Julie France Leave a Comment

Pere Lachaise Cemetery, located in Paris, France, is one of the best known and most visited cemeteries in the world. A visit here may sound like a macabre way to spend an afternoon, but a stroll among the tombstones and mausoleums can be fascinating.

Entering the cemetery is almost like entering another world. The traffic and the rush of city life falls away, replaced by the quietness and solemnity of the cemetery. Walking along the cobblestoned pathways in the shade of the trees can be calming and strangely beautiful. Take your time to read the headstones, take some photos, and consider the history of this place.

History of Pere Lachaise Cemetery

The cemetery was established by Napolean and opened in May 1804. Since this time, the cemetery has been enlarged several times and is now estimated to hold over 1 million bodies. Pere Lachaise continues to accept new burials, although getting your name on this list is extremely difficult. In order to be buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery, you have to have lived and died in a French capital city. Even then, your name gets put onto a waiting list. This is a place where people truly are “dying to get in.”

Pere Lachaise Cemetery Photos

Entrance to the cemetery

Pere Lachaise Entrance

Pere Lachaise France

Pere Lachaise in October

Paris Cemetery


Cemetery Sign


Pere Lachaise B&W

Jim Morrison’s burial site.

Jim Morisson

Going with kids? Tyler and Kara loved seeing Tim pretending to be a zombie.


Cemetery Paris

Visiting Pere Lachaise Cemetery

When To Go:  The cemetery is open every day of the week, from about 8:30 -5:30, hours varying depending on the season. For more complete information about opening times, click here.

Cost: The visit is free!

How To Get Here: The Pere Lachaise metro stop is located very close to the main entrance of the cemetery. Another option would be to get off at the Gambetta Station, located to the rear of the cemetery. From Gambetta, it is a downhill walk through the cemetery to the entrance.

Famous People Buried in Pere Lachaise: Occupants include Moliere, Oscar Wilde, Honore de Balzac, Georges Bizet, Sarah Bernhardt, Frederic Chopin, and Marcel Proust. One of the most famous is Jim Morrison. Maps are available online and at the entrance to the cemetery (take a picture of it with your smartphone and use this as your guide). Decide ahead of time if you are going to plan out a route, visiting these famous burial sites, or just wander among the cobblestoned lanes.

How Long Should I Plan on Visiting?: Allow at least two hours, longer if you plan on touring the entire cemetery and searching for the famous occupants.

Going to Paris With Kids?: For more information about what to do in Paris with kids, check out our post, Ten Fun Things To Do in Paris with Kids.

More Information for Your Trip to France:

Planning a trip to France? Read all of our articles in our France Destination Guide.

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Paris Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Paris Pere Lechaise Cemetery

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