Is it Worth Visiting the Opéra Garnier (Paris)?

You only need to take a look at the facade of the Opéra Garnier to be impressed by this unique Parisian monument. With its imposing facade, its big glass dome and its golden statues, it is one of the most impressive monuments in Paris. Are you wondering if it is worth visiting the Opéra Garnier? Here is our opinion.

The Facade of the Opéra Garnier
Photo credit © Peter Rivera / Wikimedia Commons under CC BY 2.0


Our Opinion

What We Liked

  • The splendid rooms
  • The affordable price
  • The night time visits
  • The audio guide designed for children

What We Didn’t Like as Much

  • People with reduced mobility can not access the temporary exhibitions.
  • You can neither access the backstage nor the sets.
  • The Opéra Garnier often closes because of rehearsals or shows.

The Opéra Garnier is an important monument of French and Parisian culture. You will be amazed by its decoration worthy of a king’s castle. No matter if you love History, art or even literature, you will be delighted by this visit.

Children will also enjoy this visit thanks to an audio guide especially designed for them.


A Little Bit of History

History of the Opéra Garnier

Napoléon III organized a competition between 200 candidates to select the Opéra Garnier’s architect and Charles Garnier won it. Napoléon wanted this monument to be very impressive. The construction started in 1861 and lasted until 1875.

Nowadays, the Opéra Garnier, which was first named the Opéra de Paris, is the biggest opera in all of Europe. It can host up to 1.900 people. It often holds shows of all kinds.


Visiting the Opéra Garnier

Interior of the Opera Garnier
Photo credit © Campus France under CC BY 2.0

Practical Information

How to Get There?

Address: Place de l’Opéra, 75009 Paris

If you choose to go there by car, you can park along the Rue de la Chaussée d’Antin or the Rue Haussmann.

Note that it is difficult to find a parking space there and that it is expensive. That is why we recommend you get there by public transportations.

  • From the station Opéra (underground line 3, 7 or 8)
  • From the RER station Auber (RER line A)


Price and Opening Hours

Opening Hours

  • Every day -10am to 4:30pm
  • Closed on January 1st and on May 1st

As we do for most Parisian monuments, we recommend you do not visit the Opéra Garnier during French school holidays, summer holidays and weekends.

Note that the opera often closes because of rehearsals and shows.


  • Full price: 12 euros
  • People between 12 and 25: 9.50 euros
  • Free for children under 12.

We recommend you buy your tickets online as the queue to buy them at the opera can be long.

To buy your ticket online, click here.


Complementary Information

Luggage Restrictions

Unfortunately, you can not visit the Opéra Garnier with a suitcase or a big bag.

We recommend you let them at the left luggage City-Locker Opéra at the 33 Rue Godot de Mauroy (a 5-minutes walk from the Opera). You can get your luggage back every day between 8am and 10pm as this left-luggage is completely automatic and secured.

You will have to pay 9 euros by locker.

Book online on the City-Locker website.


People with Reduced Mobility

Most of the rooms are accessible for people with reduced mobility thanks to the lifts in the opera. However, people with reduced mobility can not access the temporary exhibitions.

The visit is free for people with reduced mobility and people accompanying them.

People with reduced mobility can also access the Opéra Garnier’s shows. Do not forget to mention it when you book and to arrive 45 minutes before the beginning of the show at the Rue Scribes… People with reduced mobility will enter the Opéra Garnier by the stage door.


The Visit

A Gallery of the Opera Garnier
Photo credit © Jean-Pierre Dalabéra under CC BY 2.0

You can visit the Opéra Garnier on your own, with or without an audio guide.

There are two different audio guides. With the first one, the tour lasts 1 hour and with the second one, 1h30. There is also an audio guide especially designed for children.


Visit the Opéra Garnier on Your Own or With an Audio Guide

If you visit the Opéra Garnier on your own, you will discover the most iconic places of the Opera — the Pythie’s basin which leads to the Grand Escalier and to the 30-meters high nave, the different drawing rooms, halls, the theatre… You can admire the architecture of this splendid building for as long as you want as your tickets do not have a time limit. We recommend to plan between 1h and 1h30 for this visit.

If you chose to visit the Opera on your own with an audio guide, you will be completely free to move and will not miss any important place of the Opéra Garnier! It is the perfect solution for families who want to enjoy their visit while looking after their children.

There are two different audio guides — with the first one, your visit will last 1 hour whereas with the other one it will last 1h30. There is an audio guide especially designed for children which will arouse your children’s curiosity for an entire hour.

If you love shopping, do not worry! There are several shops in the Opéra Garnier — books on music, dance, books and models for children etc. You will find the perfect souvenir to never forget your memorable visit to the Opéra Garnier!


Is it Worth Booking a Guided Tour?

