The Most Charming Covered Passages, Paris (Les Passages Couverts de Paris)

About the Covered Passages of Paris

The Covered Passages of Paris (Les Passages Couverts de Paris in French) are hidden gems in Paris, a world apart from the crowded tourist attractions or busy Grands Boulevards.

By the end of the 18th century, town planners created a labyrinth of commercial passages in Paris with beautiful stained-glass ceilings, mosaic works, and iron latticework, all bathed in natural light.

Apart from its dominating merchant role, the Paris passages were also the new bourgeois’ favorite stroll, the place to show up and socialize in its endless cafés, traditional bistros, or small theaters.

Covered Passages Paris

Over the years, only a few Paris walkways survived. Restored to their former glory, the Paris covered passages are today real Art Nouveau / Neoclassical architectural gems and if you know where to look, you will find a hidden world of delightful ancient boutiques, cute cafés, and other curiosity shops.

These charming and secret covered Passages in Paris are totally free to visit, and they are the perfect shelter for a rainy day in Paris but also a trip back in time to the wonderful Belle Époque.

The Covered Passages of Paris are one of our favorite secret places in Paris. Click here for the list of the most beautiful hidden places in Paris.

Best Passages in Paris

  1. Galerie Vivienne Paris – 4 rue des Petit-Champs, Paris 2
  2. Galerie Colbert Paris – 2 rue Vivienne, Paris 2
  3. Passage du Grand Cerf  Paris– 145 rue de Saint-Denis, Paris 2
  4. Passage des Panoramas Paris – 11 boulevard de Montmartre, Paris 9
  5. Passage Jouffroy Paris – 10 boulevard de Montmartre, Paris 9
  6. Passage Brady Paris – 43 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin, Paris 10
  7. Passage Choiseul Paris – 40 rue des Petits-Champs, Paris 2
  8. Passage du Bourg-l’Abbé – 120, rue Saint-Denis, Paris 2
  9. Passage des Deux Pavillons Paris – 6, rue de Beaujolais, Paris 1

Luckily for us, most of the best covered passages in Paris are located in the most central Arrondissements of Paris (Paris 1 and Paris 2), so you can go from one walkway to the next one on foot. With few exceptions, they open from Monday to Saturday, during business hours.

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Paris Covered Passages Map

Here is the Paris Covered Passages Map, with the most beautiful covered passages Paris has to offer:

Paris Covered Passages Map made with Google My Maps

Click here to view this Covered Passages Paris Map on Google

Paris Passages Walking Tour Ideas

Explore the covered passages of Paris at your own pace or with a guided tour. On your way, you will find typical Parisian bistros, nice vintage shopping, Parisian cafés lost in time, and more.

» This 3-hour Passages Paris walking tour with a local guide is a good way to learn the history of these covered passages in Paris and it is consistently rated 5 stars. If you have less time available, this 1.5-hour Paris walkways walking tour is a good alternative.

If you prefer to visit them at your own pace, check out this 1-hour audio guide which also covers the beautiful gardens of Palais Royal.

» Suggested Covered Passages in Paris Walking Tour #1: Passage Jouffroy, Passage des Panoramas, Passage Choiseul, Passage Colbert, Galerie Vivienne.

» Suggested Paris Passages Walking Tour #2: Passage Colbert, Galerie Vivienne, Passage du Grand Cerf, Passage du Bourg-l’Abbé.

Covered Passages of Paris, Parisian Walkways, Passages Couverts Paris, Paris Hidden Gems, Paris Travel Inspiration, Paris Like a Local, Belle Époque, Paris Architecture, Best Shopping in Paris, Vintage Shopping in Paris Cute Cafes in Paris #france #paris #moveablefeast

Best Covered Passages, Paris

Here is the list of the best passages in Paris, beautiful and elegant Paris walkways each unique in its own way:

1. Galerie Vivienne Paris – The Most Elegant

Covered Walkways of Paris

Adress: 4 rue des Petit-Champs, Paris 2; Metro station Bourse Line 3 or Palais Royal Musée du Louvre Lines 1 and 7.

Start your Paris Passages walking tour with Galerie Vivienne (also known as Passage Vivienne). Built in the 1820s in Paris 2, near the Palais Royal, Galerie Vivienne is one of the most beautiful covered passages in Paris, well known for the elegance of its boutiques. If you have time to visit only one Parisian walkway, choose this one.

