Ever heard of the beautiful hidden gem – the passageways in Paris? Maybe you’ve seen pictures of the lovely timbered Passage des Panoramas and the luminous Vivienne Gallery? They are only 2 of the many historic covered arcades known as’ passages’ or’ galeries’ in French. These covered arcades were the precursors of contemporary Paris department stores and shopping malls. History says more than 100 passages were constructed in the nineteenth century but only about 20 of them survive today. This post will introduce you to 5 distinct hidden arcades in plain sight! If you want to discover more about the best views in Paris, check out our dedicated article to the Best Views in Paris and Top 5 Most Beautiful Bridges in Paris!
Passageways in Paris #1 Le Passage Brady
Why don’t you pay a visit to Passage Brady for something that’s a bit distinct from all the typical Parisian passages? This place is also called “Little India” because you will find the arcade lined with Indian restaurants, colorful fabric shops and exotic spices you won’t find anywhere else. This passage is situated in the 10th district between Strasbourg Boulevard and Saint-Denis Rue Faubourg.
Passageways in Paris #2 Le Passage de L’Ancre
This colourful and lush passage is like an oasis in the 3rd arrondissement, which is always busy. This passageway is scarcely noticeable from the road, so you can bet that visitors may not even come here to fight for pictures. This is a easy and quiet road, but it’s unique because of the cascading trees and colourful gates. From 223 Rue Saint-Martin or 30 Rue Turbigo, you can access this passage.
Passageways in Paris #3 Le Passage des Princes
If you’re in the middle of winter or worse in Paris, on a rainy summer day, we suggest that you find Passage des Princes. This covered shopping arcade constructed in 1860 comes to life as it is covered in ornaments every Christmas. We also love the art nouveau lamps that line the entire arcade. Children or children at core will enjoy the toy shops here in particular! This passageway can be accessed just steps from the Opéra Garnier from 5 Boulevard des Italiens in the 9th district.
Passageways in Paris #4 Galerie Véro Dodat
Véro Dodat Gallery is going to play tricks with your eyes! This passageway in the 1st arrondissement, concealed in plain sight, seems to be longer than it is. Only 80 m long, with its elevated ceiling and checkerboard floor tiles, this ancient shopping arcade has been brilliantly intended. Especially when the most common places such as Galerie Vivienne and Passage des Panoramas are too crowded, a good location for picture enthusiasts. From Rue Crois des Petits-Champs you can access this covered arcade.
Passageways in Paris #5 Le Passage du Grand Cerf
“Grand deer” implies large deer in English, and that’s precisely what you’ll discover first when you reach this Rue Saint-Denis corridor. Well, that’s at least a large head of deer mounted on the wall. To see the red, blue, and yellow umbrellas hanging upside down from the roof, pay a visit to this covered shopping arcade! This is one of the largest covered arcades in all of Paris, almost 12 m tall and 117 m long! This passageway can also be accessed from Rue Dussoubs.
In the very middle of Paris, most of these remaining covered arcades are situated. It was simpler to share these beautiful secret places in Paris thanks to the era of social media. More importantly, the amount of individuals visiting these once forgotten arcades breathed life back into them and prevented the shutdown of local companies. In Paris, which covered arcades did you visit? In the remarks, share them with us!