Not your usual daytour, but if you’re getting tired of the same old Eiffel, Norte Dame and Arc de Triomphe, subterranean Paris is the place to be.
Some of the most interesting sights of Paris are underground: the Paris Crypt, the catacombs, and of course the sewers. It might be unusual to hear that the sewers are actually a popular tourist spot in the city, but as you know Paris is quite unlike your regular city. While your hometown’s sewers are pitch-dark, riddled with grimy pests, and wet with stinky, slimy stuff you wouldn’t care to go near, Paris’s sewers are wide, clean, well-lit, and classy. The tunnels are as large as subway tunnels and paved walkways with enough headroom are provided on opposite sides for people to walk comfortably. But what’s truly astounding is the length and complexity of these tunnel networks that showcase engineering feats ahead of their time, making the sewer system one of the city’s greatest accomplishments.
All together the Parisian sewer tunnels stretches up to 2,100 km – that’s as far as Paris is from Turkey. But what’s really crazy about the Paris sewer system is that it mirrors the actual layout of streets overhead. In fact, under every boulevard lies a tunnel that’s just as wide, and the smaller streets have duplicates underground. The tunnels even have corresponding street signs at every corner, ensuring the subterranean trekker wouldn’t get lost.
You can find out more interesting facts about the Paris sewer system in its very own Paris Sewer Museum (Musée des Égouts de Paris), also found underground. So if you don’t mind a little darkness and a little stench (no matter how classy, it’s still a sewer), this offbeat Paris adventure is the way to go.
Photos via Flickr by fallen_angel
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