Image of Louis Vuitton Foundation building The Louis Vuitton Foundation promotes arts and culture in Paris.(Credit : Daniel Buren L'observatoire de la lumiere travail in situ- Guignard)

When you dream of Paris, you envision strolling through art galleries with a glass of wine in hand or dressing up in the latest haute couture and making your grand entrance into the opera hall. Paris is known as a city of the arts, one trip here and you will certainly see why. Aside from all of the usual tourist sites and museums, take some time to discover this epicenter of the performing arts. Here you will find something to fit everyone’s taste, from opera, theater and ballet to the latest concert line ups and cabaret. And because its Paris, the venues themselves are as intriguing as the events they house. On your next trip to Paris, rent an apartment near one of these iconic venues and immerse yourself in the arts and culture of Paris.

A mix of fashion and art is everywhere in Paris, so it’s not surprising that Louis Vuitton created the non-profit Louis Vuitton Foundation, an art museum and cultural center here, to promote arts and culture in Paris. And of course, it could only be designed by one of the best, the famous architect Frank Gehry, whose internationally acclaimed works include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, Spain. The foundation is located in the 16th arrondissement, and is worth the trip just for the amazing architecture alone.

1. See a Classical Ballet or Opera

Image of front of Palais Garnier The Palais Garnier was the setting for The Phantom of the Opera.

Stroll along Paris’ Grands Boulevards and you will come across many of its famous theaters (and architectural wonders themselves).The Palais Garnier, designed by architect Charles Garnier, is a world-famous symbol of Paris. You may recognize this venue, with its grand staircase and foyer, as the setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera. It is now used mostly for ballet performances and also houses the Bibliothèque-Musée de l’Opéra de Paris (Paris Opera Library-Museum).

Image of living room of PA-16115 with red bar stools and exposed wood beam ceilings This two bedroom duplex in the Opera area has typically Parisian views

Rent this two bedroom duplex in the Opera area of the 9th arrondissement and you’ll be close to this iconic venue in literature, stage and screen. You’ll feel like a character in a French novel yourself living in the quintessential Parisian apartment in an Haussmannian building with classic exposed beams, a large planted balcony overlooking a cobblestoned courtyard and dreamy bedroom views over the Paris rooftops. Modern touches include a flat screen TV and kitchen counter with design stools. After a day roaming Paris seeing the sites you can relax in the large en suite bathtub in one of two bedrooms. Travel is an opportunity for learning, so while you’re staying in a typically French apartment, read up on the interesting history of Haussmannian buildings and Paris’s staircases.

Further down on the architectural timeline is the modern Opera Bastille in the 12th arrondissement. Completed in 1989, it was part of then President François Mitterrand’s monument building program known as the Grands Travaux. This venue is the main facility for the Paris National Opera, with most opera performances in Paris taking place here along with some ballet and symphony concerts.

Image of living room of apartment PA-3808 with asymmetrical bookcase and flat screen TV This modern Marais vacation rental has a charming balcony with plants.

Located nearby in the Marais section of the 4th arrondissement, this one bedroom vacation rental is equally modern in design. Entertain guests in the large living room and high quality finishes including hardwood floors and design furniture. This rental includes conveniences like air conditioning and in-unit laundry facilities, a modern kitchen with dishwasher and name-brand appliances, and a sleek bathroom with a rainfall shower head. Sliding Japanese doors separate the bedroom and bathroom. A rarity in the heart of the Marais, this apartment is sunny and very quiet. You’ll have the added luxury of a planted balcony with flowers and greens where you can enjoy from this exquisite location in Paris’ Marais neighborhood while being just steps away from Place des Vosges and Place de la Bastille.

2. Concert Halls

The Art Deco-style Salle Pleyel is a concert hall in the 8th arrondissement in Paris whose resident ensembles are the Orchestre de Paris and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. It was a classical music venue until January 2015.

This studio in the Champs Elysees  puts you in close proximity to this concert hall venue so you can plan your nights out accordingly. This space-saving studio apartment has traditional Parisian character with its exposed beam ceiling, yet makes efficient use of the space with a laundry washing machine right in the apartment. This one bedroom apartment is another option in the same area with full modern kitchen including dishwasher, so you can enjoy a dinner at home before heading out to the check out the night’s entertainment at the Salle Pleyel or other Champs-Elysées attractions.

