Paris for me is Paris in the 20’s, through a lens of Woody Allen level nostalgia and with A Moveable Feast in mind. Thus it probably comes as no surprise to my readers that I made it a mission on this trip to Paris to uncover the secret passages of Paris, the history behind them, and spend too much time sipping on a cafe au lait with a crunchy pain au chocolat in hand.
The passages are a nostalgic glimpse in the cities’ past, before the days of modern shopping malls and convenience stores, when small boutiques and artisans weren’t just highly prized, they were the norm. There were originally more than 150 of these passageways around Paris in the 18th and late 19th centuries, however most of them were sadly demolished during modernisation and only a handful remain.
The passageways that remain today are more than listed here, but these were my absolute favourite passageways that I wanted to share with you in the hopes that you visit and see Paris through my lens of the golden days!
For sure my favourite passageway and I dare say the most glamorous remaining today, Galerie Vivienne is a popular pitstop for locals and their miniature pooches, looking for artisan goods and services in the heart of Paris. Located right by the Palais Royal Theatre, this gallery in the second arrondisement of Paris is an almost perfect display of polished wood, ample natural light and wrought iron.
Passage des Panoramas
With antique signs laced with gold foil and a train restaurant reminiscent of the Hogwarts Express, Passage des Panoramas is a close second favourite for me given its similarities to Diagon Alley (yup, hopelessly devoted fan over here!) This is one of my favourite places in all of Paris for a completely nostalgic kick, and with companions it would be the perfect place to sit and enjoy for hours over a long lunch.
My third favourite passageway I found in Paris is located in the 9th arrondisement, conveniently located opposite the Passage des Panoramas (although the locations are two separate arrondisements, they are literally on opposite sides of Montmartre Boulevard, facing one another. This Passage offers a cute boutique hotel at the finish line, completely reminiscent of life in Paris during the 1920’s.
10 Boulevard Montmartre Boulevard, 9th arrondisement
I stumbled upon Galerie Vero-Dodat by chance, walking around the louvre for a bite to eat. This happens to be one of the quieter passages in Paris, so is great for a photo op with those iconic black and white tiled floors.
19 Galerie Vero-Dodat, 1st arrondisement
Over to you!
Have you visited more of the secret passages of Paris? Which was your favourite?