The Paris catacombs

Your one-stop travel plan with all the info you need

Add this and other places to your personal travel plan. We will then help you with further suitable suggestions: free of charge and fast!

Add to myTravel added
More details about myTravel

Yes, they really do exist: the Paris catacombs are virtually a city beneath the city. A network of tunnels that measures more than 300 kilometers in length and became the final resting place of 6 million people.

The Paris catacombs – What’s special about them?

When you hear the word “Paris,” the same images keep popping up: Lovers embracing on the cobbled streets of the Champs-Élysées, the city lights reflected in the Seine and the typically stylish Parisians drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. But what is happening below the city does not fit into the picture at all.

Ticket info for you

Paris Catacombs: Tour from €31.00 buy
Show Ticket

Paris Catacombs - Admission, Prices and More

Under the city is the final resting place of the remains of over 6 million Parisians. It’s hard to believe that deep beneath the streets of Paris are nearly 322 kilometers of ancient mine shafts and underground tunnels filled with human skeletons representing more than 2,000 years of Parisian history. But it is. And the most incredible thing: you can visit this place!

Visit to the catacombs in Paris

The dimensions of the Paris catacombs are difficult to comprehend from the city streets. The labyrinth of tunnels extends over 300 km. We visited the Catacombs early on a dreary winter morning in December, and although we arrived well before the official opening time of 8:30 a.m., we were greeted by a long line in the rain. Because, as you can imagine, a lot of people want to experiencethis admittedly quite macabre tourist attraction.

Catacombs of Paris – This is what the entrance fee costs you

Tip for visiting the catacombs: Be there early! After joining the queue at 9am, we didn’t enter the stairs to the catacombs until almost 10:30am. Why? We went spontaneously and had not booked the tickets online in advance. Do not make the same mistake!

Unsere Empfehlung

Paris Katakomben

Paris Katakomben


  • Zugang zu nicht-zugänglichem Bereich
  • keine Warteschlange
  • Tourguide
  • günstigste Option
  • keine Wartechlange
  • Audioguide


🇬🇧 Englisch

Audioguide mit mehreren Sprachen


2 Stunden

1 Stunde


ab 119,90 €

ab 31 €


The main reason for the long waits is the limitation of 200 people in the viewing area. A generous serving of croissants from the nearby organic boulangerie definitely helped pass the wait in the cold and rain! If you understandably don’t feel like wasting your time in a long line, it’s essential to book online in advance. The normal entrance fee is €12 at the entrance to the catacombs, or you can buy tickets in advance online for €27, including audio guide . I would definitely book online next time, even if it costs more.


Paris Catacombs – The Highlights

What exactly are the catacombs of Paris and how were they created? The story goes that Paris cemeteries reached their capacity limits in the late 18th century and could not accommodate any more burials. After much deliberation, the authorities and the church agreed to move the human remains to the ancient limestone shafts beneath Paris – the catacombs were born.

Today a small part of the catacombs is open to the public, the other parts are not allowed to visit since 1955. Nevertheless, the tunnel maze continues to be explored by locals, albeit now illegally. Our visit took us through a series of rooms filled with skeletons, where the remains are arranged in different structures in each room. This may sound morbid, but it’s actually a pretty surreal experience!

Paris Catacombs - Admission, Prices and More

Before entering the actual catacomb chambers, you pass through rooms dedicated to the origins of the catacombs and the original limestone mine. The mines provided the vast quantities of stone needed to build Notre-Dame Cathedral , the Louvre, and the city walls before the space eventually served as an ossuary.

The catacombs are eerily quiet, and the dim lighting adds to the dark atmosphere.



Tips & tricks for the catacombs of Paris!

Be sure to book your tickets online. Otherwise, you’re looking down the tube.

Online-Ticket ist ein Muss

Geheimtipp: Kauft nicht erst vor Ort

There is no way around it: book your tickets in advance!!! In Paris, you don’t want to waste time, and certainly not with standing in a never-ending line. Do it right, get your tickets online and just walk past the long line.

If you don’t want to waste your time in long queues, you should book your tickets online in advance. Choose between a standard admission ticket and a priority ticket at any time. Don’t forget to select the e-ticket optionat the checkout.



Why do the catacombs in Paris exist at all?

To understand the catacombs, we need to look a little into the, somewhat unsavory, past of the city: In the late 18th century, Paris faced a major crisis. The cemeteries, some of which had been in operation for a millennium, overflowed with the remains of the dead. It is reported that bodies were occasionally discovered during the burial of the deceased. Parisians living near Les Innocents, the city’s oldest cemetery, complained about the foul odor emitted by the rotting flesh, prompting Louis XV to ban all burials in the capital in 1763.

Catacombs Paris

Nothing further was done until 1780, when the cemetery wall collapsed due to persistent rain and the bodies were thrown directly onto the city streets. The horrible sight made a change necessary, and from 1786 the bodies were moved to the tunnels under the city, known from then on as the Municipal Ossuary of Paris. The former limestone quarries became the new resting place of the dead, and the relocation took 12 years.

From the beginnings of the French Revolution in 1789 to 1860, the city’s dead were buried there, bringing the number of skeletons in the tunnels to about six million. Among the famous figures who rest in the catacombs is Maximilien de Robespierre, the revolutionary whose “reign of terror” after the Revolution disillusioned many with the country’s new ideals and gave impetus to the Gothic movement of Romanticism.

Where exactly are the Paris catacombs and what’s nearby?

