Discover Europe's largest opera house on an informative 90-minute tour of the Opera Garnier. Knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides from the Opera de…
Skip the lines to the famous Opera Garnier in Paris, and enjoy more time to admire the largest opera in Europe.
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Top sights in Paris
Charles Garnier created an opulent cathedral for the bourgeois when his opera house was finished in 1875, and it quickly became about more than just the performances. Here's how the architect made being seen as important as the seeing itself!
Napoleon III wanted Paris' archaic streets to reflect the glory of the French Empire. To do this, he hired Baron Haussmann to tear much of the city down and rebuild from scratch.
After surviving an assassination attempt outside the previous opera house, Napoleon III announced a competition to design one for Paris' new, less-secluded streets.
In creating such a spectacular foyer, adorned with marble, mosaics, and chandeliers, Garnier was setting aside as much space for socializing as for the performances themselves!
While the simplistic yet grandiose design was commended, few knew for what style it was aiming. When the Empress Eugénie asked, Garnier replied, "Why Ma'am, in Napoleon Trois!"
The cupola that crowns the opera house is a "false dome." It covers another, the space between which can retract the grand 7-ton chandelier hanging over the auditorium!
The Palais Garnier is open for visitors to wander around or take a tour from 10:00AM to 5:00PM most days. Due to performances and rehearsals, however, some access may be limited. You can check for exceptional closure information at visitepalaisgarnier.fr.
The Palais Garnier is located outside the Metro stop Opéra on lines 3, 7, and 8. It can also be reached via numerous bus routes: 20, 21, 22, 27, 29, 42, 52, 53, 66, 68, 81, and 95.
- When should I visit?
- 10:00AM to 5:00PM most days.
- Is it expensive?
- An adult ticket to visit the Palais is just 10.00 €.
- Will I need a guide?
- It will definitely help. Might be worth it to check out our best-selling tours.
- How to get there
- Take Metro lines 3, 7 or 8 to the Opéra stop, or one of the numerous buses that runs by.
- Additional information
- ** There are occasional exceptional closures, so check the official website and plan ahead!*
What people are saying about Palais Garnier
We had an absolutely amazing tour guide, I believe her name was Marie, a tiny/skinny girl with sparkling personality (dark trouser maroon top, group A at 11 am on 10/6). She made this visit very colored with positive emotions!!!
They were late getting started but the tour was really interesting and gave us a lot of historical information as well as interesting facts about the Opera. We had time at the conclusion to wander around and see more in depth.
We booked a visit to Opera Garnier at the last minute, and were so glad we did. Through each doorway was a scene more beautiful than the last. Both of us find it a stunning comparison to the palace at Versailles.
Combined with a boat trip this was a great way to see Paris. We went right round once and then decided where we wanted to go back to and used the hop on hop off facilty to travel around. Very good commentary.
4 stars because the tour itself was perhaps 30 minutes too long. Our guide was clearly very passionate and knowledgeable about the opera house and it’s history; it can be condensed.