High culture is a quintessential part of Paris’ personality, and nowhere is that better expressed than in the city’s wealth of world-class museums. From art-world heavyweights to modernist stylings, here are six of the City of Light’s top museums.
Bastille Opera House (Opéra Bastille)
120 Rue de Lyon, Paris, 75012
Located amidst the bustle of Place de la Bastille, the Bastille Opera Househas been an important cultural landmark for upwards of three decades. Initially commissioned by François Mitterrand and designed by the then little-known architect Carlos Ott, the venue comprises a main auditorium of nearly 3,000 seats, as well as a smaller amphitheater and a studio theater.
The opera house is renowned for its modernist looks, including a partially transparent facade. It is the official home of Opéra National de Paris, and, in addition to its operatic offerings, also hosts ballet performances and other recitals. The Bastille Opera House can be glimpsed during hop-on hop-off bus tours of the city. Visitors can also book advance tickets to its many performances.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Bastille Opera Houseoperates complimentary cloakrooms, though it does not accept luggage or large bags.
On-site bars serve drinks and light refreshments during performances; place an order upon arriving at the theater to avoid waiting in long lines during intermissions.
The theater is accessible to those with mobility issues and has a number of reserved seats for wheelchair users.
Opera performances are subtitled in both English and French.
How to Get There
Bastille Opera House, at the Place de la Bastille, can be reached by numerous forms of transit. Take Métro lines 1, 5, and 8 to Bastille station; the Gare de Lyon, which is served by RER lines A and D as well as SNCF trains, is also located nearby. Bus lines 20, 29, 65, 69, 76, 86, 87, 91 stop in the area. You can also access the theater on foot and by rental bike, car, and taxi.
When to Get There
The Bastille Opera Houseis open for guided tours from Sept. 1–July 16, barring closures on Jan. 1 and May 1. It is closed for summer from July 17–Aug. 31. Its program of performances varies throughout the year, and it’s worth securing tickets prior to travel.
The Bastille Opera Houseoffers discounted tickets for visitors under the age of 28 who have a Pass’Jeunes card; visitors with reduced mobility also receive discounted tickets. The Bastille Opera Houseadditionally offers 32 standing places, which sell for a deep discount 90 minutes prior to performance times. Standby rates are also sometimes available.
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- 11th Arrondissement
- Maison de Victor Hugo
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- Picasso Museum (Musée National Picasso Paris)
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- 4th Arrondissement