Discover 10 of the world’s top underground attractions that lie beneath our feet. This list includes a mix of fascinating, intriguing, creepy and slightly magical subterranean spaces. Some of them are natural and others are manmade.
Read on to discover mines, caves, tunnels and graves with a dash of retail therapy thrown in for good measure.
Underground Living and War Time Tunnels
Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland
Deep under ground, hewn from the salt rock are a chapel, a cathedral and a football pitch. There is also a sanatorium and a post office! This is a fascinating place to visit.
Cappadocia Caves, Turkey
Kaymakli and Derinkuyu are extensive underground cities, said to have been able to shelter thousands of people in their day. Moreover, the cities include subterrena stables, churches, kitchens and wineries. You can read more about them here.
This intriguing network of claustrophobic tunnels, was built by the Viet Cong evading the Americans. You will need to crouch down to traverse the tunnels, they are low and narrow. The tunnels boast booby traps, air vents and exits into the river.
Outside there is a shooting range and bullet-riddled chopper. Many of the original guides were former Viet Cong, but Find out more about visiting the tunnels here.
Secret Tunnels at Dover Castle, UK
As well as being home to the impressive Dover Castle, the soft chalk made possible a series of tunnels that were used during World War II. Even older than the wartime tunnels, there are spooky medieval tunnels.Supernatural Underground Attractions
Mysterious Underground Attractions
Basilica Cisterns, Turkey
In Turkish they are called Yerebatan Sarayi, meaning Sunken Palace, Beneath the heart of ancient Istanbul, forgotten in the mists of time, this underground water cistern is in the heart of ancient Istanbul. It’s an atmospheric place, with spectral fish and a spooky upside down medusa head.
If it looks familiar, that could be because it was used as a film location in the 1963 From Russia with Love Bond Film and also Inferno, the adaption of the Dan Brown book starring Tom Hanks.
Mother Shipton’s Cave, UK
Once upon a time a baby was born in this ancient cave. She became the prophetess Mother Shipton who foretold many things and was thought to be a witch. There is also a petrifying well which turns everyday objects to stone.
London Silvervaults, UK
Perhaps you’ve read about or seen Gringotts in the Harry Potter books or films? Could the London Silver Vaults be the inspiration behind it? Originally opened as actual vaults, it’s now also a subterranean shopping experience offering all manner of new and antique silver goods.
Access is downward via a multitude of steps, intimidatingly sturdy vault doors and plenty of security cameras. This place is truly a hidden gem.
Cullinan Diamond Mine, South Africa
Take an underground mine tour at the famous Cullinan mine near Pretoria in South Africa. Click here and here to read about the surface tour at Cullinan.
When Paris cemeteries overflowed, an underground ossuary was built to store the bones of the masses. These catacombs have drawn in tourists from far and wide for many many years. Find out more here.
Underground Animal Encounters
Mhondoro Safari Lodge, South Africa
Mhondoro safari lodge has built an underground tunnel enabling guests to view their onsite watering hole at eye-level. It’s kind of like a bird hide, but so much cooler. You could come eyeball to eyeball with a bull elephant or a family of ugly-beautiful warthogs.
Which underground, subterranean or underworld attractions and tourist spots would you add to this list?