I recently went on a tour of Project Riese and it got me wondering about whether there are actual active underground cities I could visit. Is there a place that's available not only for a tour, but where one could live for some time without coming back to the earth surface?

  • 4
    How long is "some time"? Long enough to need underground grocery stores and medical facilities?
    – WGroleau
    Jan 2, 2022 at 6:53
  • There is also an article and a category on Wikipedia related to this question. Jan 2, 2022 at 14:41
  • @WGroleau "ideally, yes" for the groceries, "not necessarily" for medical facilities.
    – d33tah
    Jan 3, 2022 at 9:42

3 Answers 3


You can join the 100k to 1M people living underground Beijing in a network of bunkers covering around 85 km² called Dìxià Chéng, where you can sleep and eat:

A man working in a kitchen

A hallway with clothes hanging to dry

A woman at a computer with a smiling little girl sitting in her lap, in a bedroom

(Image sources: DailyMail and Medium)

Follow-up question: Where can I find a map of the Underground City (Beijing)?

More ideas on Wikipedia: underground city and underground living, but I think Dìxià Chéng is the most populated underground complex.

  • 1
    The government claimed the tunnels could house six million people, but that's only fourteen square meters per person if all of the 85m² were living space. I can sleep in a tent of three square meters, but to also cook and bathe and shop and …
    – WGroleau
    Jan 2, 2022 at 6:47
  • 1
    @WGroleau, in many places 3 or more people will live on those 3 square meters, often no more than 3 cubic meters. And having seen some video footage of small 'housing' in some Asian cities (one bed, not high enough to sit up in, storage over the foot) I can believe those numbers.
    – Willeke
    Jan 2, 2022 at 17:10

Canada is known for its tunnel systems in many downtowns that let pedestrians avoid snow and ice above. For example, there is the RÉSO in Montreal and the PATH in Toronto.

  • Meanwhile, in the West we went skywards. Calgary has +15 and Edmonton the Pedway. Regina also has a few skywalks. Jan 1, 2022 at 17:21
  • Can one sleep underground in RÉSO or PATH? Jan 2, 2022 at 0:51
  • 1
    @FranckDernoncourt The Wikipedia articles count "six major hotels" as facilities connected to PATH, describe RÉSO as "a series of interconnected […] hotels, [and] residential […] complexes" and list 9 hotels there. I would assume that counts?
    – Bergi
    Jan 2, 2022 at 1:08
  • @Bergi thanks, I was wondering if these hotels offer underground rooms. In case someone really don't want to see the overground world :) Jan 2, 2022 at 1:11
  • 2
    I live in Montreal, and the "underground city" is a misnomer. Really it's an indoor city, and a bunch of it is underground like the Metro and pedestrian tunnels. Nobody actually lives underground.
    – wjandrea
    Jan 2, 2022 at 3:28

You might be interested in Coober Pedy, South Australia.

Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground dwellings, called "dugouts", which are built in this fashion due to the scorching daytime heat.

  • 3
    I've been there, and while the underground houses are cool (literally and figuratively), they're not connected to each other -- you still need to go outside to do anything. Jan 2, 2022 at 13:55
  • Similar existed in Kansas in my great- great-grandfather's time (he built one and lived in it. My father helped someone build one in Oklahoma. The city waited until after it was finished to tell the owner he's not allowed to live in a house where the bedrooms don't have escape windows.
    – WGroleau
    Jan 2, 2022 at 19:57

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