Most visitors to a new city have their focus squarely on what they see around them; the shops, the sights, the people passing by. When you arrive in a new city there is no shortage of things to see and do at street level and above but have you ever given much thought to what wonder might be found underground?
Space is always at a premium in cities and just as they get built up so they get built down too. Read on for a glimpse at the underbellies of some of our favourite cites and how you can get a taste of them and live to tell the tale.
Underneath Paris lurks a very different side of the City of Light. The Paris Catacombs stretch for an unknown number of miles and contain the bones of at least six million people if not a million or so more. A trip to the Catacombs is an undoubtedly creepy experience; stacks of bones make macabre pillars, walls and artworks – a heart of skulls, how romantic! There is an unexpected well that fills with vibrant turquoise water from an unknown source and a scale model of the Port Mahon Palace from Minorca. Daily tours of the public areas of the tunnels system are available and last for an hour, and although exploring underground and bone filled tunnels will not be to everyone’s taste, visits here are incredibly popular! Tickets cannot be reserved in advance so we highly recommend arriving early if you want to experience it for yourself.
After the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, caused in part by a wayward pot of glue and an inexperienced fire crew, the city leaders decreed that the buildings of Pioneer Square, where the fire razed 31 blocks must now be made from stone and brick rather than flammable timber. They also made the decision to raise the level of the street in a bid to deal with the constant flooding, as a result, the ground and 1st floors of many building became a series of subterranean basements that were lost over the years until being rediscovered in the 1950’s.Today you can tour these throwbacks to Seattle’s pioneer past and the city it was before Microsoft, Starbucks and Amazon on regular tours. Choose from paranormal, 21+ or family friendly options to find the right tone for your group.
At its heart Glasgow is an industrial and hard working city so why not delve deep into its mechanical past and find out all about the inner, and under, workings of Glasgow Central Station. Tours are available on select weekdays and weekends throughout the year. They cover a treasure trove of areas underneath the station and the city of Glasgow. From exploring the impressive station arches to navigating vaults and long forgotten Victorian platform your eyes will be opened to the magnificence of Glasgow Central and the people who helped build it. Children under 12 are not permitted on his tour and you do have to navigate stairways and some tight turns. Your journey into the belly of the former city of culture even includes access to behind the scenes areas that are still used today so be prepared to don a hard hat.
If any of these underground adventures have whetted your appetite for a getaway with a difference today is the day to start planning it, we can’t wait to hear where you end up…or under!