Façade Opéra Garnier

L’Opéra Garnier : a real gem in the art of Paris. A world of elegance beyond beautiful. A breathtaking and opulent Neo-Baroque decor. Definitely worth a visit.

It’s located in the 9th Arrondissement of Paris and most of the time referred to as the Opéra Garnier, named after its architect, Charles Garnier. It’s also called Palais Garnier. It’s an essential spot for the city’s ballet and a classical music scene.

Opera by Georges stein

But you can visit it without attending a performance.

Not only a theatre, but also a museum at the same time. And a Chagall lovers Paradise 









One of the most famous opera houses in the world. It was a part of the renovation works in the capital, during the Second Empire (1852-1870), commissioned by Napoleon III and carried out by Baron Haussmann. Designed by the architect Charles Garnier and built between 1861 and 1875 .


It is a building of exceptional opulence, one of the most extravagant representations of Second Empire architecture in France.

It was primarily the home of the Paris Opera until 1989, when the Opéra Bastille opened (on the Place de la Bastille). Since then the Palais Garnier is mainly used for ballets, but it still hosts operas, and concerts too.


Rehearsal – by Degas


Outside :  the exterior is decorated with marble friezes, columns and statues from Greek mythology.

Inside : a Baroque style interior. heavy with gold and marble, opulent chandeliers, mosaics, paintings and mirrors in the Grand Foyer.



The grand staircase (= Le Grand Escalier) :

The double spiral staircase is made of white Italian marble, with a balustrade of green marble from Sweden and red marble.



Inauguration of the Paris Opera in 1875 (Édouard Detaille, 1878)


The Grand Foyer (= The Main Hall)

It is dedicated to allegorical muses. A hall 18 meters high, 154 meters long and 13 meters wide. It was openly inspired by the Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors.

Le Grand Foyer


The Concert Hall : An impressive stage and theatre space…It can seat over 1900 people. It’s the largest in Europe. 1200 red velvet armchairs and gold-plated wood panelling. The access is sometimes unavailable due to technical or artistic reasons.

A ceiling created by Chagall and a 7 tonnes chandelier

A painting created by Chagall

A painting created by Chagall

A huge 7 tonnes chandelier of pure bronze and crystal hangs from the centre of the ceiling.  The celling was created by Chagall in 1963. It’s a 220 m2 painting.  Chagall lovers must see this ceiling of the main performance hall.



My advice

On the day of your visit to the Opéra Garnier you can go to : 

  • the Galeries Lafayette or the Printemps. Both have a rooftop terrace where you can both relax and enjoy a spectacular view.
  • a break (for a drink or a meal) in Le Café de la Paix, a famous Belle Epoque cafe, opened since 1862. A place for meetings in Paris under the Second Empire. It’s located nearby the Opera . 5 place de l’Opera
  • It’s very difficult to get tickets for a performance : the priority is given to subscribers for the year. You’ve got to book a long time in advance. www.operadeparis.fr/en

Useful informations

  • Peinture de L'opéra à la Belle epoque

    The Opera at La Belle Epoque

    Address : Place de L’Opera – Paris 9 – Metro Stop : Opera (line 3,7, 8) Buses : 21, 68

  • Visit : www.operadeparis.fr
    • Every day from 10am to 5pm (last admission at 4.30pm)
    • Mid-July to September inclusive : 10am to 5.30pm except on days of performances (10am to 1pm)
    • Closed on the 1st of January, and 1st of May and for exceptional events. 
  • Purchasing tickets :
    • At the Palais Garnier ticket desks or on line www.operadeparis.fr/en/practical-informations/access-opening-times-and-contacts/times-and-contact-details/bookings-visits-to-the-palais-garnier
    • Full rate : 11 euros. Audioguides available : 5 euros 1 hour
  • In Opera Garnier : 
    • A bookshop and a gift shop  boutique.operadeparis.fr/en/
    • A restaurant : the “Opera Restaurant”. 
  • Guide tours : there are guided tours in english : 
    • Visit with a Palais Garnier guide : Information on 08 25 05 44 05

  • Performances : tickets must be booked extremely in advance : they sell out very quickly


Ann Jeanne

Visit Paris off the beaten path with Ann Jeanne in Paris, native Parisian : 

  • You’d like to feel like a local and having a tour in a Paris neighborhood, but you don’t feel having a tour with a group ?
  • You’d like to discover Paris off the beaten path ?
  • You’d like to see Paris in another perspective and to know more about Paris lifestyle ?