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. Opéra Comique

    Grands Boulevards | Opera

    Opéra Comique—France's third-oldest theatrical institution—is a gem of an opera house whose reputation was forged by its former director, enfant...Read More

  • 2. Opéra Garnier

    Grands Boulevards | Opera

    The magnificent, magical former haunt of the Phantom of the Opera, painter Edgar Degas, and any number of legendary opera stars still hosts...Read More

    View Tours and Activities
  • 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. Opéra Bastille

    Eastern Paris | Opera

    This mammoth ultramodern facility, designed by architect Carlos Ott and inaugurated in 1989, long ago took over the role of Paris's main opera...Read More

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  • 5. Théâtre du Châtelet

    Louvre | Opera

    Also known as Théâtre Musical de Paris, this venue stages some of the finest opera productions in the city and regularly attracts international...Read More

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