Passages of time


Built during the first half of the 19th century but neglected for a while in the heyday of the big department stores, Paris's shopping arcades are back in vogue. Parisians and visitors venture in to escape the frenetic bustle of the streets, to amble arm in amorous arm or to breathe in the atmosphere of a long lost lifestyle.


Galerie Vivienne
A gem of its kind, built in 1823 in mock-Pompei style: mosaic floor (the original still in place), ochre tones and daylight filtering from the high glass roof. Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexis Mabille and Catherine André have set up shop here and the Lucien Legrand & Fils wine shop and restaurant has been here ever since 1880.
Accès par la rue Vivienne, rue des Petits-Champs ou rue de la Banque


Passage Choiseul
At 190m this is the longest shopping arcade in Paris. The writer Céline, who spent part of his childhood here, called it Passage des Bérézinas in his novel Mort à credit (Death on Credit). It houses the rear entrance to Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens and some foodie faves including Bio Burger, the only organic burger joint in town.
Accès par la rue Saint-Augustin et rue des Petits-Champs


Passage du Grand-Cerf Fils
A stone's throw from the vibrant Montorgueil district, this passage dating from 1825 boasts a fine glass roof (11m high at its ridge) and a striking tiled floor. The rather boho bistro Le Pas Sage has its own crowd of faithful followers, as does Le Labo, a brilliant shop that repurposes industrial and artisanal relics into lamps and lights.
Accès par la rue Saint-Denis et la rue Dussoubs


Passage des Panoramas
As well as some wonderful sepia-toned shops this oldest of all the passages, dating from 1799, has some highly rated eateries like the 2-star Passage 53 under young Japanese chef Shinichi Sato (lunchtime set menu €60) and the trendy gluten-free Noglu. Check out Les Grands d'Espagne for fine Spanish groceries..
Accès par le boulevard Montmartre, les rues Montmartre, Saint-Marc et Vivienne