Catacombs Paris Overview

The Catacombs of Paris are a network of tunnels and chambers beneath the city of Paris that contains the remains of over six million people. Once you arrive at the Catacombs, you must purchase Catacombs Paris Tickets to enter. Tickets can get booked online, in advance, or at the ticket office on the day of your visit. The Catacombs can get quite crowded, it is better to buy your ticket in advance to avoid long lines. Once you get the pass, you can descend into the tunnels and explore this unique site.

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the Catacombs, you can get guided tours available that you can book along with your Catacombs Paris Tickets. These tours get led by knowledgeable guides who will share interesting facts and stories about this site. Visiting the Catacombs is a unique and memorable experience that will leave a lasting impression. So, you should pick up your Catacombs of Paris tickets in advance to avoid the long queue and enjoy exploring this fascinating piece of history.

Catacombs of Paris Tickets

Catacombs of Paris and Audio Guide
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  • Explore the Catacombs, the final resting place of over 6 million Parisians, spanning centuries and social classes, with last-minute entrance tickets.

  • Stroll through the cool, dimly lit tunnels lined with human remains 20 meters below the streets of Paris.

  • Admire the impressive stonework and engineering of the ancient quarries repurposed as a crypt.

  • Get insights into the history, significance, and architectural aspects of the Catacombs as you listen to the audio guide.

  • Reserve your spot by booking last-minute entrance tickets for this otherwise sold-out attraction.

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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.
  • 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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Highlights of Catacombs Paris

Highlights of Catacombs Paris
  • Book the skip-the-line Paris Catacombs Tickets to explore this famous attraction of Paris to avoid the stress of long waiting lines.
  • Your Catacombs Paris tickets will allow you to explore the underground rooms and tunnels filled with the bones of over six million Parisians stacked up in walls and columns.
  • You can also explore the ossuary, the most incredible and complex labyrinth, and find out why these catacombs were dug in the middle ages and filled with the deceased.
  • Learn about the 2000 years of Parisian history with an informative audio guide incorporated in the Catacombs of Paris tickets.

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Things to See Inside Catacombs of Paris

The Barrel of Passion
The Barrel of Passion

The Barrel is a symmetrical, barrel-shaped object entirely made up of human skulls and bones. The Barrel gets used as a symbol of the passion of the people buried in the Catacombs. It also acts as a foundation, clasping the roof of the Catacombs since it is gigantic in shape.

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

The visitors can cross the Upper Catacombs to the Lower Catacombs via a supporting gradient. The lower levels of the Catacombs are the oldest and most atmospheric. They get used to store the bones of people who had died from disease or other causes in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, they are a popular tourist attraction.

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Rendering Of Citadel De Mahon
Rendering Of Citadel De Mahon

It is a life-sized sculpture created by an unknown artist named Decure. The carving is a replica of the fortress of Mahon, the capital of the island of Minorca. The legend says that Decure was a Minorcan soldier who got captured by the French during the siege of Mahon. He decided to create the sculpture as a way to remember his homeland.

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The Well
The Well

One of the more unique features of the Catacombs is the underground well. This well is in the center of the Catacombs, and the water in the well is deep turquoise. It got used as the only water-spring by the quarrymen who worked inside the Catacombs. Although the well is centuries old, it still contains lots of water.

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Architecture of Catacombs of Paris

Architecture of Catacombs of Paris
  • Architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux drew the general design and the height of the Catacombs. He designed two balanced rectangular buildings facing each other on both sides of the path connecting Orleans and Paris. He based his design on the propylaea of old Greece, which were full of hallways placed at the opening to a sanctuary.
  • The two rectangular buildings got made on four levels: the ground floor, mezzanine, first floor, and the attic. On the main face of the building, a central flight of steps led to a roofed doorway with three passageways on baseless Tuscan columns. These columns got longer on the ground floor. The middle passageway forms a Venetian window.
  • The Catacombs consists of the only artwork of Jean-Guillaume Moitte which is a carved frieze, elegantly made good-looking with women dressed in polished items and holding medallions. The roof was constructed out of slate. In 1840, the slate roof of the building was replaced with zinc. There were more great changes done to the building later on. The grillwork that stopped the connecting path got different, and the rectangular buildings got reassigned. In 1820, the east part of the building got changed into an army building. It is to separate the town watchman and the divisions of the police force.

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Facts about the Catacombs of Paris

Facts about the Catacombs of Paris
  • The Catacombs are home to hundreds of miles of tunnels.
  • The tunnels are labyrinthine, and it is easy to get lost. There have been reports of people disappearing inside the Catacombs.
  • The Catacombs were created in the 18th century to address the overcrowded problem of cemeteries in Paris.
  • The Catacombs are home to the remains of almost six million people.
  • Robbers once used the walls of the Catacombs to rob a Parisian apartment.
  • The Catacombs are open to the public for tours – but get warned, they are not for the faint of heart.
  • The Catacombs also underwent many changes in the 19th century, when Paris was undergoing some changes too.
  • Mushrooms are grown inside the Catacombs of Paris.
  • The French Resistance Movement once used the Catacombs of Paris during the 2nd world war.
  • It almost took 12 years to move the remains of the cemeteries in Paris to the Catacombs.

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History of the Catacombs of Paris

History of Catacombs of Paris

The Catacombs are in the 14th arrondissement, near the Denfert-Rochereau Metro station. But previously, it was located outside the city gates. Here the bones from the Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs cemetery were transferred. Further remains were brought together at the Catacombs of Paris over the years. It includes those who died in mass violent outbursts during the French Revolution. The Catacombs have been a curious place to the royals throughout different periods. In 1787, Lord of d'Artois, also known as Charles X, went down there with the ladies from the Court. In 1814, Francois the 1st, the great ruler of Austria, went there and had a look for them while he was in Paris.

The walls also have graffiti images sourced from the 18th century. After the end of the 18th century, this place became a tourist attraction. It has been open to the public on a regular basis since 1867. In recent times, the throughways connected to the Catacombs got used by the French Revolution in the 2nd World War. Victor Hugo also used his knowledge about the place when he wrote Les Miserables. In 1871, the communards killed monarchists in one room.

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Plan Your Visit to Catacombs of Paris

Essential Information
Best Time to Visit
How to Reach
Health Restrictions
Essential Information

1. Timings

The Catacombs are only open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9.45 am to 8.30 pm. However, the ticket counter closes at 7.30 pm. So you will need to pick a day during that time frame. They are closed on Mondays and certain holidays.

2. Duration: You will need to decide how long you want to spend in the Catacombs. The average visit takes about forty-five minutes to an hour, but you may want to spend more or less time depending on your interests.

3. Location

The Catacombs are located underground, so visitors will need to take a staircase down into the depths of the earth. The staircase is located at the entrance to the Catacombs, on Place Denfert-Rochereau. There are 131 steps to go down and almost around 112 steps to climb up.

FAQ's of Catacombs of Paris

Do you need tickets to see the Catacombs in Paris?

    Yes. You do need Catacombs Paris Tickets to enter the site. Tickets can get purchased online. General admission tickets can get bought through our website.

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