10 Extraordinary Underground Cities Worth Going Deeper Underground

If you’re looking for an adventure off the beaten path, why not consider exploring underground cities as a tourist? As Jamiroquai’s hit song “Deeper Underground” suggests, there’s a whole world waiting to be discovered beneath our feet.

From the ancient cities of Cappadocia in Turkey to the modern subterranean tunnels of RÉSO – Montreal in Canada, underground cities offer a fascinating glimpse into the past and a unique experience for modern-day travelers.

As you descend deeper underground, you’ll be transported to a world of hidden chambers, narrow passageways, intricate carvings. The cool, damp air and dim lighting add to the sense of mystery and adventure.

But don’t worry, you won’t be completely cut off from the world above ground. Many of the ancient or relatively old subterranean cities have been adapted for tourism and offer guided tours and multimedia exhibits.

On the other hand, visiting modern underground cities can be like stepping into the future, where technology and innovation have transformed the way we live and work. You’ll see sleek, modern designs, cutting-edge technology, and impressive feats of engineering that have made these underground cities possible. From underground shopping malls and entertainment complexes to high-tech transportation systems and research facilities, the possibilities are endless.

So if you’re ready to go “deeper underground” and explore a world unlike any other, add some of the following underground cities to your travel itinerary and discover the wonders that lie beneath our feet.

Helsingfors underjordiska, Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki underground city, also known as Helsingin maanalainen or Helsingfors underjordiska, is a unique network of tunnels and passageways that lie beneath the streets of Helsinki.

Its origins are in the 1800s when the city’s population began to grow rapidly. As the city expanded, the need for more space and infrastructure also grew. The solution was to build underground tunnels and spaces that could be used for various purposes.

It was further developed during the Cold War as a civil defense system and a secret military base, and today it serves as an important transportation hub and tourist attraction.

The underground complex spans over 300,000 square meters and is home to a wide range of facilities, including shopping centers, restaurants, hockey rink and even a swimming pool. It is also connected to the Helsinki Metro, which makes it an important transportation hub for the city.

Today, the Helsinki Underground is largely inaccessible to tourists and visitors. Much of it is still used for infrastructure and storage, and is not open to the public.

However, there are some parts of it that are open to visitors. One of the most popular attractions is the Kaisaniemi Underground, which is located beneath the Kaisaniemi Park in central Helsinki. This underground space is used for storage and is home to a variety of artifacts and objects that provide insight into the city’s history. The complex also features a number of unique attractions, including an underground church, an art museum, and an escape room experience.

One of the most interesting features of the Helsinki underground city is its use of modern technology to improve energy efficiency and sustainability. It uses a geothermal heating system, which reduces its energy consumption and helps to lower carbon emissions.

The city is estimated to have a capacity for up to 600,000 people.


These are underground bunkers in Helsinki, Finland which have enough space to hold all of Helsinki’s 630,000 residents in the event of a war or nuclear disaster. The bunkers are connected by a vast network of underground tunnels stretching 200 miles. #helsinki #finland #underground #bunker #war #nuclear #nordic #future #architecture #futuristic #fyp

♬ Limerence – Yves Tumor
Helsinki underground city

Dixia Cheng, Beijing Underground City, China

The Beijing Underground City, also known as Dixia Cheng, is an impressive engineering feat that lies beneath the bustling streets of Beijing, China. This vast network of tunnels and chambers spans over 33 square miles at a depth range of approximately 8-18 meters. It was built in the 1960s during the Cold War as a bomb shelter and communication hub in case of a nuclear attack. Today, it serves a different purpose and is a popular tourist attraction and shopping destination.

Dixia Cheng is made up of three levels, with the first two levels being the most accessible to visitors. These levels are home to a wide range of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, including cinemas, bowling alleys, and even a roller-skating rink. The city also features a network of tunnels that connect it to important buildings and transportation hubs throughout the city.

