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Review from Les Catacombes de Paris, France
We were fortunate to know someone with an apartment in Paris. While they were out of the country the allowed us to stay in their place. It was located 15 minutes walking from the “Catacombs of Paris”. Our friends said it was worth to visit and many online reviews concurred. Many reviews talked about long line ups and we witnessed just that. Our first encounter was on a Saturday afternoon, it wasn't peek season yet we quickly understood that we should arrive first thing in the morning.
They open at 10am so we decided that 9am should be sufficient. Well if you can imagine a line up, already at 9am on a rainy Sunday morning. By 10 am, we were still waiting and the line made its way around the Place Denfert-Rochereau block, which represents roughly 250m.
Pre-purchase your ticket
We highly recommend that you pre-purchase your ticket, so that you can skip the line. We had to wait 3 hours in the rain before we could purchase our tickets and enter the Catacombs.
1. They don't let everyone in one shot, once the Catacombs open they allow smalls groups at a time. So, if you are planning to visit the Catacombs, get ready to wait in line unless you pre-purchase your tickets !
2. It's true what the reviews say “ get ready to wait in line - we arrived at 9am and our first pictures inside show 12noon!!
3. “Check their website" for one it looks like it’s not 100% guarantee you will make it in. Also, make it a point to review comfortable attire and rules about acceptable bag sizes.
Basic price to enter (without multimedia)
In case you are still wondering, yes - we made it in ! After almost 3 hours standing in the rain, we finally got inside! The fee to enter was roughly $17 CAD per person. It might seem expensive, but we deemed it a reasonable price for the experience. We opted without a guided tour. But if you would like the multimedia package, where you can follow a numbered tour by listening to background information feel free to take it.
The multimedia package should amplify your Catacombs experience!
What to expect once you're inside
At the entrance, there is a long corridor with kind of medieval stone walls. Almost like a small museum that displays some fossils found in the area. Finally, once you are inside the long tunnel, you will see where the ossuary were carefully organized. They are presented in a form of art. We found out there are kilometre long tunnels underground, which started being built around the 1700’s. They were created as part of the effort to eliminate the city's overflowing cemeteries and looks like the ossuary remained largely forgotten until it became a novelty-place for concerts and other private events in the early 19th century. Now renovated, it’s one of the most visited places in Paris.
At the end of the Catacombs you will find a gift store where you can buy some interesting souvenirs. Check out picture gallery below 😉
We both really enjoyed our visit so here are our ratings.
Serge: 5 Eli: 5
Do we recommend ?
Yes, it’s a really interesting place to visit. As you'll see in the pictures, it's underground and fairly dark all the way through the tunnels. So if you feel claustrophobic in small and darks spaces, we suggest an above ground activity instead.
- You will walk a lot inside of the tunnels, so be sure you are wearing comfortable shoes.
- If you are claustrophobic and are unable of being enclosed in a small and dark space for a long time, we think you should think twice to visit there. It's a surprisingly long underground walk.
- This place is cool, please be respectful ! Be mindful of other visitors- don’t scream, don’t run, don’t use cameras with flash. It's not a place to eat. Don’t touch anything and leave your “Backpacks” at home !
- Most importantly, enjoy the experience ! We are happy, blessed and fortunate to have visited !