Let us take you on an exploration of the more secluded side of Paris, full of treasures that are too often missed by visitors to our beautiful city. You’ll discover the hidden delights of the charming covered passages. Full of tiny boutiques and cafés, chic Parisians have been shopping here since the early 19th century, and yet so often even the locals pass them by, not suspecting the marvels tucked away inside. We’ll also stroll through the gorgeous gardens of the Palais Royal, once home to kings and queens, now a tranquil paradise and the perfect place to escape the crowds.
Your guide will take you on a journey away from the crowded streets and into a more hidden side of the city, where Parisians once shopped in what were the precursors of today’s shopping malls. You’ll discover exquisite covered walkways, once lit by some of the first electric or gas lighting in the city, all richly decorated and today still home to charming boutiques and brasseries as they were then, with their café tables spilling out into the passageways. Covered with glass roofs to avoid the inclement weather, they were the perfect place for elegant shoppers. Envied across Europe, each passage had its own style, and rivalled the others in beauty and refinement. Over 150 of these gorgeous glass roofed passages once dazzled both the French and their European neighbors, but now only a handful remain.
With the renovation of Paris, the building of wide boulevards and huge departments stores, these architectural masterpieces were abandoned and left to ruin, many of them were later demolished. Today the remaining few of these tiny shopping arcades have been lovingly brought back to life, and are now home to artisan boutiques and restaurants, a perfect place to wander and discover a quieter side of Paris. You’ll be transported back in time as you explore these tiny marvels.
You’ll also stroll through the beautiful - and extremely fashionable - Palais Royal, its arcades full of history, chic stores and bijou pastry shops. Just a stone’s throw away from the crowds at the Louvre, it’s a hidden paradise – tranquil gardens surrounded by tiny boutiques and cafés. A former royal palace, the court gatherings here in the 17th century were the place to see and be seen, and royals from all over Europe flocked to them. The shopping arcades, literary salons, restaurants and galleries added at the end of the 18th century continued to attract the chic and fashionable, just as they do today, and your expert guide will bring the heyday of these historic and fascinating buildings and those who occupied them back to life for you.
Your private guide will show you the gems of these secret places as you explore one of the enchanting sides of Paris and discover some of the best places to shop, eat and relax in the city.
Discover the charming covered passages