Passages Couvertes

We all know that Paris is beautiful with it’s Haussmannian architecture and luscious gardens.  But sometimes Paris’ beauty is hidden in places that you can only discover after a bit of poking around in the city.  One such source of exquisiteness are the passage couvertes–glass covered passages that were built to shield luxury shoppers from the rain.  Originally there were more than 100 passages couverts, but that number has dwindled to about 20.

Here are some of our favorite passages in Paris:

Galerie Vivienne (4 rue des Petits Champs)

Ever since it’s opening in 1826, the Galerie Vivienne has been filled with tailor shops, shoemakers, wine shops, restaurants, bookstores, and print shops.  This green neoclassical Pompeian style passage is covered with elegant glass, which makes it one of the most prominent passages in the City of Lights!

Galerie Colbert (6 rue des Petits-Champs)

Built on the site of the Hotel Colbert (also in 1826), the luxurious gallery Colbert has always had to compete with Galerie Vivienne, just next door.  Encased with a vast glass rotunda, this beautiful passage contains a bronze statue that is awe inspiring and bring architects from far and wide to visit this particular passage.

Passage du Grand-Cerf (145 rue Saint-Denis)

The passage du Grand Cerf is based in the popular and industrious area that is Rue Saint Denis.  Less luxurious than some of it’s competitors, this passage is home to many artisans.  Twice a year you’ll find the Bullets design fair in the wood-paneled shops.


Passage des Panoramas (11 Boulevard Montmartre)

Opened in 1800 along the Grands Boulevards, the Passage des Parnoramas is the oldest of the Parisians passages.  In the 19th century this place was hoping with merchants who sold postcards and stamps, as the engraver Henri Stern set the pace of business.  It has since become popular for stamp collectors but has also opened it’s doors to new boutiques, restos, and entertainment, including the Théâtre des Variétés.

Galerie Véro-Dodat (19 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau)

This nineteeth century gallery offers an ideal shortcut between the Pailais Royal and Les Halles.  We all know how crowded it is at Les Halles and this shortcut will help you keep your sanity as you admire the Belle Epoque windows and lively shops.


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