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Visit These Picturesque Cemeteries in Paris

July 15, 2023
How do you know that Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world? Even its cemeteries are beguiling too. Graveyards are often thought of as eerie and somber places, far from the kind of attractions that would boost a city's tourism. In the French capital, however, it's a different story. The cemeteries in Paris are just as enchanting as ever. They offer a different yet serene vibe to the ever-bustling city. And some are even historic too! From the many French figures who eternally rest in the Père Lachaise Cemetery to the revolutionary origins of Picpus Cemetery, check out these fascinating spots in Paris!

Visit These Picturesque Cemeteries in Paris

Père Lachaise Cemetery

No list of the most beautiful cemeteries in Paris is complete without the Père Lachaise Cemetery in the 20th arrondissement. It's the most famous graveyard in the French capital, thanks in large part to the historic figures who lay rest here. Among those who are buried here include British-American Academy Award-winning actress Olivia de Havilland, Irish poet Oscar Wilde, French novelist Marce Proust, and legendary singer Édith Piaf. But beyond these prestigious graves, the place itself is an outdoor gallery of exquisite stone structures. From the grand mausoleums to the weeping angels, there's eerie elegance to it that's so enthralling.
Visit These Picturesque Cemeteries in Paris
Source: Pierre-Yves Beaudouin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Montmartre Cemetery

In the 18th arrondissement, the Montmartre Cemetery is definitely the highlight as far as gorgeous graveyards go. Much like the more famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, the place is also a treasure trove of intricate sculpting and fascinating architecture. In fact, it's not far-fetched to confuse the two. Both have this creepy yet captivating vibe to them, warning you to stay away yet drawing you in at the same time. And since the Montmartre Cemetery is set in a former Romani quarter, it also has the bohemian spirit that the district itself is known for.
Visit These Picturesque Cemeteries in Paris
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Ivonna Nowicka

Montparnasse Cemetery

What do philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, novelist Marguerite Duras, and Irish writer Samuel Beckett all have in common? They're all laid to eternal rest in the Montparnasse Cemetery in the 14th arrondissement. Serving as the main graveyard of southern Paris (in contrast to the Père Lachaise Cemetery in the north), it's just as filled with historic figures as any other place of its kind. But what makes it among the most enchanting cemeteries in Paris goes beyond its own stone angel-filled space. For one thing, you can clearly see the very modern-looking Tour Montparnasse from the cemetery, offering a stark contrast between the beautifully poignant past and the straightforward style of the contemporary.
Visit These Picturesque Cemeteries in Paris
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Guilhem Vellut

Batignolles Cemetery

What separates the Batignolles Cemetery from all the other cemeteries in Paris is the emphasis on the geometric and smooth graveyards. From simple stones to majestic mausoleums, the entire place has a startling symmetry to it, one that even the few but still attention-grabbing weeping angels can't steal focus from. Rows upon rows of mausoleums create an interesting design harmony that it's hard not to think that this was done on purpose. And despite how morbid and weird this sounds, it's almost satisfying to see such smoothness even if it applies to a graveyard.
Visit These Picturesque Cemeteries in Paris
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Thomon

Passy Cemetery

Much like the Montparnasse Cemetery, what's fascinating about the Passy Cemetery goes beyond the place itself. You'd think that a luxury apartment or a rooftop restaurant would be the best place to get a great view of the Eiffel Tower, wouldn't you? For the most part, this is true, but what if someone were to tell you that a cemetery is also among their ranks? When you go to the Passy Cemetery, among the first things you'll notice is that you can see the iconic landmark from here. And with the serenity that comes with places like these, it's not exactly a bad place to bask in the glory of this world-famous tower!
Visit These Picturesque Cemeteries in Paris
Source: Seauton

Picpus Cemetery

The Picpus Cemetery in the 12th arrondissement is the second-most unique cemetery on this list. For one thing, it's a private cemetery, the biggest of its kind in the French capital. As such, it's also way smaller compared to the other cemeteries in Paris that are on this list. Another thing is its historic significance. It's no secret that the French Revolution executed tons of French nobles back when the country was still a monarchy. Where do you think those decapitated aristocrats were buried? That's right, in the Picpus Cemetery! Even its current location is near the infamous guillotine that took the lives of many French royals and nobles.
Visit These Picturesque Cemeteries in Paris
Source: LPLT / Wikimedia Commons

Paris Catacombs

If the Picpus Cemetery is only the second-most unique spot on this list, then what is the first? That title goes to the infamous Paris Catacombs. Technically speaking, it's hard to consider this as a cemetery to begin with. You can't exactly see graves and stone angels here, do you? But if you truly want to be technical about it, the Paris Catacombs still classifies as a burial ground. It's just that the underground labyrinth is one huge grave instead of many. And though there's no telling whose remains decorate this outrageously eerie pathway, there's no doubt that it's a must-see!
Visit These Picturesque Cemeteries in Paris
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Not a lot of people know that the cemeteries in Paris are just as beautiful and beguiling as some of the city's most famous landmarks. They offer a different side to the French capital, one that will enchant you after just one visit!