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Visitor's Guide to the Paris Opera Garnier

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A detail of the Opera Garnier in watercolor from Oregon-based artist Norman K. Vance.

A detail of the Opera Garnier in watercolor from Oregon-based artist Norman K. Vance

©2008 Norman K. Vance

Paris Opera Overview:

Seating 2,200 people, the imposing Opera Garnier in Paris -- also known as the Palais Garnier or simply the Paris Opera-- is an architectural treasure and essential spot for the city's ballet and classical music scene. Designed by Charles Garnier and inaugurated in 1875 as the Academie Nationale de Musique -Theatre de l'Opera (National Academy of Music - Opera Theater), the neo-baroque style Opera Garnier is now the home of the Paris ballet. The city's official opera company relocated to the starkly contemporary Opera Bastille in 1989.

Location and Contact Info:

The Opera Garnier is located in Paris's relatively central 9th arrondissement, more or less directly north of the Tuileries Gardens and the adjoining Louvre Museum. It's also one of the crowning attractions of the Opera-Haussmann neighborhood, one of Paris's most coveted shopping districts and the hub of major department stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.

Address: 1, place de l'Opera, 9th arrondissement
Metro: Opera, Pyramides or Havre-Caumartin
RER: Auber
Telephone: +33 (0)1 40 01 80 52
Visit the official website

Access, Opening Hours and Tickets:

Access

Visitors can tour the main premises of the Opera Garnier during the day and visit the site's museum, either on an individual basis or as part of a guided tour. For more information, click here.

Opening Hours

10am-4.30pm (September 10th-July 15th); 10 am-5:30 pm (July 15th-September 10th). Closed January 1st, May 1st.

Cashier closes: 30 minutes before closing time.

Tickets

Ticket prices for ballet and other performances vary. To consult current and upcoming performances at the Opera Garnier and book tickets in English, consult this website.

Food and Dining:

A recently opened restaurant situated on the Palais Garnier's eastern side (simply called "L'Opera") offers good-quality cuisine for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Fixed-price menus are available at limited times. Read my full review of L'Opera Restaurant here.

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