What to see in Paris… the sewers
So, today we bring you a peculiar place from the City of Light, although to be honest there isn´t too much light here and you will need a flashlight to see properly. If what was on the surface of Paris wasn´t enough, the City Council has started an initiative that will delight those who are in search of strange and unusual things, even gory things: a tour around the sewers.
And it´s not just a tour, since this route dates back to the Middle Ages and it´s worthy of a true museum: the Musée des Égouts de Paris. However, let´s start at the beginning.
History of the Paris sewers
Paris didn´t have a sewer network until the late 14th century, when small tunnels were made under Montmartre with masonry bricks. With all of its deficiencies, it was expanded in a rustic way until the 19th century.
Then, with the same engineering that made the Eiffel Tower possible, a modern sewer network was designed under the tutelage of Belgrand. And, since all work needs its artistic referent, the great Victor Hugo placed the protagonist of Les Misérables, Jean Valjean, escaping through the labyrinths of these sewers.
Today, those in charge are adamant to make a fully ecological system that eliminates and manages all the city´s residues, as well as this strange museum that will delight quite a few people, since you don´t go down to the sewers every day.
Sewer Museum in Paris
The visit is moderately clean and 100% safe. You have to pay an entry free and you just have to take a few precautions. It´s not claustrophobic despite being underground, since the corridors are wide and the whole route is perfectly signposted. You can also go on a guided tour.
Of course, you´re not going to go down to the sewers in heels so go there with comfortable shoes that won´t allow you to slip as well as casual clothes (jeans, raincoat, t-shirts…). It´s advisable not to touch anything and wash your hands properly when you finish. It´s a tour that´s suitable for families with children due to its educational nature, since all the engineering and mechanical advances regarding this place are explained.
The tour lasts approximately one hour and you can take photos and make videos. Don´t forget the one that I´ve added here. The rest of the practical information, is as follows:
Access to the Sewer Museum in Paris: in front of the Quai d´Orsay. Metro Line 9. Get off at Pont de l´Alma, next to the Seine, and cross the road. You enter through a small kiosk with amazing views of the Eiffel Tower.
Opening days: Wednesdays and Saturdays. If those days are holidays, it is closed.
Opening hours: 11am-5pm in summer and closing at 4pm in winter.
Price: 4.30€ for adults and a concession price of 3.50€ for children, soldiers, OAPs and large families. School groups (with over 10 students) pay 2.30€ per person.
However, when you get back to your apartments in Paris city , you won´t stop wondering where the bathroom water is going to.