20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

By Attila Nagy on at

History can be told in terms of secret passageways, hidden rooms, and obscure tunnels. Wars have been won and lost by them, coup d'états sprung, and entire countries altered thanks to a well-place nook or crannie. There are also plenty of modern-day uses, as you'll see below—from drug smuggling tunnels from Tijuana to hidden doors that protect your most valuable chianti. Check out 20 of the best, below.

20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

Probably the oldest hidden passageways can be found in the pyramids of Egypt. Below is the Cheops, the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis, and the gallery which leads upwards to the entrance to the burial chamber.

Photo: Library Of Congress/martin_vmorris


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

Here's a centuries-old disguised entrance to a hidden reading room in the National Library in Vienna, Austria.

Photo: Lauren Pressley


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

The Củ Chi tunnels in Vietnam were used as hiding spots during combat. They also bore communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for guerrilla fighters.

Photo: Jorge Láscar/Jorge Láscar


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

Another secret room at the former Ford Country Day School, a 30,000-foot Tudor mansion in Los Altos Hills, California.

Photo: Kent Brewster


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

A hidden passageway leads to this bunker restaurant in Lviv, Ukraine. The restaurant is dedicated to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

Photo: Jennifer Boyer/Jennifer Boyer


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

Entrance to Underground Hezbollah Warehouse. On September 6, 2006, during an IDF operation in the central sector of southern Lebanon, Israeli soldiers found a Hezbollah bunker filled with weaponry and rocket launchers hidden under trees.

Photo: Israel Defense Forces


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

This 220-yard tunnel, in Tijuana, Mexico, crossed the border beneath the US and Mexico, and was widely used by drug smugglers. Its entrance? The cabinet underneath a bathroom sink inside a warehouse in Tijuana. It was raided in 2012.

Photo: Alejandro Cossio/AP//U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/AP


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

There are plenty of modern passageways built for personal security, or simply just entertainment. This billiards room has a secret passageway created by Creative Home Engineering, a company that specialises in custom construction.

Photo: Creative Home Engineering


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

A bookcase that leads to a weapons storage room, also by CHE.

Photo: Creative Home Engineering


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

Bookshelves? No, that's a disguised door.

Photo: Creative Home Engineering


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

The wood paneling makes for a perfect disguise for this hidden door.

Photo: Creative Home Engineering


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

Is that a stone wall? No, it is a stone door to a wine cellar.

Photo: Creative Home Engineering


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

A mirror that opens to a vault.

Photo: Creative Home Engineering


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

Just another stone wall? No, that's another stone door.

Photo: Creative Home Engineering


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

There is a secret room under the stairs.

Photo: Creative Home Engineering


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

Yet another door hidden behind a wood panel.

Photo: Creative Home Engineering


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

A hidden garage in the bottom floor of a historic Victorian apartment on Oak Street in San Francisco's Upper Haight district.

Photo: Beausoleil Architects


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

Inspired by library racks that also use this system, these rolling shelving units hide complete rooms.

Photo: Taylor and Miller Architecture


20 Secret Passageways and Hidden Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight

The Hidden Doors company made this, um, hidden door, which leads to a home gym.

Photo: Hidden Doors


Top gif source: Creative Home Engineering

Do you have a favourite secret passage? Show us in the comments!