Visitors of the complex can take a guided tour to learn about the history and construction of this remarkable complex. The tours offer a glimpse into the past, with displays of old communication equipment and other artifacts that were once used in the event of an emergency. Dixia Cheng is also a great place to escape the heat and crowds during the hot summer months in Beijing.

According to National Geographic, nowadays a million people live in this subterranean compound. Its vast size and impressive construction make it a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the city.

Dixia Cheng, Beijing Underground City,

RÉSO, Montreal Underground City, Canada

Montreal, Quebec is known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. But beneath the bustling streets of downtown Montreal lies a hidden world that many visitors may not be aware of – the Montreal underground city

It’s also known as RÉSO, is an expansive network of interconnected tunnels and buildings that lies beneath the streets of Montreal. It spans over 20 miles and is one of the largest underground complexes in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year.

This modern underground city was first developed in the 1960s as a way to provide shelter and convenience for the city’s residents during the harsh Canadian winters. Today, it serves as a thriving commercial hub that connects over 120 exterior buildings and serves as a key transportation hub for the city, with over 500,000 people passing through it every day.

Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities, from shopping and dining to cultural events and art exhibitions. The subterranean complex is home to numerous restaurants, cafes, and shops, as well as cinemas, theaters, and performance spaces. It even features an indoor ice-skating rink that is open year-round.

One of the most unique features of RÉSO is its extensive art collection, which includes over 100 works of art from some of Canada’s most celebrated artists. Visitors can take a guided tour of the subterranean city to learn about its history and development, as well as its role in modern Montreal.

The city is estimated to have a capacity for up to 500,000 people and it’s still growing. RÉSO is a fascinating destination that offers a unique glimpse into the city’s history and culture. TripAdvisor recommends spending at least 3 hours at this Montreal attraction.

Montreal underground city – Montreal souterrain

Napoli Sotterranea, Naples, Italy

The Naples underground city, also known as Napoli Sotterranea, is an intricate network of tunnels and passageways that covers more than 80 kilometers beneath the streets of Naples, Italy. This underground complex spans over 2400 years of history and is considered one of the most important underground archaeological sites in the world.

This architectural example was first created by the Greeks and later expanded by the Romans, who used it as a water source and storage area. During World War II, it served as a shelter for the city’s residents, and today it is a popular tourist attraction that offers a unique glimpse into the city’s past.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Napoli Sotterranea became a hub of activity for the city’s black market, with smugglers and other criminals using the tunnels as a way to move goods and avoid detection by the authorities.

Visitors to Napoli Sotterranea can explore its vast network of tunnels and chambers, which includes everything from ancient Greek quarries to World War II bomb shelters. The underground city also features a number of archaeological artifacts, including ancient statues, mosaics, and frescoes.

One of the most unique features of the Naples Underground City is the Catacombs of San Gennaro, which are a series of underground tombs that date back to the early Christian period. The catacombs contain thousands of burial chambers and are considered one of the most important early Christian burial sites in the world. 

Another very popular attraction in the Napoli Sotterranea is the Bourbon Tunnel, a series of tunnels that were built during the reign of King Ferdinand II in the 19th century. The tunnels were designed as a way to connect the Royal Palace with the military barracks, and they were also used as a way to transport goods and supplies.

The city is estimated to have a capacity for up to 500,000 people.

Naples underground

Derinkuyu, Turkey

Derinkuyu is a fascinating historical site located in Cappadocia, Turkey. It is one of the largest and deepest underground cities in the region and was built in the 8th century BC by the Hittites and developed further by the Phrygians. The city was later expanded by the Byzantines and the Christians in the 7th and 8th centuries AD.

According to BBC, the ancient city Derinkuyu consists of a complex network of tunnels and rooms that are spread over 18 levels, reaching a depth of up to 85 meters. The city was designed to provide shelter and protection to the local inhabitants during times of war and persecution. One of the most impressive features of the Derinkuyu is its ability to support a large population for an extended period of time. The city was also used as a storage area for food and supplies during long periods of siege. The city is equipped with a sophisticated water supply system that includes underground channels and wells, as well as a network of stone doors that could be closed to seal off different sections of the city.

