The passages in Paris. Looking for a piece of authentic Paris? Then be sure to visit the beautiful covered galleries in Paris. There are still about 20 shopping arcades left, almost all from the 19th century. With nice (book) shops, restaurants and even theaters. Most of the covered shopping arcades in Paris are almost all located around the Grands Boulevards, so they are easy to visit by walking. These charming passages in Paris are completely free to visit and one of our favorite secret spots in Paris.
You can also opt for a guided tour/walk with a nice route through the passages of Paris. Ideal for a warm day or of course on a rainy autumn day. Highly recommended to visit the passages in Paris. We think these are the 5 most beautiful covered passages in Paris.
The original purpose of the shopping arcades in ParisThe shopping arcades in Paris were there to protect the wealthy population from the bad weather and the bustle of the city. In the 19th century, thanks to the great urban transformation plan of Baron Haussmann, Paris counted more than 70 passages. Today, Paris has only 21 secret shopping arcades open to the public.
The 5 most beautiful covered passages in Paris
1. GALLERY VIVIENNE (2nd)
Galerie Vivienne was founded in 1823 and is one of the oldest shopping arcades in Paris. And according to many also the most beautiful passage in Paris. A beautiful example of 19th century architecture, it features beautiful mosaic floors, stained glass windows and amazing ceiling paintings. This famous passage with unique shops, antique dealers, bookshops, fashion stores and jewelers is worth a visit. Especially during the Christmas period, the passage is very nicely decorated.
2. PASSAGE DES PANORAMAS (2nd)
Passage des Panoramas opened in 1799 as one of the first covered passages in Paris. This passage is a popular destination for art and antiques enthusiasts, with several art galleries displaying works by well-known artists. There are also many shops with stamps and old postcards. A unique combination of historic and modern, while retaining the original charm of the 19th century.
3. PASSAGE JOUFFROY (9th)
Passage Jouffroy is the very first passage in Paris, made entirely of metal and glass. It was opened in 1845 and you will find many nice shops such as antique dealers, bookshops, fashion stores and jewelers. One of the most famous attractions in the passage is the Musée Grévin. A very popular museum with 450 wax figures of French and internationally famous people such as Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Elton John, Louis de Funès and Charles Aznavour.
4. GALLERY VERO-DODAT (1st)
Galerie Vero-Dodat is a nice place to walk and enjoy the beautiful architecture. The passage was built in 1826 and is a gallery with many chic boutiques with decoration, furniture, art, shoes, etc… Fashionistas can go to Christian Louboutin (boutique with studio), the luxury shoe store at the entrance of the passage.
5. PASSAGE VERDEAU (9th)
A covered shopping arcade in Paris dating from 1847 and home to many antique dealers, book and art sellers. Be sure to visit the store La Belle Epoque, a nice boutique that focuses on fashion and accessories from the Belle Époque period. You will find clothing, jewelery and accessories specially made during this period.
Book a guided walking tour through the passages of Paris
Explore the hidden passages of Paris on this guided walking tour. With a guide you will visit Galerie Vivienne, Passage Choiseul, Passage des Panoramas, Passage Jouffroy and Passage Verdeau. On this fascinating walking tour, discover the history of the covered passages in Paris as well as the best places to shop and eat.