The magic of the covered passages of Paris
Published on 1 October 2022, dans Fashion and Shopping
With the arrival of the autumn rain and chill, the allure of the streets of Paris loses a little of its lustre. So, it’s time to discover an architectural peculiarity of the capital: its covered passages. Some are short and serve residential buildings, while others are much longer and lively with shops, cafés, restaurants and their terraces, but each covered passage has its own charm and identity. From the most elegant to the most popular, here is a selection of the favourite covered passages of the Hôtel Marais Bastille team.
Places of picturesque charm
Many covered passages are architectural masterpieces. This is certainly true, for example, of the Galerie Colbert with its superb glass dome, colonnades and statues. Built in 1823, it belongs to the Bibliothèque Nationale and houses institutions dedicated to art and heritage. It is also the address of the Grand Colbert, the famous Art Deco brasserie. Built in the same year and just a short stroll away is the Galerie Vivienne, which also boasts a sumptuous appearance due to its exquisitely elegant glass roof and the colourful mosaics inlaid in its floor. And to stay in the realm of luxury, don't miss a visit to the gorgeous Galerie de la Madeleine, to see its entrance decorated with caryatids and shop in its prestigious boutiques.
For a shopping spree
The covered passages are also perfect places for antique hunting, window-browsing, and discovering unique little shops. Head to the 10th arrondissement to visit the famous Passage Jouffroy, overlooking the Grands Boulevards. With its beautiful glass roof arching gracefully overhead and its two-tone geometric mosaics adorning the floor beneath your feet, this mid-19th century arcade hosts various shops, artisans, antique dealers, booksellers and more. Also check out the Passage du Grand-Cerf in the Montorgueil district, where the craftspeople and speciality shops will tempt you to indulge in a shopping spree. Finally, if you love to window shop, go to the Passage du Havre, which was transformed in 2003 into a shopping centre and hosts 40 shops on two levels.
The covered passages offer the opportunity to eat on a terrace even in the middle of winter. From the small neighbourhood café to the elegant brasserie and international cuisine, they offer a very wide choice of dining options for you to enjoy at any time. In the Marais you can savour a gourmet break on a terrace beneath the fishbone-style canopy of the Passage Verdeau. There, traditional bistros rub shoulders with antique dealers and booksellers. Finally, the Passage Brady invites you to experience Parisian gastronomic multiculturalism! Nicknamed Little India, it boasts Indo-Pakistani restaurants but also offers the cuisine of Réunion, Mauritius, and more. A real touch of eastern promise in the 10th arrondissement!
A typically Parisian architectural feature, the covered passages are vibrant and welcoming. Whether you visit them systematically or happen across them randomly on your walks in Paris, they will always surprise you. Discover them during your stay at the Hotel Marais Bastille!
Hotel Marais Bastille, a 3-star hotel a few steps from Place de la Bastille