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Perched atop a hill in Paris’s 20th Arrondissement, Père Lachaise is the most-visited cemetery in the world. More than 3 million visitors come here each year to stroll through the peaceful cimetière and see the graves of famous French and foreign artists.
Known today as the final resting place of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Honoré de Balzac, Eugène Delacroix, and Edith Piaf, Père Lachaise wasn’t always considered a prestigious place to be buried. When the cemetery first opened in 1804, hardly any plots had been sold.
A clever marketing ploy changed all that, however, and after moving the remains of celebrated French authors Jean de La Fontaine and Molière, the cemetery became the place for famous Parisians to be buried. Père Lachaise now contains the remains of over 1 million people.
As the largest cemetery in Paris, you could spend hours walking the uneven cobblestone pathways. This beautiful (if slightly eerie) spot offers a great view over the city, especially at sunset. It’s also a favorite place for locals to come and read on a sunny day.
Since the cemetery is so large, approximately 110 acres, there are a few important things to take into account before visiting. The paths may not be easy to navigate with strollers due to the cobblestones and frequent steps. Persons with reduced mobility can request a shuttle to visit the cemetery – inquire at the main entrance (8 Boulevard de Ménilmontant) or at the Gambetta entrance (7 Rue des Rondeaux).
Urbansider Tip: Avoid the fairly steep uphill climb when visiting this cemetery by taking the Metro Line 3 to Gambetta. Exit the station and follow the Avenue de Père Lachaise to the cemetery entrance at 7 Rue des Rondeaux. You’ll arrive on the hilltop and can wind your way down for your visit.