Guides by Lonely Planet
Paris' most macabre sight is its underground tunnels lined with skulls and bones. In 1785 it was decided to rectify the hygiene problems of Paris' overflowing cemeteries by exhuming the bones and storing them in disused quarry tunnels and the Catacombes were created in 1810.
After descending 20m (via 130 narrow, dizzying spiral steps), follow dark, subterranean passages to the ossuary (1.5km in all). Exit via a minimalist all-white 'transition space' with gift shop onto 21bis av René Coty, 14e. Buy tickets in advance online to avoid queueing.