Shopping In Paris – The Hidden Galleries

 Shopping In Paris   The Hidden Galleries

Paris is all about shopping, and over the years many galleries and shopping arcades have been built. During the late 18th century a maze of hidden passages were built across the city, and although many of them have fallen into disrepair and have been demolished, others have been lovingly restored. Here are some that have survived the test of time.

The Passage du Grand Cerf was recently restored and is now one of the more beautiful passages in the city. Located well away from the usual tourist areas, it is many visited by the locals. There are some excellent shops including florists, jewellers, funky wine bars and antique shops.

Passage Brady is Paris’s answer to Manchester’s Curry Mile. It is lined with Indian restaurants, bazaars that sell Indian fabrics and incense, and numerous spice shops. Unlike Curry Mile, the Indian food has been tailored to Parisian Tastes, so don’t expect a Chicken Vindaloo to be anything other than mild.

The Galerie Vivienne boasts imposing architecture with fine mosaics and well preserved statues. This is the home of many very expensive and chic shops including the original Jean-Paul Gaultier store. Here you can easily spend some serious money as you rub shoulders with rich locals. There are some excellent cafes and restaurants as well as Les Caves Legrand, supposedly the Paris’s finest wine shop.

Passage Molière took its name from the Molière theatre which is now called the Maison de la Poésie. The passage is also famous for the Librairie Scaramouche which contains a huge collection of artefacts from the cinema.

The Passage du Caire boasts a magnificent glass roof and is the home to garment producers. Essentially it is an industrial area, though there are also some good restaurants and wine bars.

Cour du Bel Air is one of the many passages and courtyards off the Faubourg Saint-Antoine which are the home to many ancient workshops and create a kind of rural village in the heart of the city. There are cobbled streets, trees, flowers and ivy covered walls amongst which nestle a number of arty shops.

The Passage Jouffroy contains Paris’s answer to Madame Tussauds called Grévin, a major visitor attraction. There is also Pain D’épices, a toyshop and Segas which sells antique canes and walking sticks. You will also find photographic exhibitions and artistic book shops.

Passage Choiseul is in a rather decrepit state; the glass ceiling is held together with netting and it lets through the rain, though there are some interesting shops including an antique store, a book shop, and various eateries including a Korean restaurant and a health-food café.

The best way to get around these fascinating galleries is to travel by bus to the general vicinity and then just wander round on foot and explore. It is very easy to spend several days exploring this hidden part of the city which is off the beaten track for most visitors. Nowadays you can travel by coach to the city from London, which is by far the cheapest way of getting there.


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What Others Have Said:

  1. amy tolley says:

    what an amazing place paris is i got to travel there when i was young in school my dad was stationed in germany and i loved it there so many beautiful sites building beautiful place to go

  2. Holly S. says:

    Sounds amazing! I would love to go shopping at all the little hidden shops in Paris! Maybe one day… Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Debbie Welchert says:

    Shopping in Paris sounds fantastic and a lot of fun. I would love to shop at the Antique Cane shop.

  4. Cheryl Rogers says:

    I have never been to Paris and probably never will. I did live in Monterey , California and did get to go in the little shops all around there, probably the most comparable to your experience, but so so different. Thanks for sharing your little bit of Paris with us!

  5. This sounds so fun to shop in Paris. I don’t see it happening soon for me. Thanks for the information. Sounds interesting and it is nice to learn about things. My great aunt lived in France for years.

  6. I’ve always wanted to go to Paris. It sounds so romantic. And the shopping! I’d love it!

  7. RICHARD HICKS says:

    Interesting article. One day I hope to visit Paris at least once in my lifetime.

  8. That must have been an amazing trip to Paris. I have always wanted to go there. That’s the exact type of places I’d like to shop too. I want to go to see the old historic sites. And old villages there too.

  9. Linda romer says:

    Shopping in paris sounds wonderful. Maybe one day, a girl can dream cant she? Thanks for the review.

  10. cheryl lister says:

    There’s a lot of people in that picture! My daughter and I would love to go here and check out all those wonderful little shops.

  11. Susan Wilder says:

    Oh my, looks so crowded, but this would be right up my alley! I love to shop!

  12. I only spent 2 days in Paris a few years back and couldn’t have jammed any more sightseeing than I managed, but I would love to go back and actually see parts of the city that are described in this article! Especially Passage Molière and the Cour du Bel Aire! Paris has so much to offer to visitors; it definitely requires a lot of time to get the full experience!

  13. Thanks for sharing. I love shopping in Paris and I’m going again in 3 months!

  14. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I’ve been to Paris twice but have never heard of these hidden passages. Certainly looks very crowded – tourists? Might try to find one of these next time I go :-)

  15. Irene Newstead says:

    I would love to go to Paris and visit our foster son. Might even get some fabulous shopping in.

  16. RICHARD+HICKS says:

    I want to visit one day. It is a beautiful place and shopping great!

  17. Linda Manns Linneman says:

    I would love to go to Paris. Thank you so much for sharing

  18. I’d love to go to Paris–it’s such a lovely place!

  19. Vesper Meikle says:

    shopping looks too crowed for me, I would visit the art galleries and museums instead

  20. I’d love to visit Paris

  21. Jenn Crawford-Lierman says:

    I’ve gone to Paris once & I would love to go back once more in my lifetime :-)

  22. Nicole Carter Weasley says:

    Thanks. After reading this I want to go there even MORE!

  23. I am hoping to go to Paris for the first time next year – and I’m be thrilled to visit many of the galleries you’ve listed here! Thanks for sharing.

  24. How much fun would that be. I would love to shop in Paris.

  25. md kennedy says:

    I’ve been to Paris several times but can’t say I’ve been to most of these areas – I shall be sure to check them out in April when I’m there again.

  26. bianca roman says:

    i can’t wait to travel to paris one day and visit these places you mentioned. i’m not much of a touristy person – i’d rather go where the locals go. thank you!

  27. laura rubenstein says:

    I’ve always wanted to travel to Paris :) What a beautiful place.

  28. Brittney Lopanec says:

    How neat, one day I will take a trip to Paris!!

  29. Barb Stenby says:

    One day I will get there it’s on my bucket list

  30. sherry butcher says:

    Great information it’s always better to find this type of shopping before going and be able to have a different view of the city. TFS.

  31. April Morrison says:

    I’m thankful to have this great advice should I ever make it to Paris. Thanks!

  32. Jessica Lodge says:

    Can I just say I’m a New Yorker who is use to walking everywhere, When I went to Paris and was shopping with my Parisian friend I have never been more tired in my life!! No wonder they are so trim- all they have to do is shop for exercise!

  33. Ronald Gagnon says:

    We were extremely lucky in the sense that my lady friend won a 10 day European holiday. However, it was tarnished a little by the small amount of time we spent (mostly in Paris) in France..a beautiful country. Your descriptions make me wish to go back..but this time without a tour guide as we seem to have missed a lot.

  34. Tamra Phelps says:

    I hope I get to go shopping in Paris someday! That would be living a dream!