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Close to the Louvre Museum, the Palais Garnier is ideally located in Paris. With an entrance ticket, you can visit this magnificent Italian-style opera house. Find out all you need to know before you come.

Palais Garnier: mirroring the artistic soul of Paris

Designed by Charles Garnier and inaugurated in 1875, the Opéra Garnier, also known as the Palais Garnier, is housed in a magnificent building. It is a historic monument, a grandiose work of art and a symbol of France’s cultural prestige.

One of Paris’s most recognizable landmarks, the opera house is on the Place de l’Opéra in the 9th arrondissement.

At first glance, you’re captivated by the building’s sumptuous architecture. Its facade, adorned with sculptures, columns, and friezes, gives a glimpse of the elegance that awaits inside. The Beaux-Arts style, emblematic of the Second Empire, blends classical grandeur with an almost baroque whimsy that evokes the glamour of the theater.

Inside, the Opéra Garnier continues to dazzle. Right from the start, the Grand Escalier greets you. This architectural masterpiece, with its marble steps, gilded balustrades, and bronze statues, makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into a fairy tale.

Auditorium opera garnier
Palais Garnier Auditorium Source: Gabriela Beres/

The tour then takes you through the opera’s various rooms. Among them, the auditorium, with its incredible ceiling painted by Marc Chagall and its Baccarat crystal chandelier, is a must see.

The Foyer, which mimics the appearance of castle galleries, with its giant mirrors, gilded mosaics, and ceiling paintings, is another room that’s sure to fill you with wonder.

ceilings Grand Foyer opera garnier
Look up and admire…

But the Opéra Garnier is more than just an architectural marvel. It’s also a showplace of artistic creation par excellence. The Paris Opera Ballet, one of the world’s most renowned dance companies, makes its home here.

To visit the Opéra Garnier is to enter a world of history, art and culture.

Highlights of a visit to the Opéra Garnier

  • Grandiose, detailed architecture
  • The chance to attend exceptional shows
  • The site’s rich history
  • The Grand Staircase, an architectural gem

Disadvantages of a visit to the Opéra Garnier

  • The long wait at the ticket office for those who didn’t buy the ticket in advance
  • The visit is not possible when events are taking place in the palace (check before you go!)


What can you see at the Palais Garnier?

A visit to the Opéra Garnier is a feast for the eyes and the mind.

The journey begins as soon as you approach this impressive building. As the photos in my article testify, you’re transported into a world where art, history, and culture blend to perfection.

opera garnier night
At night, the lighting illuminates the building.

The building’s exterior is a spectacle, with its grandiose façade dominated by a gilded copper frieze depicting the various stages of musical creation. Take a moment to admire the details of the façade, from the statues to the entrance mosaic, before entering the building.

Inside, the white marble Grand Staircase is an architectural marvel that leads to the theater’s various levels and halls. The walls are adorned with sculptures and the vaulted ceilings are decorated with painted frescoes. Look up and marvel at the detail and grandeur of this magnificent staircase.

But the staircase is only the beginning of the discovery. Equally impressive is the Opera Foyer, with its painted ceiling, gilded mosaics, and glittering chandeliers. Take time to admire the murals and gilded ornaments that evoke the luxury and opulence of the period.

Grand Foyer palais garnier
The Grand Foyer is a highlight of the visit.

The auditorium is undoubtedly the jewel of the Opéra Garnier. With its ceiling painted by Marc Chagall and its massive crystal chandelier, it’s a true masterpiece. When the curtain rises, the auditorium lights up with a thousand lights, creating a magical atmosphere.

And if you’re lucky enough to attend a performance, prepare to be dazzled by the quality of the performances and the magic of the music. On a self-guided tour, the aisles of the opera house are out of reach. But with a guided tour, you can.

And don’t forget the Bibliothèque-Musée de l’Opéra, with its vast collection of documents on the history of the Opéra Garnier and the art of opera.


How much does admission to the Opéra Garnier cost?

Admission to the Opéra Garnier is

  • Self-guided tour: €14
  • Guided tours: this depends on the tour you choose.

Check out the current price on GetyourGuide.

How long does a visit to the Palais Garnier last?

Allow between 1h30 and 2h to discover this magnificent place.


Where is the Palais Garnier?

The Opéra Garnier is located on the Place de l’Opéra, 75009 Paris.

How do I get to the Opéra Garnier?

If you’re coming by car, you can use a nearby parking lot, such as the Parking Indigo Olympia.

For public transport, metro lines 3, 7 and 8 serve the Opéra, as do RER lines A and E at Auber station.


What are the opening hours of the Opéra Garnier?

The Palais Garnier is open every day from 10a.m. to 5p.m. However, it may be closed during performances.


My opinion of the Opéra Garnier: is it a good visit?

I hadn’t originally planned to visit the opera. But, as my visit to the Musée d’Orsay was shorter than planned, we made the trip to the Palais Garnier.

When I entered this emblematic building, I quickly realized that I wouldn’t regret my visit. The splendor of the architectural details, the brilliance of the gilding, the richness of the frescoes and moldings… Everything here speaks of a bygone era when art and aesthetics were king.

interior opera garnier
The Palais Garnier is a brilliant blend of art, history, and culture.

We opted for a self-guided tour, because with my fatigue I was worried that a guided tour would be tiresome. With an audio tour to complement it, it was an excellent idea.

I won’t repeat the main highlights, as I’ve already mentioned them above. To cut a long story short, we loved it, and the most impressive part is clearly the ceilings painted by Chagall.

However, not everything was perfect. I wasn’t prepared for the long queue to get a ticket. We arrived at 2p.m. and were able to start our tour at 2:30p.m. If you’re planning to visit the Palais Garnier, don’t be like us and book your ticket.


What else can you do near the Opéra Garnier?

Once your visit to the Opéra Garnier is over, the City of Light still has a lot to offer. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Shopping at Galeries Lafayette
  • Exploring Printemps Haussmann
  • Visit to the Fragonard Perfume Museum
  • Discover the Place Vendôme
  • Macaroon tasting at Ladurée
  • Visit the Madeleine church
  • A stroll in the Tuileries Gardens
  • Visit the Musée de l’Orangerie
  • Discover the Palais Royal
  • Visit to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France
  • Visit the Musée Grévin…


As a professional blogger, I take advantage of my flexible schedule to travel a lot. I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list!