Paris theaters provide many options for entertainment, including opera, ballet, and drama. While culture in Paris is more commonly explored in the museums and landmarks of the city, there are many further options as well. Shows in Paris extend beyond dramatic works, and travelers of any language can enjoy opera, ballet, and symphony. One of the challenges for visitors to Paris is a language barrier, and this keeps many people away from purchasing Paris theater tickets. While options in English are scarce, opera and ballet can make for a special night on the town.
Theaters in Paris
For up-to-date information on the latest in Paris France theater, consult the publication Pariscope: Une Semaine de Paris, which has an English-language section. Published every Wednesday, this paper will provide you with detailed information on the latest productions at Paris theaters. Another source of information in Paris is The Paris Free Voice which is published monthly and geared towards people looking for cultural events in English. With the help of this publication, you should be able to find shows in Paris that are performed in English.
Paris theater tickets can be purchased at the venue itself or through a travel agency. If you plan on purchasing your tickets beforehand, a travel agency is usually the easiest way to go. If you want to travel a bit more spontaneously, there are usually tickets available up to the night of performances, and sometimes purchasing at the last minute will secure you a substantial discount. Don’t expect this to be the case at every performance, as some shows in Paris sell out very far in advance. There are multiple performances across the city on any given night though, so if one production is sold out, odds are you can secure tickets for something else.
If you want to see a production at the Odeon while you are in Paris, it is wise to make reservations online at their website. Paris theater tickets for the Odeon are usually sold out two weeks before performances. With two theater spaces, the Odeon hosts large-scale productions in a variety of languages. Including such writers as Edward Albee to Samuel Beckett, this theater of Europe has supported the work of international playwrights. For such a major theater, tickets can be surprisingly affordable. If you have some understanding of the French language, Comedie-Francaise can’t be beat—this impressive theater has hosted most of the important French playwrights of the last four centuries.
If you don’t speak any French, stick to the Paris theaters that offer music. The Opera Garnier, Theatre du Chatelet, and the Opera Bastille all offer opera and ballet performances. Housed in important historic buildings, attending a performance is a cultural, historical, and artistic experience all at the same time. Reasonable prices attract visitors to these types of performances, which are accessible for people of all languages. See a different side of Paris with its theater—you’ll be experiencing a perspective of the City of Light that goes beyond the main attractions and museums.