Opéra and Grands Boulevards

The liveliest quarters of the Right Bank (2nd, 8th, 9th and 10th)

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Night owls know this part of the Right Bank well: Grands Boulevards and Opéra are the quartiers where clubs, theatres and bars have reeled in pleasure-seekers for centuries. The area got its look when Baron Haussmann carved his iconic boulevards through Paris’ old centre during the Second Empire. Charles Garnier’s wedding cake (Palais Garnier) is there as a gilded centre-piece, but this is also where you’ll find the Rex Club (temple to electronica), David Lynch’s much talked about Silencio club, numerous Irish pubs and comedy theatres. History-wise the district’s got a lot going for it too - it was near today’s Hôtel Scribe that the Lumière brothers held the world’s first public film screening in 1895.

Further down the boulevard towards Place de la Madeleine, the Olympia concert hall was a legendary venue for Piaf, the Beatles and anyone in chanson. And just opposite at N° 35, pioneering portrait photographer Nadar opened a studio in the 1860s, frequented by Offenbach and Doré. In 1874 it even hosted the very first Impressionist exhibition. While you’re in the area, make sure to catch the Opéra Garnier’s ceiling, painted by Chagall in 1964, and don’t forget to free your inner shopaholic in the Grands Magasins (department stores) Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, which line boulevard Haussmann just behind. At Christmas the crowds line up to admire the sparking window displays, so sharpen your elbows.

Restaurants in Opéra and Grands Boulevards

Les Noces de Jeannette

  • Price band: 3/4

Fun, friendly and value for money, Les Noces de Jeannette’s is a buzzy, sociable place popular with groups of friends and wonderfully French. Stood opposite Opera Comique and near the Grands Boulevards, it’s very central and easy to find. Five rooms over two floors begin with a cosy entrance bistro adjoining a 30 to 50s cinema-themed dining room, both serving seasonal, brasserie-style daily

  1. 14 Rue Favart, 75002
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Happy Days

  • Price band: 3/4

Happy Days restaurant and cabaret in Paris is living proof that the music and telly of the sixties, seventies and eighties never died. In fact, we've found the exact location in Paris where you can hear nightly renditions of the great sounds of the era -- soul, blues, r'n'b, rock, disco -- and view scenes from classic tv shows in an atmosphere that's warm and welcoming and most of all fun. This

  1. 23 Rue Saint Marc, 75002
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L'Ami Georges

  • Price band: 2/4

L'Ami Georges is known for its traditional French food. It fits the image of a classic Parisian bistro too, with its wicker chairs grouped outside beneath a burgundy awning on the corner of Rue Quatre Septembre across the river from Ile de la Cite. Inside is all softly-lit cosiness. Confit de canard, cassoulet, cheese burger, terrines, mussels in white wine, steak frites – everything is fresh

  1. 5 Rue du Quatre Septembre, 75002
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Hotels in Opéra and Grands Boulevards

Vivienne Opéra

Located in different locations in the centre of Paris, just a 10-minute walk from the Opéra Garnier, Vivienne Opéra offers modern, self-catering apartments with a balcony. Richelieu-Drouot Metro Station is only 200 metres away.Accessed by a lift, the apartments features a living area with satellite TV and a bathroom. The kitchen includes a microwave, stove and refrigerator.Grocery shops and

  1. Different Locations in Paris City Centre , 75002
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Habitat Parisien - Amboise

Set in the heart of Paris, the luxurious 3-bedroom apartment Habitat Parisien – Amboise is only 800 metres from the Opéra Garnier. It has a contemporary décor and features a spacious living room.With a small balcony, this apartment offers a decorative fireplace and design furniture. Free Wi-Fi, an LCD TV and DVD player are featured. There are 2 bathrooms, 1 with a bath while the other has a

  1. rue d'Amboise, 75002
  2. €400.00 to €400.00 per night
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Hotel Icône

Ideally located in Paris’ stylish 2nd district, Hotel Icône is just a 10-minute walk from Opera Garnier and 200 metres from Richelieu-Drouot Metro Station. It features stylish, air-conditioned rooms.Each soundproofed room is individually decorated and pays tribute to different cinema icons. A flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a minibar are provided in each room.Every morning,

