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Palais Garnier tours

Hello. Has anyone done the private (after 5pm) tours? Not seeing much online other than 'the secrets of the Paris Opera outside of general hours.' It does say 'this visit does not include a behind the scenes tour' so I'm wondering what the 'secrets' are. Perhaps it's less crowded? I'd just love to see such a stunning building! Thank you.

Posted by
2573 posts

I have taken the regular tour, which takes you throughout the building. Not sure if I saw any secrets, though.

Posted by
8164 posts

Secrets is a nonsense word that tour operators and web sites use to cater to shallow people for whom say seeing the Opera Garnier is not enough of a draw. I am sure the place itself will be enough to dazzle you. FWIW. decades ago when I was taking my then 14 year old daughter on a self guided tour of the Garnier we saw a family of Japanese tourists disappear through a stairway door that was pretty obviously off limits -- but hey they did it, and so we followed and explored beneath the main levels of the opera house hoping to find the lake. Didn't find a lake but found storage areas for opera sets and such. No phantom. Oddly no one interfered. with out quest -- but I still don't recommend it.

Posted by
4061 posts

Sneaking into an opera auditorium may not be such a vivid experience because the lights are often off when unoccupied. Even if a stage crew is at work the lighting is often limited.

Posted by
8164 posts

Didn't sneak into an auditorium -- but into the underground areas below it all -- searching for the phantom's lake doncha know. The main hall is open for tourists to observe from balconies so they can see it if there is no rehearsal underway at the time -- otherwise, it is the outer areas only. All quite dazzling. A beautiful building although not a patch on the Bastille house for actually seeing and hearing an opera.

Posted by
22 posts

The regular tour is fantastic! Seeing the Phantom’s box and Chagall’s ceiling were incredible. Allow plenty of time, there’s a lot to see.