were so interesting! I recommended doing the audio-guided tour, as it gives you so much history and anecdotes while you walk through. The visit will be about 30-35 minutes. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and maybe a light sweater. I also recommend buying your tickets in advance. We didn't because we just winged our days in Paris. We ended up waiting about 4.5 hours, 1 of which consisted of torrential rain. Looking back, it wasn't so horrible. We made friends from other countries, so that was nice. I wouldn't say the wait was completely worth it, but it was definitely something amazing to see.

  • Bianca W

    - 21 September 2017 -

    While on my trip to Paris, I managed to get into the Catacombs, which I've been wanting to do for a while! The catacombs are a set of deep underground tunnels serving as an ossuary to more than six million people's remains. The tunnels are sparsely lit and a little eerie, but quite safe and well guarded. Bones and skulls are nearly stacked in the front rows, but extend far back into the rock, providing space for an unfathomable number of bones. The atmosphere is quite peaceful and serene, despite the slight creep factor, and the audio guide gives a great overview of the history of the catacombs.  They do limit the number of people allowed in at a time, so I'd recommend to book ahead of time with a time slot as the queue can stretch quite far down the road and around the corner and through a park... I really enjoyed my visit and thought it was a brilliant attraction to see.

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The Catacombs tours

Skip The Line Paris Catacombs Tour

Explore the mysterious underground world of the Catacombs in Paris on this 2-hour tour. Meet your guide and head underground to enjoy a narrated tour of the tombs. Hear the history behind this labyrinth of tunnels, which contains the bones of more than six million people.

Skip the Line: Catacombs of Paris Small-Group Walking Tour

Paris is known for the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Louvre, but in the City of Lights a darker reality lurks in the infamous catacombs of Paris. This exclusive Skip the Line tour, explores the extensive underground labyrinth that extends beneath the Paris city surface. Numbers are limited to a...

Catacombs of Paris: Full Access Small Group Guided Tour

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.

Skip-the-Line Admission Tickets : Eiffel Tower Summit and Catacombs

Avoid the mega-long entry lines at two of Paris’ most visited attractions with these skip-the-line admission tickets to the Summit of the Eiffel Tower and the Catacombs. Along with the opportunity to save time by bypassing huge crowds at both attractions, enjoy a 1-hour experience where you’re...

Paris Catacombs Special Access Tour

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...

Catacombs of Paris: 2-Hour Tour with Priority Entrance

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.

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