Looking for unusual things to do in Paris? Visit the Catacombs, a network of underground tunnels housing more than 6 million skeletons.
Located beneath Rue de la Tombe-Issoire, the ossuary was founded in the 1700s when overflowing cemeteries became a problem for the city. As a result, millions of dead Parisans – including those of Saints-Innocents – were transferred 9m underground.
Now visitors can wind their way through the the tunnels which extend for 1.5km until you reach the mausoleum.
The walls are stacked high with skulls and bone fragments. Empty eye sockets stare out as you pass.
The careful arrangement of skeletons was pioneered by Louis-Étienne Héricart de Thury, head of the Paris Mine Inspection Service in 1810. He undertook renovations that would transform the underground caverns into a visitable mausoleum.
Tips for visiting the Catacombs
It’s much cheaper to buy tickets on the door, rather than online, but you’ll have to queue. We recommend getting there around 3-4pm as this is when it’s quieter.
It takes about 1.5 hours to complete the tour so wear comfy shoes and take some water!
Tickets cost 12 euros for adults; 10 euros for concessions (under 26). The Catcombs are open from 10am -8pm.