Enjoy a tour of the stunning Beaux Arts architecture and opulent interior at the Palais Garnier Opera House, inspiration for the play 'Phantom of the Opera'

This nineteenth century Opera House is one of the most opulent buildings in Paris and one of the most recognised opera houses in the world. Commissioned by Napoleon III, it was created by Charles Garnier in the popular Beaux Arts style of the time with heavy glass chandeliers, sweeping marble staircases and gilt decorations.

Now home to the Paris Ballet, it has a 2,000 seat theatre and is as resplendent as it used to be and a must-see on any trip to Paris. So take a step back in time and admire the decadence and excess of the late 1800s.

Please note: Paris Pass gives you entry to entry to the guided tours in English only at the times stated.


  • Seven tonne chandelier of pure bronze and crystal
  • The Grand Staircase made of white Italian marble
  • The Grand Foyer dedicated to allegorical muses decorated with frescoes and mosaics
  • Impressive stage and theatre space
  • Marble rotundas for the high society

Did you know:

  • The huge chandelier that hangs in the Opera house weighs an impressive seven tonnes and was criticised at first as it obstructed the view of those in the fourth level
  • Garnier designed the staircase like a theatre itself, so that the opera-goers could admire each other like a show of everyone in costume before the performance
  • A marble rainbow, the staircase is made up of white marble from Italy, green marble from Sweden, as well as red marble – not to mention French jasper and onyx added for good measure!
  • The Phantom of the Opera was originally written by Gaston Leroux in 1910 and was partly inspired by real events – legend has it there was a ballerina’s skeleton uncovered in the Palais Garnier… 
  • Many buildings around the world have been inspired by the Garnier Opera House, including the Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków and the Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro to name a few…

Don't miss:

Grand Staircase

The sweeping marble staircase is one of the most impressive features of the Opera Garnier and was inspired by Victor Louis’ Grand Theatre in Bordeaux. You’ll be overwhelmed by the opulence of the architecture and design; it’s not just any old stair case, this one incorporates blends of luxurious marble from Italy, Sweden and France as well as precious stones that glimmer under the light displays. Flanked by 30 monolithic marble columns, and illuminated with great candelabras, don’t forget to admire the ceiling frescoes painted by Isidore Pils.

Grand Foyer

Charles Garnier pioneered the use of mosaics as a decorative method in France and embellished the vaults leading up to the Grand Foyer fully with intricate patterns. Inlaid in the gold ground are the allegorical figures of Diana, Eurydice, Aurora and Psyche. Measuring an impressive 154m long, the foyer is bookended by two huge fireplaces, and not to mention the detailed fresco which stretches across the ceiling, painted by Paul Baudry in 1874.


The bronze and crystal chandelier that hangs in the Opera House is one of the world’s most famous. Allegedly in the late 1890s, the counterweight of the chandelier broke and fell through the ceiling, resulting in the death of a member of the audience. Unfortunate as it was, it was drawn on for a scene in the Phantom of the Opera. Despite its slight obstruction of the view from the fourth level at the time, it has come to represent one of the most iconic features of the Garnier Opera House.


The ‘subscriber’s rotunda’ was a gallery for the most seasoned visitors, usually the elite of Paris. They would entertain guests in private boxes and benefited from VIP treatment. Although the rooms were finished-off slightly behind schedule and their decorative themes were in reverse, you can admire the 16 Italian marble columns and look out for Garnier’s signature engraved in the columns – which was frowned upon at the time!

Note: The tour uses a headphone broadcast system. Customers will be required to leave a piece of ID (either passport of ID card) in exchange for the broadcast device, which will be returned at the end of the tour. One piece of ID per family is required.

How to get there:

- Opera (metro lines 3, 7, 8)

Make the most of your Paris Pass:

- Enjoy a free guided tour of the Garnier Opera House with The Paris Pass – saving €15.50
- Explore Paris’ other historical sites like Notre Dame and Palace of Versailles to discover the city’s rich architectural history

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Full List Of Attractions Included

It was a great decision to buy the Paris Pass and I recommend it to others. The Paris Pass was very useful to our enjoyment of Paris. We used it daily and went to some places that we probably wouldn't have chosen or known about if we had not had it. Paying for all of this in advance freed us from having to constantly purchase tickets, exchange money and carry a lot of cash. We felt it was a good value and so easy to use. My advice, purchase a Paris Pass to enhance your visit.
Jo Ann Raymond from United States

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Tour times
Monday 11.00 & 14.30
Tuesday 11.00 & 14.30
Wednesday 11.00 & 14.30
Thursday 11.00 & 14.30
Friday 11.00 & 14.30
Saturday 11.00 & 14.30
Sunday 11.00 & 14.30

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8 Rue Scribe 75 009 Paris


+33 (0)1 42 46 92 10