The Paris Catacombes are known for their long waiting lines. No one likes wasting time in lines, right? A popular misconception is that going “early” is the best tactic to avoid lines. When I run past in the morning at 9am – a full hour before they open – there are already at least a dozen people standing in front of the door. They have guaranteed they’ll be waiting an hour to get in. That’s just absurd.
As I’ve mentioned before, almost everyone goes to the museums first thing in the morning. That means the best time to go is in the afternoon, two hours before closing time is optimal. And since 2014 the Catacombes have extended their opening hours to 8:30pm, with the last entrance at 7:30pm, you have plenty of time if you go right around 6pm. In fact, the official website even recommends visiting Wednesday through Friday after 5pm for the shortest wait times.
But let’s say you just can’t take a chance on waiting for even a few minutes, so you want to purchase a “skip the line” ticket for a specific time. Up until now the only option was to book a group tour through one of the many tour operators selling tickets for €48-€85 per person. I usually tell people it’s not worth it for that price, considering the actual entrance price is only €13, and the audio guide an additional €5. There’s another option you won’t find on TripAdvisor or Viator.
Best-Value Catacombes Skip the Line Tickets
To save money (or avoid being in a “group”, which I know many of the Secrets of Paris readers hate), you can now actually book your tickets in advance through the official Paris Municipal Museums website for just €29 per person (kids 5-17 years old are €5), including audio-guide in several languages. It used to be very complicated to get these tickets, and they were only available on the French website. But now that all has changed and you can easily book the exact date and time you want to visit HERE.
1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy (Place Denfert-Rochereau), 14th
Opening hours are Tuesday-Sunday 10am-8:30pm (last entry 7:30pm).
The new entrance of the Paris Catacombes (replaced the one in the little green building in 2017).
Warning: there are no bathrooms, no coat or bag check, a lot of stairs…and a lot of bones. But you no longer need flashlights, the lighting was completely redone a few years ago. Tripods are not allowed.