If you're tired of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe and you're eager to explore Paris off the beaten path, visit some of the iconic Parisian covered passages known as 'les passages couverts'.
Back in the XIX century, there was around 150 of them in the city but by now, no more than 30 are left. Originally these passages were made for ladies' and gentlemen's comfortable shopping and therefore they were beautifully made: old mosaics and tiles on the ground and transparent roofs. The shops themselves are also masterly decorated.
One of the most gorgeous passages in Paris is Gallerie Vivienne with its captivating lighting and design. Aside from the shops, you'll find some nice small cafes and old restaurants in these bystreets.
The passages are cozy and atmospheric, a perfect shelter from the rain and snow to warm oneself with a cup of tea or coffee or just to walk around and observing the vintage beauty of these places.
Where can I find the most beautiful covered passages in Paris?
The Galerie Vivienne is one of Paris's most beautiful passages, thanks to its mesmerizing illumination and stunning design. Visitors can explore various other passages such as Passage des Panoramas, Passage Jouffroy, Passage Choiseul, and Passage Beaujolais to get a glimpse of old Parisian architecture and culture, each offering its own theme and decoration. Show more
What are the opening hours for the shops and cafes located in the passages?
Shops and cafes located in the passages typically open around 10 am and close at 8 or 9 pm, but the operating hours vary by location. To avoid disappointment, visitors should check each shop's hours to verify when it opens and closes. Shopping facilities close early on Sundays and may remain closed on Mondays. Show more
When was the first passage couvert constructed in Paris and what was its purpose?
Passage des Panoramas was the first covered passage built in Paris in 1799. Intended to provide wealthy Parisians with comfortable shopping, the passages offered an opportunity to window shop while protected from rain and direct sunlight. They surged in popularity in the early 19th century and have remained a unique aspect of Paris's cultural heritage ever since. Show more
Are there any guided tours available to visit the passages couverts?
Visitors can take guided tours to explore the covered passages' history and architecture. The tours offer a chance to delve more deeply into the cultural heritage and are guided by knowledgeable tour guides. Various tour companies, like Paris City Vision, Paris in Tour, and Discover Walks, etc., provide guided tours. Visitors can also go through guidebooks or search online if they wish to explore the passages themselves. Show more
Is there a specific passage that is known for its food offerings and unique dining experience?
Passage des Panoramas is known for its unique culinary experiences, including Le Grand Véfour, a famous restaurant that has been serving exceptional food for over two centuries. The Passage Jouffroy features food halls that offer an excellent sampling of classic French cuisine, quick bites, and desserts. The Passage Choiseul is home to a Noodle Bar that serves signature dishes, including takeaway, making it perfect for a quick meal. Each passage has its exclusive culinary offerings, and exploring them all is worth it to savor their unique dining experiences. Show more