Paris Sewer Museum (Musée des Égouts de Paris)
One of Paris’ most unusual attractions, the Paris Sewer Museum (Musée des Égouts de Paris) celebrates the “city within a city” that lives under the capital’s streets. Stretching some 1,616 miles (2,600 kilometers), the sewers are a marvel of modern engineering—and the Paris Sewer Museum captures their history in all its pungent glory.
Since the World’s Fair of 1867, Parisians and international visitors have ventured into the subterranean world that exists below street level to discover the mysterious inner workings of the city’s sewers. Nearly a century later, the Paris Sewer Museum opened in 1975, and has expanded since then. Today, fresh off its latest renovation, the museum’s entrance is housed in a modern new building, and visitors have improved access to the sewer galleries and exhibition spaces, which detail the sewers’ construction, history, and maintenance. It’s advised to book tickets online in advance of your visit, as only a select number of people are admitted into the museum at any given time.
Things to Know Before You Go
- For visitors descending into the sewers, plan to wear flat, comfortable shoes with a good grip, and bring layers for an atmosphere that’s cool and damp.
- While the museum and sewer experience is wheelchair accessible, it may be uncomfortable for those with claustrophobia.
- Bicycles, large bags, luggage, and other bulky items are not permitted on-site.
- Food and drink are not permitted in the museum, and it’s advised to wash your hands prior to leaving.
- Tours led by active sewer workers are offered free with admission.
How to Get There
The Paris Sewer Museum is adjacent to the Alma Bridge (Pont de l’Alma) on the Left Bank, in Paris’ 7th arrondissement. The Pont d’Alma RER C stop is only steps away, and the closest Métro station is Alma-Marceau, served by Line 9. The area can also be accessed by buses, bikes, taxis, and on foot.
When to Get There
The Paris Sewer Museum is open daily except on Tuesdays, from morning until early evening (last entry is 1 hour before closing time). The museum is also closed each year on May 1, December 25, and for most of January. Admission is free during European Heritage Days in September.
The average visit to the Paris Sewer Museum lasts between 45 minutes and 1 hour, so if you find yourself with time to spare, never fear: the museum happens to be near many of Paris’ most in-demand landmarks. From the Eiffel Tower and the Champ de Mars to Invalides and the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, a number of cultural and historical highlights are just moments away.
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