Of all the covered passages in Paris, Galerie Vivienne is the most iconic. Built in 1823, the arcade is in a peaceful location, behind the Bibliothèque Richelieu, near the Palais-Royal, and right next to Angelina, a charming salon cafe that serves the best hot chocolate in Paris. Beautiful mosaics adorn the ground and the ceiling is decorated with breathtaking stained glass while the covered passage itself is full of shops and cafes. From designer boutiques to gourmet delis, you’ll find everything you need in Galerie Vivienne.
Passage des Panoramas
Built in 1799, Passage des Panoramas is the oldest covered passageway in Paris and a beautiful escape from the lively surrounding streets of the Opera district. Along its 133 metres, you can admire ancient architecture and shops that have been there since it opened over 200 years ago. One of the best bookshops in Paris is also here so it’s a must visit for bookworms,
Constructed in 1845, this passage leads on straight from the Passage des Panoramas. It was the first one to be built only with metal and glass, which made it really modern at the time so it’s not quite as intricate or beautiful as Galerie Vivienne but the shops make it worth a visit. The perfect place to discover Parisian souvenirs, there are old toy shops, book shops and old-fashioned doll shops to browse.
Passage Brady has earned the nickname ‘Little India’ and while it might not be as pretty as some of the other passages, it’s a great place to get a taste of local life and the Indian community in Paris. The beautiful colours and delicious smells make this an unforgettable experience, and if you’re an Indian food enthusiast, you’ll love the local grocery shops selling every spice you could ever want. There are also a number of Indian restaurants here if you’re not much of a cook.
This neoclassical-style galleria is slightly smaller than the others on the list, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in luxury. The black and white tiles and marble floors are a feast for the eyes and will impressive even themes jaded tourist. Art galleries, restaurants and boutiques line the arcade. It’s located right near the Louvre where there are lots of luxury apartments to rent that will make you feel like a glamorous local.
During the 1970s, Passage Choiseul was the place to be in Paris with trendy boutiques and designers setting up shop here. Now, the registered historical monument is an elegant destination for locals and tourists looking for cafes to hop between and beautiful clothes to browse. Right in the heart of the 1st arrondissement, you’ll be perfectly located to enjoy some of the best brunches in Paris and the best coffees in Paris.
Passage du Grand Cerf
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful passages Paris, this galleria has been open since 1825 and is full of high quality shops selling fashion and accessories. The arcades of neat glass, are begging to be instagrammed so make sure you bring your camera.
Passage du Caire
Passage du Caire is the longest covered passage in Paris, at over 360 meters long and it’s also the narrowest passage which just adds to its unique charm. Right in the heart of the fashion design district, the passage is lined with fashion wholesalers and clothing designers. Fabrics as well as ready-to-wear are available but it’s more of an industry-insider’s destination than one for tourists so you’ll get a unique look behind the scenes of the fashion capital.
Passage du Ponceau
You won’t find any tourists here and that’s because most guide books tend to skip it when recommending covered passageways in Paris. But it shouldn’t be overlooked. It will make you feel like a real local and the passageway is full of much more affordable restaurants and shops than the other places on this list.
Antique lovers shouldn’t miss Passage Verdeau. Even if you don’t have much space indoor suitcase, you’ll love browsing the interesting trinkets and furniture. Antique dealers line the whole arcade and there are also some book and record shops full of cultural treasures.