Today Galerie Vivienne Paris gathers luxury boutiques, bookshops, fabric shops, and lovely Parisian cafés. Don’t miss its elegant architecture and the original mosaic floor with the names of the former businesses at the entrance of each shop.

Galerie Vivienne Paris

» OUR MUST SEE’S: check the world-reputed Wolff & Descourtis (#18) for its cashmere shawls and fashionable fabric designs. Legrand Filles et Fils (1 rue de la Banque) is considered the best wine shop in Paris, with more than 3,000 labels (come with your wine tote bag). Librairie F Jousseamme (#45) is a beautiful bookshop with ancient editions and rare books, which also sells beautiful ancient postcards.

» THE PERFECT BREAK: Bistrot Vivienne (rue des Petits Champs), is a typical Parisian bistro with good traditional food. A Priori Thé (#35) is a lovely café and tearoom.

» GALERIE VIVIENNE OPENING HOURS: Every day from 10 am to 8 pm.

2. Galerie Colbert Paris – The Eternal Rival

Passage Colbert Paris

Adress: 2 rue Vivienne, Paris 2; Metro station Bourse Line 3 or Palais Royal Musée du Louvre Line 1, Line 7.

As you can see on the Paris covered passages map above, the entrance to Passage Colbert (also known as Galerie Colbert) is on the same street as Galerie Vivienne so it is impossible to miss it! Actually, Passage Colbert (1826) was built to compete with Galerie Vivienne but in the end, it was less successful than its rival.

Don’t miss the richness of its neoclassical architecture, featuring a 15-meters diameter rotunda. Today, this covered walkway does not have any shops but it is interesting to visit for its history and elegant decoration. Passage Colbert hosts l’Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art and L’Institut National du Patrimoine.

Passage Colbert Paris

» THE PERFECT BREAK: the restaurant Le Grand Colbert (2 rue Vivienne), with its unique Art Nouveau atmosphere, is perfect for a good meal or a hot chocolate in the afternoon.

» GALERIE COLBERT OPENING HOURS: Every day from 10 am to 8 pm.

3. Passage du Grand Cerf Paris – The Hidden Gem

Passage du Grand Cerf Paris

Adress: 145 rue de Saint-Denis, Paris 2; Metro station Étienne-Marcel Line 4.

The Passage du Grand Cerf is one of the most beautiful covered passages in Paris. However, it remains one of the most secret Parisian passages because it is not easy to find.

The Passage du Grand Cerf was built in 1825 on the site of the Hôtel du Grand Cerf, from which it took its name. Its pleasing interior is home to many artisan shops and high-quality jewelry boutiques.

Don’t miss its spectacular 12-meter-high structure made of metal and wrought iron with a beautiful glass roof and its flourished balconies on the first floor.

» OUR MUST SEE’S: Eric et Lydie (#7), contemporary jewelry designers. Pour Vos Beaux Yeux (#10) specializes in vintage eyewear. Rickshaw (#7) sells curious objects from all around the world.

» THE PERFECT BREAK: Le Pas Sage (#1) is a wine bar perfect to finish your shopping in style.

» PASSAGE DU GRAND CERF OPENING HOURS: Monday to Saturday from 8.30 am to 8.30 pm. Closed on Sundays.

4. Passage des Panoramas Paris – The Oldest

Passage des Panoramas Paris

Adress: 11 boulevard de Montmartre, Paris 9; Metro station Richelieu-Drouot Lines 8 and 9 or Grands Boulevards Lines 8 and 9.

Passage des Panoramas was built in the year 1799 and as you can see in the covered passages Paris map above, it is located between the districts of Paris 9 and Paris 2.

Passage des Panoramas is the oldest of the surviving Paris walkways and the first one illuminated with gas lamps in 1816. Its name comes from the two large rotundas built at the entrance of the passage (disappeared today) to display panoramic paintings of Paris, Toulon, Rome, Jerusalem, and other famous cities.

This labyrinthine passage is home to the Théâtre des Variétés which entertains the Parisians since 1807. But most of all, Passage des Panoramas is known for its philately shops. If you like old stamps, postcards, and coins, Passage des Panoramas is the place to go.

