Visiting the Paris Catacombs: How to Skip-the-Line

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The Paris Catacombs have been one of the major highlights of my trip to Paris. It might be a combination of the season (Halloween is just a week away!) and my obsession with ghosts but I’ve had the Paris Catacombs on my bucket list for nearly a decade. In the city of Paris, 65 feet underground is tunnels of 6 million souls. It’s a haunted destination that I’ve wanted to explore, and since the catacombs are illegal to visit outside of tour, I will be talking about the Paris Catacombs center that is open to the public.

First and foremost, the Catacombs is a highly visited destination and the wait (even in the off season) can average around one to two hours. It will cost you 13 Euros to get in but you will be waiting in the line for 2 hours. When traveling, I’m a believer that time is money and when visiting a city with a limited amount of time I’d prefer to spend my time walking around a city and exploring new things versus waiting in a long line.

You can buy your tickets online!

The Paris Catacombs site can be confusing, but once you make it to the pricing page, they have a section that says you can purchase tickets online. The tickets you can purchase are 29 Euro but they include the audio guide (otherwise another 5 euro) that personalizes your tour to the history of Paris.

When purchasing tickets you are asked to pick a time to go into the catacombs, I still recommend arriving at the starting point 20 minutes before so that you can be one of the first in through security but you’ll have a separate line to wait in for reservations.

I do not recommend bringing any bags bigger than a purse as the catacomb stairs are narrow, and security doesn’t allow big bags. Your bag will also be checked at the end (just in case you thought a souvenir from in the catacombs would be fun, don’t).

The Tunnels

The catacombs are tunnels that were built to keep Paris from collapsing. The bodies from 6 million people were moved from their original resting place to the catacombs, 200 miles of tunnels under the city of light.  As you enter you can see an inscription under a doorway with a haunting inscription above: “Arrête, c’est ici l’empire de la mort!” (Stop! This is the empire of death!).

Allow yourself about an hour in the labyrinth path of the catacombs and take it all in as this is a place like no other. I would love to say more about this hauntingly beautiful location but it’s a destination that speaks for itself. There is a certain sadness with this location that I couldn’t let go of after exiting, but I hope all those who lay rest in the catacombs have found peace.

Interested in a Documentary about the Catacombs? Netherworld: Catacombes de Paris is my favorite with information about the catacombs. Plus, it’s free on YouTube.

I hope you enjoyed my post on this Paris destination and hope if you visit the catacombs share what you enjoyed most about it. Make sure to share with your friends, comment down below, and subscirbe so you can be alerted about all future posts!

Until next time,

Buy your tickets here to skip the line!


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