Paris opera

Music and architecture fans are a 10-minute walk from the Palais Garnier, home to the Opéra National de Paris. Commissioned by Napoleon III and built by Charles Garnier, the ornate opera house opened in 1875. During the day, you can explore the building’s public spaces, such as the Bassin de la Pythie, with its towering vault and Grand Escalier, a curving, double staircase made of marble.

A gigantic bronze and crystal chandelier bearing 340 lights hangs in the horseshoe-shaped auditorium. Keep gazing upwards to spot the ceiling artwork by Marc Chagall. Visitors can also explore the Library-Museum of the Opera, which chronicles the theatre’s history and displays paintings, photos and set models.

For extra insight, pick up an audio guide or join a guided tour.

Make sure you return at night to see a performance. A packed programme of opera, ballet and concerts features world-renowned artists.