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The Catacombs, Paris

4.0
#8 of 97 in Historic Sites in Paris
Cemetery Historic Site
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One of the most astonishing sights in Paris, The Catacombs hold the remains of an estimated six million people's bones in a labyrinth of caverns and tunnels. Under Paris, the stone mines contain a harrowing arrangement of skulls and femurs that form many walls. Some of the arrangements are artistic, such as a heart-shaped outline on one wall, formed with skulls embedded in surrounding tibia bones. Audio guides are available in English that enable you to discover the site for yourself. By using our Paris itinerary planner, you can arrange your visit to The Catacombs and other attractions in Paris.
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Each of the city’s 20 arrondissements, or districts, has a personality all its own. If you prefer high-end accommodations and to be in the middle of the action, look for lodging in the 1st through the 4th arrondissements. For more affordable lodging and access to major metro lines, try the 12th. The Oberkampf area of the 11th arrondissement has an edgier, more hip vibe. For easy access to tourist sites,  the 16th is within a stone’s throw of the Arc de Triomph and the Eiffel Tower, and the 17th is within walking distance to the Champs-Elysées. Avoid the 18th, 19th, and 20th, because these can be dangerous, especially if you’re not familiar with the city.
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  • Attraction only allows 200 people in the catacombs at a time, so expect a long wait especially late morning, and early afternoon. Easy access from metro & RER. Many places nearby to grab food, drinks ...  more »
  • Decided to go to the catacombs at the last minute in May /17. Arrived at 930 am, line was already 200 ppl, 1/2 hr before opening. They only allow small amounts in at a time, so it would have easily ta...  more »
  • A 3 hour line! We went on a Sunday, and talked to people who had been standing in line for over 2 hours!! We chose to walk to the luxumburg garden and come back later. When we came back in the late af...  more »
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  • If, after reading this review, you want to visit the Catacombs of Paris, please buy your tickets online. The line is oppressively long. Okay, about the catacombs. Experiencing the catacombs was at the top of my list of things to see while I was in Paris. So maybe my expectations were set too high. In any event, the catacombs were underwhelming, only interesting for about five minutes. When I first saw the bones and skulls it was a powerful moment. The number of unfortunate souls piled in the catacombs is difficult to comprehend. I bought the audio tour, which definitely had interesting information. But it's easy to get ahead of or behind the narration. But I would still recommend getting the audio tour. It will add another (much needed) dimension to the experience. I don't recall the price, but it was reasonable. After five minutes of walking in the catacombs it quickly becomes (pardon my poor choice of words) been-there done-that. So if you simply want to check this off your Paris to-do list, by all means go. But if you have a lengthy list of things you want to experience in Paris, I would put this toward the bottom.
  • Must buy ticket online before the day of. I waited thinking it wouldn't be that long as it wasn't wrapped around twice which reviews said was a 4 hour wait. I waited 4 hours and it was only 3/4 around the block. In comparison to the wait the experience in the catacombs is rather brief but around an hour. The audio guide was informative and provided extra context. It was a cool experience with lots of history. Would recommend if you have nothing else higher on your list of things to do in Paris.
  • if you are in Paris, this is a must see, observe the formations and patterns, there are many hidden patterns. the lines could be long to get into catacomb but it's truly worth it. i don't know of a way to avoid the lines. when you exit, there is a unique shop on the other side of the street that sells very unique souvenirs, i didn't buy anything, but the items on display are not the kind you would see anywhere else.
  • My wife and I greatly enjoyed the walk down and the visit to the Catacombs. (I would rate 5 stars if not for the long wait) Be prepared to wait for a long time to get the tickets. We waited for almost 2.5 hours during the peak time on Sunday!! Visitors who bought tickets online ahead of time do not have to wait that long (they get to go in before the people who haven't had the tickets). Apparently, only 200 people can be admitted at a time to the Catacombs. So, plan this visit wisely and don't repeat the mistake that we made :-(
  • Super cool experience. MAKE SURE YOU BUY THE TICKETS ONLINE! We bought them through head out and waited in line for 10 minutes. Everyone else without tickets waited for about 3 hours that day. They only let in 200 people per hour so it's worth looking into.