Opéra Garnier is a Parisian icon. To those in the know, this opulent opera and ballet house is as much a part of the cultural fabric of this city as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Tour Eiffel. And to everyone around the world, it’s known as the setting for The Phantom of the Opera. Perhaps the most beautiful opera house in the world, Opéra Garnier is packed with history. Take a self-guided tour of this remarkable home of the music (of the niiiight).
Opéra Garnier (also known as Palais Garnier) has swinging chandeliers, a grand marble staircase leading to its Grand Foyer, and a 2,000 seat auditorium. You’ll be transported to the rich elegance of yesteryear as you take a self-guided tour of this beautiful building.
Charles Garnier designed this opera house for Emperor Napoleon III, and construction began in 1862, but the project was held up by the discovery of an underground lake onsite. Tour groups aren’t allowed down to the Phantom’s lair, but considering how it turned out in Gaston Leroux’s novel Phantom of the Opera, maybe that’s for the best.
However, you will visit many hidden nooks and crannies that make this one of the largest theaters in the world (by acreage). See the impressive façade and its rose marble columns, check out the intricacies of the friezes, admire the auditorium’s seven-ton chandelier and the Grand Foyer’s mosaic-covered ceiling, and make sure to take in the temporary exhibitions.
Like the sweeping drama of the musical it inspired, everything you do in here will feel epic.