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The covered passage of Paris are a wonderful yet not talked about attraction of Paris. These Belle Epoque era walkways were constructed to keep the businessman and the well to do of Paris protected from the smells and grime of the streets. The passages not only were short cuts between parallel streets but provided eating and shopping establishments. Today, they serve a similar function but are open to the public and are a great way to explore another side of Paris especially if the weather is not so great.
In my last article, I showed you the first two passages, Galeries Vivienne and Passage Choiseul, from the self guided tour I did. For this article, I will round out the rest of the tour with three more covered passages.
In my previous post, I shared a resource I used to tour the covered passages of Paris. I love the covered passages of Paris. They are like time machines back to the beautiful Belle Epoque era and are perfect for when the weather isn’t. Each passage has its own unique look and feel making them each fascinating to explore. This post will mostly be pictorial.
Let’s start with Galerie Vivienne, one of the most known and iconic of the passages.
Entrance to Galerie Vivienne.
The first thing you will noticed is the beautiful tiled floor and the glass ceiling. Stunning.
Galerie Vivienne passageway
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Bonne Année! Happy New Year! Well 2016 was a doozy but here we are one week down in 2017 so let’s get right into it.
One thing of Paris that I think doesn’t get enough attention are covered passages of Paris. Now found only on the Right Bank, these Belle Epoque era walkways offer a glimpse of the past and provide some very unique shopping experiences.
The covered passages, many with glass ceilings, were originally created as a way for Parisians to avoid bad weather (still true today) and the smell and grime of the streets (also somewhat true today). Just as in the past, the covered passages also provide a short cut between streets and some really fun window shopping. Only about 15 of the original 60 passages are left and each passage has its own character and are really fun to explore especially on rainy days.
When my friend and I set out to explore them, I printed out the super easy map from Smarter Paris. Smarter Paris does have an app but because the phone I was using was really old and didn’t have a SIM card (my new phone had had an unfortunate encounter with a bowl of water and was drying out), I printed out the map and followed it effortlessly. Passage des Princes was the only one we couldn’t find but I think that was due to the construction covering up some street names.
It takes about 3-4 hours depending on how often you stop to look and shop so definitely plan for half a day.
In the next several posts, I will be sharing photos of the covered passages we explored.