Sometimes you can skip the tours and make sense of an attraction by yourself. The Palais Garnier, on the other hand, is an exception where the guide immersed us into the whole emotion of the Paris Opera House with first hand knowledge and interesting stories.
The lightheartedness of our guide made the tour fun and exciting. Facts connecting the Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera were a nice surprise. And yes, there is a lake under the opera, but luckily no phantom and the chandelier has never fallen.
Built more like a temple to the god of music, opulence has no end here. Mirrors reflect gold patterns on the walls, the ceilings are adorned with fresco's inspired by Michelangelo and marble statues line the hallways.
Fittingly, across the road is an equally shimmering department store, Les Galeries Lafayette. Apart from the masses of people and hundreds of brands shouting for your attention, this sensory overload is surpasses only by the beauty of its roof. If buying from shops like Louis Vuitton fall out of your budget, as it certainly did mine, the architecture itself is reason enough to go.