1. Beijing, China: The Nuclear War Shelter

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This underground city, called Dixia Cheng, was build in Beijing originally as a nuclear war shelter in the 1960s. It has never actually been used for the reason it was built for, thankfully, but it was kitted out with hospitals, schools, restaurants and a network of tunnels. It’s now a tourist attraction, so you can go and visit!

2. Pilsen, Czech Republic: Food And Beer Storage

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During the prehistoric age, it seemed that people had far too much beer and food to know what to do with – so what did they do? They built underground storage to keep it all. These underground tunnels in Pilsen have now been converted to a museum, so be sure to take a tour (with a beer in hand, of course).

3. Saskatchewan, Canada: How To Escape The Prohibition

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Known as the Tunnels of Moose Jaw, this huge network of tunnels can be found beneath the city and was first believed to have been created by Chinese Settlers which was later refuted when it was discovered that bootleggers used the tunnels as the perfect way to smuggle alcohol during the prohibition!

4. Naours, France: Graffitied By Soldiers

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It’s believed this underground city was carved out of an existing, older quarry, and it was fitted out with stables, chapels and wells for water. Later, soldiers in the First World War were actually given tours of the underground tunnels when they were on leave, and they left behind graffiti – graffiti from soldiers hailing from a variety of nations.

5. Berlin, Germany: A Maze Of Bunkers

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These underground tunnels beneath Berlin are all a shout-out to the Second World War. The tunnels began to be explored by interested locals, and eventually grew enough interest for them to start being opened as museums. The Berlin bunker beneath the Gesundbrunnen train station is filled with gas masks and letters.

6. Orvieto, Italy: Underground Culture

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These tunnels are remnants of the ancient Etruscan people of Italy, which were originally dug to use as wells and cisterns but were soon transformed to make tunnels for galleries of art. You can have a guided walk through these underground tunnels to learn more about the Etruscan culture.

7. Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland: With A Replica Of ‘The Last Supper’

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This salt mine was originally used for that purpose, filled with miners, but it’s what the miners left behind that’s the real treasure. The miners would use their down time to carve artistic reliefs in these tunnels, including a rendition of ‘The Last Supper’, and the tunnels even include chapels and chandeliers.

8. Cappadocia, Turkey: 60 Meters Below The Ground

image source: wikipedia.org

The underground city of Derinkuyu was build during the Byzantine era, and it’s connected by a huge series of ventilation shafts, passages and tunnels. In total, it has 18 stories, which are built 60 meters beneath the surface. The place is a true city, with kitchens, schools and chapels, as well as space for as many as 20,000 people.

9. Portland, United States: Passages To Transport Goods

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The Shanghai tunnels in Portland get their name from a belief that they may have been using to ‘shanghai’ people back in the day. You can have a guided tour through these tunnel networks, which connected Portland’s China Town with the downtown area.

10. Paris, France: The Unexplored Catacombs

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The eerie catacombs of Paris are famous, but there are many of the network’s tunnels which are forbidden to explore. The off-limit network of the catacombs actually runs for around two hundred miles of unexplored tunnels, which many people do illegally try to get into!

11. Edinburgh, United Kingdom: 18th Century Vaults

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In Edinburgh, Scotland, there is a trail of underground vaults beneath the busy city streets. These vaults – which are damp and dark – date back to the 18th century. They were originally built to use for taverns and various trades, but superstition and ghost stories have also emerged from these tunnels – including that serial killers hid bodies in the tunnels.

12. Montreal, Canada: A Mall Underground

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Known as RESO, this is a giant maze of tunnels which exists beneath the city of Montreal – but they’re not old and derelict. They actually function with a huge range of facilities, like restaurants, shops, a library and even a cinema. They were originally built with the intention of lowering traffic and making it easier to transport things.

13. Cadiz, Spain: Under A Rock

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Known as Setenil de las Bodegas in Southern Spain, this town is a little different because rather than being directly underground, it’s actually underneath a huge overhang of rock. It can be found along a tiny river gorge, with the houses actually built into the walls of the gorge itself.

14. The Manhattan Project, USA: The Secret Community

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In the 1940s, the US army gained a few different areas of land, which were kept secret from any map. 125,000 people lived in a place that the government didn’t formally acknowledge even existed. It eventually ended up becoming the site for nuclear weapon development.

15. Wunsdorf, Germany: A Nazi HQ

image source: theguardian.com

Hidden deep in a pine forest, this remote place in Germany was once a Nazi headquarters. It was taken over by the Soviets in 1945, and it became a ‘Forbidden City’ Soviet camp. It’s now an abandoned military complex, but during the war it was one of the largest military bases in Europe.

16. Burlington, England: The Underground Government Site

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This underground site in Wiltshire, England, spanned about 35 acres and remained a secret until it was declassified – originally having being built to provide a space to relocate government employees in the event of a nuclear war. It’s built in an abandoned quarry, with hidden entrances to the outside world.

