The Palais Garnier is one of the homes of the Paris Opera and regularly hosts some of the most stunning operatic and theatrical performances in the world. Outside of its importance in the France opera community, the Palais Garnier is a shining showcase of the artistry on display in Paris. With its masterfully preserved exterior facade and insanely detailed architecture, the Palais Garnier stands tall in a city which is already home to some of the most iconic buildings in the world.
The development of the opera house began back in 1860, as a part of civic planner Baron Haussmann's plan to transform Paris. Almost 15 years and a lot of setbacks later, the Palais Garnier was officially inaugurated on 5th January 1875. At the time of its opening, the Palais Garnier was the biggest opera house in the world and although others have taken the top spot in terms of capacity, there's no other which beats it in terms of sheer grandeur and cultural significance. Planning to catch a show at the Palais Garnier? Our Palais Garnier seating chart guide has all the information you need to make your experience spectacular.
Total Capacity: The Palais Garnier houses 1979 seats in total.
Best Seats in the Theatre: Centre seats of orchestra section or any seat in the balcony section.
The Palais Garnier is structured like a typical opera house with an orchestra and balcony surrounded by loges. In terms of the best seats in the house, we would recommend opting for the centre seats in the front rows of orchestra section or any seat in the balcony section. Being close to the stage is especially great if you're watching a ballet and can really elevate your entire experience.
Best Value for Money Seats: Last row corner seats in the orchestra section.
It you're not too keen on spending too much for your opera experience, there are value for money seats in the Palais Garnier to choose from. In the orchestra section, book corner seats in the last few rows. The front row seats of 1st loges de côté and the middle rows of the 1st loges de face are also quite value for money. You can also find reasonably priced seats in the middle rows of the amphitheatre.
Navigating The Palais Garnier Seating Chart
The Palais Garnier is an old-school opera house and houses 1,979 seats in total which are spread across multiple sections namely orchestra, balcony, boxes and amphitheatre. Here's a look at each of these sections.
Palais Garnier Orchestra
Home to the best seats in the house, the Palais Garnier orchestra section is the closest from the stage and offers unrivaled views. Most of the premium seats in the opera house are located in the center of the orchestra section.
Palais Garnier Balcony
Just behind the orchestra section is the first elevated level of the opera house; balcony. The balcony section also houses some of the best seats in the house. In fact, except for the extreme corner seats and the seats next to support pillars, the entire section is marked for premium seats.
Palais Garnier Boxes
Most of the seats in the Palais Garnier are located in the boxes. There are two types of box seats available at this opera house; loges de face which face the stage and loges de cote which are on either side of the orchestra and balcony section. There are five levels of loges de cote and four levels of loges de cote. The fourth level facing the stage is labeled amphitheatre. Views offered from box seats vary wildly but the good news is that tickets are available for an equally varying price point.
Shows Playing at Palais Garnier - Tickets
The play explores the complexity of familial relationships when King Lear, who is growing old and senile, bequeaths his kingdom to two of his three daughters after they flatter him to glory. His third daughter Cordelia, who refuses to appease him, receives nothing. However, his other two daughters start treating him disrespectfully after receiving all his wealth and power, forcing Lear to forge a better relationship with Cordelia. Tragedy soon strikes the two, exposing their vulnerabilities and stripping them bare.
he play explores the life of Don Giovanni, an arrogant womanizer who preys on women across Europe and kills anyone who gets in his way, while feeling no remorse for his actions. When given a chance to pay for his sins, Don refuses and is therefore condemned to hell for all eternity. Dark and gripping, this opera reveals hidden sides and perspectives you may never have seen before.
Which Seats Offer the Best View
Given its size, there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to premium seats in the Palais Garnier. In the orchestra section, the front center seats offer the best view. In the balcony, everything except the extreme corner and support pillar seats offer the best view of the stage. In the first and second loges de face, the front rows are also considered premium.
Which Seats Offer the Best Value for Money
If you're looking for value for money seats in the Palais Garnier, you'll find options in most of the seating sections of the opera house. In the orchestra section, the corner rear row seats offer a pretty decent view of the stage and don't cost a lot. Similarly, in the box level 1 and 2, the front and middle rows are quite value for money. In the amphitheatre section, the middle row offers good views of the theatre and won't cost a lot.
Palais Garnier Seating Chart | Practical Information
Accessibility: The Palais Garnier is wheelchair accessible through the box office located on the corner of rue Scribe and rue Amber. Some boxes in the opera house have been modified to accommodate patrons in wheelchairs. In the Palais Garnier, the front facing first level boxes are reserved for wheelchair users.
Cloakroom: Free of charge restrooms are available on various floors of the Palais Garnier. Please note that travel bags and suitcases are not allowed inside the venue.
Restaurants : The Opera Restaurant located at the Palais Garnier is open during the day and in the evening. There are set menus and a-la-carte meals available during lunchtime, rapid service during intervals and a haute cuisine prepared by celebrity chef Christophe Aribert after the performance.
Palais Garnier Seating Chart | Handy Tips
- Apart from operas and ballets, you can also indulge in a tour of the Palais Garnier. English tours are on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm. In the months of July and August, English tours happen daily at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm.
- Plan your day in a way which allows you to take a Palais Garnier tour and watch an opera as well. The tour is informative and will help you better appreciate the majesty and grandeur of the opera house.
- There's only one ticket counter for both tours and theatre. If you're planning on buying your tickets at the venue, be prepared for a long waiting time since the box office is pretty crowded. You can avoid the hassles of waiting in queue by booking your tickets online.
- The Palais Garnier roof has a massive honey beehive which is harvested annually. Get a tiny bottle from the gift shop on your way out for a perfectly quirky souvenir.
- If you arrive late for a performance, you'll have to wait for the first scene or act to end before taking your place. Plan your day properly to avoid getting late.
- While there's no strict dress code, you are required to dress suitably. For a gala event, men can wear a dark suit while ladies can opt for a dress.
- People under 28 and over 65, and the unemployed can enjoy an opera performance at discounted rates. Please check the Palais Garnier box office at least 30 minutes before curtain up.
Restaurants Near The Palais Garnier
1. Moghol: Enjoy traditional Indian and Pakistani food in Paris at this warmly decorated informal restaurant.
2. Hippopotamus: This chain restaurant doubles as a French steakhouse and serves quality meats and homemade sauces.
3. Five Guys: A popular fast-food chain serving made to order burgers, hot dogs, fries plus free peanuts while you wait for your order!
4. Fauchon: Established in 1886, this flagship store serves luxury French sweets, savories and wines.
5. Buddha Bar Paris: With three levels around a massive Buddha statue, Buddha Bar serves Pan-Asian, European, and Californian cuisine in a warm environment.
The Palais Garnier is located at Place de l'Opera 75009 and is easily accessible via a variety of public transport options. Here are your most popular options:
Metro: In lines 3, 7, and 8 the Opera station stops at the Palais Garnier. You can also board trains in lines 7 and 9 (Chaussee d'Antin station) and lines 8 and 14 (Madeleine station) and the RER A line (Auber station) to get to the opera house.
Bus: Buses in routes 20, 21, 22, 27, 29, 42, 52, 66, 68, 81, and 95 stop at the Palais Garnier.
Car Park: If you're bringing your own vehicle, there's a car park located in Rue Bruno Coquatrix; Q-Park Edouard VII.