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Catacombs of Paris and Audio Guide
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Catacombs Of Paris And Audio Guide
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Highlights
  • Experience the journey of the Catacombs with an audio guide available in English, French, Spanish, and German languages

  • Visit the famed Catacombs of Paris and explore the ancient tunnels burrowed 20 m below the streets of Paris

  • Discover an incredible labyrinthine ossuary to learn why these catacombs were dug in the middle ages

  • See the fascinating macabre halls & get to learn over 2,000 years of Parisian history

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Must Know Before You Go
  • The average temperature is 14°C underground, so make sure you are dressed appropriately.
  • Photos for private use are authorized, but you must not use flash photography, tripods, or bulky material that may get in the way of other visitors.
  • There are restrooms at the exit.
  • For the proper preservation of the site and for safety reasons, the number of simultaneous visitors is limited to 200. In case of a very large number of visitors, you may have to wait a long time and entrance may be temporarily interrupted.
  • To ensure safety and preservation of the ossuary, it is prohibited to enter the Catacombs with a suitcase or large bag. Only bags measuring less than 40x30 cm are allowed. They must be carried in front of your body or in your hand. No coat room is available for storage, so please refrain from bringing large bags or suitcases on the date of your visit.
  • You’re not allowed to touch the bones because these are the fragile remains of millions of Parisians.
  • The Catacombs of Paris staff can communicate in English and French.
  • Please indicate your expected visit time at checkout page, however, please note that due to the limited number of people who can enter at once, your preferred time may not be guaranteed.
  • In the event that your preferred time slots aren't available, the operator will get in touch with you to inform you about the available time slots that you can take.
  • This activity is not recommended for those with medical conditions (high blood pressure, epilepsy, etc.), pregnant women, or seniors.
  • Due to the nature of this activity, it is not recommended for persons with impaired physical mobility or those in wheelchairs.
  • Outside food and drinks are not allowed inside the venue.
  • Pets are not allowed inside the venue, with the exception of service animals with valid identification.
  • Flash photography is prohibited inside the venue.
  • Children aged 0-13 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Reduced tickets available onsite for visitors under 18 (with ID) when accompanied by an adult.
  • Please note that the time slots may be subject to slight variations, and we will allocate a time slot available within a 30-minute window before or after your initial selection.
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Overview For Catacombs Of Paris

Visit the famous Catacombs of Paris to witness a nerve chilling labyrinth of tunnels under the ground in the heart of the city. The complex labyrinthine ossuary was set up years ago and continues to astound visitors today with its incredibly complex maze-like network that holds the mortal remains of millions of Parisians. If you are visiting Paris with the notion of pure romance in the air, you are in for a staggering surprise. Take a tour of the dimly lit tunnels of this Parisian ossuary called the Catacombs of Paris to witness a side of the city that is certainly not for the faint hearted. It is an underground space that houses over six million bones of the deceased after a heavy storm caused the walls of a local cemetery to collapse.

The Paris Catacombs, despite its horrific history and gruesome halls that are adorned with human skeletal remains, happens to be one of the most popular albeit unsettling places of attraction here. You can take an audio-guided tour of the macabre tunnels to learn all about its history and how the construction was done, as you move along the uneven, gravel paths.

Catacombs of Paris History

Catacombs of Paris Hidden Underground.jpg

The origins of the Paris Catacombs dates back to the late eighteenth century when a major catastrophic situation brought the city together to move its dead to an underground site. The groundwork was laid down in 1786 when King Louis XV passed a decree that banned the burial of the deceased in cemeteries within the city limits.

This was because the rise in population was making the city burst at the edges as it was not able to keep up with the rate of expansion. Cemeteries were beginning to get overcrowded and graves started becoming shallow. The surfaces started emanating the rotting smell of decomposing flesh as bio-fluids started oozing out of the ground. Things came to a critical juncture one night when a huge storm hit the city and incessant rainfall caused the land to collapse at the cemetery due to an overload of corpses. The dead bodies began to fall out and into the neighborhood areas when the big decision was taken to move the remains of the dead into the tunnels that ran below the streets of Paris. Overnight carts were loaded with millions of human bones and taken to the ossuary where they were stacked neatly for several kilometers, forming the Catacombs of Paris.

Things To See Inside Catacombs Of Paris

The Barrel Of Passion
The Barrel Of Passion

This structure is located in an area at the center of all skulls and bones within the Catacombs Of Paris, known as the Crypt of Passion. The massive eerie barrel shape holds more bones and skeletons within it and was erected in 1897 when an illegal concert featuring Chopin’s Funeral March and the Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens in the middle of the night was being held here.

