Paris is better known for its bright lights and romantic ambiance than its darker side, but there are plenty of places in the city to explore it if you know where to look. Dark tourism in Paris is the same as other places in the world; visitors can explore the cemeteries, dark corners of history, and underground areas hidden away from the naked eye. To help you find where to go, here is a list of the best places for dark tourism in Paris.
Pere Lachaise Cemetery
The Pere Lachaise Cemetery is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, and is a destination in its own right, whether you’re visiting Paris for dark tourism or not. The largest cemetery in the city center, it is home to the graves of famous people throughout history. These include Moliere, Oscar Wilde, Honore de Balzac, Frederic Chopin, Marcel Proust, and Jim Morrison. Pere Lachaise is also known for its beautiful gravestones and peaceful ambiance, making it a great place to explore and get away from the urban bustle.
The Catacombs are another of Paris’ dark tourism highlights. The tunnels in the underground ossuaries are lined with the bones of six million people. Originally a quarry, the space was later filled in and used as a space to house the bones of Paris’ deceased. Visitors can tour the catacombs, walking through the tunnels and exploring the rooms lined with femurs and decorated with skulls and other human bones. Entry lines for the catacombs are often very long, and it can take several hours to get in. As such, make sure to plan your visit accordingly.
Les Egouts, or the Sewers of Paris, are another popular destination for fans of dark tourism. The extensive underground sewer system was developed between ancient times and the 19th century, and is open to the public. Hour-long tours allow visitors to learn about Paris’ water cycle and the projects of the sewer workers. The tour goes through the vast network of tunnels, where machines and pumps can be seen along the way.