My 7 Favorite Paris’ Covered Passages Not to Miss

Imagine strolling under an elegant glass roof, surrounded by unique shops and the history of Paris. The covered passages of Paris, built in the 19th century, are hidden treasures where time seems to have stood still. From high-end gastronomy to artisan boutiques, these passages offer an authentic Parisian experience, away from the hustle and bustle of the streets. Join us on a journey through these magical alleys, where every corner reveals a surprise, a piece of history, or a delight for the senses. Welcome to the secret world of Paris’ covered passages!


1) Galerie Véro-Dodat

inside the Galerie Véro-Dodat
Galerie Véro-Dodat (Credits: Jean-François Gornet / Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA)

Built in 1826 to join the Palais-Royal to the Halles, the Galerie Véro-Dodat boomed quickly thanks mostly to the Messageries Laffitte et Caillard business. People wandered inside the gallery and its fashion boutiques while waiting for their coach.

It is now one of the most discreet galleries in Paris but its neoclassical style, its elegant glass roof and the woodwork on its facade keep it from going unnoticed.

If you look up when you come to the gallery through the rue du Bouloi entrance, you can see two original statues: one of Hermes with its winged helmet and the other of a resting satyr.

There are jewelry stores, art galleries and different restaurants in it but it is for the Christian Louboutin workshop boutique that the Véro-Dodat gallery is mostly known. You can have a drink at the Café de l’Epoque and a bite at the Véro-Dodat which is famous for its traditional cooking.

Entrance: 19 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001, Paris

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 7am to 10pm


2) Passage Choiseul

passage choiseul
Passage Choiseul (Credits: Osbornb, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Passage Choiseul opened in 1827 and is more than 600 feet long, making it the longest of the capital.

You can find different shops at the lower level and the mezzanine, whereas the 1st and 2nd floors are mostly residential.

The beautiful glass roof standing over the passage was replaced in 1907 and restored in 2012 – along with the rest of the gallery, which had been closed for renovation for years.

The passage was classified as a historic monument in 1974 for its interior facades – which are still visible – and some part of its roofing.

You can enjoy some delicious Korean dishes at the L’Othentique Vietnam restaurant – prices are reasonable and the employees are friendly – before getting a massage (or even sleep) in one of the high-tech zero-gravity seats of the Zen Bar.

Entrance: 40 rue des Petits Champs, 75002, Paris

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 8am to 8pm


3) Galerie Colbert

Galerie Colbert's rotunda
Galerie Colbert (Credits: Benh LIEU SONG / Wikimedia Commons  under CC BY)

The Colbert Galerie was opened in 1826 and was classified as a historic monument in 1974. It is known for its magnificent rotunda, on which sits a glass dome. Berlioz himself played from one of the windows of the mezzanine.

The gallery is unique because of its lack of shops. It was bought in 1980 by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (the National Library of France) and it now houses the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (National Institute for Art History), the Institut National du Patrimoine and many other research labs and PhD programs from different French universities, including the prestigious Sorbonne.

It is still accessible to the public – to contemplate the architecture of the gallery and the rotunda.

You can find refreshments at Le Grand Colbert brasserie – which has been a filming location for many films, including the French comedy “Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu”.

Entrance: 2 rue Vivienne, 75002, Paris

Opening hours: all day, every day


4) Passage des Panoramas

inside the Passage des Panoramas
Passage des Panoramas (Credits: Jean-François Gornet / Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA)

The Passage des Panoramas was opened in 1799, which makes it the oldest covered passage in Europe. It was also the first to test gas lights – making it the ancestor of modern shopping malls.

It was classified as a historic monument in 1974 and you can still contemplate the facades of the old chocolate factory Marquis and the shop of the famous engraver, Stern – whose workshop has been turned into a coffee shop. The passage is a temple dedicated to food.

There’s something to satisfy all appetites and budgets. From the Italian cuisine of Racines to all kinds of dumplings at Gyoza Bar, to the French bistro recipes of Astair, there are more than a dozen restaurants and bistros that inhabit the place.

The passage is also known for hosting the Théâtre des Variétés* – which has been giving life to its corridors for more the two hundred years – and for having Emile Zola falling for it to the point of incorporating the passage in its book “Nana”.

Entrance: 11 boulevard Montmartre, 75002, Paris

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, from 6am to 12pm


5) Galerie Vivienne

galerie vivienne
Galerie Vivienne (Credits: Kotomi_ via CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed)

Built in 1823 behind the Richelieu library, and at a short walking distance from the Palais-Royal, the geographical location of the Galerie Vivienne soon made it one of the must-see places in Paris.

Despite a drop in the number of visitors by the end of the Second Empire – as for every other covered passage – it has never fallen into oblivion and it even gained a renewed interest from the public in the 80s when it welcomed Jean-Paul Gaultier’s very first workshop. Even though he moved in 2014, the Vivienne Gallery has managed to be sustainable. The caduceuses, anchors, horns of plenty, goddesses and nymphs adorning the rotunda were restored in 2016.

Its neoclassical Pompeian style, colorful mosaics and high glass roof turned it into an iconic Parisian place.

It is the home of many fashion and designer stores, librairies, coffee shops and restaurants.

You can dine at Bistrot Vivienne, which only serves homemade dishes with fresh and seasonal products, or enjoy a glass of wine at Legrand Filles et Fils, an establishment renowned for its wine selection and exceptional service.

Entrance: 5 rue de la Banque, 75002, Paris

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:30 am to 8:30 pm


6) Passage Jouffroy

Passage Jouffroy
Passage Jouffroy (credits: Clicsouris, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons)

Created in 1845 to extend the Passage des Panoramas, the Passage Jouffroy was the first to be entirely made of glass and metal. Only its ornaments are made of wood.

It was also the first covered passage to be heated from the floor. Its marble paving deceives the eye and gives an impression of depth, enhanced by the arched glass roof.

The passage was classified as a historic monument in 1974.

It gained fame around 1880 when Arthur Meyer and Alfred Grévin decided to create a gallery of characters made out of wax in one of the buildings. Some of the statues were put in the passage and it became the exit of the famous Grévin museum. To this day it has allowed the sustainability of the passage.

While wandering between the libraries and the canes shop you can buy sweets at La Cure Gourmande candy store, have a cup of tea at the famous Valentin tea room and perhaps discover Pain d’Epice, a charming toy store, if you fall under the spell of this magical place..

Entrance: 10-12 Boulevard Montmartre, 75009, Paris

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 7 am to 9:30 pm


7) Passage du Grand-Cerf

Inside of the passage du grand cerf
Passage du Grand-Cerf (Credits: David Pendery / Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA)

Opened in 1825, the Passage du Grand-Cerf with its 40-foot-tall glass roof is the highest passageway in Paris.

After being abandoned for years by the state, it was bought in 1985 and finally underwent some restoration work.

You can now find different jewelry and designer shops as well as some highly specialized haberdashery stores.

Entrance: 145 rue Saint-Denis, 75002, Paris

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 8:30 am to 8:30 pm