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Is there really a sewer tour of Paris?

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2009-12-01 16:54:47
2009-12-01 16:54:47
Answers from Paris travelers...
Some background on the tour
Yes! And admission to the Sewer Museum of Paris is even included in the Museum Pass. In the early 19th century, Paris developed what was, at that time, a rather cutting edge sewer system. The tunnels are even named and signed with the corresponding names of the streets above. About the middle of the 19th century, there was enough interest that officials caught on to the idea of giving tours as a way of generating some extra income. To this day, tourists literally line up to tour the sewers. It might not be the best smelling thing you do in Paris, but it's certainly one of the most unique, and it's surprisingly popular even though it's rumored that there are as many rats living in Paris's sewers as there are people living on the streets above. There is even a small gift shop at the end so that you can purchase souvenirs to remind you of your subterranean adventure. The museum is open until 4:00 p.m. most of the year and until 5:00 p.m. during the summer months. For obvious reasons, tours are not conducted on rainy days.
History and architecture
My family just returned from Paris from a Christmas vacation there, and it's actually a lovely place, full of history and architecture not easily found in many other places on the globe. In addition, the people there are far nicer and more helpful than their reputation or in some other cities that were visited.

Beware the smell...
I've been to the sewers myself, and as the above suggests, it does smell a little ugly down there, but it's an interesting tour. You won't see any rats, though; I don't doubt there are plenty in the Paris sewers, but they apparently don't come near the museum tour area. To find them, look for les Égouts (pron. "lays ay-GOO").
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