Duration: 2 hours
Group Size: 8 max
Refund up to 48h
- Skip-the-line tickets
- Access to galleries not available to regular visitors
The Catacombs of Paris contain the remains of centuries’ worth of Parisians. It is the largest visitable ossuary in the world. A descent into this haunted underworld is an unforgettable adventure for history geeks, lovers of the macabre and the just curious.
Due to restricted number of visiting slots allocated by the Catacombs, we might not be able to accommodate for short-term bookings. Please consider contacting us before you book.
About the tour
Paris is a city of layers, both above ground and below. Its invisible part is a vast network of intertwined tunnels and caves. The Catacombs are just a small fraction of it—though undoubtedly the most extraordinary and mysterious one.
These labyrinthine tunnels were originally built as quarries to provide gypsum and limestone for the construction of the famous Parisian monuments. The Louvre, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and many other historic buildings made with the famous ‘Parisian stone’ owe to them their particular texture and greige hue.
As the city grew, new quarries developed, while older ones, when depleted, fell into oblivion and were gradually built over. Centuries of quarrying left Paris with an underground Swiss cheese of tunnels beneath the city, unmapped and unregulated in any way. Over time, these hollowed galleries became home to a hidden world of crime.
By the mid-18th century, the very memory of this labyrinth had been lost… Until the day when Parisians were suddenly reminded of its existence by giant cave-ins opening under their feet. Entiry neighborhoods began to collapse into underground caverns. A wave of panic spread through the city!
A governmental campaign of mapping and reinforcing the former mines started under King Louis XVI and continued through the French Revolution. This work coincided with the urgent need to eliminate the overcrowded Parisian cemeteries. A match made… underground! Millions of skeletons were moved to the former quarries. Nightly torchlit processions of black cloth-covered wagons went through the city for over a year.
At first, the Catacombs were a disorganised bone repository, but within a few years renovations transformed them into a visitable mausoleum. It became a (spooky sort of) hype place for concerts and other private events in the early 19th century. The ossuary was opened to public in 1874.
Until today, the Catacombs have a clandestine life (so to say) of their own. What stories can these bones tell about over two thousand years of Parisian extraordinary history? What kind of relationship did people build with death over centuries? Explore the daunting depths of the Catacombs in a witty and captivating way!
On this private tour of the Paris Catacombs, you will to skip the line and access galleries closed to regular visitors.
Where is the meeting point?
We will email you the meeting point and other details of the tour upon booking.
Is the tour suitable for young children / seniors / turbulent teenagers / guests with disabilities?
This tour is unsuitable for people with heart or respiratory problems, those of a nervous disposition and young children. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
The Catacombs are not accessible for persons with reduced mobility.
How should I dress?
The temperature in the Catacombs is a constant 14°C / 57°F. The clay soil can be a bit damp. Dress accordingly and wear comfortable shoes that you’re not afraid to ruin.
I have particular interests and/or special needs. Can this tour be customized?
Yes. Please contact us, and we will be happy to come up with a tailor-made solution for you.
Choose your time
Only licensed guides
Flexible reservation options
Easy & secure payment