The legality of exploring abandoned places in France

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The legality of exploring abandoned places in France

If you are an urbex enthusiast, France is a gold mine of abandoned places waiting to be explored. From abandoned mansions and factories to underground tunnels and catacombs, there is no shortage of fascinating places to discover. However, before you start packing your bags and exploring, it’s important to know the legalities surrounding urbex in France.

The law in France

In France, urbex is technically not illegal. However, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely legal either. Under French law, urbexers can be charged with trespassing, vandalism and theft, among other things. In some cases, urbexers have even been accused of endangering their own lives and those of others.


If you are caught in the act of urbexing in France, you risk heavy penalties. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, you could be fined several thousand euros and even jailed. Additionally, you may be banned from visiting certain locations and may be required to pay for damages you have caused.

Safety first

Beyond the legal risks, urbexing can also be dangerous. Abandoned buildings and structures may not be structurally sound and there may be hazardous materials or other safety hazards. Always prioritize safety when exploring abandoned places and be sure to bring the proper safety equipment and gear.

Tips for Urbexing in France

If you plan to explore abandoned places in France, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always get permission before entering an abandoned property, even if it appears deserted.
  • Avoid urbexing alone and always let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Respect the property you are exploring and do not take anything with you or damage the site in any way.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times and be prepared for unexpected dangers.
  • If you are unsure of the legality of urbexing in a particular location, it is best to err on the side of caution and not enter.


Urbexing in France can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it is important to understand the legal risks involved. Always prioritize safety and respect the properties you explore, and you can enjoy all that the French urbex scene has to offer.