Catacombs of Paris

Inspite of being somewhat morbid, the Catacombs are a burial plot with a rich and fascinating history and draw crowds of visitors year round

Passage into the Catacombs of Paris
Passage into the Catacombs of Paris cc licensed photo by CHRISTOPHER MACSURAK

The Catacombs of France is a tourist attraction for those who like to add a little spookiness to their vacation activities. The catacombs are literally a burial plot of astronomic proportions. However, they are a burial plot with a rich and fascinating history.

Before Christianity came along, it was common practice to bury the dead outside the city walls. Christianity dictated that the dead should be buried in consecrated ground around churches and this time it was difficult to do so since the areas around the churches were already well built up and there was no space to put in large cemeteries. Those that were available soon became overcrowded and a mass burial plot was opened near the St. Opportune church. This burial plot caused a lot of sanitation problems but was still used even when the ground was saturated with human remains.

Eventually the inner city cemeteries were closed and new ones were opened outside the city limits. Even the long abandoned stone quarries outside the city were pressed into use as burial places. The transfer of the dead to these quarries started in 1786 and finished in 1788. The catacombs hold the remains of around six million people. Land was bought from a local property named "La maison de la Tombe Issoire" and many sets of bones were deposited in the underground caverns in this area along with crosses and urns and other memorabilia.

When you visit the catacombs you will travel down a staircase and then through a long tunnel to find yourself faced with a stone portal inscribed with the words Arrete! C'est ici l'empire de la Mort ('Halt! This is the Empire of the Dead'). It is beyond this stone portal that the tour truly begins. There are halls and walls of carefully arranged bones. Some of the bone arrangements are actually really artistic although they are macabre.

If you plan to visit the Catacombs then you will need to know that the site limits visitors to 200 at one time. There are also no toilets or cloakrooms and it is also good to keep in mind that it will be cooler in the underground passages. It is vital that children who are younger than 14 years of age are accompanied by at least one adult and the parents of young children are advised against bringing their children into the catacombs. If you are not very mobile then you may also want to consider other activities as there are many steps to go up and down. You do not need much time for the actual tour as it is only 2km long (around 45 min) but the queues can get rather long and entries can be stopped to ensure the 200 visitor limit is adhered to.

Nearby attractions: Rue Mouffetard Market

Facts For Your Visit

Official Website: Catacombs of Paris

Fee: Yes

Closed Now

Regular Hours:

  • Tuesday: 10:00 am - 7:30 pm
  • Wednesday: 10:00 am - 7:30 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 7:30 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 7:30 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 7:30 pm
  • Sunday: 10:00 am - 7:30 pm

Category: Local Flavor Museums Landmarks & Historical Buildings

Address: 1 avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy
75014 Paris
France

Phone: +33 1 43 22 47 63

Reviews

Yelp Rating:
4 out of 5 4 Star Rating
Based on 388 Reviews.

See all reviews on Yelp

5 Star Rating Les Catacombes de Paris tour is a must when you're in Paris! I highly recommend buying the priority ticket at a designated time to avoid waiting in line. I... Read More

Thamara N. Oct-09-2019

1 Star Rating This attraction was the only thing that I really wanted to do this trip to Paris. Pretty poor experience overall. It started with the audio guide which... Read More

John R. Sep-28-2019

4 Star Rating Pretty amazing landmark in Paris. I have always wanted to come here and glad to experience it. We paid for tickets ahead of time and you choose a window of... Read More

Tina T. Sep-09-2019

Accommodations near Catacombs of Paris:

Directions

Metro / RER Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M4, M6, RER-BDenfert-Rochereau1 minute

How to get to Catacombs of Paris by Metro / RER

By Metro or RER: exit at Denfert-Rochereau‎ Station and look for the small green building (and probably a queue) directly across the street from the station.

Map & Instant Route Finder

Click&Go Map and Route Finder with public transit, walking, driving or cycling directions. Get up-to-the-minute transit times for your route.

Load Interactive Map
Finding Your Route - Please Wait

Photo Gallery

Video


Information about visiting the Catacombs of Paris

Visiting Paris? Here's why we use Booking.com for our hotel bookings.

Best SelectionDaily Deals Price Matching Pay at the Hotel 24/7 Support

View 60+ attractions FREE with The Paris Pass

Your Complete Paris Sightseeing Pass
Save Time - Skip the line with FAST TRACK admission to many of the busiest attractions.
Get 5% off the regular price with Promo code ‐ 'TOURBYTRANSIT'


Visiting Paris?
Here's why we use Booking.com for our hotel bookings.
Best Selection
Daily Deals
Price Matching
Pay at the Hotel
24/7 Support
Help us grow! Please Share
Thanks for Visiting!