17. The Rock Of Gibraltar, Spain: The Underground WWII City

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In Southern Spain, there was hidden a World War II underground city, big enough for 16,000 soldiers and with enough food supplies to last 16 months. It was used to run spy networks safely. Some parts of the tunnels are open for tours, but others remain closed off.

18. Chernobyl-2, Ukraine: One Of The Most Polluted Places On Earth

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This site is what remains of the once-bustling community of workers and their families, positioned close to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station. 350,000 people were evacuated from it following the Chernobyl disaster, and it remains dangerously polluted – yet some people have chosen to return there.

19. Imber, England: The Secret Training Ground

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Now considered a ghost town, the village of Imber was once populated by residents who were then forced to leave when the military wanted the village for a training ground instead. British and American forces then used the village, and took it off the map completely, until most of the buildings were later demolished.

20. Camp Century, Greenland: Project Iceworm

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The US army once wanted to build a secret nuclear missile launch site underneath Greenland’s ice sheet, with plans for 2,500 miles of underground tunnels named Project Iceworm. To test the idea, Camp Century was built but then shortly abandoned due to the icy conditions. But it got as far as a working underground city, complete with cinema!

21. Petra, Jordan: The Home Of 30,000 People

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Hidden in the red sandstone mountains in Petra, Jordan, towards the south west, is what’s considered an ‘architectural marvel’ that was actually only discovered in the 1800s. Before that time, nobody knew it was there. The hidden community was home to around 30,000 people, of the Nabataean tribe.

22. Mesa Verde, USA: The Cliff Houses Of The Pueblo People

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The Pueblo People settled in the USA around 1300 BCE, and they were famous for building homes into the cliffs, which became known as the cliff-side pueblos. Mesa Verde is one of these sites in the US, while Chaco Canyon is another, and the Mesa Verde National Park encloses this ancient civilisation site.

23. Matmata, Tunisia: A Star Wars Legacy

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The underground homes in Matmata, Tunisia, are now very recognizable thanks to a famous film series. You’ll recognize them as Luke Skywalker’s home on Tatooine. The underground community – outside of the movies – lies in a very dry region of Matmata.

24. Coober Pedy, Australia: Where People Actually Live Underground

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The entire town of Coober Pedy was discovered because of underground mining. These days, over half its residents actually live underground – which is over 1000 people. This town is known for being the largest source of opals, which is how miners originally founded this underground community.

25. Vancouver, Canada: Secret Tunnel Network

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There has been a legend for over 100 years that there’s a secret tunnel network beneath Chinatown in Vancouver. While it’s recently been suggested that no huge network exists, there are still basements and areas under the city that are accessible – but the legend will never die.

26. Tokyo, Japan: Flood Water Diversion

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Under the city of Tokyo lies a huge underground facility which was built as a flood wood diversion network. It’s made to handle an influx of water during heavy rainfall and typhoon season. You can tour around these tunnels, but it’s not for the faint of heart, because one of the intake tanks you can view is 72 meters deep.

27. Switzerland’s Secret Bunkers: Over 300,000 Fallout Shelters

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Switzerland obviously takes the gold medal for planning ahead, because dotted around the country are over 300,000 fallout shelters, both private and public. This isn’t all, though – there are also around 20,000 military bunkers dotted around the country, too!

28. Project Riese, Poland: The Secret Beneath A Castle

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In Lower Silesia, you can find the Ksiaz Castle – which you might think is reason enough to visit this place. But it’s what’s underneath this castle that you may find intriguing. The castle is one of the markers for Project Riese, which was a secret underground Nazi lair built by concentration camp prisoners.

29. Sasso San Gottardo, Switzerland: An Underground Fortress

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This underground fortress city located in the Swiss Alps was actually a complete secret for 60 years. How did they manage to hide something this big? The fortress was built by the Swiss during the Second World War, and it’s complete with hospitals, tunnels and bunkers.

30. China: The 404 Ghost Town

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This city, called only ‘404’, was built as part of China’s nuclear program. It was kept a secret – because what they wanted to do in here was build a nuclear bomb. It had almost 100,000 people secretly living there, including scientists – but it’s now just an empty ghost town.

31. How About The Most Hidden Places In The World? Svalbard Global Seed Vault

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Located in the Arctic Ocean between Norway and the North Pole lies the almost inhabitable Svalbard, where the mysterious Global Seed Vault is found. Inside is a collection of seeds from every plant in the world, just in case of apocalyptic circumstances where the seeds can then be used to grow food.

32. Mezhgorye, Russia

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Found in the Republic of Bashkortostan in Russia is this closed-off town, a private place that’s believed to be the home of people working on a highly classified mission in the area. Nobody knows what really goes on in there, and nobody is allowed to enter this place.

