Revisiting My Favorite Site In the City of Love, The Paris Catacombs

paris catacombsThis past winter break, the Michael W Travels family headed to Paris. While Kim and I had each (separately) been to Paris before, this would be the first visit to France for our kids.

I typically like to try to visit new countries rather than repeat. However, it had been something like 18 years since I had last visited.

Thanks to a sweet deal from a Delta Air Lines bump (from the previous winter break), we used our vouchers to book flights to Paris.

After booking our flight, one site in the City of Love topped my list for a place I had to revisit. I needed to make a return visit to the Paris Catacombs, probably my favorite site in the city.

I’d say that my visit to the Paris Catacombs years back started my fascination with odd, creepy and ghoulish sites

Here are some related posts:

Before visiting, Kim and I debated whether or not it would be a good idea to pre-purchase tickets to avoid a potentially long line. After visiting, I wrote a post wondering, Is It Worth Paying 2X The Price To Skip The Line At The Paris Catacombs.Some things to know before visiting:

  • To get into the catacombs, you’ll need to walk down 131 steps. To exit, you’ll go 112 steps up. It isn’t what I’d consider a very physical thing to do, but it won’t be for everyone.
  • During your visit, you’ll follow though the catacombs on a 1.5km circuit.
  • The exit for the catacombs is around 700 meters from where you enter.
  • Large bags are not allowed and if you’re wearing a backpack, it’s supposed to be worn in front.
  • Only 200 people are allowed inside at a time. This is a good thing, the catacombs never felt busy!
  • DON’T TOUCH THE BONES

After waiting for close to two hours on line, we made our way down to the Paris Catacombs. Once you’re at the bottom, you’ll still need to walk a bit through long narrow corridors before finally reaching the intended main attraction.As you walk through the catacombs, you’ll see various street signs. The stacks of bones, which are neatly organized also have signs and dates in front of them. Our guess was that these are the dates of when the bones were brought to the catacombs from their original resting place. The first time you visit a site of this sort, you might be surprised or shocked at seeing skulls and bones in such quantity.

The thing is that they’re neatly arranged in an artistic way, making it feel much less shocking.The barrel of bones is probably the most unique site in all of the Paris Catacombs. It was also probably the busiest section inside. But as you can see, there still aren’t other visitors in the photo!Is the Paris Catacombs kid- friendly?

Neither Lucas (almost 7 years- old during the visit) or two year- old Theo were scared, nervous or bothered by the visit. They both seemed to really enjoy exploring the catacombs.

A couple of my favorite photos: Final Thoughts:

Overall, revisiting the Paris Catacombs didn’t disappoint. Even though I had been to the site before, I still loved visiting and was amazed by the sheer quantity of skulls and bones on display. (There are bones from between 6-7 million bodies inside.)

I’ve been to various catacombs and crypts around the world. In my opinion, the Paris Catacombs are the best of the bunch. (I’d probably place Sedlec Ossuary as the second best.)

If you end up in Paris at some point, I highly recommend visiting the Paris Catacombs. It will probably be the most unique thing you’ll see during your trip.

The Paris Catacombs is located at 1 av. of Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy 75014 Paris.

3 thoughts on “Revisiting My Favorite Site In the City of Love, The Paris Catacombs

  1. Also there is a great little hotel on the square where the Catacombs is. Called Hôtel du Lion.

    This area is great to stay in since there is Rue Daguerre which is an amazing pedestrian street with amazing food stores. Also great local cafes which are very lively at night. Very local area of Paris. Almost like how all of Paris used to be.

    It is an easy area to get to from the airports. Denfert-Rochereau station with RER to CDG airport stops there. Also Orly Bus also stops there. And lots of local buses stop in the area. Local buses are the way to get around Paris, not the Metro.

  2. Mike Jones- Thanks for that info! While on the line, my older son and I wandered around as my wife waited to grab a drink and some snacks. The bakery diagonally across the street was solid.

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