Europe Travel

Paris Opera House

We went on a tour of the Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier) and I was blown away. I haven’t been in a theatre that beautiful before. And I’ve been in some stunning theatres. Although it’s important to keep in mind that at the time the Opera House was built it wasn’t about seeing the opera, it was about being seen AT the opera.

The Palais Garnier was commissioned by Napoleon III in 1861, and was completed in 1875. It was designed by Charles Garnier, and seats 2,013 people, with many of the seats being private boxes.

One of the most stunning things about the auditorium was the contrast of the ceiling by Marc Chagall with the heavy gilding and detailed 7 ton chandelier. Chagall did the ceiling in 1964 to cover the old one by Jules Lenepvue (which was preserved intact). It’s one of the largest stages in the world (the largest in Europe) and I would have loved a chance to run around on it; perhaps giving my female Hamlet.

The Palais Garnier is the setting for the Phantom of the Opera, and in 1869 the chain holding up the massive chandelier snapped killing one audience member. And while I didn’t see any ghosts, it was easy to imagine Christine Daae running around up and down the many beautiful staircases.

Today the Palais Garnier is used primarily for ballet.

outsidecandles in operabalconies insidedetails grand ceilingstaircasegb in opera housetilesopera box seatschagall ceilinggrad hallwaygb in hallwayoutside on balcony view from opera house

Corner of Rues Scribe and Auber. 75009 Paris. Tickets cost 10€ and students get a discount.

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  • Absolutely beautiful. I love Pgantom of the Opers!!!

  • Robert @ablogbyrobert

    The Palais Garnier is stunningly beautiful, isn’t it. It’s a shame they don’t perform more opera there because seeing a performance there is an unforgettable experience. I’m sure the ballet would be great, too, though I’ve never been.

    • I’ve been to the ballet a few times (it used to be my tradition with my gran) but never at a venue that’s this gorgeous! So I’d love to get that opportunity one day. x

  • Tee

    Paris Opera House looks stunning! How did I miss this when I was in Paris two times before? 🙂 Hope you enjoyed your trip, Amanda!

  • Claudz

    A beautiful building!

  • Wow so beautiful!

  • Oh wow. Gorgeous pics Amanda! I’ve never seen it from the inside before but I remember thinking how beautiful it was when we walked past years and years ago. xx

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle & Fashion

  • Wow! What a stunning building! Your photos are just beautiful!

    • Thank you so much Sarah. It was such a beautiful building that it was photogenic despite my skills! x

  • How beautiful! I hope I get to visit this place one day. The Phantom of the Opera is one of my favorite stories. Super creepy AND romantic. Speaking of creepy, those black plastic bags in the 9th picture looked like giant bats to me when I first saw them. My stomach did a little flip, haha.

  • Amazing!! I miss going to Paris myself too! Hope you’ve had a great time there!!

  • That is gorgeous! I mean the architecture and how lavish it is and the sheer history behind it is just fascinating! Didn’t even know it existed! I would love to go visit and even more to go see a ballet there!x

    • I’d love to be able to go to the ballet there as well. Hopefully we’ll both have that opportunity one day! x

  • Holy wowohwow!! That is just stunning!

  • Marielle

    That is crazy gorgeous! I could totally see the Phantom running around there.

  • Great photos! I suddenly remembered The Phantom of the Opera LOL

  • Wow, what a stunning building! I love the paintings on the celling, they’re really interesting.

  • That was one of my favorite places that we visited on a whirlwind four day visit to Paris back when I was in college. I wish we’d had time to go to a performance there–I think it would be SO amazing! I definitely read Phantom of the Opera again before we visited, and I was totally looking for ghosts in all the corners, too! 🙂

    • I would have loved to see a performance there! Hopefully we’ll both have the chance to one day! x

  • Go in! It costs but you’d get an under25/student discount and it’s so pretty! x

  • I hope you do as well Zoe! I’d love to go back and actually see a ballet there one day! x

  • Wow! I would love, love to see a ballet there. Can you imagine how magical it must be? Sigh… 🙂

  • I love that you went inside, we tried but they weren’t doing tours when we went, so we just took pictures of the outside. I just absolutely love Paris architecture.

    • It’s a great excuse for you to go back one day then! I’d love to get to see some ballet there too…. 😉 x

  • Amanda, you make me want to board a plane and go to Paris right now! The opera house is one of my favorite buildings, especially because of that gorgeous mural above the chandelier!

  • Out of all the times I’ve been to Paris, I still have yet to see the interior of this opera house! I honestly have no good excuse. (Maybe this is a good reason to go back to Paris soon?) But your photos are gorgeous, and they inspire me to watch the Phantom of the Opera for the millionth time 🙂

  • Em

    Holy moly, I wish I would have visited this place when we were in Paris. Just want to put a ballgown on and run around it!

  • This is one of my favorite spots in all of Paris!! You’ve captured it so nicely. Back in the day when I studied there, I took a few classes here with the pregnant ballerinas. They were amazing and danced circles around me even when they were 7 months pregnant…put the dancing in perspective 😉

    • Ballet class with pregnant ballerinas sounds amazing. I wish I could have experienced that! I didn’t know you studied in Paris! Where/what were you studying when you were there? xx

      • It was intimidating is what it was… but really glad I did it! I spent my junior year of college in Paris as a French major… those were the good old days when we could take whichever classes we wanted to. As long as they were in French, we got credit!

  • The Palais Garnier is exquisite! I only ever got to see the outside and I was impressed enough by that, but the inside is breathtaking! I would absolutely love to return to Paris one day and watch a ballet there. I love the ballet and seeing it at the Palais Garnier would be a dream come true!