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About the Catacombs of Paris
The Catacombs of Paris is one of the top things to do in Paris, probably because of its spooky character. Paris Catacombs is also a unique attraction, not many European or World destinations have an attraction of this kind!
Despite its eccentric location, in the 14th District of Paris, the Catacombs of Paris is one of the places with the longest lines so a skip the line ticket or a Paris Catacombs skip the line tour is paramount.
With a skip-the-line ticket, you are in very fast while with a regular ticket you can be waiting in line up to 2 hours or more.
Paris Catacombs Skip-the-line Options
If you cannot make it to Paris, the Virtual Paris Catacombs Tour with a French history expert can be a good opportunity to explore this unique site from home.
The Virtual Paris Catacombs Tour can be also a good alternative for wheelchair users or for people with difficulties climbing up and down 300+ steps. Finally, some people suffering from claustrophobia may want to try with this virtual tour.
The Paris Catacombs Skip-the-line Ticket with an Audio Guide is great for those people who prefer self-guided tours. Explore the Catacombs of Paris at your own pace with the explanations of the audio guide. This Paris Catacombs skip-the-line ticket does not give access to the restricted sections.
With the Skip-the-line Paris Catacombs Tour, you are in a small group accompanied by an expert guide. Learn all about the Paris Catacombs in a much more interactive experience. This Paris Catacombs guided tour also explores the restricted sections which are not accessible to the general public.
Why a Skip-the-line Paris Catacombs Tour is a Good Idea
I have visited the Catacombs of Paris twice – alone with a regular ticket and with a Paris Catacombs tour – and the second visit was definitely much better. Here’s why:
For the first visit, I chose the best time to avoid the longest lines in the Catacombs of Paris. Despite that, I had to wait in line “only” for one hour. With a skip-the-line Paris Catacombs tour or ticket, the access is immediate!
FUN AND ENTERTAINING EXPERIENCE
In fact, the Catacombs of Paris is just an ensemble of corridors full of old bones, displayed in different arrangements. The inscription at the Catacombs entrance « Arrête! C’est ici l’empire de la mort » (=stop, here it’s the empire of Death) is very impressive, but after seeing corridors and corridors full of bones the visit becomes a bit boring.
A guided Paris Catacombs tour, with an audio guide or a professional guide, is another story. The visit is much more entertaining and while you explore the site you are also learning the history and legends about these 15th-century underground quarries and the bones from the Middle Ages that occupy them. So much information that you would never know walking through the Catacombs of Paris on your own!
ACCESS TO EXTRA SECTIONS
The bonus of a skip-the-line Paris Catacombs tour is that they have access to extra sections closed to the public, which of course are the best! The room with an old sculpture of a castle here below, for example, is not included in the regular tour. This explains also the difference in price.
Also, they are run by enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides and I loved how our guide made it an interactive experience.
Paris Catacombs History
The Paris Catacombs history is linked to the stone extraction in Paris. The city is rich in limestone, located on the south bank of the Seine and in southern suburbs.
In Roman times, the stone was quarried in open quarries and it supplied the great buildings of Lutèce. In the Middle Ages, the stone became scarce on the surface, the extraction of the stone went underground in the quarries that you can see today. Notre Dame de Paris and all the Gothic monuments of the city were built with this stone.
In fact, the Catacombs of Paris are not underground cemeteries or early Roman burial places like the catacombs of Rome in Italy. The Catacombs of Paris are underground quarries that were reused years later for stocking the bones of disappeared cemeteries in Paris Intramuros. These cemeteries became insalubrious and a health risk, that’s why the City decided to close them down.
To summarize, you are going to walk through kilometers of underground limestone quarries, dug in the 15th century, and occupied by bones from the Parisians of the Middle-Ages.
Catacombs of Paris Practical Info
Address: 1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France.
Access: Metro lines 4 and 6 and RERB station Denfert-Rochereau.
Hours: From Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 8.30 pm. Closed on Mondays, 1 January, 1 May, and 25 December.
Join France Bucket List – The France Travel Planning Facebook Group
You are also welcome to join France Bucket List our France Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Paris or France!