Paris Cultural Events – Classical Music in the City of Light

Where else but Paris could you hear classical music in great historical churches? Or see a ballet by one of the world's greatest companies performed in a Belle Épôque gem of a theatre? Or revel in some of the greatest operas every written performed in one of the greatest opera houses? You can be sure that every night there is a spectacular cultural event taking place in one of the capital's great venues.

By attending an event at the Bastille Opera House, Palais Garnier, or a Gothic church you'll experience an Insiders Paris that few tourists discover. To make sure you reserve a seat we recommend that you check the list of events and order tickets before you leave home. And that's easy to do, using the links below.

Concerts at Historic Gothic Cathedrals

Concerts at Cathedrals

Paris churches and cathedrals are more than just historic landmarks, a lot of them are also venues for classical music concerts.

There is nothing quite like an evening of amazing music in one of these historic buildings. It's haunting and completely memorable. Further down on this page you'll find links to some specific churches and cathedrals, or read our complete guide —

Concerts at La Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle

On the Ile de la Cité, this French Gothic masterpiece was built as Louis IX's personal cathedral. Following centuries of conflict and vicissitudes in 1862 it was named an Historic National Monument.

Today, you can visit Sainte-Chapelle during the day (entrance is free with the Paris Pass), and, in the evening, attend concerts in this stunning landmark. Sainte-Chapelle is Paris Insiders readers' favorite concert venue.

Music at Notre Dame Cathedral

Music at Notre-Dame Cathedral

For nearly 800 years music has been an integral part of this world famous landmark. Attending a concert in the soaring Notre Dame Cathedral is a once-in-a lifetime experience.

The only way to guarantee your seats is to order online in advance, otherwise, tickets on a first-come first-serve basis. The concerts range from an evening of Bach, an organ recital, a stunning rendition of Ave Maria, to medieval Christmas music.

Music at Other Churches & Cathedrals

Classical Music at Paris Churches

By know it's pretty clear that classical music in all its forms is a firm part of Paris cultural life, and concerts performed in the city's historical churches and cathedrals is a long-standing tradition. Being part of this traditional scene is going to make your visit to Paris that much more memorable, and we can't recommend it highly enough! But be sure to order your tickets before you leave home. That way you'll be able to guarantee seats at the following Paris churches — online.

Ballet at Palais Garnier

Paris Ballet at Palais Garnier

The oldest national ballet company in the world is the Paris Opera Ballet, established in 1673. Today, the company performs mostly at the splendid Palais Garnier. The company's repertoire ranges from romantic and classical to contemporary. You never know what treat you're in for at Opera Garnier, as it's familiarly called.

Like other Paris performances, the only way to ensure you get seats at a performance is to order online before you leave home. Just choose your ballet and click, it's that simple.

Opera at Bastille

Opera de la Bastille

Opera, too, has long been an important part of what is France's City of Culture. Today most opera performances take place at the modern Opera de la Bastille.

Not only will you hear great opera, you'll also get a chance to listen to the Orchestre de l'Opera National de Paris (the Paris Opera Orchestra). And with 280 performances per year, the odds are good that you'll have an opportunity to squeeze in a show when you're in Paris. But, you have to book early because tickets sell out.

Opera in Paris – A History

Opera

As we mentioned, opera and ballet have been integral parts of Paris culture for hundreds of years, and there's been at least one opera house in Paris continuously since 1669. Because there has always been a desire to improve the theatres, there currently are two opera houses in Paris – the classically lovely Palais Garnier at Place de la Opera, built in the 1870s and where ballet and concerts are stage; and the modern and modernistic Opera de la Bastille, home to the Paris Opera company.

Luckily, these days it is extremely easy to buy tickets online for a performance at one of these grand palaces.

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