Palais Garnier is an opera house that was built to seat 1,979 guests. Construction started in 1861 and finished 14 years later in 1875. Originally called the Salle des Capucines, it was renamed Palais Garnier to celebrate its grandeur and its architect, Charles Garnier. Today it is mainly used to host ballet productions and is no longer the primary home of the Paris Opera since the Opera Bastille opened in 1989 with the ability to seat 2,700 guests.
Palais Garnier was the scene for the famous screenplay, The Phantom of the Opera, which was originally written by Gaston Leroux and later adapted to a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1986. This fact alone makes the Palais Garnier worth seeing if you have any love of opera and the stage.
Palais Garnier was commissioned as part of the reconstruction of Paris that was initiated by Emperor Napoleon III. The actual design of the opera house was created by Charles Garnier who won the architectural competition on May 29th 1861. The competition was in two phases. The first phase was out of 171 applicants which Charles won 5th place in narrowly becoming one of the 5 finalist competing for the second phase. In the second phase he improved greatly to first place while the winner of the first competition did worse. Charles Garnier's design was chosen for being the best and most simplistic, clear, logical and grandeur thanks to all the unique and superior qualities presented in his plans for the beautiful opera house. Garnier had to design a double foundation to accommodate the basement area because the ground water levels on the site were too high to allow the site to drain properly. This high level of ground water brought about a legend that the Palais Garnier was built on an underground lake, a concept used by Gaston Leroux in his novel and screenplay.
Palais Garnier is home to the world famous crystal and bronze chandelier that hangs in the centre or the Opera House. This massive chandelier's weight of seven tons and cost 30,000 gold francs. In 1896 one of the counterweights for the chandelier fell killing one of the workers. This very unfortunate accident was the result of the inspiration that Gaston Leroux used in his famous novel the Phantom of the Opera.
It took until 2011 for a restaurant to open and operate successfully in the Palais Garnier. Three previous attempts failed. The Palace didn't even have electricity installed until 1969. A restoration project was started in 1994 and only completed in 2007.
There has never been an opera house as extravagant and opulent as the Palais Garnier. Walking into the entrance hall and being confronted with the Grand Staircase made from solid white Italian marble is enough to astound even the most affluent visitors.
Nearby attraction: Musee Grevin
Facts For Your VisitFee: Yes - Free with the Paris Pass.
Address: 8 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris, France
Phone: 01 71 25 24 23
Official Website: Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier)
|Metro / RER Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|M3, 7 or 8||Opera||1 minute|
|M9||Chaussée d'Antin - La Fayette Station||2 minutes|
|M12 or 14||Madeleine||9 minutes|
|RER A||Auber||3 minutes|
How to get to Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier) by Metro / RER
By Metro: Exiting Metro Line 3, 7 or 8 at Opera Station places you directly in front of Palais Garnier. From Metro Line 9 exit at Chaussée d'Antin - La Fayette and walk south on Rue Haievy to the entrance. From Metro Line 12 or 14 take the Place de la Madeleine exit from Madeleine Station Madeleine and walk straight ahead on Place de la Madeleine to Boulevard de la Madeleine and go left. Continue straight to the entrance of the Opera House.
By RER: Take the RER A to Auber Station; exit and go left along Rue Auber to the entrance (3 minutes).
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Ratedout of 5
Could there be a more beautiful building in Paris? Incredible interior and gorgeous theatre. Book a box seating if you can to ensure best view and comfortable seating. I walked around everywhere for half an hour before the ballet started. A must.
Nicole Maguire - 15 days ago
Rich in history. I was surprised of its rich hx esp the ceiling that you would only think a bunch of squiggly design. I recommend the inside guided tour. It’s a must see/do! Love this Palais! 💜 I sat & looked around in the Opera area & just breathtaking.
Mary Clark - 21 days ago
Incredible architecture. Foyer was same style as Hall of Mirrors at Versailles but much more elaborate. I highly recommend a tour of this opera House. Also your the immediate area when you are there. Great stores in close proximity.
Dan & Tracey Vickruck - 1 month ago
Access to the main room is not always possible due to repetitions or miscellaneous events preparation. But there are several beautiful parts of the Palais that must not be missed. For those who like taking nice pictures be prepared for high luminosity lighting systems. For the richest ones there is a restaurant on the left of the building. Lowest seat prices is about 10 Eur but with some restrictions ...
Fabrice Lu. - 1 month ago
Not all the tourism guides list this place as a must see!! This is a must must see! The sophisticated look this building has is amazing! You can sit for hours inside and you will still find something new to see. The different types of marbles that form the combination of colors deserve alone the visit. If a pretty woman wants to look gorgeous should only wear a gown and go there with a normal camera and get the fantastic fancy looks if a princess. I recommend the audio guide. It could turn your sight to things you wouldn’t find out on your own. No crowd, no stress and a wonderful experience. Look for the golden room (in the photos)
Nathalie El Joundi - 1 month ago