Visitors can explore the underground tunnels and chambers, marveling at the engineering and architecture of the ancient city. The city features a number of fascinating architectural and engineering wonders, including underground wells, ventilation shafts, and even a church with a large cross carved into the stone ceiling.

The tunnels are narrow and winding, and visitors are advised to wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for tight spaces. The underground city can be explored independently or as part of a guided tour.

Visitors to Derinkuyu can see the various features of the underground city, including the living spaces, storage rooms, and religious spaces. The city also has a ventilation system that is still operational, providing fresh air to the underground chambers.

Derinkuyu is estimated to have a capacity for up to 20,000 people.

Derinkuyu Underground City

Guanajuato Tunnels, Mexico

Guanajuato (a UNESCO heritage), also known as Los Túneles de Guanajuato, is a labyrinthine network of tunnels and subterranean passageways that run beneath the streets of the city of Guanajuato in central Mexico. This unique underground complex was originally constructed in the 16th century as a means of providing a more efficient system for transporting silver and other valuable minerals from the mines to the smelting factories.

Over the centuries, the tunnels were expanded and repurposed for a variety of other uses, including as hideouts for revolutionaries during the Mexican War of Independence in the early 19th century. Today, the Guanajuato tunnels are a popular tourist attraction, offering visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich history and culture.

One of the most fascinating features of the city is the way in which it has been preserved and restored over the years. Many of the original features of the tunnels, including the stone walls and arches, have been carefully preserved, giving visitors a sense of what life was like in the city centuries ago.

Visitors to the Guanajuato can explore the tunnels on a guided tour, which typically lasts around 90 minutes. The tour takes visitors through a series of tunnels and chambers, including the underground museum of the Diego Rivera House, which features a collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts and displays on the life and work of the famous Mexican artist.

One of the most popular sites in the city is the Museo de las Momias (Museum of the Mummies). The museum is home to a collection of naturally mummified bodies that were discovered in a nearby cemetery in the 19th century. Visitors can see the mummies up close and learn about the history of the cemetery and the mummification process.

Other popular sites at this subterranean complex include the Casa de las Leyendas (House of Legends), which is said to be haunted by the ghosts of past residents, and the Plaza de la Paz (Peace Plaza) chamber that was once used as a public square, which is home to a beautiful fountain and is a popular gathering place for locals.

Other highlights of the tour is the underground aqueduct, which dates back to the 18th century and was used to bring water into the city.

Shinjuku, Japan

The Shinjuku, also known as the “Chikatetsu Oyako Shintenchi” or the “Subterranean Shinjuku Parents and Children Center,” is an extensive network of underground tunnels, passageways, and shopping malls located beneath the bustling city of Tokyo, Japan.

The complex was originally constructed in the 1960s as a way to alleviate traffic congestion and provide additional retail space for the growing population of Tokyo. Today, it serves as one of the largest underground shopping malls in the world, with over 200 shops and restaurants spread out over several levels.

In addition to shopping and dining, the city also features a variety of entertainment options, including cinemas, game centers, and karaoke bars. The complex is also home to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, a beautiful green space that offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city above.

Despite its size and popularity, the subterranean city can be difficult to navigate for first-time visitors. The network of tunnels and passageways is extensive, and it can be easy to get lost in the maze-like structure. However, there are plenty of signs and maps available to help guide visitors, and the underground city is well-lit and well-maintained.

The subterranean complex is estimated to have a capacity for up to 5,000 people.

Shinjuku Train Station

Coober Pedy, Australia

Coober Pedy is a small town located in the heart of the Australian outback, in the state of South Australia. The town is famous for its opal mines, which are some of the largest in the world, and its unique underground homes and buildings.

Due to the extreme heat of the Australian desert, many of the residents of Coober Pedy have chosen to live underground in order to escape the scorching temperatures. The underground homes are carved into the soft sandstone rock that surrounds the town, and feature living areas, bedrooms, and even kitchens and bathrooms.

