The unique charm of Parisian covered passages

Paris’s galleries and covered passages house shops, restaurants and theatres

Galerie Vivienne, intérieur, Paris © Fotolia - TMAX

Built for the most part in the 19th century, these arcades covered with glass roofs, created by piercing through other buildings, are a typically Parisian architectural feature. Most of them now house shops, tearooms and restaurants. There are around 20 of them in Paris in the vicinity of the Grands Boulevards.

The oldest arcade, Passage des Panoramas, dates back to 1799. It is home to the Théâtre des Variétés, inaugurated in 1807 and still providing entertainment. Each arcade has its own character. Passage Brady, commonly known as Little India, houses numerous Indian, Pakistan, Mauritian and Reunion shops.

Galerie Vivienne next door to the Palais-Royal is one of the most iconic covered passages. The nearby Galerie Véro-Dodat has many upmarket shops, like Christian Louboutin’s workshop-boutique. Passage du Grand-Cerf, a 12-metre-high structure made of metal and wrought iron, is one of the most spectacular arcades in Paris. 

Passage des Panoramas

Park, garden, promenade
11 boulevard Montmartre, Paris, 75002

Real tribute to strollers and curious walkers, the Passage des Panoramas is considered the first covered walkway in Paris. Built......

Galerie Vivienne

Park, garden, promenade
4 rue des Petits-Champs, Paris, 75002

Galerie Vivienne, built in 1823, is one of the most iconic covered arcades in Paris. In a peaceful location, behind the......

Passage du Grand-Cerf

Park, garden, promenade
145 rue Saint-Denis, Paris, 75002

The Grand-Cerf covered arcade was created in 1825, not far from Turbigo (Montorgueil district). It is almost 12 m tall, making it......

Galerie de la Madeleine

Park, garden, promenade
9 place de la Madeleine, Paris, 75008

While walking around the very chic Place de la Madeleine in the 8th arrondissement, visitors will discover the Galerie de la......

Passage Verdeau

Park, garden, promenade
6 rue de la Grange-Batelière, Paris, 75003

The Passage Verdeau, in the Grands Boulevards district, takes the name of its creator. Built in 1847, it is one of the most......

Passage Brady

Park, garden, promenade
46 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, Paris, 75010

India in Paris! Passage Brady, built in 1828, is one of the rare Parisian arcades composed of two parts which are separated by......

Passage des Princes

Park, garden, promenade
5 boulevard des Italiens, Paris, 75002

The history of the Passage des Princes has been very eventful. Built in 1860 and then destroyed in 1985, it was finally rebuilt......

Passage Jouffroy

Park, garden, promenade
10-12 boulevard Montmartre, Paris, 75009

Since it was built in 1836, Passage Jouffroy has been one of the most visited covered arcades in the capital. Situated on the......

Galerie Véro-Dodat

Park, garden, promenade
19 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Paris, 75001

The Galerie Véro-Dodat has an ideal location. It is close to the Louvre, and, it is one of the district's rare covered arcades.......

Galerie Colbert

Park, garden, promenade
4 rue Vivienne, Paris, 75002

Built in 1823, Galerie Colbert is a short walk from its main rival, Galerie Vivienne. This pretty covered arcade belongs to the......

Passage du Caire

Park, garden, promenade
2 place du Caire, Paris, 75002

Built in 1798, Passage du Caire is the oldest covered arcade in Paris. It takes its name from the Egyptian capital due to 3......