  1. 4 Rue D'amboise, 75002
  2. €95.00 to €220.00 per night
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Shopping in Opéra and Grands Boulevards

Village Joué Club

Village Joué Club, the largest toy store in Paris, is spread out in and around passage des Princes. The rabbit warren kiddie complex totals nearly 22,000 square feet with fifteen individual storefronts. Parents could lose days being dragged from the Playmobil section to the costume room via shelves laden with dolls, wooden toys and action figures. There's even a children's hairdresser and room

  1. 3-5 bd des Italiens, 2nd
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Passage des Panoramas

Opened in 1834 and going strong ever since, featured in Emile Zola’s 1880 novel ‘Nana’, the Passage des Panoramas is the most characterful of Paris’s covered galleries, crammed with quality bars and restaurants, vintage postcard shops and philatelist boutiques. First up is the quirky Victoria Station, where you can dine in what looks like a velvet-lined train carriage, followed by the

  1. 10 rue Saint-Marc, 2e
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Les Passages Couverts

  • Critics choice

For the full list of covered passages in Paris, click here.In 18th and 19th century Paris, the areas around today’s Grands Boulevards created many glass-roofed shopping galleries known as les passages couverts (covered passages). These forerunners to our modern day malls simultaneously allowed you to take a shortcut, shelter from the rain, shop, dine or spend a secluded, debaucherous hour in

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Music and nightlife in Opéra and Grands Boulevards

La Gaîté Lyrique

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

19th-century composer Jacques Offenbach isn’t usually associated with cutting-edge digital art, but after a 10-year revamp, Offenbach’s former Belle Époque Gaïté Lyrique theatre has been turned into Paris’s first ever digital cultural centre - a 7 floor, multidisciplinary concert hall cum gallery that thrusts visitors deep into the realms of digital art, music, graphics, film, fashion,

  1. 3 bis rue Papin, 3e
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Chez Moune

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice
  • Free

Unlike the majority of Parisian nightclubs, Chez Moune offers free entry, so there’s always a big queue outside. The music here is eclectic and trendy with an emphasis on electro-rock: do not miss the underground label nights from the likes of Katapult and Meant Records and after-shows from groups like CocoRosie, LCD Soundsystem and Anoraak. In this basement hangout there’s a great atmosphere

  1. 54 rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 9e
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Les Caves Lechapelais

  • Price band: 2/4

240 square metres of floor space and two 5m Roman vaults define this spacious cellar, which lies beneath the 17th and 18th arrondissements by La Fourche metro. Cold, austere and expansive, the venue is techno music incarnate – a thought that clearly occurred to promoters such as Inmotion, who regularly put on Berlin-flavoured raves down here. As underground as music gets.

  1. 7 rue Lechapelais, 17e
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Cafés and bars in Opéra and Grands Boulevards

Le Truskel

  • Rated as: 2/5
  • Price band: 3/4

The formula is quite simple at this pub-cum-club: an excellent selection of beers slakes your thirst, while an extensive repertoire of Britpop - sometimes live (ex-Pulp man and Paris resident Jarvis Cocker has been known to splice the night here, as has Pete Doherty and Franz Ferdinand) - assaults your ears. As a cheeky touch, a bar bell rings for no reason whatsoever, causing first-time visitors

  1. 12 rue Feydeau, 2e
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Racines

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The 19th-century passage des Panoramas contains an eclectic collection of shops and restaurants - among them this wildly popular wine bar opened by the former owners of La Crèmerie in St-Germain. The menu is limited to superb-quality cheese and charcuterie plates, plus a couple of hot dishes, perhaps pork cheeks stewed in red wine or braised lamb, and a few comforting desserts. Many of the

  1. 8 passage des Panoramas, 2e
  2. Main courses €19-€32
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Le BAT

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

A rare discovery in the usually disappointing Grands Boulevards area, Le BAT is hidden away behind a charmless frontage that you’d hurry past if you didn’t know better. A ‘tartare bar’ at lunch and ‘tapas restaurant’ at dinner, the young chef Yariv Berrebi has made himself comfortable behind an enormous square bar, flanked by brightly-coloured stools and accompanied by a whole brigade

  1. 16 bis boulevard Montmartre, 9e
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