The Opera district is first of all an elegant neighborhood characterized by the « haussmannien » style of architecture with large cut stone buildings and imposing entry-halls typical of the capital. The emblem of the Opera district is, without a doubt, the majestic Opera Garnier, whose exterior alone is worth the visit, with its glided details and statues. But beyond this well-known edifice, did you know about the rich and varied activities in the Opera district? A perfume museum, major department stores, boutiques, a wax museum like the one in London, or gourmet pastry-shops to make your Instagram contacts envy you: in short, there’s what to discover.
The Opéra Garnier
Not to be missed, the Palais Garnier is the first Opera house of Paris (the second, more modern is the Opera, Bastille and dates from the 20th century). This monument was inaugurated under Napoleon II (1875), it has an excellent program of classical music, opera and ballet. If you are not lucky enough to attend a concert, you can still visit the Opera Garnier: the interior all of stone, brocade and chandeliers will astonish. Recently, the Opera Garnier has even become the site of a giant escape game around the theme of the Fantome of the Opera…
Opéra Garnier, Place de l’Opéra – 75009 Paris
The Fragonard Museum of perfume
Just next door to the Opera Garnier you can discover the secrets of the fabrication of perfume. The Fragonard Museum offers a free tour which will initiate you into the process of perfume-making. If you are a group, don’t forget to reserve in advance! And if it is a more hands-on experience that you are searching for, the museum has a one and a half-hour workshop on perfume making.
3-5 square Louis Jouvet, 75009 Paris – Ouvert du lundi au samedi, de 9h00 à 18h00
Shops and Department Stores
The Opera district, mainly a business district, is also a key location for shopping. Luxury and beauty find their at home in the major department stores, Galleries Lafayette or Printemps. These distinctly Parisian style malls remain undisputed temples of elegance where you will often find the most refined French label concentrated in one store.
Take a walk around rue du Scribe and the neighboring streets, you will find the select name brands (Lancel, Maje, or Eric Bompart, known for its cashmere sweaters) as well as the chains such as Uniqlo and Mango. Shopping addicts ; its all here.
Printemps – 64 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France
Galeries Lafayette – 40 Boulevard Haussmann , Paris 75009
Eric Bombart, 1, rue du Scribe, Paris 75009
The covered passages
Unexpected showers and your umbrella is broken? Perfect time to take shelter in one of the marvelous covered passages in the neighborhood, the Galerie Vivienne or the Passage Choiseul, for example. You will find yourself in a timeless world, amidst bookshops, rare stamp stores and art galleries. Discover more about the passages in detail here .
A tasteful break
Parisians and tourists alike enjoy a leisurely cup of tea with a pastry in a luxurious setting in any season. In the Opera neighborhood one the best places is the legendary Cafe de la Paix (in front of the metro exit), a mythic cafe where you can enjoy desserts and hot chocolate. This brasserie is also well-known for its seafood.
Café de la Paix, 5, place de l’Opéra, Paris 9e.