Visit the Catacombs of Paris
The Catacombs of Paris is one of the best things to do in Paris, probably because of its mysterious character. The Paris Catacombs is also a unique attraction, as not many European or world destinations have sites 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 Paris Catacombs skip-the-line tour or ticket is paramount. With skip-the-line Catacombs Paris tickets, you are in very fast, while with regular tickets, you can be waiting in line for up to two hours or more!
Paris Catacombs Skip-the-line Options
The Paris Catacombs Skip-the-line Tickets with an audio guide are great for visitors who prefer self-guided tours. Explore the Catacombs of Paris at your own pace with the explanations of the audio guide. These Catacombs Paris skip-the-line tickets are for the standard itinerary and do not give access to the restricted sections.
With a 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 special Catacombs Paris Tour also explores some restricted sections which are not accessible to the general public. Not all guided tours explore these restricted sections, so be sure to book your tour through this link.
Getting kids excited about history can be challenging, but this Catacombs Paris Private Tour with skip-the-line access is tailor-made for families with children of any age.
Why a Skip-the-line Paris Catacombs Tour is a Good Idea
We have visited the Catacombs of Paris twice – alone with a regular ticket and with a skip-the-line Paris Catacombs guided tour – and the second visit was definitely much better. Here’s why we recommend a skip-the-line Catacombs Paris tour:
1. Immediate Access
For the first visit, we chose the best time to avoid the longest lines in the Catacombs of Paris. Despite that, we had to wait in line for one hour. With a Paris Catacombs skip-the-line tour or ticket, the access is immediate!
2. Fun and Entertaining Experience
In fact, the Catacombs of Paris is just an ensemble of galleries full of old bones and skulls 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. Still, after seeing galleries and galleries full of bones, the visit becomes a bit boring.
Another story is a guided Paris Catacombs tour with an audio guide or an engaging professional guide. 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!
3. Special Access to Restricted Sections
A few skip-the-line Paris Catacombs tours have special access to sections not available in the standard itinerary. These restricted sections are always the best part of the tour!
The room with an old sculpture of a castle here below, for example, is not included in the regular tour. The access to these unique rooms and halls also explains the tours’ difference in price.
Also, these tours are run by enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides, and we loved how our guide made it an interactive experience.
We definitely recommend booking this VIP Skip-the-line Paris Catacombs Tour with special access to these restricted areas (you can read more reviews about it here). It is fun and much more interesting than the regular tours.
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 the southern suburbs.
In Roman times, the stone was quarried in open quarries, and it supplied the most significant buildings of Lutetia-Roman Paris.
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 Medieval Paris 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 reused years later to stock the bones of disappeared cemeteries in Paris Intramuros. These cemeteries became insalubrious and a health risk for the city; that’s why Paris decided to close them down.
To summarize, you will 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.