Paris: Père Lachaise Cemetery

Paris: Père Lachaise Cemetery

Get There: 16 Rue du Repos, over in the 20th arrondissement in the north-east of Paris. Closest metro stop (conveniently named) is Père-Lachaise.

For some reason, this, one of Paris’ many grand attractions, gets a lot less press than its counterparts – especially those in the southern arrondissements. Perhaps, it’s because it is a bit out of the way from the regular tourist track. Or perhaps it’s because – praise the hobo heavens – you don’t have to pay a single cent to get in.

The cemetery feels like a mini-city in itself, a gargantuan expanse that houses some of the most famous dead fellas you’ll ever know. Wanky art prats (such as myself) can be seen flocking to the north section of the catacombs, where lies the body of Oscar Wilde beneath a great winged tomb, behind an even greater pane of bulletproof glass. Sixties pop pilgrims will be spotted wandering down to the comparatively modest burial site of The Doors’ Jim Morrison, monitored regularly by security staff, possibly to avoid any further odes of admiration being scrawled into his grave.

Hobo Tip: Père Lachaise also houses a couple of churches, and, as you might expect at a graveyard, frequently holds funerals. As I found out the hard way, it’s best to avoid these private times of mourning.

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