In addition to homes, the underground city of Coober Pedy also includes churches, hotels, and other buildings. One of the most famous underground attractions in the town is the Coober Pedy Opal Mine and Museum, which showcases the history and culture of opal mining in the region.

The idea of living underground in Coober Pedy began in the early 20th century, when opal miners began to dig underground tunnels and caves in search of precious opals. Over time, these tunnels were expanded and developed into homes and other buildings, creating the unique underground city that exists today.

Despite the challenges of living underground, many residents of Coober Pedy have found that it offers numerous benefits. In addition to staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter, living underground also provides protection from the strong winds and dust storms that are common in the desert.

The city is estimated to have a capacity for up to 3,500 people.

Coober Pedy underground house

Odessa Catacombs, Ukraine

The Odessa Catacombs are a sprawling network of underground tunnels and passageways located beneath the city of Odessa in Ukraine. The catacombs were created over the course of several centuries, and have served a variety of purposes throughout their history.

One of the earliest uses of the catacombs was as a quarry for the limestone used to build the city of Odessa. Over time, however, the tunnels and passageways expanded and grew, creating a vast network of underground spaces.

During World War II, the catacombs played an important role in the resistance movement against the German occupation of Ukraine. The catacombs were used as a hiding place for Ukrainian partisans, who used them to evade German soldiers and carry out guerrilla attacks.

Nowadays, the Odessa Catacombs remain a popular destination for tourists and adventurers. Many of the tunnels and passageways are open to the public, allowing visitors to explore the maze-like underground world beneath the city.

However, the catacombs are also a dangerous place, and visitors are advised to take precautions when exploring them. The tunnels and passageways are often narrow and unstable, and there have been reports of people becoming lost or trapped in the catacombs.

Despite the dangers, the Odessa Catacombs continue to draw visitors from around the world. The underground city is a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the people of Odessa, and a reminder of the many uses that the earth beneath our feet can serve.

It is estimated that the catacombs have a capacity for up to 2,500 people.

Odessa Catacombs

Moose Jaw, Canada

The Moose Jaw underground town is a network of tunnels and chambers located beneath the city of Moose Jaw in the province of Saskatchewan. The underground complex was originally constructed in the early 1900s as a way to provide heating, cooling, other services to the city’s downtown buildings, and as a hiding place for illegal activities.

One of the primary uses of the Moose Jaw subterranean city was for bootlegging during Prohibition in the 1920s. The tunnels provided a safe and discreet way to transport alcohol from the United States into Canada. The city became known as a hub for bootlegging, and the tunnels played a significant role in this illicit trade.

Over time, the underground network expanded to include a variety of other functions, including a Chinese laundry, livestock and coal transportation, and even a movie theater. During World War II, the tunnels were used as a secret storage facility for the Royal Canadian Air Force, and later as a training site for the Cold War-era Strategic Air Command.

Today, it is a popular tourist attraction, offering visitors a chance to explore the unique history and culture of this unusual subterranean world.

In addition to its historical and cultural significance, it also serves as a practical and functional part of modern-day Moose Jaw. Many of the downtown buildings are still connected to the tunnels, which provide heating, cooling, and other essential services to the area.

The complex is estimated to have a capacity for up to 1,000 people.

Final thoughts

Visiting underground cities can be an unforgettable adventure that takes you to places you’ve never seen before. Exploring them can feel like diving into an unknown world that’s full of mystery, secrecy and surprises.

The subterranean cities are some of the world’s most fascinating architectural wonders. They provide protection and shelter for people in times of need, and they are also a reflection of human ingenuity and adaptability. The underground settlements mentioned here are among the largest and most impressive in the world, with a population capacity that exceeds that of many above-ground cities. They are remarkable examples of human creativity, and resourcefulness. These underground architectural examples continue to play an essential role in the lives of the people who inhabit them.

Whether you’re fascinated by the past or intrigued by the future, a journey into the depths of the underground is sure to be an experience you’ll never forget.