Palais Garnier

Holiday Travel Guide
Paris featuring a city, heritage elements and street scenes

Attend a performance, browse museum exhibits and marvel at the opulent design of one of the world’s most celebrated opera houses. 

Treat yourself to an evening of classical entertainment at the Paris Opera (Opéra National de Paris). Admire the handsome architecture and luxurious interiors of Palais Garnier, the home of this historic French opera company. Learn about the 300-year-old past of the Paris Opera via art collections, multimedia displays and museum exhibits.

This opera house is a true masterpiece designed by Charles Garnier in a blend of the Beaux-Arts and Second Empire styles. Napoleon III commissioned it in the 1860s as part of his renovation of central Paris. Study the elaborate façade and its archways, Corinthian columns, friezes, gilded statues and stone sculptures. Among the highlights is Aimé Millet’s sculpture called Apollo, Poetry and Music.

Emerge through the main entrance and explore an interior covered floor-to-ceiling with glistening ornamentation, mosaics and paintings. Climb the marble double staircase to the grand foyer, where a ceiling painting by Paul Baudry portrays music history. Scrutinize the frescoes by Marc Chagall that adorn the ceiling of the crescent-shaped auditorium. Discover references to Gaston Leroux’ novel The Phantom of the Opera. Gaze up at the huge chandelier that will remind you of a scene from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical version of this classic story.

Retrace the activities of the Paris Opera since its foundation in 1669 at the Library-Museum of the Opera. See everything from drawings and jewelry pieces to original costumes, paintings and set models. Audiovisual exhibits in the Galerie de l’Orchestre delve deeper into the theater’s history.

For the complete theater experience book tickets for an event. Choose between ballet, chamber music and opera. Most events take place in the evening, although some performances have matinees.

Reach the venue easily in the 9th arrondissement via buses or the metro. The nearest metro station is Opéra. Visit the Louvre Museum, Orangerie Museum and Tuileries Garden, all located within a 20-minute walk.

Paris Opera is open daily, except New Year’s Day and May 1. Audio guides and guided tours are available for a fee. Purchase audio guides, tours and tickets at the box office or via the venue’s official website.

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