One of the reasons why Paris is regarded as one of the finest shopping capitals in the world is that it offers a ton of places where you can shop. From luxurious department stores to full-blown retail villages, the city is practically a mecca of brands, labels, and more. In this city, there are what you'd call shopping passages, historic alleyways that were transformed into—you guessed it!—retail districts. They've retained their old-world charm while embracing the here and now, especially since they're mostly filled with the latest products from the most well-known companies in the world. Here are a few worth noting.
Built back in 1823, Galerie Vivienne was one of the most popular commercial areas for most of the 19th-century. It was where most Parisian at the time shopped, socialized, or even just took a stroll for leisure. It was until renovated Haussmann department stores opened up again that the passage lost many of its shops and for a time, the passage looked like a ghost town. But in the 1980s, Galerie Vivienne was revived, particularly with the help of French designer, Jean-Paul Gaultier and his boutique here. From that point on, more and more designer brands
started setting up shop here, returning the once downtrodden passage to its former glory.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Benh LIEU SONG
Passage des Panoramas
Since it crosses through both the 2nd
and 9th arrondissement
of Paris, Passage des Panoramas is probably the biggest of its kind. Not to mention the oldest too as it was built all the way back in 1779. So with such a legacy, you'd expect this place to provide many fascinating things, right? Correct! While other passages have relied on luxury brands to draw people in, Passage des Panoramas offers a tinge of nostalgia for any shopper who walks through its halls. From antique Eastern pottery to vintage stamps and postcards, there are a lot of interesting finds here. And don't forget the string of exciting bars and restaurants you can hang out in too!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ GFreihalter
The historic Passage Choiseul is one of the more significant covered arcades in Paris. Built in 1825, it was eventually registered as a historical monument in the city. Many Parisians back then would often walk through here to get to Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, which is located at the back of the passage. But today, even if you don't have to go to the theater, you can still browse, shop, and hand out in Passage Choiseul. Heck, you can even sleep here too! The place offers bar à sieste
(sleeping bar) for those who need a little nap in the afternoon.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Chabe01
Passage du Grand Cerf
Located on rue Saint-Denise, Passage du Grand Cerf stands as one of the most popular covered arcades in Paris. Though it houses your typical designer brands
and high street labels, it's also one to welcome one-of-a-kind boutiques too. From artisan shops to craft stores, this is one of the best places in the city to find a great gift. If you want to give someone special something that they won't find anywhere else, this is the passage to go to. More than just rare finds, you can also buy unique knick-knacks that will help you make your gift yourself!
Source: Flickr.com/ Sven Sven
Galerie Véro-Dodat stands just a short stroll away from the Louvre in the 1st arrondissement of Paris
. If you want to take a rest before going to the world-famous museum—which will take you hours to explore in a day and you still wouldn't have covered a lot!—this is the best place for a chill hang-out. Or if you want to shop for shoes! Among its many boutiques, the Christian Louboutin
store at the front is undoubtedly its most famous. Some shoppers even prefer going here than to shop at department stores
and the like for their Loubiton pairs!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Jean-François Gornet
Galerie de la Madeleine
And finally, there's Galerie de la Madeleine. Located on Place de la Madeleine in the 8th arrondissement
, it's only a hop and a skip away from the famous church. Families can easily stop by here after hearing mass on Sunday. But for shoppers, expect only the best of the best! From haute couture labels
to designer footwear
, this place is all about luxury. Galerie de la Madeleine features some of the biggest names in fashion and retail, as well as a few homegrown brands that you probably haven't heard of yet. Make sure your wallets are ready!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Mu
In Paris, the most charming places to shop are the passages! Forget the crowded department stores and the cluttered flea markets! The shopping passages of Paris are where it's at! They have an old-world charm that adds magic to your retail experience.