You can visit the Opéra Garnier with a guide on weekdays’ afternoons. Guided tours last 1h30. You can also attend a guided tour after the Opera has been closed to the public. You will plunge deep into the Opera’s secrets. When the night comes, you may have the good (or bad) luck to meet the Opera’s ghost … Shivers and mysteries are guaranteed!

Your guide will show you the nave, the drawing rooms and even the theater.

We strongly recommend you to attend a guided tour as you will discover all the Opera’s secrets. Most of the rooms and visits are accessible to people with reduced mobility as there are many lifts. Nevertheless, they can not access the temporary exhibitions.

Visits are free for people with reduced mobility and for the people accompanying them.

You will have the chance to ask all your questions you want to your guide, something that you can not do with an audio guide!

The backstage and sewing workshops can be visited during private visits, more expensive than classical guided tours. If you can afford it, it is a visit you should not miss. It costs 700 euros for a visit of the Opéra Garnier and its backstage.

Here is a small glimpse (in French)  of what you will have the opportunity to see if you attend to these visits:


Virtual Tour

It is now possible to visit the Opéra Garnier with Google Street View!

Make yourself comfortable and enjoy a visit of the Opéra Garnier as if you were there!

You will access lots of places closed to the public -the opera’s roof, the underground lake and even the dressing rooms. There are many details -you can even read the artists’ name on the tags on the costumes!

If you can not go to Paris, this virtual tour is a good solution. Nevertheless, it is better to see it with your own eyes.

To enjoy a virtual tour, click here (in French).


Attending a Show

Auditorium of the Opera Garnier

You can of course go to the Opéra Garnier to attend a show. Ballet, opera … You have a lot to choose from!

The Opéra Garnier’s theater is a splendid and majestic place with its red velvet, golden moldings and marble structure.

If you have the opportunity, we strongly recommend you attend a show. You will have an amazing time you will never forget. Some shows are especially designed for children.

The shows have variable lengths.

Prices vary too. Tickets cost between 15 and 200 euros depending on the show and the period. If you buy one of the cheapest tickets, you will, of course, not have a good seat so we do not recommend you buy these tickets.

To book online and check the program, click here.

Are you still hesitating? Take a look at this video showing the Opéra Garnier’s architecture, we are sure it will convince you:


Good Addresses near the Opéra Garnier

Where to Eat near the Opéra Garnier?

Le Coco

Le Coco
Photo credit © Romain Ricard

The Opéra Garnier has its own restaurant called Le Coco. It is located inside the Opera and is as luxurious as the Opera itself. We recommend you book in advance.

If you chose to eat inside, you will enjoy your meal surrounded by luxurious decorations. You can also eat on the restaurant’s terrace which is also especially beautiful. From the terrace, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful view of this beautiful monument.

Average price: 54 euros for a meal.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday — noon to 2:30 pm and then 7 pm to 2 am.

Address: Palais Garnier, 1 Place Jacques Rouché, 75009 Paris

Website: Le Coco


Capucine – Opéra

Capucines - Opéra
Photo credit © Capucines – Opéra

This brasserie serves a typical French cuisine in a cozy atmosphere. The dishes are plentiful, delicious and made with fresh ingredients. They serve oysters, soups, rib steaks and even hamburgers.

Located very close to the Opéra Garnier, it is the perfect place to eat after your visit of the Opéra Garnier or just before a show.

Price: Main courses from 19 euros.

Opening hours: Every day — 7am to 1:30am.

Address: 39 Boulevard des Capucines, 75001 Paris (a 6-minutes walk from the opera).

Website: Capucien – Opéra (in French).


Eric Kayser – Vendôme

Ham sandwiches
Photo credit © Eric Kayser

We recommend this bakery for people with a tight budget.

There are many seats so you can enjoy your meal here.

Sandwiches, breakfasts, pastries, quiches, salads… This is the perfect place if you are in a hurry and want to enjoy a good meal.

Price: Between 4 and 7.20 euros for a sandwich, a quiche or a salad.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday — 7am to 8:30pm.

Address: 33 Rue Danielle Casanova, 75001 Paris

Website: Eric Kayser


Other Places to Visit near the Opéra Garnier

Musée Grévin

Charlie Chaplin at the Musée Grévin

This museum is so famous that it needs no introduction.

You can admire the wax statues of your favorite celebrities -Georges Clooney, Barack Obama and even Queen Elizabeth II -Everybody will find a celebrity they love.

Price: Adults: 24.50 euros. Children (from 5): 18.50 euros.

Free for children under 5.

To book online, click here.

About this topic: Is It Worth Visiting the Musée Grévin?


Place Vendôme

The Place Vendôme
Photo credit © Hugh Millward / Wikimedia Commons under CC BY 2.0

It is one of the most famous squares in the world. It was built by Jules Hardouin Mansart. It houses the famous Vendôme Column which was erected by Napoléon to commemorate the Austerlitz battle.

So why not going there before or after your visit of the Opéra Garnier?

It is a 9-minutes walk only from the Opéra Garnier.