Trip Planner:   Europe  /  France  /  Ile-de-France  /  Paris  /  The Catacombs

The Catacombs, Paris

3.9
#10 of 96 in Historic Sites in Paris
One of the most astonishing sights in Paris, The Catacombs hold the remains of an estimated six million people's bones in a labyrinth of caverns and tunnels. Under Paris, the stone mines contain a harrowing arrangement of skulls and femurs that form many walls. Some of the arrangements are artistic, such as a heart-shaped outline on one wall, formed with skulls embedded in surrounding tibia bones. Audio guides are available in English that enable you to discover the site for yourself. By using our Paris itinerary planner, you can arrange your visit to The Catacombs and other attractions in Paris.
Create an itinerary including The Catacombs
map
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
5,550 reviews
Google
4.1
TripAdvisor
  • August 17, 2017
    Four dots x, which I liked and see the immensity of these tunnel maze struck me. But guys get organized well and take your tickets online! Arrived at 9.30, open at 10. Walked in at 13.30 and we only had a 70ina of people before. They get very few x time and as soon as they arrive, groups and people with the online ticket give precedence to their forgetting others. I think many have not even managed to get in before they closed. The bad organization is on the downside.
    View original
  • August 17, 2017
    If you love history, the catacombs is a very cool place to visit. I would suggest paying extra and skipping the line, which you can only do more than 48 hours in advance. I overheard a guide telling s...  more »
  • August 17, 2017
    Kind of interesting - best for a teenager. I was definitely scammed by the "Headout" ticket hub where I bought my tickets online. They charged twice as much as the regular ticket, said that my ticket ...  more »
Google
  • August 18, 2017
    Prepare for a long wait, and buy a long wait I am not exaggerating by saying that you will have to wait in line for at least one hour to two during the day even during the winter. The wait is worth it as there are not many places like this on earth anymore. It gives you and immersed sense of history. Can be quite creepy when you are in certain places by yourself obviously, found it almost surreal how many bodies ended up there and how many skulls that they created walls out of. Be respectful by leaving the bones alone as they check your bags on your way out.
  • August 22, 2017
    I went in thinking I knew exactly what to expect. I love the macabre, and although I have never experienced anything quite like the Catacombs before, I thought I was prepared. I was very wrong. Nothing can prepare you for the Catacombs, there are no words that give those 6 million bodies the respect they deserve. For most of the walk the bones tower over your head on either side and it truly gives you a glimpse of how insignificant each of us truly are. If there was any portion of the Catacombs I would give extra weight it would be where the remains of those who started the French revolution are stacked. Still, most individuals just walked by as though they were a pile of rocks, but it is a very poignant moment. On top of all else the smell down there is one I know I will never forget. The damn earth mixed with the bones is something I cannot explain, but also do not want to experience again. I wouldn't try to convince someone not to go to the Catacombs, they are a sight to be seen, but treat them as you would any historic graveyard and do not go if you don't have the temperament for it. I saw far too many people using flash photography, leaning on the bones, and otherwise disrespecting the remains. I also would highly recommend avoiding them if you suffer from anxiety, depression, or ant other mental illness that has either of those as symptoms. It is overwhelming, long, and very far underground.
  • July 17, 2017
    A truly amazing experience, where you walk among the bones of millions of Parisians which have been carefully stored in old quarry tunnels. To echo almost every review - make sure you order your tickets online beforehand, unless you are happy to queue for around 3 hours. They only let people in very gradually to ensure it never becomes busy underground (in fact my partner and I were often alone in whatever section of the tunnels we were exploring, but some of that will have been luck). I strongly recommend the audio guide which is an extra €5 and really helps illuminate the history of the place. Chances are you will never have seen anything like the catacombs in your life.
  • July 15, 2017
    Great hour long adventure under Paris and into history. For other reviews complaining about wait times, go ONLINE and buy tickets with a time and there literally is zero wait. Walk up, bag check, start heading down the stairs. Very eerie but fascinating insight into the bones/tombs and vast tunnels. Some arrangements of the bones are creative for sure. Worth going if you have a couple of hours to take out of your trip.
  • August 25, 2017
    Went at 4:30 PM and the line moved fast. Waited about an hour but it wasn't miserable at all, it felt fair for what we were going to do. We did the audio tour and it was pretty worthwhile. This was a memorable experience and it was very humbling. Those that complained about this should just not go on holiday to Paris. Things are slow, go to the bathroom and eat before you get in line. To clairify past reviews, it does not smell down there and is not an overly dirty place.

Plan your trip to Paris

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Paris

Each of the city’s 20 arrondissements, or districts, has a personality all its own. If you prefer high-end accommodations and to be in the middle of the action, look for lodging in the 1st through the 4th arrondissements. For more affordable lodging and access to major metro lines, try the 12th. The Oberkampf area of the 11th arrondissement has an edgier, more hip vibe. For easy access to tourist sites,  the 16th is within a stone’s throw of the Arc de Triomph and the Eiffel Tower, and the 17th is within walking distance to the Champs-Elysées. Avoid the 18th, 19th, and 20th, because these can be dangerous, especially if you’re not familiar with the city.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Paris by other users

10 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES November, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Paris BY A USER FROM INDIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Europe BY A USER FROM INDIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Paris BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 49 days in Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, culture, romantic, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, romantic, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 58 days in Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, kids, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 11 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Asia, Europe, Canada & United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 32 days in Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, culture, romantic, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Paris BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA October, kids, popular PREFERENCES: October, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans