My visit to the Catacombs of Paris was a once in a lifetime experience. Whilst, this is horrific and perhaps sounds eerie, and a lot of you may not enjoy this experience, but believe me, this isn’t about the scares, it’s about the art, history and the overall experience.

The Paris catacombs are a massive, 280km network of tunnels holding the remains of over 6 million people. It is of paramount importance to the historic development of Paris and the goes beyond honouring the dead, which makes it an awe-inspiring tour. Even if you are not a history lover, this underground tunnel is definitely cool and will take you by surprise with all those bones you see.

paris catacombs
Picture Credits: Aahana Gandhi

The History Of The Catacombs Of Paris

It is said that the bones came from a serious overflow of dead bodies in Parisian cemeteries during the 18th century; and the remains of millions of Parisians were relocated and buried here. This explains the series of tunnels like structure. Later, the quarries were strengthened to make it safe and the millions of bones were carefully stacked. Today, this place is safe, open to the public and attracts many tourists across the globe. While eerie and creepy, it can still be fun to deal with the skeletons, don’t you think?

Not to forget, you can also opt for an audio tour if you really want to engross into the history of the place and get an in-depth experience. In this experience, there are 131 steps to go down and 112 steps to climb up. Since this in underneath of Paris, the temperatures are cold with the average being 14°C, and it can get humid too. If you wish to visit with your friends or in groups, be sure to make a reservation for a convenient time slot of your own. 

paris
Picture Credits: Aahana Gandhi

What To Do In The Catacombs

Open to the public and as an independent tour, this attraction has an excellent surveillance system and is pretty safe to visit. A network of old caves and tunnels lined with the bones of the dead can be a thrilling experience. For this entire experience, I walked at my own speed and quite enjoyed it (almost taking an hour and a half).

Throughout the long series of tunnels, there are signs and history boards that tell you a little more about the place. Sooner or later, you will discover the underground cemetery,  filled with skulls over skulls upon skulls. The bones were perfectly and well-arranged one after the other, upon each other and it was like never-ending walls made of skeleton pieces. The most interesting fact was that no skull or bone looked the same. 

Picture Credits: Aahana Gandhi

I dare you to go here!

What I recommend for your visit to the Paris Catacombs:
  • It opens at 9:00am, so consider going early to avoid over-crowded tunnels
  • Rent the audio guide if you really want to learn more about the history
  • Do not touch the bones as they are the fragile remains of millions of Parisians
  • Avoid carrying bulky photography equipment such as tripods, etc
  • Do wear comfortable clothes and shoes, as this includes a long walk through the tunnels and steps
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