If you’re interested in visiting the opera house, there is a better way than through doing one of the standard Palais Garnier tours. Follow along or scroll to the bottom to read how you can discover it a better way.
It has been my dream since I came to Paris for the first time, to watch an opera in Palais Garnier. Preferably with a handsome man, a dress out of a million and binoculars.
When I first arrived in Paris 3 weeks ago I looked up shows currently playing at Palais Garnier. Little did I know most operas are performed in Opera Bastille. I only noticed a ballet and one opera playing in July, before they go into hibernation mode until October (!). I don’t have that much time in Paris so I decided to look into the ticket prices of the ballet at Palais Garnier… yes. You definitely need a sponsor for that if you book a couple of weeks in advance. I scratched my plan and decided that now might not be the right time to go to Palais Garnier.
I am very stubborn and people always consider it a negative thing, however I absolutely love it. I felt deep inside I had to do everything I could to visit this stunning opera house. So I went back to their website a couple of days later. Truth be told, the website of Palais Garnier (and all other opera houses combined) is truly awful. There isn’t an event calendar of everything showing at Palais Garnier*. Deep in the sidemenu I found a button for concerts, I clicked it and found a series of chamber music concerts some Sundays. And guess what.. there was one in June!
I was super excited yesterday and got up at 9 AM to get in my fancy jumpsuit. With a ticket price of only 18, I knew I was going to be overdressed, but I didn’t care. I left my apartment at 10 to grab a coffee and enjoy some sun first. It must have been an interesting sight. It looked like I was doing a walk of shame in my fancy opera jumpsuit, but my make-up was pristine and my hair brushed.
After my coffee and some drawing, I jumped on the metro to Palais Garnier. I entered the opera and felt at home. The employees were wearing tuxedos. I walked over to the ticket desk since I had my ticket printed (as a souvenir!).
“La troisieme etage à droite, madame”. And so I walked up the stairs of the fabulous Palais Garnier in my stilettos, almost tripping over my jumpsuit.
An employee escorted me to the little door of my loge. I was sitting front row in a loge. I watched the opera house fill up and took in every element of the interior with its stunning chandelier, red velvet chairs and royally gold plated pillars.
At 12 PM sharp the musicians of the Orchestre de l’Opera appeared on the scene. For an hour I closed my eyes and took up all the beautiful violin music. I felt like a royal, in my loge with my fancy jumpsuit.
At 1 PM sharp the concert was over and I left the opera completely energized. What a great way to start a sunny Sunday.
The best way to view Palais Garnier..
is to attend one of their chamber music concerts on Sunday.
- They happen 5 times a year and are very low cost (15-25 euros).
- Book a seat front row of a loge to get a great view and feel like a royal
- You can book up until a week in advance (there will still be tickets) and online
- Make sure to check it’s at Palais Garnier on the website, and not on one of their other locations
*I hereby happily apply to improve their website