Paris Cemetery – Père Lachaise

Lose Yourself in the Beautiful Paris Cemetery – Père Lachaise

Père-Lachaise is a maze of cobblestone pathways lined with leafy, green trees which perfectly shade the striking 19th century burial graves scattered throughout the grounds.

In my humble opinion, a trip to Paris is incomplete without a visit to the incredible Paris Cemetery Père Lachaise.

A cemetery as a tourist attraction?

Yep!! Strangely but rightly so, Pere Lachaise is indeed a major tourist attraction. This Paris cemetery is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. It’s also Paris’ largest green space.

Did you know that the Paris cemetery, Père Lachaise is one of the most visited cemeteries in the world? Around one million visitors flock to this cemetery per year!!

Apart from being beautiful, Pere Lachaise offers the final resting place to many painters, writers, scientists, war heroes, politicians and actors. But the far majority of the residents are everyday people like you and me.

Paris cemetery- Pere Lachaise - beautiful tombstones
Photo by Fabrice Nerfin on Unsplash

Named “a living gallery” or “huge sculpture garden”

Pere Lachaise is also named “a living gallery” or “huge sculpture garden” due to the many beautiful graves. The setting of the cemetery itself is gorgeous, especially on a sunny day.

Pere Lachaise is an oasis of serenity and indeed a Paris treasure.

Beautiful tombstone at Pere Lachaise cemetery
Pere Lachaise – Paris Cemetery
Photo by Kirk K (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Have I convinced you yet?

Now that you have added this site to your Paris trip, download a map of this huge Paris cemetery and print it out. (Alternatively, you can pick up a map at a small fee at the main entrance, which is located on Boulevard de Ménilmontant).

A bit of planning is needed otherwise you will get seriously lost. Mind you, getting lost in Père Lachaise isn’t a bad thing at all! In fact it is even more wonderful just strolling around and enjoying the beauty of this ‘sculpture garden’.

However, if you are like most of us, you will probably want to find some famous tombstones. So navigating with a map is absolutely required!

So who is buried in the Paris Cemetery Pere Lachaise?

Amongst the 800,000 souls buried here, there are lots of famous celebs residing in Père Lachaise. If you want to check out the full list, press here.  Don’t worry, like you, I hardly recognized most of the names….

So who are super ‘celebs’ then?

Most people flock to Pere Lachaise to visit Jim Morrison’s famous tombstone. For decades, serious fans of the “The Doors”, visit the lead singer and leave him messages, flowers or poems! Sometimes, you will even find people singing at his grave. He has certainly NOT been forgotten!

Other famous tombstones belong to Chopin, Moliere, Edith Piaf, Camille Pissarro, Georges Seurat, Amedeo Modigliani, Balzac and Oscar Wilde.

famous tombstones
Photo by Rabasse CC0 Creative Commons

Tip: Bring a picnic lunch!! Chances are you will be here for quite a few hours!!

How to reach Père Lachaise Cemetery

Père Lachaise Cemetery is located at 16 rue du Repos. The best way to get here is to take the no. 2 or no. 3 metro line and get off at the “Père-Lachaise” stop and walk down the street to the cemetery.

You can’t miss its gigantic walls. It’s open daily from 8 am (9 am on Sundays) until 5:30 pm or 6 pm, depending on the season.

For more information, you can visit the Pere Lechaise website

Guided tours

Another great way of visiting the famous tombstones of Pere Lachaise is to go on a tour and hear all the wonderful stories behind the famous and less famous residents of this Paris cemetery. Press here for some great options.

View of Pere-Lachaise Paris cemetery
Pere Lachaise – Paris Cemetery
Photo by Jack Torcello (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Interested in hearing the stories behind some of the famous people buried in Pere Lachaise? Check out the guided walking tours below:

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