Paris Passage interior of Vivienne


Paris History:  Passages Full of Mystery and Magic

Have you ever been on a trip, and stumbled upon something that transformed your entire day into a whole new experience?  That happened to me several years ago when my husband and I were in Paris, and somehow found ourselves walking through one of Paris’ Passages.  We were mesmerized, and vowed, on our next trip to learn more about Paris History, and  thoroughly investigate as many of Paris’ Passages as possible.


6 Paris Passages

The Paris Passages are a glimpse into Paris History and times gone by, before modern shopping malls, when small boutiques and shopping small and shopping local was the norm. There were originally more than 150 passages around Paris in the 18th and late 19th centuries.  Sadly many have been demolished and only a handful remain.

On a recent trip to Paris, I dedicated several hours to exploring as many of Paris’ Passages as I could.  Some were wonderful, some just so-so, but all are worthy of sharing with you!


Passage des Panoramas

Paris Passages the Passage Panoramas entrance


One of my absolute favorites, this Paris Passage is in the 9th, a short walk from the Opera Garnier.  A feast for the eyes, with antique shop signs lining the walls!


Paris Passages interior of Passage Panoramas


There’s also an intriguing train restaurant reminiscent of the Hogwarts Express, called the Victoria Station. This would be a fun place to take kids for sure, as it’s like dining inside a rail car.   Lots of quirky shops and cafes are inside this passage.


Paris Passages Victoria Station Restaurant



Passage Jouffroy

Paris Passages Entrance to Passage Jouffroy


Also in the 9th, conveniently located opposite the Passage des Panoramas, is the Passage Jouffroy!  I adore this Passage!  This Passage feels the “oldest” to me, and I am particularly fascinated by the Hotel Chopin inside, which offers 36 rooms dating back to 1836!  There’s some Paris History for ya’!


Paris Passages Hotel Chopin entrance


You can also enjoy the Musee Grevin, which has an entrance inside the Passage.  This wax museum dates back to 1882.  It’s currently being refurbished, and set up reopen in February 2019.  I’ve never been inside, but plan to next time I’m in Paris.


Paris Passages Musee Grevin


Passage Verdeau

Paris Passages Entrance to Passage Verdeau


If you enjoy antiques and collectables, the Passage Verdeau is for you!  Located in the 3rd, there are several antique book shops, art galleries, and other interesting boutiques inside.  The glass ceiling is particularly beautiful, in my opinion!


Galerie Vivienne

Paris Passages Entrance to Galerie Vivienne


A lovely passageway that is still pretty glamorous today, Galerie Vivienne is located right by the Palais Royal Theatre  This Passage in the 2nd of Paris is an almost perfect display of intricate mosaic floors, polished and ornate wood, and beautiful wrought iron.


Paris Passages Interior of Galerie Vivienne


There’s several very high-end stores inside, including women’s wear, books, jewelry, and children’s clothes.  I also suggest stopping for lunch, dinner, or a glass of wine and plate of cheese at the lovely Bistrot Vivienne.  A very typical Parisian Bistrot serving very good food, in a wonderful old Paris atmosphere!


Paris Passages Bistrot Vivienne



Passage de Caire

Paris Passages Entrance to Passage du Caire


Probably the least interesting passage, built in 1798, Passage du Caire is the oldest covered arcade in Paris. It takes its name from the Egyptian capital (Cairo) due to 3 statues in the image of the goddess Hathor, with cow ears, which decorate the entrance.


Paris Passages Passage du Caire Facade


The arcade is known for being the longest and narrowest in Paris. Passage du Caire is almost entirely devoted to clothing wholesalers.


Passage du Grand Serf

Paris Passages Entrance to Passage du Grand Cerf


The Grand-Cerf covered arcade was created in 1825, not far from the Montorgueil district, which is the neighborhood my husband and I like to stay in when visiting Paris. It is one of the largest covered arcades in Paris. It is made of metal and wrought iron with a beautiful glass roof allowing light to shine through it.


Paris Passages Interior of Passage du Grand Cerf


Visitors can stroll through it and discover the pretty shops selling handmade jewelry, furniture and and fashion. I found some jewelry for my daughter at Eric et Lydie, and my husband found some interesting vernacular snapshots in Rickshaw.  A must-see typically Parisian covered arcade!

I hope you are inspired to wander through some of these amazing Paris Passages yourself!  Feels like a little bit of Paris History is coming to life inside!

Don’t forget, I offer a wonderful Paris Dining Guide in my shop!  Click here!

And, for more information about visiting Paris, click here!

And, if I can help you plan the perfect getaway to Paris, you can reach me by email!  I’d love to help you any way I can!




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