Updated: 7/14/2018 | July 14th, 2018

Parijs. It’s one of the most romantic cities in the world. Sipping champagne at the Eiffel Tower, admiring extraordinary works of art at the Louvre, strolling along the Seine. Paris is a beautiful city, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

You just have to look below the surface.


Some of the best sights in Paris are actually found underground. There’s the popular Catacombs of Paris, where you can explore bone-laden passages.

But there’s another place too: The Paris Sewers museum (Le Musée des Égouts de Paris).

Paris is a massive city dating back thousands of years. From its early days as a Roman outpost through modern times, the city has had to deal with the one thing that comes with people: waste.

In ancient times, it wasn’t too big of a problem. The population wasn’t large enough yet to create any real pollution, so everything went into the Seine. Sure, the streets were dirty and smelled, but that was just a fact of life all the way through medieval times.

However, as Paris grew in the middle Ages, a lot more and a lot more waste went into the Seine, and by the late middle Ages, the river was too polluted to use anymore. It stank and made people sick. Moreover, the streets were unclean with human and animal waste. people just threw their waste onto the street, where it just sort of stayed. (This was a common practice all over Europe up until the 19th century. In fact, part of the reason women began carrying those little parasols in the late 18th and 19th century was to secure themselves from falling…debris.)

Something needed to be done.

Beginning in 1370, the city started building sewers and drains. The sewers expanded under leaders like Louis XIV and Napoleon, but while the system got bigger and bigger, it still wasn’t effective. waste still eventually made its way to the Seine, and diseases like typhoid spread. Victor Hugo, who wrote Les Misérables, described the sewers as “fetid, wild, fierce…”

In the 19th century, the city employed an engineer named Eugene Belgrand. He expanded the sewer system (adding over 1,000km of new sewers) and the size of the drains and roads, started a treatment plant, and began to build aqueducts so Paris could pump in drinking water from the surrounding area. As the sewers expanded, disease and pollution declined, leading to decreased mortality rates.

Paris now has over 2,100 km of pipelines that, if stretched out, would reach Istanbul. It’s the greatest system in the world and deals with over 1.2 million cubic meters of wastewater each day.

The sewers opened to tourists during the 1867 world Expo and have been a huge draw ever since. The museum lets you explore part of the sewers and learn how the city copes with all its waste. It’s a very informative exhibit, with a lot of of the signs in French, German, and English. You’ll get to walk through some of the active sewers and can hear the waste flowing to its final destination below you. and it actually doesn’t smell that bad.

The excursion can be done in 30 minutes or less. In the beginning, there are some pictures and information on the history of the sewers, as well as some of the old machines they used to clean them. There are a few parts where some of the displays are only in French, but a lot of of the content was in English as well. keep your eyes peeled for the large metal balls too. They were actually used to clean the sewers, as the water pressure would roll them through the sewers and unblock the debris that had built up.

Everyone pertains to Paris to see the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame. See something different (and not too stinky). The Paris Sewers museum uses a behind-the-scenes look and special perspective on how this modern city deals with an age-old problem. It was one of the most special things I’ve done — and I highly recommend a visit. (Plus, there are no lines.)

Oh, and just make sure to bring some hand sanitizer for when you are done!

How to visit the Paris Sewers Musuem
The Paris Sewers museum is near the Alma Marceau metro stop. It’s ideal across the bridge on your left. It’s open every day except Thursday and Friday 11am-5pm and costs 4.40 EUR for adults, with discounts available. Admission is complimentary with the Paris museum Pass.

Get Your thorough budget guide to Paris!

For a lot more thorough information, check out my guidebook to Paris written for budget travelers like you! It cuts out the fluff found in other guides and gets straight to the functional information you need to travel around Paris. You’ll find suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, on- and off-the-beaten-path things to see and do, non-touristy restaurants, markets, bars, transportation and safety tips, and much more! Click here to learn a lot more and get your copy today!

Book Your trip to Paris: Logistical ideas and Tricks
Boek uw vlucht
Use Skyscanner or Momondoom een ​​goedkope vlucht te vinden. Ze zijn mijn twee favoriete zoekmachines omdat ze websites en luchtvaartmaatschappijen over de hele wereld zoeken, zodat je altijd weet dat er geen steen onbedoeld blijft. Begin eerst met Skyscanner, maar omdat ze het grootste bereik hebben!

Boek uw accommodatie
Je kunt je hostel boeken met Hostelworld omdat ze de grootste inventaris en de beste deals hebben. Als u ergens anders dan een hostel wilt verblijven, gebruik dan Booking.com terwijl ze consequent de minst dure tarieven voor pensions en goedkope hotels retourneren. Mijn favoriete plekken om te verblijven zijn:

St. Christopher’s kanaal

3 eenden Hostel

Les Piaules

Als je een stuk meer plekken probeert te vinden, hier voor mijn favoriete hostels in Parijs. En als je je afvraagt ​​welk deel van de stad erin blijft, is hier mijn wijkafbraak van de stad!

Vergeet de reisverzekering niet
De reisverzekering zal u bevestigen tegen ziekte, verwonding, diefstal en annuleringen. Het is gedetailleerde bescherming voor het geval er iets misgaat. Ik ga nooit op een reis zonder het, want ik moest het in het verleden veel tijden gebruiken. Mijn favoriete bedrijven die de beste service en waarde aanbieden zijn:

Veiligheidsvleugel (voor iedereen onder de 70)

Verzeker mijn reis (voor die ouder dan 70)

Medjet (voor extra repatriëringsdekking)

Op zoek naar de beste bedrijven om geld te besparen?
Bekijk mijn resourcepagina voor de beste bedrijven om te gebruiken wanneer u reist. Ik vermeld alles die ik gebruik om geld te besparen als ik onderweg ben. Ze zullen je geld besparen als je ook reist.

Heb je een gids nodig?
Parijs heeft een aantal echt interessante tours. Mijn favoriete bedrijf neemt wandelingen. Ze hebben deskundige gidsen en kunnen je achter de schermen krijgen bij de beste attracties van de stad. Ze zijn mijn Go-to Walking Excursion Company!

Als u een fietstocht wilt, gebruik dan vet bandentochten. Ze hebben de beste en veel betaalbare fiets-excursies in de stad.

Wilt u veel meer informatie over Parijs?
Zorg ervoor dat u onze robuuste bestemmingsgids op Parijs bezoekt voor zelfs nog veel meer planningstips!

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