Discover Paris Theatre and Opera Life
Shopping and Opera Adventures in Paris
A gem in Paris, Galeries Lafayette is a gorgeous department store.
Whether you want to shop for souvenirs or do some window shopping, its well worth your time to drop in and admire the stunning architecture of the Belle Époque Design.
Some visitors feel that Galeries Lafayette is a tourist trap, but the building is like an art exhibit with 7 floors of shopping and a large atrium in the center which offers unique views down to the main floor.
Above the atrium is a dome featuring beautiful stained glass windows. The balconies of each floor are beautifully ornate with decorative details which highlight the grand architecture.
While you are on the 7th floor, wander up to the rooftop Terrace Restaurant to see the amazing views of Paris and to rest from your shopping with a drink and lunch while you check out the breath-taking panorama.
From the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette, there is a grand view of the Paris Theatre and Opera House, as well as classic Haussmanian buildings.
For more vacation ideas and details see this Galeries Lafayette Department store guide.
If you want to purchase some inexpensive but nice souvenirs to take home or give away to your family and friends, there are numerous vendor stalls set up in front of Galeries Lafayette where you can find some practical and funky items.
Whenever I’m in Paris, I always make a trip to this fabulous department store to see what the vendors are selling and have purchased an awesome collection of fashion jewellery.
I have received so many compliments for the unique rings I have found there…and it’s fun to be able to say “I bought this in Paris”.
Take a Tour of Opera Garnier the Paris Opera House
The Paris Opera House (also known as Palais Garnier) is located on the Avenue de l’Opéra which is a Haussmanian avenue in the centre of Paris.
The Avenue de l’Opéra runs from the Louvre to the Palais Garnier.
Front View of the Paris Opera and Avenue de l’Opéra (left photo) and back of Paris Opera from the rooftop Terrace Restaurant of Galeries Lafayette (right photo)
This Parisian avenue has no trees as a result of a compromise between Haussmann and Charles Garnier, the architect of the Opera House, who wanted the best possible view of the Opera at the end of the avenue.
Charles Garnier did not want the view of this stunning Paris theatre to be obstructed by the leaves and branches.
Dome of the Paris Opera House as seen from the Galaries Lafayette rooftop Terrace Restaurant
Avenue de l’Opéra is very popular, lined with travel agencies, banks, boutiques, and of course the famous Paris restaurant, Cafe de la Paix, which can be found on this avenue directly across the street from the Paris Opera House.
From this square, you can quickly walk over to the fantastic department stores behind the Opéra, to Galeries Lafayette and to Printemps, both on Boulevard Haussmann.
Discover the Glamorous Printemps Department Store
Printemps is another beautiful department store with great shopping, exquisite eateries and a rooftop Paris restaurant, Le Deli-Cieux, which offers a stunning panoramic view of the fine monuments of Paris.
This is a great spot to enjoy the romantic views of Paris while sipping on a glass of champagne.
For another unique experience at Printemps, sit under a dome of glass-stained windows in its cupola of the Brasserie Printemps, a delightful Paris restaurant in a lovely, dramatic setting.
Here is more information about Printemp department store and its gastronomical venues: Printemps Department Store Restaurants
Café de la Paix – A Famous Paris Restaurant
I enjoy walking on Avenue de l’Opéra and feeling the grandeur of this boulevard. When I have a chance, I hang out at one of my favourite cafes, Cafe de la Paix, where I relax and do some people-watching.
Café de la Paix is a famous Paris restaurant in the 9th arrondissement located directly across from the Paris Opera House Opera Garnier.
Designed by Charles Garnier, the Cafe opened June 30, 1862 and is as well known and popular Paris restaurant today as it was during the Second Empire, particularly because of its prime location near the Paris Opera House.
Relax at Café de la Paix – Sip on a glass of Wine or Beer and Enjoy the Views of the Paris Opera as well as great People-Watching
With a great view of Opera Garnier, this Paris restaurant attracted a lot of famous writers, journalists, artists, businessmen and theatre goers, including Jules Massenet, Guy Maupassant, Emile Zola, Oscar Wilde, Tristan Bernard, Gide, and also Marlene Dietrich and Hemingway.
To get to Café de la Paix, take the Paris Metro Line 14 to the Pyramides station, which is part of the METEOR Project, an express automated metro train without a driver. Try the Paris Metro METEOR – its great, especially because there are a limited number of stops on this line, which shortens your travel time to major locations.
After lounging at the Cafe, visit the Paris Opera House and then walk around it to see the bustling department stores of Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.
If you are a bargain hunter, take a stroll along the side streets around these department stores to discover the boutique shops with many great deals to offer.
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