Paris: Cheap Tickets to Opera and Concerts

Paris: Cheap Tickets to Opera and Concerts - Paris, France

By Tom Meyers

We love Paris. We love classical concerts and operas. And we love saving money. Thus, we combined our loves and put together a list of five ways to do culture in Paris à la cheapo.

Paris Bastille Opera

The Opéra Bastille is housed in a modern building right on Place de la Bastille.

Free classical music

Pick up a Pariscope, the weekly listings guide (in French), at any magazine kiosk and flip to the classical concert listings. You'll see many freebie concerts, often by young musicians and local ensembles, held on Sundays in churches around town.

We're especially fond of concerts in the 16th Century Eglise St-Merri, in the 4th arrondissement, which presents free concerts on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year. (Incidentally, the bell tower contains the oldest bell in Paris, cast in 1331!)

Cheap seats for concerts in major venues

Paris boasts world-class performances in state-of-the-art musical halls. Best of all, many of these venues receive government support to help keep ticket prices affordable—or at least some ticket prices affordable. (Don't be thrown by expensive seats. Hunt around a bit on the Web sites and you'll find the cheap seats!)

The Salle Pleyel is a great performance hall, offering performances by classical stars and touring orchestras. Tickets can be found for major concerts from €10. (Check out the post we wrote on the Salle Pleyel when it opened.)

Théâtre du Châtelet, located at Place du Châtelet in the 1st arrondissement, offers modern and classical concerts, from recitals to full orchestras. Again, ticket rates are surprisingly reasonable, starting at €20 for most concerts.

Cheap seats for Dance

Théâtre de la Ville, located across from Theater du Châtelet, provides modern dance performances. Tickets are quite reasonable, many priced at €13-20.

The celebrated 19th century Opéra Garnier presents mostly ballet and modern dance pieces. Even if you're not a dance enthusiast, you can't help but be impressed by the building's neo-Baroque architecture, sweeping staircase, 2,200 seat grand salle and ceiling by Marc Chagall.

Cheap seats for Opera

The Opéra National de Paris operates both the Opéra Bastille and the Opéra Garnier. The Opéra Bastille, a controversial building when it opened in 1989, presents operas throughout the year and boasts that each of its seats provides an unobstructed view of the stage. Although ticket prices go as high as €150, seats for the same performance go as low as €5.

We'll see you at the show... in the cheap seats!

About the author: Tom Meyers is the Editor in Chief of 

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