Paris

The performing arts scene in Paris runs the gamut from highbrow to lowbrow, cheap (or even free) to break-the-bank expensive. Venues are indoors and outdoors, opulent or spartan, and dress codes vary accordingly. Regardless of the performance you choose, it's probably unlike anything you've seen before. Parisians have an audacious sense of artistic adventure and a stunning eye for scene and staging. An added bonus in this city of classic beauty is that many of the venues themselves—from the opulent interiors of the Opéra Garnier and the Opéra Royal de Versailles to the Art Deco splendor of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées—are a feast for the eyes.

One thing that sets Paris apart in the arts world is the active participation of the Ministry of Culture, which sponsors numerous concert halls and theaters, like the Comédie Française, that tend to present less commercial, though artistically captivating, productions. Other venues with broader appeal are known for sold-out shows and decade-long runs.

Most performances are in French, although you can find English theater productions. English-language movies are often presented undubbed, with subtitles. Of course, you don't need to speak the language to enjoy opera, classical music, dance, or the circus.

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  • 1. L'Olympia

    Grands Boulevards | Concerts

    Paris's legendary music hall hosts an eclectic roster of performances that cover such far-flung genres as gospel, jazz, French chanson, and...Read More

  • 2. La Cigale

    Montmartre | Concerts

    Artists like Maurice Chevalier and Arletty were once a staple of this small concert hall in the storied Pigalle neighborhood before cabaret...Read More

  • 3. Opéra Royal de Versailles

    Dance

    The most lavish opera house in France (and perhaps in all of Europe) hosts an impressive yearly calendar of major operas, ballets, recitals...Read More

  • 4. Philharmonie de Paris

    Eastern Paris | Concerts

    Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, this is one of the world's finest and most expensive auditoriums. It can accommodate 2,400 music lovers...Read More

    View Tours and Activities
  • 5. Salle Pleyel

    Concorde | Music

    Once one of Paris's major classical music venues, these days Salle Pleyel's packed concert calendar mostly focuses on contemporary music,...Read More

    View Tours and Activities

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