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Perched in the 1st Arrondissement just across a twin building (Théâtre de la Ville), the Théâtre du Châtelet is home to operas, ballets, and musical theater including Swan Lake and An American in Paris as well as other world-renowned and lesser-known shows.
Originally constructed from 1860-1862 under the direction of Baron Haussmann, the theater is built on the site of an ancient fortress — hence the name châtelet — and is situated just parallel to the Seine.
It’s much smaller than the famous Opera Garnier, but its intimacy makes it perhaps more ceremonious. Théâtre du Châtelet also bears a decorative Napoleon III style, and inside, chandeliers and velvet seats in a deep rouge evoke the magnificence of the époque. It’s a splendid theater to enjoy a performance and tickets are very affordable!
After the show, enjoy a glass of wine at the next-door at Café Le Zimmer or Café Bords de Seine. Cross over to the river Seine for a scenic stroll as you catch views of the iconic Palais de la Justice on the Ile de la Cité. You may even catch a glimpse of the Iron Lady from this vantage point. And since the theater is right in the center of Paris, it’s easily accessible by various metro lines thanks to the Châtelet station.
Urbansider Tip: Try to get seats in the first row of any section as the seating is not auditorium-style, unlike contemporary opera houses where seats are built on an incline. Here, the head of your neighbor can obstruct your view.
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