Dim lighting, bones stacked taller than you, and mazes that you could get lost in forever. Welcome to the Paris Catacombs.
On my first two trips to Paris, I decided that the Catacombs weren’t worth the experience. Don’t make the same mistake.
These historic catacombs are known worldwide and even after hundreds of years, we still have yet to explore them all. It’s worth the two-hour wait in line (although you can skip this) and the entrance fee.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the Catacombs in Paris tickets and exploration!
Table of contents
- Basic History of the Paris Catacombs
- Beat the Catacombs Lines
- Catacombs Paris Tickets Prices
- Get An Audio Guide for the Catacombs
- Stay Near the Paris Catacombs
- Photographing the Paris Catacombs
- Explore More of Paris
- Pin “Catacombs Paris Tickets: What You Need to Know”
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Basic History of the Paris Catacombs
The Paris Catacombs were established in 1810 with the purpose of consolidating the burial grounds of Paris in order to save space for the living. This, along with a series of cemetery collapses, created an urgency to find new space in an ever-growing (and dying) city.
Inside the catacombs, you can find the plaques of churches from all over Paris. Next to each plaque are the remains from each respective church’s graveyard. This really helps you understand just how many graveyards were dug up to fill the catacombs and make more space in the city of Paris.
It is estimated that there are six million people buried in the Paris Catacombs. Nearly three times the number of people still alive in Paris today! Learn more on the official website.
One thing to be aware of is even though there are (dim) lights you may still want to use the torch on your phone from time to time.
Beat the Catacombs Lines
Definitely, definitely, definitely, buy your ticket in advance. Waiting for nearly two hours in the pouring rain before getting anywhere close to the ticket office, we watched all the people who had booked in advance wait at most 10 minutes, however, you will pay more if you book online.
If you purchase a Paris Museum Pass for your trip, the Catacombs may be included so be sure to check before purchasing an additional ticket.
We’ve included some up to date prices (as of the time of writing) but please note that prices may vary with the season.
Catacombs Paris Tickets Prices
These prices were correct at the time of writing but may vary by season and year.
- Online Adult Ticket w/ Audio Guide: 29 Euros
- Online Child Ticket w/o Audio Guide (ages 4-17): 5 Euros
- In-Person Ticket Full Price (18 or older): 14 Euros
- In-Person Reduced Rate Ticket (18-26 and other*): 12 Euros
- In-Person Free Ticket (18 and under*): Free
- In-Person Audio Guide: 5 Euro
*To see if you qualify for a reduced or free ticket click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page
Get An Audio Guide for the Catacombs
Option 1) Purchase an audio guide in person while purchasing a ticket
Option 2) Purchase your ticket online and get an audio guide included when you book online
Option 3) Download a free guide which will give you a similar history, but will not suffice in guiding you through the Catacombs. We haven’t personally tried this one so if you know of better options do get in touch!
We neglected to find a free online guide and instead decided to opt for a free pamphlet. While this and the information panels throughout the Catacombs suffice, it’s clear that if you want to get the most out of your experience then you should get an audio guide.
Read More: 18+ Essential Apps for Travellers
Stay Near the Paris Catacombs
If you don’t want to wait in line for hours but you also aren’t ready to give up that in-person student discount (I feel you!), it’s worth spending the night before near the Catacombs. Ideally, stay somewhere with a view of the entrance and spend the morning sipping coffee and watching until the first people start to arrive. You’ll easily be one of the first people in line!
Check out the interactive map below to find hotels near the Paris Catacombs. The area itself is lovely and worth exploring even if the Catacombs are closed!
Photographing the Paris Catacombs
Due to the dim lighting throughout, the Catacombs are difficult to photograph without additional lighting. Unfortunately, you’re not going to get that lighting unless you’re working with a tourism board or the Catacombs board themselves.
Read More: Complete Guide to Photographing Paris
Explore More of Paris
The Paris Catacombs are just one of many incredible sites worth seeing. Check out the guides below to make the most of your time in Paris.
Questions? Leave them in the comments!
More Paris Posts
- Where to Stay in Paris: First Time
- Catacombs Paris Tickets: What You Need to Know
- Vegan And Vegetarian Guide To Paris
- Paris Photography | Photographing the City of Love
- 5 Things to Do in Paris for Couples
- 15+ of the Best Instagram Spots in Paris
- 13 Best Airbnbs In Paris For Couples | Luxury To Budget
- Paris Transport: Complete Paris Metro Guide
What Camera Gear Do We Use?
- Camera body: Nikon d750
- Prime lens: 35mm f/1.8
- Wide-angle lens: 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 FX
- GoPro: GoPro Hero 8
- Drone: DJI Mavic Air is no longer available so we recommend the DJI Air2S
- Camera Bag: Wandrd Prvke 31L
- Tripod: ESDDI Aluminum Tripod
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