How do you choose from the thousands of things to do in Paris? The City of Lights is also the unofficial City of Music, so Paris’ world-famous classical music venues should certainly be on your itinerary. While the hordes gather around the Mona Lisa, skip the lines in Paris by planning your visit to one of the top music venues before you leave home. Here are our recommendations:
The Picture-Book Opera House
The home of the Paris Opera and Paris Opera Ballet is a Neo-Baroque landmark, the quintessential historic opera house, complete with a grand staircase, red velvet, sparkling chandeliers, and of course, some of the highest caliber opera productions in the world. Skip your drink during intermission and use the time to explore the house.
Find a performance at Palais Garnier
Philharmonie de Paris
Brave New World of Music
World-famous architect Jean Nouvel designed this contemporary temple of Paris classical music. Opened in 2015, the new home of the Orchestre de Paris is an absolute sensation. Don’t miss the view from the panorama café on the sixth floor.
Find a performance at Philharmonie de Paris
Théatre des Champs-Elysées
A Paris Legend
A rare Parisian example of Art Deco architecture, this opulently decorative theater was the site of the famous riot of 1913, set off by the premiere of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”. Perched atop the concert house, the rooftop restaurant, La Maison Blanche offers spectacular views of Paris and excellent food.
Find a performance at Théatre des Champs-Elysées
Opéra Royal Versailles
A Taste of Opera History
What was good enough for the “Sun King” now satisfies classical music and opera fans from around the world. The opera house planned by Louis XIV and completed by his heir hosts a full season of opera, with an emphasis on the Baroque Era. Add an extra royal touch to your Versailles opera: The VIP ticket category includes a glass of champagne at intermission.
Find a performance at Opéra Royal Versailles
The People’s Opera
A celebration of democracy and art, this contemporary edifice is the second home of the Paris Opera, inaugurated on the bicentennial of the storming of the Bastille. The tremendous house with its transparent facade was intended to open opera to a broad audience. The fascinating backstage tour is a great plan for visitors wondering what to do in Paris when it rains.
Find a performance at Opéra Bastille