» OUR MUST SEE’S: the French engraving and printer Henri Stern (#47) set up business in this passage in 1834. Today the shop is working as a fancy café but you still can see the original details of the former shop. Check out the artists’ entrance to Théâtre des Variétés (#17). Tombées du Camion (#44) is a cute shop with interesting (sometimes weird) collectibles.

» THE PERFECT BREAK: Restaurant Noglu (#16), is one of the few gluten-free eateries in Paris. Enjoy some of the best French wines at Les Racines (#8) specialized in trendy natural wines. La Crêperie (#62) proposes yummy crêpes and ice creams.

» PASSAGE DES PANORAMAS OPENING HOURS: Every day from 6 am to 12 am.

5. Passage Jouffroy Paris – The Most Genuine

Passage Jouffroy Paris

Adress: 10 boulevard de Montmartre, Paris 9; Metro station Grands Boulevards Lines 8 and 9.

If you want to know what these passages in Paris looked like during their heydays, Passage Jouffroy is the place to go. Crowded and packed with quirky boutiques, this Paris passage is always fun to walk. This is also the most touristy passage thanks to Musée Grevin, the Parisian version of Madame Tussaud’s, with the exit inside this passage.

Don’t miss its structure: this is the first Parisian walkway built entirely of metal and glass with the only exception of the decorative elements in wood. We also like the floor, paved with a geometric pattern composed of white, gray, and black squares.

» OUR MUST SEE’S: Pain d’Épices (#29) and La Boite à Joujoux (#41) are two old-fashioned toy shops worth a visit even if you don’t have kids. Quirky Segas (#34) specializes in antique walking sticks. Librairie du Passage (#48) proposes second-hand books and beautiful vintage posters.

» THE PERFECT BREAK: stop at Café Zéphyr (12 Boulevard de Montmartre) to enjoy a nice Art Déco atmosphere and eat a couple of cakes. And why not sleep inside the passage? Stay at charming Hôtel Chopin (#46) for a fashionable sleep, with good deals if you book in advance.

» PASSAGE JOUFFROY OPENING HOURS: Monday to Saturday from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm. Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm.

6. Passage Brady Paris – The Most Exotic

Passage Brady Paris

Adress: 43, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin, Paris 10; Metro station Chateau d’Eau Line 4 or Strasbourg Saint-Denis Lines 4,8, and 9.

Passage Brady, in Paris 9, is the most exotic of the Paris passages. It is easy to understand why Passage Brady is called ‘Little India’ by the locals: this colorful and perfumed Parisian walkway is full of Indian, Pakistan, Mauritian, and Reunion curry restaurants, spice shops, and bazaars.

Passage Brady was built in the year 1828 by the merchant M. Brady from whom it took the name. Passage Brady was originally a beautiful covered passage with an elegant rotunda to compensate for its irregular layout. During the Hausmanninan works, in 1854, the passage was cut to let the new Boulevard de Strasbourg pass.

Today only the part connecting rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis to Boulevard de Strasbourg is covered. Don’t miss the beautiful Art Nouveau inscription with the name of the passage at the entrance. The view from the eateries located on the first floor deserves a lunch break at Passage Brady.

» OUR MUST SEE’S: Épicerie Velan (#87) to buy Indian and Pakistani specialties (and any kind of species).

» THE PERFECT BREAK: La Reine du Kashmir (#80), a restaurant awarded by different Indian gastronomy prices.

» PASSAGE BRADY OPENING HOURS: Monday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 11.30 pm; Sunday from 6 pm to 11.30 pm.

7. Passage Choiseul – The Longest

Passage Choiseul Paris

Adress: 40 rue des Petits-Champs, Paris 2; Metro station Pyramides, Lines 7 and 14.

Passage Choiseul, in Paris 2, was named after d’Étienne-François de Choiseul-Beaupré-Stainville, War Minister, and Foreign Affairs Minister during King Louis XV’s reign. As you can see on the Passages Paris Map, this Parisian walkway is as long as this man’s name! Actually, with 190 meters in length, this is the longest of all the Paris passages.

Thanks to a deep recent restoration, the beautiful glass roof is now bathing the walkway with natural light. The first and second floors of this passage are occupied by shops while the third floor is mainly residential. The Thêatre des Bouffes Parisiennes (1857) has its secondary exit in the passage so there is a certain animation after the show.

