Tour the magnificent Beaux Arts landmark and discover the history of the Palais Garnier Opera House.

One of the grandest and most opulent buildings in Paris, Palais Garnier Opera Housse was built in the 19th century and is one of the most recognised opera houses in the world. Commissioned by Napoleon III in the popular Beaux Arts style, the building is home to sweeping marble staircases, gilded decor and jaw-dropping glass chandeliers. This iconic structure also served as inspiration for the play the "Phantom of the Opera.

Home to the Paris Ballet, the Opera House can seat 2000 in the theatre and has retained its glory of the past, making any tour inside a journey back in time to the decadence of the late 1800s. A must-see on any visit to Paris.

Please note: Paris Explorer Pass gives you entry to entry to the guided tours in English only at the times stated.

Highlights

  • Seven tonne chandelier made of pure bronze and crystal
  • The Grand Staircase made of white Italian marble
  • The Grand Foyer's decor is inspired by the allegorical muses, featured in frescoes and mosaics throughout
  • Magnificient stage and theatre space
  • Marble rotundas

Did you know?

  • The Opera House's impressive chandelier was originally criticised as it obstructed the view of people sitting in the fourth level.
  • The sweeping staircase was designed to be like a theatre itself, so that opera-goers could admire each other like a show before the performance started.
  • The staircase is made up of white marble from Italy, green marble from Sweden, as well as red marble – not to mention French jasper and onyx too!
  • The Phantom of the Opera was originally written by Gaston Leroux in 1910 and was partly inspired by real events – legend has it, a ballerina’s skeleton was uncovered in the Palais Garnier…
  • Many buildings around the world have been inspired by the Garnier Opera House, including the Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków and the Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro to name a few

Don't miss

Grand Staircase
The sweeping marble staircase is one of the most impressive features of the Opera Garnier and was inspired by Victor Louis’ Grand Theatre in Bordeaux. The opulence of the architecture and design; mix of luxurious marble from Italy, Sweden and France as well as precious stones make it a spectacular sight to behold. Flanked by 30 monolithic marble columns, and illuminated with great candelabras, don’t forget to admire the ceiling frescoes painted by Isidore Pils.

Grand Foyer
The architect of the Opera House, Charles Garnier was a pioneer of decorative mosaics in France and ensured that the Opera House's Grand Foyer was full of intricate designs. Inlaid in the ground are the mythical figures of Diana, Eurydice, Aurora and Psyche. The Grand Foyer stretches 154m long, is bookended by two impressive fireplaces and the ceiling features a beautiful fresco painted by Paul Baudry in 1874.

Chandelier
The bronze and crystal chandelier that hangs in the Opera House is one of the world’s most famous. In the late 1890s, the counterweight of the chandelier broke off and fell through the ceiling resulting in the death of a member of the audience - this event served as inspiration for an iconic scene in the Phantom of the Opera. It's one of the most iconic features of the Garnier Opera House.

Rotundas
A gallery for the most seasoned visitors, usually the elite of Paris, the Rotundas would play host to VIP guests in private boxes, finished off with decorative themes and 16 beautiful Italian marble columns, which secretly contain Garnier's signature engraved upon them!

Note: The tour uses a headphone broadcast system. Customers will be required to leave a piece of ID (either passport of ID card) in exchange for the broadcast device, which will be returned at the end of the tour. One piece of ID per family is required.

Using your Paris Explorer Pass

Show your Paris Explorer Pass at the main entrance

How to get there:

- Opera (metro lines 3, 7, 8)

The Paris Explorer Pass is the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility. Choose to use your pass for free entry to Palais Garnier Opera House, then look to the list of other top attractions for your other Explorer Pass admission choices!

Tour times
Monday 11.00 & 14.30
Tuesday 11.00 & 14.30
Wednesday 11.00 & 14.30
Thursday 11.00 & 14.30
Friday 11.00 & 14.30
Saturday 11.00 & 14.30
Sunday 11.00 & 14.30

Closed:

Please check our Closure & Notices page for changes in opening hours and closure dates.

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Address:

8 Rue Scribe 75 009 Paris

Telephone:

+33 (0)1 42 46 92 10