Skip-the-Line Paris Catacombs Tour with Special Access

Highlights

  • - Submerge yourself beneath the surface of the city streets

  • - Explore the intricate network of tunnels which comprise the Paris Catacombs

  • - Learn more about the events which led to the creation of one of Europe's largest communal burial grounds

  • - Step inside parts of the Catacombs rarely seen by the public

  • - Immerse yourself in the 'Empire of the Dead' and hear the story behind the structure

Summary

Explore Paris's 'Empire of the Dead' with a local historian. Skip the notoriously long entrance lines and delve deep into one of Europe's largest catacombs to see macabre arrangements of bones and strange sculptures in rooms that usually sit behind locked gates. Along the way, you'll learn the improbable history of this enormous burial ground and how it literally saved the city from disaster.

Tour info

Duration
2 hours
Group Size
19
Pricing (From)
Adult: (15-99 years)
€89.00
Child: (2-14 years)
€84.00
Infant: (0-1 years)
€0.00
Commentary
English
Meeting Point

2 Av. du Général Leclerc, Paris, 75014, FR

Dropoff location

21 avenue Rene Coty, Paris, 75014, FR

Why take this tour?

The Paris Catacombs stretch beneath the streets of the city and are the final resting place of some six million people. How they were transformed from abandoned quarries into one of Europe's largest communal burial grounds is quite a story, to say the least. You'll learn the whole tale as you explore their underground tunnels with our expert historian, including special access areas usually closed to the public.

Your Paris Catacombs Tour begins by skipping the long entrance lines that routinely stretch around the block. Instead, your guide will lead you and your small group of 18 other people maximum, directly into miles of subterranean tunnels lined with bones.

As you pass strange sculptures made of human remains and crucifixes fashioned from skulls, your expert guide will tell you the story of how, as the cemeteries of Paris literally overflowed with bodies, city planners hatched an audacious plan to empty every last one and relocate the remains to a series of underground quarries - themselves already threatening to swallow entire blocks of the city.

How they pulled it off is just as impressive as what they created; miles of tunnels, stacked floor-to-ceiling with human remains. Since our Paris Catacombs Tour has special access, you'll step off the well-worn tourist path and go behind locked gates to see special rooms; areas like a small chapel that, until surprisingly recently, hosted religious ceremonies; and the Catacombs' first tourist attraction - a set of stone carvings created by a bored quarryman before he was killed in a rockfall.

Our Paris Catacombs Tour takes you on an insiders' visit to one of the city's most famous and sought-after attractions with an expert guide and an intimate group. There's no better way to immerse yourself in this completely unique site.

Sites Visited:
  • Paris Catacombs

What’s included?

  • Local English-speaking guide

  • Expertly guided walking tour

  • Skip-the-line ticket for Paris Catacombs

  • Hotel Pick-Up/Drop-Off

  • Gratuities

Frequently asked questions

Things to know

Before you book

  • Due to the tight nature of the catacombs, the catacombs are not advised for those with claustrophobia.

  • The catacombs are not wheelchair accessible and not recommended for those with mobility limitations.

  • There are 130 steps into the catacombs with no elevator access.

  • Women who are visibly pregnant will not be given clearance to enter the catacombs by the guards.

  • Areas visited during this tour are subject to closure. Your guide may need to modify areas visited on the day of the tour.

  • The catacombs are subject to closures due to strikes. If time permits, we will reach out to you prior to your tour. For last-minute closures, cancellations may be communicated at the meeting point.

Before you go

  • This tour is in English.

  • This is a walking tour. Guests should be able to walk at a moderate pace without difficulty.

  • This tour meets 15 minutes prior to the start time. No refunds can be provided for late arrivals or no-shows.

  • Security measures are enforced to enter the Catacombs. Only small handbags and backpacks are allowed inside. No item larger than 55 x 35 x 20 cm will be allowed. There is no bag check.

  • Due to the tight nature of the catacombs, the catacombs are not advised for those with claustrophobia.

  • The catacombs are not wheelchair accessible and not recommended for those with mobility limitations.

  • There are 130 steps into the catacombs with no elevator access.

  • Women who are visibly pregnant will not be given clearance to enter the catacombs by the guards.

  • The catacombs are consistently wet and cool (14°C/57°F) all year long. We recommend bringing a layer in summer for the temperature drop.

  • Areas visited during this tour are subject to closure. Your guide may need to modify areas visited on the day of the tour.

  • The catacombs are subject to closures due to strikes. If time permits, we will reach out to you prior to your tour. For last-minute closures, cancellations may be communicated at the meeting point.

  • Tips/gratuities (for your guide) are always appreciated.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: All sites in Paris that we visit during our tours are requiring clients and guides alike to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test within the past 48-hours for entry. You can read more about it on the French Government website (https://www.gouvernement.fr/en/coronavirus-covid-19). If you have any questions regarding your tour, please reach out to us prior and we can help answer any questions you may have.

Covid Policy

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas

Cancellation Policy

    Cancellations received greater than 24 hours prior to tour commencement are fully refundable. Cancellations received within 24 hours of tour commencement are nonrefundable. Amendment requests are subject to availability and price changes. Late arrivals and no shows are nonrefundable. This is applicable to any tour participant that fails to arrive, or arrives after tour departure.

Redemption information

    Mobile tickets will be accepted


    Your voucher will be collected or scanned on redemption

About operator:

Walks (takewalks.com, walksofitaly.com) began over a decade ago (2008, to be exact) in Rome, Italy. We quickly became the premier walking tour company in 7 countries - Italy, Spain, France, the UK, Greece, and Portugal. Our US cities include San Francisco, NYC, Boston, Chicago, and New Orleans.

In 2021, we joined The Hornblower Group (cityexperiences.com) expanding our reach and working alongside this powerhouse travel brand.

Our tour products vary but predominantly we #takewalks, exploring the world by foot - we believe, the best way to get into the heart of a city and its incredible people. From introductory strolls to food tours, day trips, cooking classes, and below the surface, in-depth tours, we have our hand in everything a traveler could want. Oh, and we also like to give our clients exclusive access to the biggest attractions in the world...

Despite the big changes in our brand over the years, our focus has remained simple - to relentlessly create tours with the client experience at the forefront and anchored upon the dedicated, intelligent, and above all, passionate local guides who want to share their cities with you.