Meet your knowledgeable guide inside the Opera Garnier for this tour of the famous building. It's one of Europe's largest opera houses, with seating for almost 2,000 people, and the premier opera house in Paris. Designed by Charles Garnier in the late 1800s, it was officially called the Palais Garnier to reflect its opulence and grandeur.
Visit the Member's Rotunda, with its inlaid mosaic floor and elegant lighting, which once served as the reception area for VIP opera-goers. Take in the incredible main staircase (Grand Escalier), with Greek gods and goddesses depicted in bronze on either side. Learn about the opera house's history, including beloved operas that have been performed on its stage and how this iconic theater inspired the setting for the novel by Gaston Leroux (and, later, musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber), 'The Phantom of the Opera.'
Walk into the enormous auditorium to be enveloped by the red velvet upholstery and golden décor. Everything is opulent and over-the-top, and perfectly theatrical. Don't miss the huge chandelier at the center of the auditorium.
See the Grand Foyer and the lounges where theater-goers can chat and get a drink during intermissions, and where you'll see yet more decorative mosaics, mirrors and paintings. These areas were designed to look like a typical French chateau. Tours typically end here, from which point you can continue to explore on your own.
Choose to upgrade your experience with an after-hours tour to see all the sights of this impressive theater without the usual daytime crowds. You'll visit all the same sights listed above, but your group will have the space all to itself.