Location: The entrance for visiting the Paris Catacombs is directly opposite the Denfert Rochereau metro station. Note that the exit is a few streets away, at 36 rue Remy Dumoncel, between the Alesia and Mouton Duvernet metro stations.

What you can see nearby:

  1. 01

    Tour Montparnasse

    Building in Quartier du Montparnasse
    Our highlight
    Tour Montparnasse view
    Add to myTravel added

    You want to see (almost) all the highlights of Paris at a glance? Here you go! Then you should not miss the observation deck of the Tour Montparnasse. From the outside, it’s just an inconspicuous office building, but the observation deck is about the same height as the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Eiffel Tower. So the view is really spectacular and combines the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Coeur, Notre Dame and more in a single panorama!

    Finished in 1973, the lonely and unloved skyscraper was the tallest in France. Until 2011, when the title was usurped by Tour First. It still lays a fair claim to hosting the best views in Paris, though.

  2. 02

    Jardin du Luxembourg

    Park in Quartier de l'Odéon
    Our highlight
    Add to myTravel added

    The Jardin du Luxembourg is grouped around the stately Palais du Luxembourg – once a royal palace, today the seat of the French Senate. The park was designed at the beginning of the 17th century by none other than Maria dei Medici herself. The heart of the park is therefore the Fontaine Médici – an ornate fountain entirely in the Italian style. With its numerous water features and trees, as well as the large collection of orchids, the park is a real gem. If you like, you can also play boules and tennis – or linger over a game of chess or bridge. Art lovers should also visit the Musée de Luxembourg with its large collection of contemporary art.

  3. 03

    Panthéon in Paris

    Museum in Quartier de la Sorbonne
    Our highlight
    Add to myTravel added

    Unmistakable: The Roman Pantheon served as the model for the Parisian version! However, the „copy“ is a good one and a half millennia younger than the original in the Italian capital. However, it is always worth seeing! The building, which was completed in 1790, is France’s “Hall of Fame”: the nation’s greatest personalities found their final resting place in the underground catacombs: from Victor Hugo to Voltaire to Marie Curie.

  4. 04

    Zadkine Museum EN

    Museum in Quartier Notre-Dame-des-Champs
    Add to myTravel added

    Ossip Zadkine, ein in Russland geborener Künstler, der 1908 nach Paris auswanderte, lebte und arbeitete hier von 1928 bis zu seinem Tod im Jahr 1967. Er war eine der wichtigsten Persönlichkeiten der Ecole de Paris, der Pariser Schule. Der Eintritt zur Dauerausstellung ist frei.

  5. 05

    Musée de l’Armée - Das Militärmuseum von Paris EN

    Museum in Quartier Notre-Dame-des-Champs
    Paris Militärmuseum
    Add to myTravel added

    Das Musée de l’Armée bietet eine der weltweit größten Sammlungen zur stolzen Militärgeschichte Frankreichs. Erkunde hier die einzigartigen Sammlungen und Fundstücke, den Invalidendom und Napoleon Bonapartes letzte Ruhestätte. In den Sammlungen des Museums befinden sich mehr als 500.000 Ausstellungstücke, die den Zeitraum vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart abdecken.

  6. 06

    Parc Montsouris EN

    Park in 14. Arrondissement
    Add to myTravel added

    Einer der farbenprächtigsten Pariser Parks, der Parc Montsouris, wurde 1878 eröffnet. Viele schöne Rasenflächen umgeben einen großen künstlichen See und kleine Wasserfälle. Zwischen den rund 1.400 Bäumen, darunter exotische Mammutbäume und Ginkgos, findest du auch beeindruckende Bronzestatuen.

Catacombs of Paris – FAQs – frequently asked questions

Opening hours and queues: The Catacombs are open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:30. Waiting times vary, but generally during the high season from May to September, the wait is at least 90 minutes regardless of the time of day. On afternoons in the off-season, the queues may be shorter.

Where can I get tickets for the Catacombs in Paris?

Tickets are available at the entrance and, although more expensive, can also be purchased online before the visit.

How can I stay in the Paris Catacombs?

Our visit lasted about 45 minutes from the entrance to the exit. Visitors must descend a spiral staircase with 130 steps and climb 83 steps back up to the street, so be prepared before visiting.

Rules: The number of visitors is limited to 200 at a time. Visitors are asked not to touch or damage any of the relics, and bags are searched as they leave the catacombs.

When were the catacombs built in Paris?

The Paris Catacombs were created in 1763 and grew in size over the years.

How deep are the catacombs in Paris?

The catacombs are located between 5 and 35 meters underground.

How long are the catacombs of Paris?

All the tunnels of the catacombs in Paris laid side by side would be over 300 kilometers long!

Are the catacombs in Paris worth it?

In a word, yes, although it might be difficult for anyone uncomfortable in tight spaces or the prospect of getting up close and personal with lots of skeletons to visit. It is an amazing, if extremely morbid, sight that reveals itself to one. Still, we felt it was worth the long wait to see such an important and lesser known part of Parisian history. However, when we reached the last room and climbed the stairs, we were sure that we didn’t want to see another skeleton for a long time.



Profilbild Maxim Lewerenz
About the author

Ob Strandurlaub oder Städtetrip, Skiurlaub oder Road Trip – Ich leb' treu nach dem Motto: "Ein Leben ohne Reisen ist möglich, aber sinnlos." Zu meinen absoluten Lieblingszielen gehören Japan, Großbritannien, die gesamte Ostküste der USA und europäische Metropolen wie Amsterdam oder Budapest.

How did you like this article?