Cross-Roads With The Lower Catacombs
Cross-Roads With The Lower Catacombs

The underground world of the Catacombs of Paris has been brilliantly organised so that visitors can cross from the upper catacombs to the lower ones with the help of a support ramp. While at most parts, the quarry was dug out only at one level, there are certain areas where the quarrymen explored the area at two different levels

Rendering Of Citadel De Mahon
Rendering Of Citadel De Mahon

There were certain exhibits placed within the Catacombs of Paris, one of the most fascinating being the Citadel de Mahon carved out by Decure. A veteran of the French Army, he did the sculpting completely from memory of the actual structure. However, legend goes that he was killed within the very walls of these catacombs when he was trying to construct a stairway that would lead visitors to the exhibit.

Catacombs of Paris Well
The Well

When you are traversing through the tunnels comprising the Catacombs of Paris, you will reach a point where you will face a winding staircase that leads to a small well. This is considered to be the first-ever geological drilling that was done in Paris, intended at seeing the geological layers of the city. You will also see a back wall here with light shining on the words that mean ‘Foot Bath of the Quarrymen’.

Plan Your Visit to Catacombs of Paris

Essential Information
Access and Visiting Conditions
Health Restrictions
The Catacombs of Paris, France

Location: 1, Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy (place Denfert-Rochereau), 75014 Paris

Opening hours:Tuesday to Sunday from 9:45 AM to 8:30 PMThe Catacombs of Paris are closed on Mondays and certain holidays including January 1, May 1, and December 25

This is a one way circuit that runs for a kilometer and a half and exit is at 21 bis, Avenue René-Coty.

Places to visit near Catacombs of Paris

Louvre Museum Paris
Louvre Museum

This Museum is one of the most important places of tourist attractions and a great site to visit when you are at the Catacombs of Paris. The world’s largest museum, the Louvre is housed within the Louvre Palace on the banks of the Seine. Visit Louvre Museum not only for its awe-inspiring façade and architecture, but also for the impressive collections of Egyptian antiques, Roman antiquities, Greek, Etruscan, and Islamic art, paintings, prints, and its most famous exhibit, the Mona Lisa by Leonardo di Vinci.

The beautiful view of the Luxembourg Gardens
Luxembourg Gardens

Head to the renowned Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg gardens after you visit Catacombs Paris, a complete contrast to its grimness. This is the garden of the French Senate and the second largest public park in Paris inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence. Take a stroll around the beautifully manicured park to soak in the local vibe and the cosmopolitan air of the city amid the lush greenery of the garden. You can also catch visitors here spending a relaxed evening playing chess and even bee keeping.

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower

This iconic structure towering high into the Parisian sky, is in all likelihood, the prime symbol that defines the country. Your visit to the city of Paris may well remain incomplete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower and so head down to the Champ de Mars area after you see the Paris Catacombs. The 300 feet marvel also has an observation deck at one of its three levels where visitors are hosted. In the evenings, the glittering light show here is an absolute marvel and one you must not miss.

Beautiful Sainte Chapelle
Sainte-Chappelle

Constructed in the mid-thirteenth century, Sainte Chapelle was commissioned by King Louis IX with the sole purpose of storing his collection of relics. These include important antiquities from the last days of Jesus Christ until his crucifixion, including the Christ’s Crown of Thorns that was later hosted by the Notre Dame Cathedral. You can also see in this classic Gothic structure, one of the most enviable stained glass collections in the world.

Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral

Visit the most famous religious landmarks of the city after you have seen the renowned Catacombs of Paris. Constructed by the French colonists in the late 1800s. The Notre Dame Cathedral is a classic example of Romanesque architectural features. Its distinctive red façade along with twin bell towers, stained glass windows, and a tall statue of the Virgin Mary in front, makes it stand out. It is one of this city’s most visited and beloved landmarks not only for its holy sanctity but for its symbolic importance.

Musee d’Orsay
Musee d’Orsay

Situated calmly by the banks of the River Seine, the Musee d’Orsay houses an enviable collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collective art. The exquisite architecture of the building is in itself a sight to behold apart from hosting the works of famous artists including Renoir, Dali, Monet, Cézanne, Gaugin, and Van Gogh to name a few. You can witness decorative arts, sculptures, and architectural structures among its collection including several classic pieces like The Artist's Studio, Self Portrait, Starry Night over the Rhone, and Whistler's Mother, among several others.

Catacombs of Paris FAQs

Can you touch the bones in the Paris Catacombs?

    No, you cannot touch the bones in the Paris Catacombs. This is to ensure the preservation of this ancient site which houses the delicate remnants of thousands of Parisians in the form of bones, skulls, and skeletons.

Is it okay to visit the Catacombs of Paris alone?

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Can we click pictures inside Catacombs of Paris?

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