33. North Sentinel Island, Andaman

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North Sentinel island is one of the most closed-off and hidden places in the world. Its home to a very dangerous tribe who will defend the privacy of this island with their life. They’ve rejected the outside world, which means any human even approaching the island would likely be killed.

34. Snake Island, Sao Paulo

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Found off the coast of Brazil, the name of this island gives you a good idea of what you can expect here – if you were even allowed to go there, that is. It’s been estimated that there are around 4,000 snakes that live on this island, including one of the most venomous snakes in the world.

35. Vatican Secret Rooms

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Vatican City is a very respected and private place anywhere, but within this city is a very secret, and very restricted, vault. This vault is a secret archive that only a very few select people are allowed to enter. Many people have speculated what the documents reveal, from the existence of aliens to religious texts.

36. Room 39, North Korea

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While North Korea itself is a very problematic place to visit, Room 39 is a whole different story. This ‘room’ is a mysterious, secret government facility, but it’s also rumored to be a place where illegal activity takes place and some say that what happens in this room is the reason Kim Jong is still in power.

37. Church Of Our Lady Mary Of Zion, Ethiopia

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This church in Ethiopia is completely inaccessible to the general public. It’s said that this church contains some seriously important religious relics, which is the reason that nobody is allowed to visit. Unfortunately that also means nobody can visit to prove whether or not there’s religious stuff actually in there.

38. Disney Club 33, USA

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While anything Disney is usually a tourist heaven, this particular spot is off-limits to most people – only a select few are allowed inside. Disney Club 33 is very exclusive, and it’s the only place in Disney parks you can get alcohol. It’s an invitation only club, and most people will never get one.

39. Grand Shrine Of Ise, Japan

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This temple and shrine in Japan is only open to one family in the world to enter it: the Imperial Family. Nobody else is permitted in this sacred place. It was rebuilt for the sun goddess, and is re-built every 20 years in order to reflect the cycle of rebirth. Nobody but the Imperial Family have seen inside it.

40. Heard Island, Australia

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This place has terrain and wild animals that humans have never, ever seen. The island, which is in the middle of the ocean between Australia and Antarctica, has been made illegal to visit by the Australian government. The island is completely untouched by humans.

41. Plague Island, Italy

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The island of Poveglia has a rich and disturbing history – and while people used to live on the island, it’s now completely off limits – with good reason. It’s known as the forbidden plague island because it was once used to herd people who had the plague into one place.

42. Surtsey Island, Iceland

image source: icelandmagazine.com

This island was first formed as a result of volcanic eruptions, and only scientists are allowed to visit there – and they have to be highly-trained scientists at that. This land is actually some of the newest in the world, and constantly changing due to the eruptions, so there are fears that humans might ruin the land if they visit.

43. North Brother Island, USA

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This island is home to what’s left of Riverside Hospital, due to New York buying the island with the purpose of building the hospital there. It was intended for seriously contagious illnesses, like tuberculosis. Now, the hospital is closed and abandoned, and due to what it was used for, the island is forbidden to visit.

44. Lascaux Cave, France

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This prehistoric cave, complete with prehistoric drawings on its walls, was first discovered in 1940. The cave includes over 6,000 paintings, and funnily enough, following the Second World War, it was opened up to visitors – until they caused too much damage, so it’s now off-limits in order to preserve the paintings!

45. Coca Cola Vault, USA

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We all know that the recipe for addictive Coca Cola is one of the most well-kept secrets in the world – so it might be no surprise that there is actually a special vault in order to contain the recipe and keep it secret. It goes without saying that people aren’t allowed in this vault!

46. Menwith Hill Royal Air Force Station, United Kingdom

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The place is a prime example of ‘limited access’ for a military base that’s kicked off a bunch of conspiracy theories. This is one of the most secretive places in the whole of the United Kingdom, and despite the theories – which include spying and government secrets – nobody really knows what goes on here.

47. The White’s Gentleman Club, UK

image source: theguardian.com

To learn that there are still secret ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ exclusive to men is nothing new, but this one is extremely private, extremely exclusive – and extremely expensive. Some apparent members of this club include male members of the British Royal Family, to name a few.

48. Tomb Of Qin Shi Huang, China

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The Terracotta Warriors in China are quite famous, but did you know about the secret they’re guarding? They surround the main tomb of Qin Shi Huang, and while you can visit to view the Terracotta Army itself, the actual tomb is completely off limits to everyone.

49. Fort Knox, USA

image source: moneywise.com

This is potentially one of the most protected places in the entire world, and with good reason – the vault protects some of the most precious metals in the world, including gold and silver bullion. As you can imagine, it’s not a place you can simply stroll into and visit all that wealth.

50. Woomera Test Range, Australia

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This area of Australia that’s completely closed off actually has a surface area as big as a country in itself! The test range is only accessible to military personnel to test weapons. Visitors are completely forbidden from going near this test range, or stepping foot on it at all.