Paris - Opera Garnier guided tours

Aug 18th, 2014, 01:07 PM
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Paris - Opera Garnier guided tours

I have never been able to quite figure out the Opera Garnier tour options. On my first trip to Paris many years ago we saw the entry, the staircase and candelabras, and such. We did not have a guide...didn't see the interior spaces, like the auditorium. Have always regretted that we didn't get a tour guide.

On our next trip we want to take a guided tour and see as much as possible. I take it from past discussions on these forums that the Opera itself offers guided tours? Are their tours preferable to those of the private tour companies? I couldn't find any details about the tours. Are they every day? Price? Do we just show up and sign up for the next tour? Is it kind of hit or miss... I.e., do some people get tours that offer access to more areas than others due to rehearsals, etc? (Probably going in November.)

If someone can point me in the right direction, I'm always happy to do my own research.
But, so far, I haven't been able to figure this one out.

JeanneB is offline  
Aug 18th, 2014, 01:44 PM
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We used this tour in Oct.'11 for $18 pp. the guide was just a delight and we enjoyed it very much. I don't think we would have got as much out of it on our own.

We take very few guided tours but this one was definitely worth it. It was in English, so look for that if you don't speak French. We did get a particular time & day.

Yes, there are many different tours to choose from and I don't know if this was the best. I would think it also depends on the individual guide. Some are more animated than others.
TPAYT is online now  
Aug 18th, 2014, 02:33 PM
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I tried to get the guided tour but they were sold out on the day I went to the Opera so I paid for the self guided tour and was disappointed. I did get to see the Opera house but there was a rehearsal and the auditorium was dark so the ceiling was very hard to see.

Another time I was going to take a Paris Walks tour but when we go to the Opera house we learned that the building was closed that day (unexpectedly).

You used to be able to enter through the front and buy tickets so you could see the staircase but now you enter from the side or rear and buy tickets down stairs.

I would book tickets in advance so the tours are not sold out.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 18th, 2014, 02:44 PM
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I did take a guided tour that gave more access than some guy off the street, but it was run by a French guide.

As far as I know, the place itself only gives tours for groups, and that is why private, licensed guides give their own tours (such as the one I had, I signed up with some friends). This is a website where you can sign up with a French licensed guide to do it, but they would be in French, as far as I know (this is the link they send you to on the Palais Garnier website itself, it's in the section about visites, here )

sign up for guided tours

If you just show up as a single person and the Palais itself gives tours, I am unaware of it.
Christina is offline  
Aug 18th, 2014, 03:00 PM
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They've been doing guided tours for individuals for at least 10 years. The current price is E14 for guided; E10 for self guided.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 18th, 2014, 03:01 PM
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I did the Paris Walks tour and enjoyed it. Fortunately there was no rehearsal so were able to see the Chagall ceiling. Maybe there's a Paris Walks tour when you are there - I believe I had to reserve in advance.
powhatangal is offline  
Aug 18th, 2014, 03:05 PM
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Well powhatangal, you got the Paris Walks tour and the Chagall ceiling. I strike out every time at the Opera.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 18th, 2014, 05:11 PM
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Adrienne: you provided the link I've been looking for. Thank you! I think I've been to that page before, but didn't realize I had to "open" the Individual/Group Tours information lines.

Since we're going in November, I hope there's a good chance we won't be told the English tour is full. I think we'll take our chances showing up on a tour day at the appropriate time.
JeanneB is offline  
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