» THE PERFECT BREAK: Go to Bio Burger (#46) for a fast-food break 100% bio. There is no better place to relax than the Zzen – Bar à Sieste (#29) where you can take a good nap.

» PASSAGE CHOISEUL OPENING HOURS: From Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm. Closed on Sundays.

8. Passage du Bourg-l’Abbé – Unique Atmosphere

Passage du Bourg-l'Abbé

Adress: 120 rue Saint-Denis et 3 rue de Palestro, Paris 2; Metro station Étienne Marcel, Line 4.

Passage du Bourg-l’Abbé in Paris 2 was built in early 1828 by the architect Auguste Lusson between the Passage du Grand Cerf and the Passage de l’Ancre. It formed a long walk that allowed shelter from bad weather and traffic.

Years later, the passage was amputated by several meters during the construction of Boulevard de Sébastopol and the construction of rue Palestro. The new entrance to the passage opening on rue Palestro was the work of Henri Blondel, the architect who also designed the Stock Exchange of Paris. The two caryatids that frame the entrance represent Industry (left) and Commerce (right). At the key, a hive, embedded in a cartouche, also translated the economic activity of the passage.

Entrance Passage du Bourg-l'Abbé

After the 1980s the passage was in very poor conditions. The commercial spaces did not seek to attract visitors or enhance the passage, they were used primarily as warehouses.

Victim of a fire in the 1990s, the place was almost abandoned until the condominium found the necessary funds for the restoration works. From 2002 to 2008, the passage was completely renovated and little by little, Passage Bourg-l’Abbé is trying to find its lost charm again.

» THE PERFECT BREAK: admire the soil, canopies, and interior facades with beautiful painted decoration. All these elements are listed as Historic Monuments and protected. At the end of the passage, a clock faces a barometer that no longer works.

» PASSAGE DE BOURG-L’ABBÉ OPENING HOURS: From Monday to Saturday from 7.30 am to 7.30 pm. Closed on Sundays.

9. Passage des Deux Pavillons – The Victim

Adress: 6, rue de Beaujolais, Paris 1; Metro station Bourse, Line 3.

Passage des Deux Pavillons is the shortest of all the Paris passages and it connects the gardens of Palais Royal in Paris 1 to rue des Petit-Champs in Paris 2. Passage des Deux Pavillons was built in 1820 by piercing one of the buildings and just like the building, it’s 33 meters long.

The current layout of this passage is a consequence of the eternal fight between the owners of Galerie Vivienne and Galerie Colbert to attract visitors.

Originally, this passage had a cross shape and from the gardens of Palais Royal, it was naturally ending in front of Galerie Colbert. The owner of Galerie Vivienne bought this passage and modified the layout to make it end just in front of his Galerie Vivienne.

Today Passage des Deux Pavillons continues to be an excellent shortcut to Galerie Vivienne and even if it is nothing exceptional, it is well worth a short visit now that you know its history!

Passage des 2 Pavillons Inside

Sleep in and Around the Covered Paris Walkways

Hotel Chopin Paris

Hotel Chopin Paris is located inside one of the most beautiful covered passages in Paris, the Passage Jouffroy. Join the passage’s busy life during the day and enjoy its special atmosphere at night when the stores close. Have a quiet sleep, far from the busy streets of Paris! The hotel proposes very good deals if you book in advance Click here for the Latest Prices

Accommodation near the Louvre Museum is also a good option to explore the covered passages of Paris and many tourist sights. Check out some of the best hotels near the Louvre Museum, with something for every budget.

And there you have it, the list of most charming covered passages of Paris. Which one would you choose for a stroll right now?

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Covered Passages in Paris, Covered Walkways in Paris, Passages Couverts de Paris, Secret Paris, Hidden Paris, Hidden Walkways in Paris, Paris Like a Local, Paris Travel Inspiration, Paris Architecture, Paris Shopping, Vintage Shopping in Paris, Cute Cafes in Paris
Covered Passages in Paris, Covered Walkways in Paris, Passages Couverts de Paris, Secret Paris, Hidden Paris, Hidden Walkways in Paris, Paris Like a Local, Paris Travel Inspiration, Paris Architecture, Paris Shopping, Vintage Shopping in Paris, Cute Cafes in Paris
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Quirky Parisian explorers with a preference for lesser-known sights, we are continuously looking for new ideas and tips to bring you the best of the City of Light.