3. Theatres

Theater lovers will want to stop by the Odeon Théâtre de l’Europe in the 6th arrondissement, one of France’s 6 national theaters and a great place to take in a play while in Paris. Originally built in the 1700’s, it was inaugurated by Marie-Antoinette on April 9, 1782. It has a wonderful location on the left bank of the Seine and near the Luxembourg Gardens, which means you can check off several tourist attractions on your list and still have time to catch a play, all in the same day.

Image of apartment PA-3783 living room’s corner view with chandelier and wood beam ceiling

Rent this sunny, corner unit one bedroom vacation rental in Saint-Germain-des-Près and you’ll be close to the theater and the Luxembourg Gardens. Daydream about what Parisian life was like in the 1700’s in your luxurious rental surrounded with vintage decor, antiques, chandeliers classic exposed beam ceilings and beautiful hardwood floors. Entertain guests in the living room with flat screen TV or around the dining table for four. Located on a high floor, the views are sure to impress and the location between Luxembourg Gardens and Saint-Germain-des-Près can’t be beat. When you’re done daydreaming, head out into your new neighborhood and discover all Saint-Germain has to offer!

Image of the Comedie-Française building Catch a play at the Comedie-Française.

Another venue for plays located in the 1st arrondissement is the Comédie-Française, one of a few state theaters in France and the only one to have its own troupe of actors. It was also known as La Maison de Molière after the well-known playwright.

This one bedroom vacation rental near the Tuileries garden puts you within walking distance of this theater and the Louvre Museum, so you can get your fill of the French arts right in your own neighborhood.

4. Cinema Theaters

Image of the neon lights and art deco exterior of Le Grand Rex cinema Le Grand Rex is a cinema theater like no other.

You won’t want to miss the Art Deco landmark Le Grand Rex, located in the 9th arrondissement – its the largest cinema in Europe. Designed to make it look like you are in an outdoor theater, this venue’s elaborate fantasy decor includes starred ceilings and water features. Each April it hosts the Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival. It is also a great destination for families in December when it hosts the Féérie des Eaux, an aquatic-themed event centering on a recently released family film.

This studio vacation rental in the Grands Boulevards area will put you in close proximity to this one-of-a-kind theater. Located in a classic Haussmannian building with ornate staircase and windows, you’ll feel like you’re on a Parisian stage set all to yourself. And the balcony with Paris views is the icing on the cake.

5. Cabarets

Night shot of the Moulin Rouge with red lights and windmill on top You can’t think of Paris without picturing the iconic Moulin Rouge.

Next on our list of must-see entertainment venues is, of course, the famous Moulin Rouge. With neon lights and a red windmill on the roof, the venue from the outside looks like a stage set itself. This musical theater that was the birthplace of the can-can dance and frequented by artists like Toulouse-Lautrec is now visited by hordes of tourists looking to enjoy some energizing musical entertainment.

This furnished studio apartment, also in unique Montmartre situates you right in the heart of this lovely Paris neighborhood. From here you can visit Sacré Coeur by day, the Moulin Rouge by night and have rooftop Paris views from your apartment. What can be more French than that?

6. Mixed Venues

Image of Théâtre du Châtelet building in Paris The Théâtre du Châtelet is built on the site of a former castle.

The Théâtre du Châtelet, sits in an interesting spot in the 1st arrondissement, the previous site of a châtelet, or small castle, facing its twin, the Théâtre de la Ville, across Place du Châtelet. Head to this venue to admire its Palladian architecture and to catch a musical, opera or concert.

Image of living room with views on the large terrace of PA-1489 This furnished rental in Les Halles has a huge sunny terrace with views.

Rent this exposed brick one bedroom furnished rental in Les Halles and you’ll be able to admire plenty of Paris’ architecture from your huge sun-filled outdoor terrace. Sit at the outdoor dining table among the flowers and plantings and enjoy dining al fresco. The benefit of living on a high floor in Paris is the amazing view that surrounds you. You may not want to leave the comfort of this apartment, but when you’re not in the mood to cook, you’ll still have plenty of great dining options all around, Chez Denise, an iconic neighborhood restaurant, is conveniently close by.

Paris is a city filled with art and architectural masterpieces. On your next trip to the City of Lights, you can add a little theater and history to your evening of entertainment.

Related apartment rental posts from New York Habitat:
  1. Best Venues for Music in Paris: Part 1
  2. More Great Venues for Music in Paris
  3. Children’s Museum of the Arts: 1 of the 5 best New York sites for kids
  4. Spring for the Arts in Monaco
  5. Winter on the Blue Coast: Sea urchins, music, dance and arts & crafts


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