Best time to visit Paris

Catacombs: Shorter Waiting Time

The city of love, the city of lights, and the city of the dead—the Paris Catacombs hold 6 million skeletons

Catacombs: Shorter Waiting Time in Paris - Best Time
Photo by

Tom Hicks

Paris doesn't have lots of tall, heavy buildings in its centre and for good reason. Thi​s is because of a large underground cemetery stretching over nearly 11 square kilometres.

This burial site contains around 6 million skeletons placed all over the tunnel walls. Among the buried, you will find the ashes of some prominent Frenchmen including two well-known writers—Francois Rabelais and Jean de la Fontaine, the painter Simon Vouet, and the sculptor Francois Girardon.

Catacombs: Shorter Waiting Time in Paris - Best Season

The catacombs were originally limestone quarries back in the 13th century. In the 18th century, the tunnels were used for burying Parisians owing to the rapid population growth, and hence the lack of room for above-ground cemeteries. Since the 19th century, this spooky underground attraction has been drawing large tourist crowds even sometimes resulting in long queues to get in.

Best time for Catacombs: Shorter Waiting Time in Paris

This strange attraction is available year-round, but if you want to find the shortest lines, avoid the Christmas holidays, school holidays, and the summer high season. The best time is from September to mid-December, and from January to May. To reduce your waiting time it's better to plan your visit in the afternoon, from Wednesday to Friday.

Best time to see Catacombs: Shorter Waiting Time in Paris

Try to avoid standing under the sun for over an hour. We hope the video below convinces you better than our words.

Catacombs: Shorter Waiting Time Map & Location

Check best times to visit
Paris