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Paris Opera House: Take A Self-Guided Tour of Palais Garnier

Paris Opera interior

If you’re planning a trip to Paris, you’ll want to design an itinerary that includes some cultural highlights like the renowned Palais Garnier, the premier Paris opera house that’s located in the 9th Arrondissement on the Boulevard des Capucines. Completed in 1875, the Palais Garnier is one of the world’s most celebrated cultural attractions. Filled with great art and opulent architectural details, the Paris Opera Garnier also boasts revered productions of opera, ballet, and classical music performances and features a seating capacity of 1,900.

Palais Garnier-Paris-France-architecture

Introduction to the Opera Palais Garnier

A Parisian architectural jewel, the Palais Garnier is an example of Napoleon III architectural style, which ornately combines elements of the Renaissance and Baroque styles. Designed by architect Charles Garnier, the Palais Garnier Paris was constructed between 1861 and 1875. At the time of its opening, the Palais Garnier-Opera featured the largest theatre and opera house in the world. While its exterior is well-known for its rooftop statuary, its interior is filled with frescoes, mosaics, and gilt and marble-covered decorations.

Highlights of Paris’s Opera Garnier include its white marble Grand Staircase, the Paris Opera Library Museum, the main exterior façade that faces the Place de l’Opera (and includes its famous sculptures), the gold-leaf and chandelier-strewn Grand Foyer, and the decadent Italian-style Auditorium. The Auditorium stage of the Palais Garnier can accommodate more than 400 performers. During a visit to the Palais Garnier Opera, admirers of art will want to take in the opera’s prestigious artworks created by illustrious artists such as Marc Chagall, Charles Gumery, Aime Millet, and Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry. Today, the Garnier Opera also features a restaurant, the L’Opera Restaurant that is open to the general public along with guests of the opera and ballet.

Tour Paris’ Famous Opera House

Before exploring the Palais Garnier on your own or with a guided tour, it’s helpful to get to know some of its history. The Paris Opera Garnier is, of course, the famous setting for the 1910 novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera. The novel and its various film and stage adaptations, particularly the 1986 musical, attract many visitors to the fabled Paris opera house. During tours of the Palais Garnier, tour guides will touch on some of the novel’s highlights that correspond with features of the opera house like its seven-ton bronze chandelier.

Anyone interested in the Paris Opera’s history should spend some time visiting the Paris Opera Library-Museum, known as the Bibliotheque-Musee de l’Opera de Paris. This museum features a wealth of historic Palais Garnier memorabilia such as opera posters and artifact associated with the Palais and its various renowned productions and performances. The museum is open daily and does not charge for access. Some of the highlights of the Palais Garnier’s museum are the costume displays, autographs, drawings, scale models of set designs, and paintings.

Palais Garnier-Paris Location

The Palais Garnier is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the area of the city known as “The Opera District.”

Address: Place de l’Opera, 9th Arrondissement, Paris, France

Palais Garnier-Paris Opera Hours

The Palais Garnier is open every day (with some exceptional closures) from 10 AM – 4:30 PM. Tickets for the Opera Palais Garnier list performance times. The L’Opera Restaurant remains open when the Garnier Opera is closed.

Palais Garnier-Paris-France-Musee Grevin-Musee du Parfum

Shopping and Things to Do near the Paris Opera-Palais Garnier

The area surrounding the Paris Palais Garnier is filled with cultural and historical attractions. After touring the Garnier Opera, visitors may wish to attend the illustrious department stores of the Opera District – Printemps and Galleries Lafayette. Must-see attractions in the area of the Palais Garnier include the Musee du Parfum, Musee Grevin, and Folies Bergere. Other attractions within a 20-minute taxi drive of the Opera Palais include the Bastille Opera, La Defense, Latin Quarter, St. Germain, Tuileries Gardens, and the Japanese neighborhood near Rue Sainte Anne.

Palais Garnier-Paris-France-Café de la Paix-French cuisine

Best Places to Eat near Paris’s Opera Garnier

Whether you’re attending a performance at the illustrious Opera Garnier or attending one of its day tours, you may wish to visit one of the area’s well-known restaurants. Naturally, the L’Opera Restaurant located at the Opera Palais Garnier attracts many opera goers, but there are many other restaurants and cafes located in the Opera District that cater to many different tastes. Many of the area’s restaurants also double as popular nightlife spots due to their late hours.

Upscale Restaurants near Opera Garnier

  • Café de la Paix
  • • Le Grand Café Capucines
  • • La Verriere Restaurant
  • • Opera Mandarin
  • • Maison de la Truffe

Mid-Range Restaurants near Opera Garnier

  • • 16 Haussmann
  • • Royal Madeleine
  • • Restaurant Le Maroc
  • • Bollynan Montorgueil
  • • Restaurant le Celadon

Budget-Friendly Restaurants near Opera Garnier

  • • Villa Victorian
  • • Brioche Doree
  • • Coquette
  • • Paparazzi
  • • Maison Verot

Palais Garnier-Paris-France-Bar Hemingway-Paris lounge

Nightlife near Palais Garnier – Paris Opera

The Opera Palais Garnier is itself the area’s leading nightlife attraction. However, there are attractions and clubs in the region that promise multiple types of nightlife. From savvy clubs to low-key lounges, the Opera District boasts a dazzling array of nightlife options for visitors to Paris.

  • • Le Grand Bar de l’Hotel Intercontinental
  • • Le Bar a Bulles
  • • Bar Hemingway (Located at the Ritz Paris)
  • • Mon Paris
  • • Harry’s Bar
  • • Paris Bodega
  • • Bar 8
  • • Little Red Door
  • • Les Alchimistes
  • • Les Ambassadeurs
  • • Marlusee et Lapin

Palais Garnier-Paris-France-transportation

Transportation at Paris Palais Garnier

If you’re traveling to the Paris Opera Garnier from the Gare de Lyon, you’ll have multiple options for transportation. Since there is a Metro stop just in front of the Palais Garnier Opera, you may wish to use the 3, 7, or 8 lines. If you’re taking a taxi from the Gare de Lyon, expect about a fifteen-minute drive.

Bus lines that travel to the Palais Garnier include: 20, 21, 22, 27, 29, 42, 52, 53, 66, 6 8, 81, 95. As a major tourist destination, the Paris Opera Garnier is easily accessed from nearly any part of the city using public transportation. The nearest car park for drivers to the Paris Opera is at the Place Vendome.

Once in the neighborhood of the Palais Garnier, visitors often find that many popular nearby attractions are within easy walking distance. Additionally, there are popular walking tours of the Opera District.

Where to stay near Palais Garnier

The area of the Palais Garnier features everything from upscale historic hotels to cheap hotels in convenient locations near Metro stops. Because there are numerous hotels in the Opera District, you’re sure to find one that can accommodate your travel needs.

Check in to a Hotel or Apartment near Galeries Lafayette Maison

Grand Hotel du Havre

Grand Hotel de Normandie

Aston Hotel

Step Out to Palais Garnier

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