The Paris Catacombes are identified for his or her lengthy strains to get in. Nobody likes losing time in strains, proper? Earlier than Covid, folks with out tickets would try to get there very first thing within the morning to keep away from strains. However, like many common Parisian websites, at the moment it’s solely potential to go to the Catacombes with a pre-paid ticket for entry at a particular time. The most important danger now could be buying an costly (or worse, counterfeit) “skip-the-line” ticket via a third-party reseller. To keep away from complications, the easiest way to go to the Paris Catacombes is by buying your timed entry ticket immediately via the official web site.
The place to Buy Your Tickets
I nearly ALWAYS suggest buying tickets for museums and monuments immediately via the official web site. The primary cause is that it’s often the most cost effective possibility. The second cause is that you simply don’t must undergo any middlemen if there’s an issue (like strikes closing down the monument the day of your go to). And lately there have been so many counterfeit tickets being offered by each fraudulent on-line web sites and in particular person by scammers on the lookout for clueless vacationers who confirmed up with out reserving tickets prematurely that the Paris Catacombes web site now solely sells tickets as much as one week prematurely, so that you’ll must put a reminder in your calendar earlier than your go to. In off-season, mainly anytime exterior of summer season, you too can examine their web site for last-minute, low cost tickets for a go to on the identical day (utilizing your smartphone for those who don’t have entry to a pc).
As of October 2023, the official “skip the road” tickets (together with an audio information in a number of languages) are €29 for adults, €23 for college kids 18-26, and €10 for youths 5-17 with an grownup (they don’t get an audioguide). Buy them at this hyperlink (scroll all the best way right down to “Official ticket // Catacombs”). The last-minute tickets offered on-line within the low season are €13-€15, plus €5 for an audio information, and free for youths beneath 18 if they’re with an grownup who has a ticket.
Observe that youngsters beneath 14 should be accompanied by an grownup.
Guided Excursions of the Catacombes: Price it?
There are official guided excursions of the Catacombes, however solely in French. You will discover many guides on-line who will do excursions of the Catacombes for €75-€95/particular person for teams of 15-20 folks.
It’s as much as you if it’s price the additional price and time to take a guided tour, however actually, it’s one of many locations I like to recommend merely studying up on prematurely (or downloading your favourite audio tour to your cellphone), as a result of there’s just one route that everybody follows, so it’s not such as you’re going to overlook something or get “misplaced” by yourself. Among the guided excursions being offered on-line use scare ways of their advertising and marketing, implying you want a information to keep away from getting misplaced or to skip the strains: “Be taught why the bones of greater than six million folks had been deposited beneath the town in a posh maze of tunnels that you simply positively want a information to navigate.” Er…no, the components open to the general public are gated off so as to solely go a technique. One other says “The strains on the Catacombs are very lengthy and are identified to make folks watch for as much as 3 hours.” That is now not true since everybody now wants timed entry tickets. Even for those who do shell out for a guided tour, as one website mentions within the advantageous print, you would possibly nonetheless find yourself ready if there’s a bottleneck of holiday makers: “Please remember that at busy occasions there could also be an extended queue to enter the Catacombs.”
If, when you’ve learn up on the historical past and suppose you’d prefer to spend greater than an hour down there, and probably see a couple of of the additional corners which can be often behind locked gates, then go forward and splurge on a guided tour (ideally a non-public information if you would like to have the ability to ask numerous questions and get the customized consideration you wouldn’t have with a bunch of individuals you don’t know). There are a number of native tour corporations providing cheap small-group and personal excursions of the Catacombes by licensed guides in English, reminiscent of Recollections France.
Sensible Ideas for Visiting the Catacombes
There’s one entrance on the Place Denfert Rochereau (particularly 1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy) proper throughout the road from the Liberation of Paris Museum and the primary entrance to the Denfert-Rochereau metro station. The exit and boutique are literally a couple of blocks down the road, at 21bis Avenue René-Coty.
- There are 131 spiral steps taking place on the entrance and one other 112 stairs going again up on the finish. The Catacombes usually are not wheelchair accessible, nor tailored for anybody with mobility points. The official web site additionally says the location isn’t advisable for those who’re pregnant, have claustrophobia, or endure from cardiac or respiratory circumstances.
- Usually the 1.5-kilometer circuit of the Catacombes takes about 45-minutes to stroll via whereas listening to the official audio information, except you’re taking your time on numerous photographs or listening to anecdotes by yourself audio tour. The guided excursions are often about two hours. It’s a one-way circuit, so you’ll be able to’t simply wander round (or, as talked about above, get “misplaced”).
- It’s often fairly settle down there, 14°C/57°F.
- The lighting is kind of dim in lots of locations. Seeing eye canines are allowed, however not white canes.
- There aren’t any bogs till you attain the top of the go to, and there’s no coat examine nor baggage storage. Strollers, luggage bigger than 40cmx30cmx20cm, bike helmets, and tripods usually are not allowed.
- You’re not allowed to eat, drink, or smoke within the Catacombes. You’re additionally not allowed to the touch something, however I hope not one of the Secrets and techniques of Paris readers have to be advised that. 😉
- Though it’s important to buy a timed-entry ticket, you’ll discover the Catacombes the least crowded within the first and final hours of the day (so don’t hesitate getting the 7pm entry ticket if that point works to your schedule).
1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy (Place Denfert-Rochereau), 14th
Opening hours are Tuesday-Sunday 9:45am-8:30pm (final entry 7:30pm).
Closed Mondays and on January 1, Could 1, and December 25.
What Concerning the “Secret” Catacombe Tunnels?
Lastly, a brief notice to remind readers that although there are tunnels extending a lot additional beneath Paris (and many individuals who like to share tales of sneaking into them for “events”), it’s solely authorized to go to those which can be open to the general public or with an official information. I don’t suggest collaborating in unlawful “excursions” of them any greater than I advocate breaking into museums or shoplifting. Should you’re inquisitive about them, nevertheless, you’ll be able to be taught extra in Scott Carpenter’s article, Creeping Beneath Paris.